Support for businesses in developing countries

10 March 2010

A new facility to support the role of business in developing countries was announced today by Minister for International Development Gareth Thomas. The Business Innovation Facility will help companies to develop new ways of working that will mean more jobs and stronger economies in some of the poorest countries in the world.

The new facility will help bring businesses together to share knowledge and experience which can benefit developing countries as well as helping business reach new markets and customers.

The Business Innovation Facility, which will initially be rolled out across Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, Zambia, and Malawi, will help companies to develop or adapt commercial business models that benefit the poor.

To date, more than 2,600 small distribution businesses have been formed as a result, creating direct employment for more than 12,000 people, and generating more than $500 million in revenues throughout East Africa.

By setting up partnerships, providing opportunities to share knowledge, and the costs of business plans and feasibility studies, the Business Innovation Facility will provide a unique opportunity for businesses to explore new ways of working, new ways to increase profit and new ways for business to benefit people living in poverty.

Speaking at the launch of the Facility, Gareth Thomas said:
 “The Business Innovation Facility is about providing creative solutions to the big development challenges that affect us all. It will deliver long term benefits for the world’s poor; based on modern and profitable partnership.
“For local people this will mean more jobs, better incomes and increased skills. For businesses, it will mean new partners, fresh commercial opportunities, and greater public access to their products.”