Finland

Inclusive Business in Development Cooperation of EU Member States

Institutional Setup

The Government of Finland has a Development Policy Programme that sets the directions of Finland’s development policy and cooperation. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) has the overall responsibility for implementing the development policy in practice. Finland has 88 representations in the world and international organizations located in 77 countries, of which 38 are in developing countries.

Finnfund is the publicly owned Finnish special-purpose development finance institution that is the investment arm of Finland’s development policy. The services of Finnfund include equity investments, loans, mezzanine finance and advisory services. Other public sector organizations with a partial financing role in Finland’s development policy include Finnvera and Business Finland (created in 2018, as a merger of Finpro and Tekes, The Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation). Finnfund manages Finnpartnership, a business partnership programme, Tekes manages BEAM – Business with Impact, an innovations for development programme, and Finnvera gives a guarantee on the public investment loans supported by the Public Sector Investment Facility (PIF).

Finland is also one of the five owners of the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) which is a Nordic development finance institution.

Inclusive Business in Private Sector Promotion

Finland’s development policy aims at four interrelated goals:

  1. the rights and status of girls and women;
  2. job creation, livelihoods and economic development;
  3. democracy and better-functioning societies; and
  4. sustainable use of natural resources and climate change.

The second goal will be achieved with 

  • increasing access to decent work, livelihoods and income; 
  • helping the private sector in developing countries become more dynamic and diversified; 
  • promoting the international business rules; and 
  • using knowhow, value chains, technologies and innovations for sustainable development.

MFA Finland works extensively with the private sector, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Responsible business activities help emerging economies grow, diversify, and collect funding for their own public investments.

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.

A more widespread adoption of inclusive business practices, by partner enterprises to Finnish private sector funding, is an important objective of Finland’s cooperation with the private sector. In addition to promoting inclusive business operations in all private sector funding, Finland has specific projects that work with the inclusive business agenda, mostly in the innovations and technology sector and private sector development.

Regional Focus

Finland’s development cooperation is concentrated on Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia in Africa as well as Nepal and Myanmar in Asia. In addition, Finland supports extensively fragile and conflict affected countries such as Somalia, Eritrea, Syria, Iraq, Palestinian Territories, Afghanistan and Ukraine. Finland’s cooperation in Vietnam is undergoing transition from development cooperation to normal bilateral, including commercial and trading relations. Finland’s private sector cooperation, however, is demand-driven and can direct to any ODA-eligible country.

Publications

Business Call to Action (BCtA)

Region
Global
Programme description

Objective:

To accelerate progress towards the SDGs.

Activities:

Challenging companies to develop IB models, engaging people at the BoP as consumers, producers, suppliers, distributors, and employees. Through BCtA, over 200 companies have committed to improving the lives and livelihoods of millions of people.

Finnpartnership

Budget (mio €)
19.00
Region
Global
Programme description

 

Objective:

To provide services for companies and organisations in all sectors planning or improving business activities in developing countries.

Activities:

Services include business partnership support, matchmaking, and advisory services. Finnpartnership allocates funding for long-term partnerships between Finnish and developing country entities, normally companies

Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE)

Budget (mio €)
2.00
Region
Global
Programme description

Objective:

To foster economic growth, create income and jobs, reduce poverty and inequality, and strengthen the ecological foundations of their economies.

Activities:

Supporting nations and regions in reframing economic policies and practices around sustainability to foster.

Slush Global Impact Accelerator

Region
Global
Programme description

Objective:

To develop the capacity of innovative start-ups in developing countries in order to improve business and competitiveness and attract equity investors.

Activities:

Organising open national competitions in ~20 developing countries with local innovation hubs, the WB, or other organizations, to select start-up entrepreneurs for the global business accelerator program. The enterprises participate in the capacity development program, networking events, and at the Slush conference in Finland. The project familiarises participants with the Finnish innovation ecosystem and facilitates new partnerships

Southern African Innovation Support Programme, Phase II (SAIS 2)

Budget (mio €)
12.00
Region
Sub-Saharan Africa
Programme description

Objective:

Enhanced regional innovation cooperation and national innovation systems contributing to inclusive business and employment.

Activities:

Capacity building and funding for networking and knowledge sharing. Supporting projects piloting new mechanisms for enhanced innovation and enterprise in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

BEAM – Business with Impact

Budget (mio €)
50.00
Region
Global
Programme description

Objective:

BEAM is the joint innovations-for-development programme of MFA Finland and Tekes. Its aim is to assist Finnish enterprises and other actors in creating new business and innovations that will address challenges in developing countries.

Activities:

Grants and soft loans.

infoDev

Budget (mio €)
9.00
Region
Sub-Saharan Africa
Programme description

infoDev is a multi-donor trust fund (MDTF) within the World Bank Group, which currently focuses on increasing the start-up and growth of innovative enterprises in three sectors: clean technology, digital industry and agro-processing. Finland’s contribution focuses on agribusiness, digital entrepreneurship and women’s entrepreneurship.

Objective:

To promote competitiveness, employment, and sustainable, inclusive growth in the mobile and agro-processing sectors.

Activities:

Testing new approaches that enable the growth of innovative new ventures; creating and disseminating knowledge; and strengthening recipients’ capacity to design and implement programs. Early stage financing.