Promoting entrepreneurial initiative ­– ­ enabling development

A reliable partner to private enterprises

To harness opportunities, open up markets and compete: guiding principles of enterprises that operate and invest in developing and emerging-market countries. They bring entrepreneurial thinking, capacity for innovation, a willingness to take calculated risks and a sense of responsibility to the table – qualities crucial to achieve long-term success. But many enterprises in developing countries lack the long-term funds necessary for growing and progressing. Due to the relatively high risks, many banks are unwilling to finance them.

That is where DEG comes in. We offer financing, advice and support to private-sector enterprises operating in developing and emerging-market countries. Our customers can rely on our expertise, built up over almost 60 years. They can benefit from our market knowledge, our 21 locations worldwide and our international network.

As our customers’ partner and in discussion with them, we develop solutions that provide more than just capital and are individually tailored to their needs. We advise and assist them even before an investment has been made, offer continuous support and can be relied upon to back them even in difficult times. Our promotional programmes also help to enhance business performance and the development impact of their investments.

As a development finance institution with almost 60 years of experience, we know how to deal with difficult periods and economic crises. And this experience is now helping us and our customers in the midst of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. In this e-paper, we take a look at what extra measures we are taking to help businesses operating in developing countries.

As an experienced provider of development financing, DEG offers active support for private-sector enterprises working in developing and emerging-market countries. This especially applies in difficult times such as during the coronavirus pandemic, which has huge consequences in many countries worldwide. We launched a variety of COVID-19 Response measures as early as March 2020 to specifically support our existing customers with funding and advisory services. As the pandemic and its consequences have not yet been dealt with in many countries, we will continue this exchange with our customers in 2021.

Since 2020, companies that already receive financing from DEG have been able to use our Business Support Services (BSS) to help them fund coronavirus-related measures. Customers in the healthcare sector, for example, can use the funds to procure protective equipment or train nursing staff. Our customers can also spend BSS funds on consultants to help them adapt business processes and strategies to the new situation. DEG made over EUR 50 million available in 2020 through its advice and promotional programmes for companies’ coronavirus-related measures.

Action by companies to significantly alleviate the pandemic’s local impact can also be funded via This programme, funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), is open to German and European companies as well as companies in emerging and developing countries with a long-term interest in these countries. In 2020 DEG co-financed companies’ mobile healthcare facilities with develoPPP funds, for example.

As well as direct finance for enterprises, we also make long-term funding available for banks and funds, which in turn provide capital to local businesses. This enables specifically small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries to implement their business ideas and to invest.

As a leading European development finance provider for the private sector, we deliberately enter developing markets that offer opportunities to private enterprises. That is because enterprises play an essential role in creating skilled jobs, income and prospects on the ground. By far the most jobs are created by the private sector.

DEG’s portfolio amounts to approx. EUR 8.5 billion – financing for around 600 customers in around 80 countries.

Our involvement represents considerable leverage. For 2020 alone, new commitments of approx. EUR 1.4 billion enable businesses to invest more than EUR 7.7 billion. In 2020 DEG mobilised a further EUR 380 million from lenders for investments in developing countries.

DEG portfolio


8.5 billion

600 customers in 80 countries

New commitments ­of EUR

1.4 billion in 2020

Total investment of EUR

7.7 billion

The companies we finance operate in agribusiness, manufacturing, the services sector, in infrastructure and the financial sector. They are from developing and emerging-market countries, from Germany, and from other industrialised nations. In many cases, we have supported them across decades. They value our experience, our qualified staff, our flexibility and our long-term outlook. Together, we have set our sights on sustained entrepreneurial success.

Sustainable management – focus on impact and climate

The impact of our work is a key motivator for us. This includes our tangible contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development. Our business approaches climate change and its consequences in developing countries as responsibly as possible and we encourage our customers to do the same. That is why DEG has long avoided co-financing coal-fired power stations and is also working to make its business climate neutral before 2050.