Inclusive Business in Development Cooperation of EU Member States

Institutional Set-up

Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) is a public financial institution that implements the policy defined by the French government. It works to fight poverty and promote sustainable development. This public institution is active in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and the French overseas territories, where it finances and supports projects that improve living conditions for populations, promote economic growth and protect the planet.

PROPARCO is a Development Financial Institution partly owned by the French Development Agency (AFD) and private shareholders from developed countries and developing nations. PROPARCO promotes private investment in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Inclusive Business in Private Sector Promotion

We consider inclusive business to be a powerful economic approach to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Even though this approach relies mostly on private sector engagement, our strategy is to support the whole ecosystem, including start-ups and companies (private and public, for profit or not), supporting structures (incubators, accelerators, and advisories), investors and policymakers.

Our objective between 2019 and 2023 is to invest one billion Euros to support the sound development of this sector and reach at least 50 million people.

We target both social and inclusive businesses. Social business is defined according to three criteria: 1) a strong social mission, 2) financial sustainability, and 3) an internal organisation reflecting the social mission (governance, social performance assessment, profit distribution, etc.)

We use the G20 definition of inclusive business:

Inclusive businesses provide goods, services, and livelihoods on a commercially viable basis, either at scale or scalable, to people living at the base of the economic pyramid (BOP) making them part of the value chain of companies’ core business as suppliers, distributors, retailers, or customers.

Regional Focus

AFD is active in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and the French overseas territories.

Social and Inclusive Business roadmap

Public Funding
Budget (mio €)
one billion (
Target group

-Start-up (social, inclusive and/or gender-lens business)

- SME and big corporates

- policy makers

- investors, networks and capacity building structures

Programme description

Objective: Our goal is to target the whole ecosystem from start-up to policy makers, investors and incubators. A specific focus will be granted to gender-lens business.

Activity: Supporting the longterm development of the social and inclusive business approach through all our financial tools including loans, guarantees equity (mostly through fund investments) and grants.