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Business Partnership Facility: impact in developing countries by nurturing a culture of learning, innovation, and sustainability 

The King Baudouin Foundation announces the successful final evaluation of the Business Partnership Facility (BPF) project, highlighting its pivotal role in fostering the development of Micro-, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in developing countries, and facilitating private sector involvement in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). BPF provides non-refundable matching grants between €50,000 and €200,000 and has been active for more than 5 years.  

The project was initiated and funded by the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD) of the Belgian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The operational management of the BPF is entrusted to the King Baudouin Foundation. 

Since its conception in 2019, a total of nine rounds of calls for proposals were launched and 60 projects were awarded a grant for a total of €10,658,850. Several projects were surveyed for the (impact) evaluation report. The evaluation reaffirms that the BPF experience has not been merely a source of funding, but also a catalyst for learning, innovation, and sustainability. It also emphasises the positive impact of Belgian public funds in driving forward the objectives set by projects and the mission of the BPF, aligning with the strategic goals of the King Baudouin Foundation to enhance societal and environmental impact on an international as well as national level.  

Key Achievements and Impact Statistics of the BPF project: 

  • Access and Empathy: 100% of the respondents in the grantee survey would recommend BPF to others, for its straightforward grant process and its understanding of the challenges faced by businesses in Africa. 
  • Job Creation and Decent Work Policies: The BPF grant played a crucial role in creating new jobs and implementing decent work policies among the surveyed projects. 
  • Financial Leverage: A majority of grantees leveraged the BPF grant to attract additional financing, showcasing the project’s financial viability and appeal. 
  • Gender Equity: BPF positively influenced the development of gender equity policies, resulting in increased representation of women in the workforce and economic empowerment. 
  • Collaborations and Partnerships: BPF projects fostered numerous collaborations and partnerships, both South-South and North-South, between for-profit and non-profit organisations. 
  • Improved Income for Beneficiaries: 20% of the projects achieved improved income for their respective beneficiaries, contributing to economic uplift. 

What’s next? 

The Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGD) is now working on the implementation for its strategy in supporting the private sector in partner countries, drawing lessons from the BPF as a pilot project. The KBF will continue to monitor and guide grantees towards greater economic robustness and social impact over the next three years. 

Download the full report