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Scaling innovative business models

With the Up-scaling programme, DEG finances investments of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that intend to scale up innovative business models with high developmental impact. The program addresses companies whose financing needs lie somewhere between microfinancing and the traditional financing by commercial banks.

Target group

Eligible are early-stage SMEs which are registered in a developing country or emerging market. These may also be local subsidiaries of German or European companies. Preference is given to investments in Africa or India.

What DEG offers

DEG provides funding of 500,000 EUR, which constitutes a maximum of 50% of the total investment volume. Private sponsors must contribute a substantial share of equity (at least 25%). DEG’s funds must be repaid in the event of success of the investment (depending on pre-defined financial criteria such as cash flow, revenue or profit).

Conditions for funding

The programme addresses companies that fulfill the following requirements:

  • The company employs an innovative and scalable business approach with a high developmental impact.
  • The company is operational and a pilot phase has already been completed including proof of concept with regards to technology and business model at local level.
  • The planned investment generates positive returns (as outlined by a comprehensive business plan and financial projections).
  • The company shows high growth potential owing to the size of the market and the target group.
  • The company has the management capacity, human resources and know-how to substantially scale their activities.

Interested companies may submit their proposals for funding through Up-scaling to DEG at any time. For this purpose please use the documents provided here.

Further information



Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH

Development Programs and Business Support

Kämmergasse 22

50676 Cologne



+49 (0) 221 4986-1145


+49 (0) 221 4986-1472



Project examples

Low-cost solar power for local companies

The German project developer PV2 is planning to set up the Philippines's first contracting solar plant. DEG is co-financing the investment as part of its Up-scaling programme.

More information