Up-Scaling – Scaling innovative business models

    With the Up-Scaling Programme, DEG finances new investments of early-stage SMEs aimed at scaling innovative business models with high development impact. The promotional programme is implemented by DEG is part of the “Partners in Transformation” offer of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

    The most important facts at a glance:

    What kind of projects do we finance?

    • Eligible are early-stage SMEs (i) in the FinTech Sector, or (ii) with embedded finance components, or (iii) in the GreenTech Sector
    • The companies are registered in a developing country or emerging market
    • They may also be local subsidiaries of German or European companies
    • Preference is given to investments in Africa

    What does DEG offer?

    • The Up-Scaling programme provides funding of 500,000 to 749,000 EUR
    • This investment constitutes a maximum of 50% of the total investment volume
    • Private sponsors must contribute a substantial share of equity (at least 25% of the total investment volume)
    • Up-Scaling funds must be repaid in the event of success of the company (depending on pre-defined financial criteria such as 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 has a proven track record, i.e. it is operational for a minimum of 12 months and generates substantial revenues
    • 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

    Development Effects 2022

    In 2022, the DEG Up-Scaling programme enabled transformative changes through eleven new financing commitments totalling 57 active investments. Approximately one million people gained improved access to energy and around 40,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions were saved. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, up-scaling companies improved access to healthcare for over eight million people and strengthened 4,926 medical facilities.

    The financed companies created 1,382 new jobs, with 53% going to women, and facilitated access to financial services for 2.3 million people. With the help of the Up-Scaling programme, we promote sustainable development at various levels. The programme particularly contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9.

    Project examples


    DEG supports innovative fruit and vegetable cultivation in Indonesia


    Indonesia: AgriFinTech provides platform for direct marketing of agricultural products


    South African GreenTech start-up co-financed by DEG