Office of Private Capital and Microenterprise

The Office of Private Capital and Microenterprise engages financial, donor and public sector partners and USAID Missions around
The Office of Private Capital and Microenterprise engages financial, donor and public sector partners and USAID Missions around opportunities for private finance within development priorities.

Private investment flowing to developing countries far exceeds official development assistance. This trend will only continue to increase as global demand for investment and opportunities for business grow. Sustained private investment has the ability to increase economic opportunity, enhance access to and quality of services – from financial and energy to health and education – and ultimately, reduce poverty.

Mobilizing Private Capital To Maximize Development Results

USAID established the Office of Private Capital and Microenterprise (PCM) within the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3) to increase its capacity to mobilize private resources and expertise in support of development priorities.

PCM’s establishment demonstrates USAID’s commitment to develop a more strategic relationship with private investors focused at the nexus of business opportunities and development priorities. PCM engages investors and reduces business risks primarily through:

  1. Supporting direct transactions, and
  2. Facilitating investment partnerships.

This approach complements traditional development programming by drawing in private investment that is capable of addressing development needs sustainably and at greater scale.

Service Offering

The Office and its staff of technical experts develop and support tools, approaches, and intermediaries that can mobilize private finance at scale in the developing world.

For Investors and Financiers: For USAID Missions and Bureaus:
  • Develop risk mitigation tools
  • Provide transaction structuring support for blended finance models
  • Support intermediaries linking capital supply and demand
  • Coordinate across USAID offices with other USG agencies to support and/or accelerate transactions
  • Convene financial, donor and public sector partners around opportunities for private finance within development priorities
  • Offer strategic planning and programming assistance to catalyze investment into priority sectors
  • Provide transaction structuring support
  • Deliver training and knowledge management tools for engaging private investors
  • Partner with investors that provide access to capital and expertise
  • Identify and screen new investment partners

USAID Partners Forum

PCM established the Partners Forum to bring greater private capital expertise to USAID's development priorities. The group is composed of business leaders and industry experts from both the United States and developing countries. Members of the Partners Forum meet quarterly with USAID senior leadership, sharing insights and highlighting emerging opportunities in sectors that are of interest to the private sector and align with USAID priorities. Read More (PDF 118KB)

Example Tools

Unlocking Capital for Development: An Introduction to Engaging with Finance Providers to Address Development Challenges

The rapid growth of private capital in emerging economies has created an unprecedented opportunity for USAID to use its resources to enable investors to become a primary driver of inclusive growth, reform, and poverty alleviation. This document provides an introduction on how USAID staff can meet development objectives through engaging investors that can deploy essential capital. Please contact Matthew Austin if you have questions about the primer.


PCM in partnership with Palladium developed a primer on Pay-for-Results in Development. Pay-for-Results is an approach that pays partners upon accomplishment of results rather than efforts to accomplish those results. The primer is intended to provide a 101 understanding of pay-for-results approaches, provide examples of how they are being used, and address some of the issues pertaining to this approach including its use in catalyzing private/commercial funds for development. Please contact Lawrence Camp, if you have questions on the primer.

Financial Vignettes (PDF 946KB)

The INVEST Project

Through INVEST, USAID seeks to unlock the potential of private capital to drive inclusive growth in countries around the world. Increasingly, private investors and businesses are looking to emerging markets for better returns and new market opportunities. Encouraging investment in these markets in high-impact areas important to USAID such as agriculture, financial services, infrastructure, energy, clean water, health, and education, however, requires new forms of collaboration between USAID and the investment community.  

INVEST will deploy USAID resources globally, including grants, guarantees, technical expertise, networks, and convening power, to enhance access to viable investment opportunities, lower transaction costs, and mitigate investment risk. INVEST will also provide access to a network of individuals and firms with the specialized expertise across industries and geographies needed to identify, develop, and execute on investments for development impact. Using a lean approach tailored to high potential opportunities, relevant parts of the network will come together to research, develop, and build specific solutions that align private capital with development needs.

For questions about INVEST, please contact

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Last updated: July 09, 2018

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