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The Facility Investing for Employment

The Investment Facility under the
Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition"

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Calls for Proposals (CfPs)

Current CfPs:

On 1 June 2023 a new Call for Proposals was launched in Morocco. Applications can be submitted from 1 to 30 June 2023.

On 1 June 2023 Calls for Proposals were launched in Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, and Tunisia. Applications can be submitted from 1 to 30 June 2023.

For projects in Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal and Tunisia, applications can additionally be submitted for the special application category "Climate" from 1 to 30 June 2023.

For projects in Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda and Senegal the Facility established a helpdesk for potential applicants. It answers questions related to the application requirements and processes. The helpdesk can be contacted by email: helpdesk-ife@invest-for-jobs.com.

For any questions, please check our FAQ page.

About us

Employees working with materials
KfW-Bildarchiv / photothek.net

The Facility Investing for Employment (IFE) is an investment Facility created by KfW Development Bank (KfW) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as an integral part of the Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition". For more information regarding the Special Initiative and its range of offerings, please visit its website Invest for Jobs.

IFE provides co-financing grants for new investment projects with a high job creation impact. The selection of projects is based on a competitive application process. IFE looks for an optimal allocation of available funding to projects with the highest plausibility of success and expected return in terms of the number and quality of new jobs created.

General Introduction and Overview of the Application Process

Corona Response Programme

Given the profound impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on the economy and employment in partner countries, the Facility Investing for Employment (IFE) launched the "Corona Response Programme" in 2020. The Corona Response Programme (CRP) component is dedicated to counteracting pandemic-related job losses in Africa. To allow for a rapid and effective implementation, CRP funds are disbursed to eligible small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through selected financial partner institutions (PFIs) in the partner countries. These PFIs were pre-selected by KfW Development Bank and come from Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Tunisia and Morocco. Due to their market proximity, they understand best local conditions, challenges and effects of the pandemic and can therefore systematically identify the SMEs that are eligible for financial support. 

Through the grants allocated within the CRP, the beneficiary SMEs can cover their interest liabilities or operating and personnel costs, which are essential for preserving threatened jobs. The CRP targets SMEs that are presently in a precarious situation but demonstrated financial vitality and growth potential prior to the onset of the pandemic. In addition to complying with financial eligibility criteria, qualifying SMEs are verifiably privately owned, have between 25 and 250 employees, and are free of shareholders considered politically exposed persons. 

The first proposals from PFIs for eligible SMEs were received shortly after the announcement of the CRP and were promptly processed by IFE. First disbursements were made in October 2020 and have been continuously pursued. The CRP has a total budget volume of 65 million euros. Of this amount, around EUR 59 million were disbursed to PFIs by October 2022, of which around EUR 54 million were allocated to eligible SMEs. In total, the CRP has contributed to mitigate the immediate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in partner countries by supporting 1.919 eligible SMEs with a total of 106.189 employees. As scheduled, two years after commencement, the programme finished its active disbursements in October 2022.

Background and Context

Economic reforms and improved competitiveness have brought forth new, dynamic growth markets in many parts of Africa. African countries increasingly offer attractive prospects for companies and investors: a young population, growing availability of workers and skilled labour, rising purchasing power, new markets and integration in global value chains.

With annual growth rates of seven per cent and higher, countries like Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire were are among the world’s fastest growing economies before the severe economic disruptions caused by the Corona pandemic. Many African countries have good prospects to resume their previous trajectories once the effects of the pandemic have been overcome. However it is not yet certain by when growth and employment will be restored to pre-Corona levels. At the same time, however, Africa needs about 20 million jobs per year in order to provide its young population with prospects for the future. With its Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition", the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has set itself the goal of supporting German, European and African businesses and investors engaging in Africa. The initiative aims to create good jobs and training places and to improve working conditions - as a contribution towards implementing the Marshall Plan with Africa and the G20 Compacts with Africa.

People standing in front of a truck
KfW-Bildarchiv / photothek.net

Within the scope of this Special Initiative, the Facility Investing for Employment of KfW Development Bank will provide funding for companies, non-profit organisations and public partners to overcome obstacles to investments. IFE contributes co-financing grants for employment-enhancing investments, accompanying advisory services and the set-up of investments, such as environmental and social impact assessments. This will remove barriers to creating additional and better jobs in the private sector. Funding is made available by means of competitive Call for Proposals on the basis of transparent funding criteria.

The Facility will use a lean and transparent competitive application method to identify and select the projects which show the highest potential to address barriers to investment and job creation. This includes, for example, the upgrade of electricity supply, the provision of access roads, the construction and equipment of training centers, or the improvement of the local supply industry. These activities are now being complemented by IFE’s Corona Response Programme.

Financial and Other Support offered by IFE

The funding offered by IFE is available for project partners from both the public and private sector (including public-private partnerships) that have conceptualized an investment project through which they intend to create jobs, but are faced with challenges which can be partly or fully addressed through financial support.

