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Next chapter of the Business Partnerships Platform: four more years: four focus countries

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will be investing a further $17 million over four years to deliver the next chapter of the successful Business Partnerships Platform (BPP).

Through the BPP the Australian Government partners with businesses, not-for-profits and academia to create jobs, increase incomes and empower women. The BPP is built on the concept of shared value where business can achieve commercial returns while also delivering sustainable social impact.

Four focus countries will receive targeted support in the next chapter of the BPP: Fiji, Samoa, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Strengthening economic development, growth and cooperation is a key priority for Australia in each focus country. Targeting four countries will help maximise impact in each.

Partners in the focus countries will benefit from catalytic funding and DFAT’s knowledge of the business and regulatory environment. Businesses will be able to apply in country-specific funding rounds. The BPP will continue to operate globally with a global funding round to be announced in 2020.

The BPP trialed a country-specific funding round with the “India Window” in 2017. Through the funding round DFAT is investing in four private sector partnerships. The concentration of partnership is enabling cross-partnership learning opportunities, strong engagement from DFAT in-country and supporting scalable business opportunities with the potential for significant social impact.

The first chapter of the BPP has demonstrated in practice that partnering with the private sector can be an effective way to achieve development results, with 33 partnerships reaching 5.5 million beneficiaries and providing an expected $51.3 million in additional income or increased savings.

The BPP has leveraged $25.8 million in partner investment, nearly double the Australian aid funds committed. While a number of the BPP’s initiatives have yet to reach completion, there have been several pathways to scale – from businesses embedding practices, further expanding their business models geographically and achieving broader policy change to influence markets.

Private sector partners highly valued DFAT’s contributions beyond the financial investment, from supporting broader policy change, enabling technical assistance and providing access to broader networks.

Underpinning the BPP is DFAT’s recognition that the private sector as a critical partner to achieving the sustainable development goals.

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