Germans offer to take East African firms to next level

In Summary

August 14, 2018—Formal small businesses in East Africa that can report an annual turnover of between […]

August 14, 2018—Formal small businesses in East Africa that can report an annual turnover of between $50,000 and $5 million have been invited to apply for participation in a new project involving innovative training, networking opportunities and insights into building commercial links with German firms.

This is a joint project between the Deustsche Gesellshaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the East African Community (EAC); the East African Business Council (EABC) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI). Plans are to  have 60 enterprises across East Africa with no less than 10 employees.

GIZ Project Head, Heine Eckhard said late last week, “The East African region is one of the fastest growing regions in the world, at about 6 percent. Approximately 90 pc of all registered enterprises in East Africa are SMEs, yet they are faced with constraints that limit their growth potential. This project hence aims to assist manufacturing SMEs expand by providing them with business and technical know-how and capacity development.”

The screening of applications will be conducted by national juries consisting of representatives from GIZ and the national business membership organisations, supported by international experts who know well the German market.

‘Creating Perspectives; Business for Development (East Africa)’ is now receiving applications with the deadline set for August 31, 2018, but applicants must have been operating for at least three years. Interested enterprise owners are advised to go online and visit

Additionally, the jury will rate the companies according to a list of judgement criteria, and the ones who score highest will be selected for the programme. Among others, the criteria include aspects such as a strong business development plan, a professionalized set-up and a match with EAC and German priority sectors.

The BDI is the umbrella organization of German industries and industry-related services. It speaks for 36 trade associations and more than 100,000 enterprises with around eight million employees while GIZ is the government’s international development agency.

Other conditions for eligibility include the companies’ motivation to actively participate in the programme and a convincing background story is important for ‘Creating Perspectives’. Finally, gender aspects are taken into consideration as the programme especially fosters the participation of women-owned companies.

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