Advising companies on sustainable commitment in developing countries and emerging economies

Project description

Title: Business Scouts for Development Network
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Around 40 selected countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America/the Caribbean and Europe
Partner: Germany’s top business associations, industry associations, German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHKs), Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHKs), foundations
Overall term: 2021 to 2024



An inclusive, sustainable and stable economy makes an important contribution to a country's development. Companies create jobs, secure incomes and drive innovations.

However, the resources, networks and knowledge required to implement specialist expertise and new technologies are often lacking locally. The German Government has therefore developed support and financing opportunities for sustainable economic commitment in its partner countries.

Carpenter Eve Zalwango in her workshop in Kampala, Uganda. Together with a woman carpenter from Germany, she has initiated a project via BSfD to promote women in trades and crafts. © GIZ


Local, German and European companies and business institutions are more closely networked and implement joint projects that open up access to new markets and strengthen sustainable development.

The cooperation network of the Business Scouts for Development programme.


The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) provides a network of development policy experts to the private sector in around 40 countries – Business Scouts for Development.

In Germany, the Business Scouts advise companies directly via business associations, Chambers of Trade and Industry (IHKs), Chambers of Skilled Crafts (HWKs), federal state associations and foundations. In the partner countries, they are integrated into German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHKs) and German business delegations or German development cooperation. The project is expanding cooperation with private sector stakeholders in Europe.

The Business Scouts liaise between the private sector and development cooperation. They are familiar with the needs of the private sector and know the local conditions and regulatory requirements in the countries. The network develops innovative approaches, can demonstrate flexibility when taking on new topics and initiate specific cooperation projects with the private sector.

Current priority areas are:

  • Climate
  • Sustainable supply chain management
  • Digitalisation

Further focus topics of the programme are:

  • Health
  • Energy and the environment
  • Technical and vocational education and training
  • Crafts
  • Agribusiness and the food industry
  • Sustainable economic development
  • Cooperation with foundations
  • Support for trade fairs

Last update: February 2022

Additional information

The projects "EZ-Scouts," "ExperTS," "Global Business Network," "Skilled Crafts and Trade Network 4 Africa," and "Creating Perspectives" were merged in January 2021 to form the major project Business Scouts for Development.