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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.

Target group

Eligible are early-stage SMEs (i) in the FinTech Sector, or (ii) with embedded finance components, or (iii) in the GreenTech Sector 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.

What DEG offers

The Up-Scaling programme provides funding of 500,000 to 749,000 EUR, which constitutes a maximum of 50% of the total investment volume. Private sponsors must contribute a substantial share of equity (at least 25% of total investment volume). Up-Scaling funds must be repaid in the event of success of the company (depending on pre-defined financial criteria such revenue or profit). The programme is co-financed by BMZ.

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 minimum 12 month 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.

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

Project examples

Inclusive e-commerce for East Africa

Thanks to start-up financing from DEG’s Up-Scaling programme, Copia has been able to make further investments in expanding its innovative business model.

Learn more



Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH

Development Programs and Business Support

Kämmergasse 22

50676 Cologne


+49 221 4986-1472