Belgium Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Belgium’s Private Sector Development service was created in 2018 to provide direct support to MSMEs in developing countries, create a strong economic structure in which enterprises have access to finance, markets, technical and management support; and an enabling environment for the creation of sustainable employment.

Private sector development (PSD) policy and strategy

Belgium uses different instruments and programmes to promote PSD, including BIO-INVEST, ENABEL, the Belgian Development Agency, which includes the Trade for Development Centre, and partnership mechanisms for the private sector (see the section below).

ENABEL’s PSD approach has three pillars: improving the business climate, strengthening value chains and economic sectors, and creating businesses and improving their performance. ENABEL has a particular focus on fragile contexts, and sees a particular added value in investing in women’s entrepreneurship, digital entrepreneurships, fair entrepreneurship, access to finance and private sector engagement. 

Examples of digitalisation projects include ENABEL’s “WeHubIt” projects and the D4D platform Kindling.

Belgium also has a dedicated strategy on Agriculture and Food Security, which focuses on the sustainable commercialisation of agricultural value chains.

Partnership mechanisms for the private sector

Belgium’s Business Partnership Facility ‘Enterprises for the SDGs’  supports viable, entrepreneurial initiatives with social impact. The Facility runs two competitive calls for proposals per year and welcomes applications by individual businesses or consortia of businesses, civil society, academia and/ or the public sector. Belgium also engages the private sector in the promotion of more responsible business practices: Through ‘Beyond Chocolate’ partnership implemented by the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), Belgium convenes national chocolate industry stakeholders in order to upscale change towards the sustainable development of the cocoa sector in partner countries, and to share good practices and learning.

Transparency, effectiveness and results in PSD

The Special Evaluation Office – SEO – is authorised to evaluate Belgian development cooperation. It is an external evaluation office under the administrative authority of the President of the Management Committee of the FPS Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.