The private sector is an important partner for development cooperation and efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) therefore seconds so-called "Business Scouts for Development" to partner institutions of the private sector and to development cooperation structures in around 40 countries across the globe. The Business Scouts advise companies on the funding instruments offered by BMZ through its implementing organisations - such as the German Investment and Development Society (DEG) – as part of the KfW Banking Group – or the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. They assist companies in identifying relevant support, financing and cooperation instruments and mediate dialogues between the businesses and the appropriate regional experts and contacts in the development cooperation's implementation organisation. At relevant events, Business Scouts provide information about BMZ-instruments, and implement sustainable development measures – such as ecological and social standards – into the trade associations' and chambers' daily work processes. Furthermore, they support companies in developing and implementing cooperation projects. Thus, they promote sustainable development on the ground.
Following suit, OAV has also hosted a Business Scout for Development since mid-2013 (formerly called “EZ-Scout”). In doing so, OAV has been able to expand its provision for small-scale and medium-sized member companies. This helps ensure that the programmes financed by BMZ offer sustainable access and success on the developing and emerging markets, which are not always easy to navigate. They complement the long-standing mechanisms for promoting foreign trade used by the German Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy (BMWi).
Among others, the BMZ's instruments include cooperation projects (develoPPP.de), consultations on, for instance, how to implement social and ecological standards and corporate social responsibility measures, as well as the joint financing of investments in developing and emerging economies and the necessary feasibility reports.