DEG Up-Scaling Programme

Scaling innovative business models

With the Up-scaling programme, DEG finances investments of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that intend to scale up innovative business models with high developmental impact. The program addresses companies whose financing needs lie somewhere between microfinancing and the traditional financing by commercial banks.

Target group

Eligible are early-stage SMEs which are registered in a developing country or emerging market. These may also be local subsidiaries of German or European companies. Preference is given to investments in Africa or India.

What DEG offers
DEG provides funding of 500.000 €, which constitutes a maximum of 50% of the total investment volume. Private sponsors must contribute a substantial share of equity (at least 25%). DEG’s funds must be repaid in the event of success of the investment (depending on pre-defined financial criteria such as cash flow, revenue or profit).
Conditions for funding
The program addresses companies that fulfill the following requirements:
  • The company employs an innovative and scalable business approach with a high developmental impact.
  • The company is operational and a pilot phase has already been completed including proof of concept with regards to technology and business model at local level.
  • The planned investment generates positive returns (as outlined by a comprehensive business plan and financial projections).
  • The company shows high growth potential owing to the size of the market and the target group.
  • The company has the management capacity, human resources and know-how to substantially scale their activities.

Interested companies may submit their proposals for funding through Up-scaling to DEG at any time.


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Location Cologne, Germany
Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Africa, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, United Republic of, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Sectors Sector agnostic