Supporting Private Enterprise

Mrs. Malika Qanih, Owner of Sun Pharma, Supervises Work Activities Her Plant in Kabul, Afghanistan
Mrs. Malika Qanih, Owner of Sun Pharma, Supervises Work Activities Her Plant in Kabul, Afghanistan
Steve Dorst

USAID builds dynamic, mutually beneficial partnerships with the private sector to foster economic growth and improve business outcomes in the United States and in the countries in which we work. At USAID, we no longer view working with the private sector as a luxury, but as a necessity.  In the past 15 years, USAID has built more than 1,600 partnerships with the private sector involving more than 3,500 unique partner organizations, leveraging $16 billion in non-U.S. government public and private funds.

Our partnerships work to achieve impact across sectors (such as water, education, and health), and USAID supports the private sector in several key areas.

Access to Finance

USAID implements innovative solutions to enable entrepreneurs to access the finance they need to start and grow businesses. USAID also encourages the adoption of financial instruments and strengthens capacity within financial intermediaries to meet the credit needs of small and medium enterprises. One of USAID’s innovative approaches to increase the flow of capital in developing countries is the Development Credit Authority, which helps unlock financing for farmers, entrepreneurs, and small and medium enterprises in underserved countries.

Commercial Capital

USAID mobilizes commercial capital at scale to achieve development priorities by directly supporting transactions and partnering with private investors to increase viable investment opportunities and mitigate risk through USAID’s Office of Private Capital and Microenterprise.

Enabling Environment

Businesses need a favorable legal and regulatory climate to thrive and grow. USAID supports policies and regulations that foster private sector engagement by partner governments, and leads global and regional initiatives promoting private sector engagement.

Skills and Capacity Building

USAID identifies promising entrepreneurs and rapidly growing enterprises and helps them improve their operations through training, business networks, financing through private enterprise funds and credit guarantees, and other support. This includes building financial literacy and business acumen, as well as facilitating access to markets, information, and networks.

Read more about opportunities to partner on our private sector engagement page.

Examples of Results:

  • Since 1999, DCA guarantees have made possible $4.8 billion in lending across 76 countries with 381 partner institutions in support of USAID's priorities. In most cases, lending to target sectors and borrowers has continued long after guarantee coverage expired, as borrowers demonstrate their creditworthiness to lending institutions, and those institutions come to understand their new customers better. Read more here
  • Through an innovative partnership with CrossBoundary Energy, USAID is mobilizing private sector investment in renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa, increasing access to electricity for businesses in off-grid areas that often rely on costly diesel, and driving adoption of solar technology. USAID’s contribution of $1.3 million in grant financing will catalyze an additional $7.2 million in private sector equity, as well as leverage up to $10 million in debt. Through CrossBoundary Energy’s “energy as service” model, African businesses can pay a monthly tariff for their power and avoid the large upfront capital costs of constructing clean energy installations. Read more here
  • The Coca-Cola Company and USAID have created a unique partnership, the Water and Development Alliance (WADA) that seeks to improve sustainable water access for people, economies and the environment across developing countries. The 10-year partnership to date, with a combined investment of over $39 million, has provided improved safe drinking water access to over 520,000 people, improved sanitation facilities to over 210,000 people, and improved the management of over 440,000 hectares of land in 30 countries. The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners leverage their global network of marketing, communications, and technical experts, providing guidance and information to water projects and stakeholders. The Coca Cola Company is one of USAID’s only global private sector partners collaborating with the Agency across nearly all of our major initiatives, including:  water, youth and gender, entrepreneurship, health, food security, innovation and e-payments. Read more here
Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: March 23, 2017

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