The private sector is an important partner of Austrian Development Cooperation, because companies are problem solvers. They create jobs and infrastructure and contribute to poverty reduction. Particularly those countries in which the private sector has gained relevance have made great progress in this area. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can only be achieved if governments, companies and civil society work together worldwide.

The private sector has an important role to play in achieving the SDGs. The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) pursues two goals in the area of business and development:

- sustainable, inclusive and thus poverty-reducing growth
- Utilising the potential of the European private sector for development cooperation

To achieve this, ADA is focussing on two different approaches:

- Inclusive market system development creates the conditions for the private sector to develop accordingly. This is where suitable economic framework conditions, capacity development and access to financing come into play.
- The potential of the private sector for sustainable development can be utilised through business partnerships. This is because cooperation with companies not only brings private investment, but also crucial expertise to the partner countries. This makes development policy engagement more efficient and all three dimensions of sustainability (economic, ecological, social) are given equal consideration.

Project examples

The Tyrolean family business MED-EL is committed to improving hearing health in developing countries

The Austrian entrepreneur founded the company AMABO in Cameroon, which produces affordable and durable roof tiles from plastic waste

A fund from the company Roots of Impact encourages fintechs to improve the financial participation of women in local market systems