German Entrepreneurship Award
for Development 2019

Enter the competition by submitting your project online

The application deadline has been extended to 28 December

The award ceremony will be held during the German-African Business Summit (GABS), from 11 to 13 February 2019 in Accra, Ghana.

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In February 2019 the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft e.V. (CDG) will be conferring the German Entrepreneurship Award for Development for the third time. It is awarded in recognition of commitment by companies that benefits the local population in developing countries and emerging economies, over and above their own entrepreneurial objective. The award-winning companies make a verifiable contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with their projects or innovative business models.

The purpose of the German Entrepreneurship Award for Development is to increase awareness of such exceptional commitment among the broader public. Each award comes with prize money, which in turn is fed into the winning projects and product ideas, adding further stimulus to the companies’ international activities.

CDG is a private-sector initiative that has supported the professional and personal development of experts and managers with an international development-policy focus since 1949.


The German Entrepreneurship Award for Development is conferred on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The competition was last held in 2017. The award is given in recognition of companies’ engagement in developing countries and emerging economies in two separate categories: Category A – Business for Development and Category B – Innovation for Development.


In Category A (Business for Development), the Entrepreneurship Award comes with prize money of EUR 35,000, and in Category B (Innovation for Development), with EUR 25,000. The recipients commit to using the prize money for the dedicated purpose of continuing the company’s engagement for the benefit of the local population.


International companies with a project that matches our funding principles are eligible to apply for the German Entrepreneurship Award for Development. Associations, clubs, societies and private individuals are not eligible to take part in the competition.


After an independent expert has examined whether the applications conform with the funding principles, the five best projects are presented to the jury. The jury is made up of members of CDG plus representatives of the German business community, civil society, the media and politics, who choose the winning projects on the basis of the selection criteria set out in the funding principles.

Download award criteria


The German Entrepreneurship Award for Development is conferred in two categories:

Category A – Business for Development  is intended for companies that are already operating successfully abroad and make a contribution towards improving local social or environmental conditions, over and above their entrepreneurial activity.

More about the category A

The winner of the Entrepreneurial Award in this category in 2017 was Zwick GmbH und Co. KG.

In Category B – Innovation for Development  the award recognises entrepreneurial ideas for innovative products or services that promote sustainable business practices and improve people’s lives over the long term. The award is primarily aimed at companies that have developed a product or service through to market readiness and would now like to put it to use. Poorer sections of society are the target group for the proposals.

More about the category B

In 2017 GreenTec Capital was the recipient of the Entrepreneurship Award in this category.


For information on the application criteria, the application documents and the selection process, please refer to the funding guidelines.

Download award criteria
To submit an application, please complete our application form and send it to the following e-mail address:

Download application form


The German Entrepreneurship Award for Development was last presented in 2017.

The winner in Category A – Business for Development – was Zwick GmbH und Co. KG.

More about Zwick GmbH & Co. KG

The other companies on the shortlist in this category were Bean Auction Limited, Messer Group GmbH, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Seidentraum and TEEKANNE GmbH & Co. KG.

GreenTec Capital won the award in Category B – Innovation for Development.

More about GreenTec Capital

In this category the other companies on the shortlist were Autarcon, Glow Efficiency, Lenox and Phaesun.


The winners of the German Entrepreneurship Award for Development will be chosen in a multi-stage process. First an independent expert will examine whether the submitted applications match the funding principles. The five best projects will then be presented to the Entrepreneurship Award Jury, which will select the winners in the two categories in January 2019. The jury is made up of members representing development cooperation, the private sector, government, the media and civil society. They will meet in January 2019 to take a joint decision on the winning projects.


The Ghanaian capital Accra will be the venue of the third German-African Business Summit (GABS) from 11 to 13 February 2019.
After the great success of the first GABS in Berlin in 2015 and the second GABS 2017 in Nairobi, this third conference provides the perfect platform for decision-makers in business and politics from Germany and the African continent. GABS will focus on Africa’s economic potential and discuss future trends in African-German cooperation. The conference is organized by the Sub-Saharan Africa Initiative of German Business (SAFRI) with its sponsoring organisations – the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) and the German-African Business Association (AV) in cooperation with the Network of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Sub-Saharan Africa (AHK), with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya serving as the organiser on site.