Access to financial services is a prerequisite for economic development that benefits everyone. Savings, transactions (including online transfers), insurance and loans promote economic activity and self-reliance among low-income groups and small businesses. The Netherlands helps strengthen the financial sector in developing countries with a broad range of activities. Over the past three years no fewer than 700 million people have been given access to financial services.
Without a savings account or a loan it is virtually impossible for millions of SMEs or budding entrepreneurs to start or expand their business. Two billion people still have no access to the financial system. The Netherlands is working to give families and businesses in low- and middle-income countries access to financial products.
Dutch Good Growth Fund
The DGGF, an innovative revolving fund, was launched in mid-2014 in response to the growth in Dutch and local SMEs in low- and middle-income countries. It provides local finance by, for instance, participating in the GroFin Small and Growing Businesses Fund (SGB), which in turn invests in SMEs in order to boost employment in selected African countries. Another example is DGGF’s assistance to Syntech International, a Dutch company that is working with local partners to improve India’s financial infrastructure by building a rural network of ATMs and support services. A flower nursery owned by a Dutch entrepreneur in Ethiopia also received support to enable it to expand, creating 75 new rural jobs.
The DGGF is an important instrument in achieving the Netherlands’ aim to expand credit facilities for SMEs. The revolving fund operates in 68 developing countries and emerging markets, and within a few years commitments will add up to 700 million euros.
The DGGF finances:
- Dutch SMEs wishing to invest in low- and middle-income countries;
- SMEs in low- and middle-income countries wishing to invest locally;
- Dutch SMEs that wish to export to low- and middle-income countries.
To qualify for financing, activities must be relevant for development. The fund focuses in particular on young female entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs in fragile states.
Factsheet Financial infrastructure
The Netherlands supports various activities to strengthen the financial sector in developing countries, for example with programmes for insurances, credit facilities and consumer protection.
For more information, download our complete factsheet: Access to financial services - Financial infrastructure.
Do you have questions or would you like to have some more information? Contact the Sustainable Economic Development Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.