Employees at facility
KfW-Bildarchiv / Rüdiger Nehmzow

Financial support will be provided to selected projects according to the following principles:

  • All applicants must be legal entities registered in a country in Africa or Europe (being a member country of the European Union or the European Free Trade Association). Applicants based outside the Partner Country may submit Concept Notes only in partnership/consortium with project partners registered and operational in the Partner Country.
  • IFE will generally not finance the entire cost of a project, but will provide co-financing to supplement the resources mobilized by the applicant and its project partners. The degree of co-financing available will vary between 25% and 90% depending on the project type (see details and further modalities in the Applicant Guidelines for the respective Call for Proposals).
  • The co-financing contributions will be typically for amounts between 1 million and 10 million euros (or equivalent in the local currency of the Partner Country). Projects which require a co-financing contribution above or below this range will not qualify for funding.
  • IFE provides funding in the form of grants. This means the amounts do not need to be reimbursed, as long as the applicant uses them for the contractually agreed purpose and in accordance with the procurement principles stated in the financing agreement.
  • IFE will disburse its funding in foreign currency (Euro). Applicants whose projects require funding in the local currency of the Partner Country may receive the grant amount in the same currency, whereby the mode of currency conversion will be specified in the financing agreements. In any event, the grant amounts will be contractually denominated in Euro and cannot be topped up depending on exchange rate developments.
  • IFE will disburse its funding contribution in tranches. The exact disbursement schedules will be defined for each project individually. Applicants will need to provide their contractually agreed co-contribution usually also at the same tranche dates as a condition for IFE’s disbursements.
  • If the project entails the acquisition of equipment, machinery or services from a third party supplier, IFE can disburse its contribution directly to such supplier. The rules and processes for the procurement of goods and services will be defined in the financing agreement and will be in line with international best practices.

In addition to the financial contribution, IFE will also be able to support selected grantees on a technical level, e.g. through consultancy or other services which may be needed to ensure a successful preparation and/or operational implementation of the project. The expenditures for such selective technical support services can be funded in addition to the agreed financing contribution.

Project Selection Process

The Facility has designed a lean and competitive project application process to carry out its Call for Proposals in an agile and demand-driven manner. The competitive selection mechanism applied serves to achieve an optimal allocation of limited available funding to projects showing the highest plausibility of success and expected return in terms of the number and quality of new jobs created.

Employee working with material
KfW-Bildarchiv / photothek.net

The process is broadly similar to that of a “Challenge Fund”. We are looking for projects that are at an advanced stage of conceptualization and planning – which means they must be ready for a start of implementation within the next 12 months (with preference for even shorter time frames) and the resources and partners needed to carry out the projects must have been identified.

A Call for Proposals will involve two application stages:

Stage 1: Concept Notes

This stage is open for all applicants (or consortia of applicants) with an investment project in the partner country which will contribute to one of IFE’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), irrespective of their economic sector. During this stage, applicants submit a concept note containing key information on the project and themselves using an online application system. The system will aid the applicant in understanding each field of the concept note form, identifying if the proposed project meets the Facility’s eligibility requirements, and outlining the project idea. The evaluation of this stage concludes with a shortlist of the most promising applications being drawn up.

Stage 2: Project Proposals

In the second stage, shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a full project proposals including detailed financial and implementation plans to supplement the conceptual information sent in the first stage. Applicants must demonstrate that the proposed projects are not only theoretically convincing, but also feasible to implement with the applicant’s managerial and operational resources. After an in-depth due diligence and further technical review, the final selection of projects will be taken on the basis of the quantitative and qualitative selection criteria which are described in the applicant guidelines for the respective Call for Proposals.

Successful applicants will be offered a financing agreement which may be subject to certain conditions – for example, obtaining a permit or license for a proposed investment. In certain cases, the Facility may be able to provide technical support to selected applicants to aid the preparation of a complete project – for example, by making a technical expert available to conduct an environmental impact assessment required by the Facility.

working at facility © KfW-Bildarchiv / Dawin Meckel/OSTKREUZ

Key Performance Indicators

By Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) we mean the quantitative contributions that the selected project will make towards the targets of the Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition" of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. Through its financial support, IFE focuses on promoting the following three KPIs in particular:

  • The number of people who will be newly employed
  • The number of people whose working conditions have been improved and whose incomes have been increased;
  • The number of graduates of vocational training and academic education institutes or other qualification programmes which are relevant for the labour market.

Through its Corona Response Programme, IFE also promotes the new Key Performance Indicators:

  • Number of companies supported by the Special Initiative with respect to job preservation in the context of the Corona pandemic; and
  • Number of persons employed at these companies.

Further details regarding the definitions of these KPIs will be provided in the applicant guidelines for the respective Call for Proposals.


FAQ: Frequently asked questions

For questions regarding a Call for Proposals, please visit our FAQ-Section.

In case you cannot find the information you need, please contact one of our specific CfP-email addresses:

For questions regarding the Call for Proposals in Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia, which will start in June 2023, please use only the following e-mail address: cfp-ife.june2023@invest-for-jobs.com.

Please use only the following email address for all questions regarding the Call for Proposals in Morocco that will be launched in June 2023: cfp-ife.maroc@invest-for-jobs.com

Please use only the following email address for all questions regarding the Call for Proposals that was running in Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, and Tunisia in November 2022: cfp.regional@invest-for-jobs.com


 In our Download-Center you find an overview of the most important documents of IFE.

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Contact us

For general enquiries regarding the Special Initiative and the Facility IFE, please write an email to:



Investitionen für Beschäftigung (Investing for Employment) GmbH
Eulenkrugstraße 55-57
22359 Hamburg

Grievance Mechanism

Do you have Program grievances? Take a look at the Facility IFE Grievance Mechanism


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