Cooperation with the private sector

Tech Entrepreneurship Initiative "Make-IT"

Laboratory for wind energy applications

Make-IT is an initiative by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Together with Europe’s digital tech sector and various selected actors and interest groups, the BMZ launched Make-IT to promote IT start-ups in developing countries and emerging economies (tech entrepreneurship).

Tech entrepreneurship is the driving force behind digital transformation in developing countries. Digital entrepreneurs have the potential to devise innovative solutions for local challenges and thus to modernise their country’s economy and society. With this in mind, Make-IT aims to improve the employment prospects of young men and women in the digital business sector in developing countries and emerging economies and thus promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

Make-IT contributes to the Marshall Plan with Africa, which aims to foster higher levels of private investment, fair trade and reforms in African states while prioritising jobs and opportunities for young people. 

Supporting tech entrepreneurs in partner countries

Tech entrepreneurs can only be successful if they have the right kind of business environment (ecosystem) that gives them access to reputable customers as well as investors and financing and training partners. However, many business ecosystems have gaps, leaving tech entrepreneurs with only a few contacts and no (follow-up) financing or possibilities for further development.

Make-IT gives tech entrepreneurs better access to:

  • Trainings, mentors and advisors
  • Accelerators
  • Specialist exchange partners and networks
  • Reliable business partners and markets
  • Financing
  • Efficient infrastructure

The regional project 'Tech Entrepreneurship Initiative Make-IT in Africa' is geared to young African enterprises that have already grown from a start-up to a small core team of employees and now deliver products and services that are in sustainable demand on the market. At the heart of the initiative is the nine-month accelerator programme that enables around 50 start-ups from the digital sector in East and West Africa to access further training and mentoring schemes. Partnerships with the Make-IT Alliance serve to strengthen interactions between the private sector, public facilities, financing partners, associations and networks in Africa.

For further information, go to and visit GIZ’s website.

Make-IT will be gradually expanded to other countries in Africa and Asia, too.

Make-IT Alliance: Cooperating with Europe’s digital industry

To promote the achievement of the initiative’s objectives, the BMZ is cooperating with companies, associations, investors, financers and other partners on site as part of the Make-IT Alliance. The particular value added of this alliance is the way it connects the experience and practical knowledge of successful IT companies with the ideas and innovative potential of young digital start-ups.

The commitment of the Make-IT Alliance members ranges from supporting selected start-ups through their own promotion programmes to providing voluntary mentoring on legal issues or marketing measures, or even organising actual participation in events.

The Make-IT Alliance, which is available for companies, actors and interest groups, is now gradually expanding.

Being part of the Make-IT Alliance gives you:

  • Swift access to efficient start-ups in a predominantly uncertain or confusing market environment
  • Investment opportunities on site, access to potential employees and business partners
  • Local expertise on supply, sales and service structures
  • A chance to strengthen your own innovative culture and to establish contacts with local innovation networks and accelerators
  • Opportunities for socially responsible enterprise (CSR activities), for example corporate volunteering
  • A better understanding of the local business climate, political risks and cultural background
  • Synergies with other support programmes by Make-IT partners (competitions, mentorships, hackathons, pitch events bringing together founders and capital investors, investor meetings)
  • Partnerships with political decision-makers that strengthen tech enterprises in particular

For more information, see the initiative’s website.

About Make-IT

The BMZ launched Make-IT at the German Federal Government’s 2015 National IT Summit and developed it further at the 2016 CeBIT in partnership with the German industry. This initiative acts as a single source platform for stakeholder-generated knowledge and activities. Everyone involved – BMZ, private sector, association and networks – is dedicated to strengthening tech entrepreneurship.

At the hub conference on 22 November 2016 in Berlin, the Make-IT Alliance partners signed a joint declaration of intent to roll out additional specific tech entrepreneurship measures. The current Make-IT Alliance partners are: The German–African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft), Ashoka Deutschland gGmbH, Autodesk GmbH, betterplace lab, Bitkom e.V., the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), Deutsche Post DHL Group, IBM Deutschland GmbH, Impact Hub, Orange SE, SAP Deutschland SE and Siemens AG.

More information


Do you share our vision and want to become part of the Make-IT Alliance?

Dr. Nina Neubecker
Senior Policy Officer ICT/Digital World
Division 303
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Dahlmannstr. 4
53113 Bonn
Telefon: +49 228/99 535-3178

Contact for companies and associations:
Moritz Hunger
Secretariat of the Make-IT Alliance
c/o Impact Hub
Friedrichstrasse 246
10969 Berlin, Germany
Telefon: +49 151/121 817 32


External Link

BMZ glossary

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