Incubation Ecosystem support programme

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 Woman and man during a group discussion - - ILRI-Mercy Becon CC BY 2.0

The Dutch Good Growth Fund / Investment Funds Local SMEs is a 'fund of fund' investment initiative from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It aims to improve financing for the missing middle – i.e. local businesses which have outgrown micro financing, but do not yet have access to regular financial services in developing countries and emerging markets.

Entrepreneurs – especially young (in DGGF context, under 35) and first-time entrepreneurs – face many challenges in growing their businesses, which often go beyond the struggle to gain access to adequate finance. The number of questions and options they encounter on a daily basis when running their business can be overwhelming. Having access to knowledgeable and reliable resources, networks and exposure to guide their decision-making process is critical to navigate the unknown entrepreneurial journey.

Opportunities to start and grow

The problem is that these elements are often out of reach for young and first-time entrepreneurs. Some entrepreneurial ecosystems are still developing, resulting in a very limited offer of professional and affordable capacity building services for local entrepreneurs.

They also often have little linkages with other ecosystems which could offer valuable connections for local entrepreneurs with potential customers, business partners and investors. This significantly inhibits opportunities to start and grow a sustainable business in the entrepreneur’s country of origin.

Up to 0.5 million Euros for incubation and acceleration service delivery initiatives…

To enhance the chances of young and first-time entrepreneurs operating in migration-prone areas and improve the conduciveness of their operating ecosystems, the Seed Capital and Business Development (SCBD) facility seeks to support local capacity building initiatives and improve their quality, accessibility and affordability.

… that demonstrate potential for scale and sustainability

The efficiency of the service delivery depends greatly on the capacity of local initiatives to spur scalable and sustainable models that foster growth and investment readiness of enterprises led by young/first-time entrepreneurs. This is the type of initiatives the SCBD facility targets.

The SCBD facility focuses on supporting these initiatives address one or more of the following – interrelated – fundamental challenges faced by young/first-time entrepreneurs:

  • Little understanding of target customers’ demand and markets
  • Restricted capacity to define a clear and unique value proposition addressing identified demand
  • Low financial literacy and capacity in financial administration (e.g. bookkeeping, cash flow management)
  • Narrow awareness and understanding of financing products for business growth
  • Limited managerial experience and capacity in deriving and executing a sound and aligned business model and business plan
  • Restrained network in their operating ecosystem

Application & selection process

Interested parties are invited to send their pitch-book to with the subject line 'Ecosystem support'. The pitch-book should provide insight on:

  • target entrepreneurs;
  • geographic focus;
  • service offering and activities (incl. cost efficiency);
  • additionality in the market;
  • embedment in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem including clear connection with the financial sector;
  • Feasibility and sustainability strategy;
  • Team’s track record, level of professionalization, and commitment/ownership

The applicants with the most convincing ideas will be invited to elaborate their proposals for funding support.

Approval will be conducted by an expert committee based on strategic fit and feasibility of the proposals.

Current Clients