Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries

Document Summary: 

Organizational profile:

The mission of the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) is to support a strong private sector in developing and emerging countries, to enable them to gain access to growth and sustainable development within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. BIO provides tailor-made financial solutions to entrepreneurs, financial sector companies, and private infrastructure projects, combined with support for capacity building programs.

BIO's Business Development Support Fund allows current and prospective portfolio companies to increase their business performance and improve sustainable business development practices by offering grants and by co-financing Technical Assistance (TA), Feasibility Studies (FS), and Investment Support for innovative SMEs.


Financing Instrument: debt & equity (financing in €, $ or local currency).


Project scale: For organisational reasons, BIO divides all of its investments into 4 categories:

Investment companies and Funds- Private equity funds for SMEs, infrastructure and microfinance

  • €1-10 M

Financial Institutions- Financial institutions supporting the micro and small enterprise segment

  • Minimum €1-15M
  • Loans, with maturity: 3-10 years (max grace: 3 years)
  • Equity- BIO can take minority stakes only

Enterprises- Existing enterprises in agribusiness, industry, services to the population, energy efficiency

  • Minimum €1 M
  • Loans. with maturity: 3-10 years

Infrastructure- BIO is able to support infrastructure projects providing basic services to the population and to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, including but not limited to renewable energy, telecommunications and transport & logistics.

  • €3-20 M
  • Loans, with maturity: up to 15 years

BIO supports only existing companies with a solid track record of at least three years. The minimum amount of an investment is € 1 million per project. 

Through the Business Development Support Fund, technical assistance and investment support is capped at €350,000. Feasibility studies can receive 50% of the total cost, with a maximum of €100,000 per client.


Recipient countries regions/country groups: 

BIO invests in Least Developed Countries, Low-Income Countries, and Lower-middle Income Countries (i.e. the OECD's DAC-list). BIO can also invest in upper middle-income countries and pays particular attention to the partner countries of the Belgian Development Cooperation and to less developed countries. BIO currently operates, directly and indirectly, in 52 countries:

  • Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam
  • Latin America & Caribbean: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru
  • Middle East & North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Syria, Tunisia
  • Sub Saharan Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Dem. Rep. Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia


Recipient categories: Businesses


Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible sectors: All sectors, except those on the exclusion lists of the IFC (International Finance Corporation ) and EDFI (European Development Finance Institutions). Preference for: agriculture and agribusiness, financial sector targeting micro, small and medium enterprises, renewable energy, basic services to the population

Business Development Support Fund applications should meet the following number of criteria:

  • Eligible companies are current or prospective portfolio companies of BIO.
  • BIO evaluates the project’s development impact, additionality, expected outcome, coherence of the work program, skills of the expert and the budget and planning. Projects are to be implemented by external qualified consultants. Specifically for FS-applications, BIO will assess the sponsor’s or promotor’s quality, experience and track record.

Application guidelines:

Any application must be accompanied by a business plan that includes:

  • A description of the business concept
  • A presentation of products, clients, competitors, suppliers and the management team
  • An investment plan and preliminary financing plan
  • Profitability forecasts (for the next 5 years of operation of the project)
  • Financial history for a minimum of three years

For applications, send an e-mail and business plan to

For the Business Development Support Fund, simply contact BIO's team for the application form, fill it out and send it to The Business Development Support team will review your application and can support you in further structuring your project.

Publication Date
Wednesday, 10 March 2021
Applicable location
Renewable energy
Financing opportunities