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Impact Clusters - IC

Published on:
3 March 2023
Last checked on:
1 February 2024

Are you an entrepreneur? Is your company based in the Netherlands? And would you like to work with other companies in promising markets in developing countries? The Impact Clusters subsidy programme supports companies seeking long-term investments in growing the private sector in a specific country. Knowledge institutes, trade organisations - in cooperation with companies - and NGOs can also apply for this subsidy. 

Budget

Start date:
Monday, 15 January 2024
11:00 (CET)
End date:
Monday, 17 June 2024
13:00 (CEST)
Total budget:
€ 4,000,000

For whom?

The Impact Clusters (IC) subsidy is for entrepreneurs based in the Netherlands who want to start a project in a developing country with other companies and at least one local partner. These companies want to invest in the sustainable development of specific sectors in a country because they see commercial opportunities for themselves. For example, to sell more products in a country in the future or to establish operations there.

Dutch companies and local partner(s) work together in impact clusters. Knowledge institutes, trade organisations and NGOs can also participate in a cluster.

Would you like an initial, non-committal consultation with one of our advisors on this initiative? Then, email ic@rvo.nl or call +31 (0) 88 042 42 42. We prefer existing impact clusters.

Budget and duration

Impact Clusters is a 6-year subsidy programme that runs until the end of 2028.

A total of €4 million is available in 2024. An extra budget may become available later in 2024. Impact clusters can apply for subsidies of up to €620,000 in stable states and €680,000 in fragile states. See the list of possible countries in the section 'Countries' below.

Conditions

  • An impact cluster comprises at least 5 partners, including at least 4 companies. Each partner in an impact cluster is a legal entity.
  • NGOs, trade organisations and knowledge institutes can also participate in an impact cluster with companies.
  • The subsidy applicant (lead party) has an office in the Netherlands and registration at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.
  • The project matches one of the Netherlands government's preferred private sector development sectors in the project country. You can find these countries in the pdf download below.
  • For all terms and assessment criteria, see the Unofficial Translation of the Government Gazette.

Countries

Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Moldova, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Vietnam.

Please note that we added Namibia to this list on 13 July 2023.

Fragile states

Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Ukraine, Zimbabwe

Corporate Social Responsibility

Your project must follow the international Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) guidelines. We take CSR into account when assessing your funding application. We ask you to:

  • follow OECD guidelines;
  • show how you conduct your operations following these OECD guidelines;
  • carry out a proper risk analysis of social and environmental risks; and
  • state the measures to prevent and reduce these risks.

Prepare your application, a step-by-step plan

Existing cluster

Have you already formed a cluster? If so, take the following steps before applying:

  1. Check whether your project idea matches one of the preferred sectors of the Dutch government's priority per country policy for your intended country (see pdf download under 'Conditions').
  2. Complete a mandatory quick scan. For the quick scan, you must also complete and upload 'Impact Clusters Quick Scan Annex I' and 'Annex II Theory of Change - TOC'. You can find these documents under the Required documents section of this page. The deadline for submitting a quick scan for an application is 22 April 2024, 15:00 CEST. 
    While processing your quick scan, we may contact you to discuss how you wish to organise the project.
  3. We will advise you on your completed quick scan within 6 weeks.
  4. Once you have received our advice, you can apply for funding within the application period. Submit your application well before the closing date, as we process subsidy applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

No cluster yet

If you do not have an impact cluster, contact us first for advice on how to proceed. And then follow the procedure for existing clusters.

Sometimes, forming a new cluster may take longer than expected. If this means you cannot submit a subsidy application on time, you may be able to submit your complete application during a new application round. Discuss this possibility with our advisor.

How to apply

You have completed the mandatory quick scan and received our advice as explained in 'Preparing your application', step 2 of the step-by-step plan.

  • You can apply for a subsidy from 15 January 2024, 12:00 CET, until 17 June 2024, 15:00 CEST.
  • The subsidy applicant (lead party) applies on behalf of the impact cluster.
  • Make sure you apply for eHerkenning via eLoket in time. You need eHerkenning level 3. It may take a few weeks to process your application.
  • Impact Clusters works on a first-come, first-served basis. This means we assess applications in the order we receive them.
  • We only process complete applications. If your application is not complete, we will ask you for more information. If we do so, the date of your application will be the date we receive this information.

Checklist for your application

Please keep the following company or organisation information at hand when submitting your application:

  • your Dutch Chamber of Commerce registration number
  • your name and address details
  • your bank details
  • project name
  • budget and subsidy amount
  • start and end date of the project
  • completed attachments (see required documents below).

Required documents

You must upload several documents with your application. Please complete them in English.

Quick scan documents

Project proposal documents

After your application

You will hear whether we have approved your application within 13 weeks.

If we approve your application, you can start the implementation phase of your project immediately. We will pay your subsidy in advance payments. The amount and frequency of the advance depend on the project stage and the expected budget needed. The total of the advance may be up to 90% of the total subsidy requested.

Project management

  • Submitting a progress report
    When we grant you a subsidy, you must report on your project's progress. We will add the form later.
  • Reporting changes
    Notify us of any project, implementation and/or organisation changes. For specific changes, you need our approval in advance. If you do not request our approval in advance, you risk losing your subsidy for the changed parts or the entire project. Contact your project advisor to notify us of any changes.
  • Submitting a final report
    On completion of your project, you must submit a final report. We will add the form later.

Calendar

  • Monday, 15 January 202412:00 CET
    Opening date for subsidy applications
  • Monday, 15 January 202412:00 CET
    Opening date for quick scan applications
  • Monday, 22 April 202415:00 CEST
    Closing date for quick scan applications
    Deadline
  • Monday, 17 June 202415:00 CEST
    Closing date for subsidy applications
    Deadline

Background

The Impact Clusters subsidy scheme aims to develop the private sector in developing countries. We do this by pooling knowledge, expertise and technology from Dutch or international companies, knowledge institutes, trade organisations and NGOs. In doing so, we collaborate to ensure inclusive and sustainable economic growth and a decent standard of work for all.

Cluster cooperation ensures the development and growth of the private sector in developing countries. It also enables Dutch companies to position themselves more effectively in a new market.

Questions about Impact Clusters?

Commissioned by:
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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