The Development Cooperation Program for the private sector (B2B Program) aims to 1) involve Czech entrepreneurs in development cooperation; and 2) at the same time support the development of the private sector in third countries. The Program also helps meet the Goals of Sustainable Development.
It is particularly suited for small and medium-sized businesses that bring innovative business ideas with the potential to address development challenges in partner countries. The private sector plays an irreplaceable role in international development; it provides new job opportunities for local people, passes on the necessary know-how and technology, increases employment, and brings European standards and quality. The B2B Program supports the creation of business partnerships and takes away the risk of entering the development market by up to 90% co-financing. It operates in the de minimis subsidy scheme (small-scale support).
In November 2016, a new round of the B2B Program was announced. The program is now divided into the Preparation phase, which includes the “Feasibility Study” and the new “Business Plan” tool, enabling one to map the risks of entering the market and finding a partner. The preparation phase applies to all developing countries according to the OECD / DAC classification (i.e. all low- and middle-income countries). The maximum amount of the subsidy in the Implementation phase has been increased to CZK 5 million. In 2017, the Czech Development Agency recorded double the number of applications compared to the previous year, with two thirds of the applicants being new subjects. The increase in applications also corresponds to the increased budget, totalling 20 million Czech crowns for 2017. The terms and conditions of the Program are set out in the methodology and text of the call to tender for the year in question. The Program consistently seeks to minimize the administrative burden for entrepreneurs.
The measurable indicators of the Program are the number of newly created jobs, the involvement of local producers in value chains, the transfer of know-how and technology to increase expertise and capacities, the sustainability of partnerships over the longer term and the successful financing of technical solutions. The basic principles and rules for private sector involvement in development cooperation are further based on international commitments at the UN, OECD and European Union level.