Your Gateway to Information on Financial Resources for Inclusive Businesses

Intermediary database

This database lists information about organizations that offer financial and/or technical support for inclusive business and social enterprises in developing and emerging countries. It aims to help companies and entrepreneurs in inclusive business find initiatives that could provide the support they need.

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Inclusive Business in Development Cooperation of EU Member States


The mapping of inclusive business (IB) programmes in development cooperation of EU member states serves as a basis for discussion on the advancement of IB in the international development agenda, and for the coordination and exploration of synergies between initiatives. The mapping also seeks to increase the transparency of the offerings for companies with inclusive business models.

Donors and other stakeholders in IB can benefit from increased coordination of European IB programmes and initiatives, as well as from the realisation of synergies. The donor mapping shows where programmes may overlap or complement each other, creating opportunities for cooperation. It also fosters an exchange of information and experience between donors, in terms of best practices and lessons learnt.

As of October 2018, the following nine EU member states and the European Union participated in the 2017 mapping [*1]: 

[*1] Member states may contribute updates on their IB programs throughout 2018, once private sector engagement strategies are reformulated 

  • European Union
  • Finland 
  • Germany 
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands 
  • Spain
  • Sweden 
  • The United Kingdom
  • France

IB programmes in numbers

76 programmes with IB relevance are listed in the mapping. The member states determined the IB relevance of their programmes and did not follow a uniform criteria catalogue. The mapping differentiates between IB programmes and initiatives active in technical cooperation, financial cooperation, platforms and networks, research and information, and grant programmes. It also evaluates programmes’ target groups, differentiating between private sector engagement and ecosystem engagement. Keeping in mind that projects may have multiple offerings, the analysis of programme characteristics revealed that technical assistance is the most common type of programme (51), followed by financial assistance (39), platforms and networks (18), grant programmes (9), and research and information (9).

Different types of IB programmes

Projects aimed at improving their target region’s business environments (creating financing possibilities, legal frameworks, etc.) are categorised as ecosystem engagement. Projects engaging directly with companies (capacity development, financing micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) directly, etc.) are categorised as private sector engagement.

Type of IB engagement

The largest portion of programmes in the mapping work across sectors, while the greatest sectoral focus is on agriculture (agri-businesses, smallholder organisations, etc.). Interestingly, 82 percent of agriculture programmes are implemented in Africa (the rest are global). The second largest focus lies in the financial sector (projects that assist credit institutions in developing financing options, funds that refinance micro-credit institutions, etc.), followed by information and communications technology (ICT), and oil, gas, and minerals.

Sectoral focus of IB programmes

The regional analysis shows that the majority of the programmes geographically focus on Africa, followed by global programmes, programmes in Asia, Latin America, and finally, programmes in Eastern/South-Eastern Europe.

Regional focus of donor programmes



Development Cooperation Factsheets


The french development approach targets both social and inclusive businesses though financial investment in the whole ecosystem
Policy and Government

United Kingdom (UK)

The Department for International Development (DFID) administers UK’s overseas development aid. DFID works with other UK government departments, which also spend UK overseas development assistance in line with the government’s UK Aid Strategy.
Policy and Government


Sweden supports inclusive business initiatives bilaterally and regionally as well as globally. The main objective of Sweden’s development cooperation for sustainable economic development is to improve the opportunities of poor people to contribute to, and benefit from, economic growth.
Policy and Government


Private sector promotion has gained significance in Spanish development cooperation, which now seeks to make this sector a partner in achieving its development objectives.
Policy and Government

The Netherlands

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ) is responsible for the country’s development cooperation. The aim of the Netherlands’ development cooperation is to promote sustainable economic growth in developing countries with a focus on water management, food security, security and rule of law, and sexual and reproductive rights.
Policy and Government


Luxembourg’s development cooperation has maintained a twenty-year commitment to actively support the development of inclusive finance, recognising that these tools constitute important mechanisms for poverty reduction. More recently, the dynamism of the private sector has been playing an increasingly important role in development affairs.
Policy and Government


Inclusive business methodology has been promoted through the results of a research lead by DeLab, the Italian member of the BoP Global Network. The first public call addressed to the private sector actors has been launched by AICS in July 2017. The call is focused on innovation, inclusive business, profit-noprofit partnership, sustainability.
Policy and Government


The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is responsible for devising the strategies for Germany’s development policy and, beginning in 2008, started to take up a wide range of initiatives specific to inclusive business models.
Policy and Government


MFA Finland supports Finnish companies’ partnerships, business opportunities and investments in developing countries through development cooperation funding and a multitude of services under the auspices of Team Finland network. The aim is to promote partner countries’ economic, social and environmental development.
Policy and Government

European Union

Within the European Commission, the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) is in charge of development policy in a wider framework of international cooperation, adapting to the evolving needs of partner countries.
Policy and Government