Launch of the Business Scouts for Development on

Shaping cooperation between companies and development cooperation together

The development policy experts of the Business Scouts for Development programme advise companies on their sustainable business projects in new markets and accompany the concrete initiation of their projects in almost 40 developing and emerging countries. The Business Scouts are now offering their consulting services directly via

Companies are important partners for development cooperation in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, because through innovative solutions and know-how, companies can contribute to mastering social challenges, e.g. climate protection, food security or social standards, and create sustainable jobs for the local population.

In addition, developing and emerging countries offer companies a lot of potential, be it as a future sales market, as an attractive production location or as reliable partners in global supply chains. However, they often lack the resources, networks or specific market knowledge to take advantage of existing local business opportunities. For this reason, a broad advisory and cooperation network with a local development perspective has already been established in recent years on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). This network exists since the beginning of 2021 as the "Business Scouts for Development" programme and combines the expertise of its predecessor programmes "ExperTS", "EZ-Scouts", "Global Business Network", "Skilled Crafts and Trade Network 4 Africa" and "Perspektiven schaffen: Business for Development (East Africa)".

Locations of the Business Scouts for Development

What do the Business Scouts offer?

The core task of the Business Scouts for Development is to provide individual advice and support for companies that want to start or expand their business activities in a sustainable way in developing and emerging countries. They advise companies on cooperation opportunities with German development cooperation, support them with specific market information and connect them with potential business partners. In addition, they assist with the implementation of the business project and initiate and accompany cooperation projects. In Côte d'Ivoire, for example, the local Business Scout was able to support a Chemnitz-based company in introducing its technology for detecting fake medicines to the African market. With the help of crypto codes, which are captured via a simple mobile phone app, patients can recognise within a few seconds whether a medicine is an original or a fake. This prevents fake medicines from either delaying or even worsening the disease.

Where can you find the Business Scout for Development?

The Business Scouts are active both in Germany and abroad. In Germany, they advise companies directly through the umbrella organisations of the German economy (e.g. DIHK, BDI, ZDH, BGA), chambers of industry and commerce (IHK), chambers of handicrafts, sector associations, country associations and, in cooperation with Engagement Global, also through foundation organisations. In the partner countries, they are based at the Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK) and delegations of German business or work directly in the local offices of German development cooperation.

In addition, the Business Scouts can now also be reached digitally: Each Business Scout now has a profile on with details of current business opportunities. Where you find the business opportunities, you will also find the contact details of the corresponding Business Scouts, sorted by country and industry expertise. If you are interested or need advice, you can then contact them directly with a click. Matchmaking has never been so easy.

Toast content has launched a special call supporting companies in Ukraine and Moldova, as well as civil society organisations in Germany. Find out more on the special pages.