NL Agency
NL Agency (Agentschap NL) is a division of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs that carries out policy and subsidy programmes focusing on sustainability, innovation, international business and cooperation.
Below is a selection of programs available for Ethiopia.
For more information on Agency NL click here.

Agri-Business Support Facility
The Agri-Business Support Facility is an initiative in-line with the Netherlands’ policy framework of enhancing nutrition and food security through private sector participation in the food chain. It is an initiative executed by a Dutch Consortium with the cooperation and support from the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce.

It aims to take up a role as a ‘spider in the web’ for a number of agribusiness subsectors as well as provide general information on and services for start-ups, young entrepreneurs and existing companies in the agribusiness sector. To this end a number of specific subsectors will be selected (e.g. spices, soy, aquaculture, poultry and food processing) with tailor made information, services and entrepreneurship activities.
The facility is housed in the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce.
The Dutch project advisor is Gertjan Becx. (

Private Sector Investment Programme (PSI)

The Private Sector Investment Programme (PSI), formerly known as PSOM, is a subsidy programme supporting innovative investment projects in developing countries. The objectives of PSI are to stimulate financial growth, create employment opportunities and generate income.

For whom
The grant is accessible for (Dutch and non- Dutch) companies wishing to make an innovative investment, in cooperation with a local business partner, in one of the PSI-countries.

For 2013 a budget of 90 million euro is available, divided over two tenders (deadlines on February 11th and August 26th 2013).
For more information:

The Matchmaking Facility (MMF)

MMF is a matchmaking programme that aims to establish a structural, long-term business relationship between an entrepreneur from a developing country and a Dutch entrepreneur. This business relationship could potentially result in an export or import business opportunity, an application for PSI (Private Sector Investment Programme), or in a Public/Private Partnership (PPP). As part of the process, the foreign company visits a number of prospective Dutch partnership candidates in order to find the optimal match.

The essential pre-requisite for a successful application is an accurate, honest and complete intake form. This should include a clear description of the profile, role, and expected contribution of prospective Dutch partners.

For whom
Entrepreneurs from developing countries.
For more information:

The Food & Business Applied Research Fund (ARF)

The Food & Business Applied Research Fund aims to finance research supported innovations that will improve the food security in the 15 partner countries of Dutch development cooperation. Food security is defined as a focus area of Dutch development policy, in which the knowledge of the Dutch private and research sectors can assist the partner countries in improving their food security. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs funds ARF to support applied research projects that are driven by the knowledge demand of practitioner organisations (companies, NGOs etc) from the partner countries. The projects should evolve by a concerted effort of practitioners and research and/or higher education organisations (co-creation). Since a strong local/regional private sector is important in reaching local/regional food security, research projects that aim at improving local/regional entrepreneurship are included.

For whom
A consortium applying for the ARF should consist of at least two partners:
  1. A private or public practitioner organisation from one of the 15 partner countries of Dutch development cooperation acting as the main applicant.
  2. A research organisation from a partner country or from the Netherlands, acting as a co-applicant.
In the execution of the project at least one researcher from a partner country must be involved. The involvement of additional partners, acting as co-applicant is encouraged.

A grant amounts to a minimum of 50,000 euro (for six months) to a maximum of 300,000 euro (for 36 months).
  • Grants should contribute directly to the project. Reimbursable cost include: Personnel costs: up to a maximum of gross (before tax) monthly salaries of 2000 euros for support staff, 3000 euro for junior and 3800 for senior research staff. Overhead costs to a maximum of 10% of the grant;
  • Innovation costs: consumables and durables. Travel and accomodation costs for the project team members and consortium partners (maximum 20% of the grant);
  • Knowledge sharing costs: activities for sharing the projects' experiences and outputs with a broader group of stakeholders beyond the consortium and project team (maximum of 15% of the grant).
Co-funding: private partners of the consortium should contribute to the project budget by providing co-funding (cash and/or in-kind) that amounts to a minimum of 20% of the grant.
Applications can be submitted continuously until 15 April 2014. Proposals will be assessed in three rounds; de first round closes at 18 September 2013, the second round at 15 January 2014 and the third round at 15 April 2014. After the closure of each round, an two-month assessment procedure will follow. The Call will be closed before 15 April 2014 in case the available budget is awarded in earlier rounds.

For more information click here
Market scan – Find your business partner in Ethiopia

A personal introduction to potential local business partners.
The market scan opens doors to local distributors, importers, production partners and/or agents in Ethiopia.
For more information:


Advice, Feasibility Studies and Demonstration Projects

Demonstration projects: Partnerships involving at least two Dutch businesses are eligible for a grant for showcasing specific Dutch expertise in the transition country. The grant covers 50% of the costs, up to a maximum of €200,000 per project.

Feasibility studies: Partnerships involving at least two Dutch businesses are eligible for a grant for carrying out a feasibility study. The grant covers 50% of the costs, up to a maximum of €100,000 per feasibility study.

Advice: SMEs are eligible for a grant for advice and guidance from an external specialist to help them position their business in a transition country (for example, in the form of legal advice). The grant covers 50% of the costs, up to a maximum of €50,000.

The aim is to create a repayable variant of these three instruments as of 2014.
In 2013 a sum of €6 million is available for all three grant instruments taken together.

For more information, go to: (only in Dutch).

Finance for International Business (FIB):

FIB is a fund with a budget of €24 million that will operate on a revolving basis. It was set up recently to address the shortage of equity capital/financing for investment by SMEs and large companies in emerging markets. Through FIB, the government provides financing on a deal-by-deal basis along with a co-financier (banks, equity capital firms, informal investors). The government provides 35% of the financing (a maximum of €875,000) in the form of a loan. FIB is expected to make financiers more willing to provide the remaining 65% of the financing. For more information, go to: (only in Dutch).

More information on the policy of the Dutch Government: