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Private Sector

The private sector has a crucial role to play in global development and poverty reduction. Sida is partnering with companies and private sector organisations that contribute to economic, social and environmental sustainable development.

Shared costs increase commitment and momentum

Private sector collaboration is an important component in Sida’s work to promote sustainable development and take place in almost all of our thematic areas. There is no specific strategy or budget for Sida’s collaborations with the private sector. All the companies that Sida works with have to adapt to the UN’s Global Compact and its principles, and be open to external scrutiny.

The aim is that the private sector actor contributes approximately half the cost when a project is run together with Sida. Cost sharing increases the commitment and momentum to invest in the initiatives that give the best results for people living in poverty.

Opportunities for collaboration

Principles for Sida's collaboration with the private sector

The same principles that govern all Sida's development cooperation also apply to our private sector collaborations. However, when Sida partners with the private sector there are a few principles that are of specific importance. 

Catalytic partnerships

All partnerships should be catalytic and generate a multiplier effect on a project’s development impact. Sida’s involvement should catalyse resources such as knowledge, innovation capacity and long-term investments from private sector partners to reach development objectives. This way, we can accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

Social and environmental responsibility

Sida collaborates with the private sector in projects where Sida's poverty reduction objective overlaps a company's core business objectives. Companies must also commit to improve the social and environmental responsibility in their operations.

Sustainable results through cost and risk sharing

The partnerships are based on risks and costs being shared between Sida and the partnering company. The joint ownership ensures sustainable results.

Sustainable and systemic change in markets

Projects are designed to have systemic impact and to contribute to market reforms by enabling well-functioning, inclusive and sustainable markets, value chains or business models. Sida always makes assessments to ensure that a project does not give a competitive advantage to a specific company, but rather paves the way for systemic change.

Better results together than apart

The collaboration between Sida and the company should lead to better results than if each actor would have implemented a project themselves. Sida's contribution enables development that would not have taken place at the same size or scale without a partnership.

Contact us

If you have an idea for a partnership or project that you believe would be interesting to Sida and involves the private sector, please contact the embassy in the country of the suggested project.

Sida interacts with the private sector to:

  • involve and stimulate private sector actors in reducing poverty
  • mobilise resources
  • make better use of the private sector as an actor, supplier, advisor and dialogue partner in development cooperation
  • stimulate private sector development and entrepreneurship, especially in poor countries and regions
  • use innovative and flexible methods and ways of working
  • contribute to the development of markets and production methods for the benefit of poor people

Civil society makes companies take responsibility

Sida also supports civil society organisations that work to influence the private sector to take greater responsibility for sustainable development and responsible business conduct. The organisations work, for example, to promote dialogue and raise awareness as a way to influence companies' behavior.

Civil society also plays an important role as a watchdog and whistleblower when companies violate international agreements on ethical conduct.

Examples of such organisations that receive support from Sida are Fair Finance Guide and Swedwatch.

Updated: March 18, 2021