Call for Partnerships Frequently Asked Questions

Call for Partnerships Frequently Asked Questions

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Who should use these FAQ?


This guidance is relevant to applicants to the Samoa, Fiji, Sri Lanka and Regional COVID-19 Recovery Calls for Partnerships.

Applicants to the Vietnam Call for Partnerships should use the Vietnam-specific guidelines to prepare their applications.


What do you mean by ‘matched funding’? Is it mandatory to provide a co-contribution?

A co-contribution is required to ensure that both the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and partners are investing in the BPP initiative. The co-contribution must match or exceed the DFAT investment, meaning a partner asking for AUD 500,000 from DFAT would need to contribute at least AUD 500,000. Partners that contribute more may be considered more favourably in the selection process. The partner contribution can be a combination of cash and in-kind, and can be invested over the life of the BPP partnership. In cases where a proposal is submitted by a consortium of partners, the multiple partners can contribute and the total must meet or exceed the DFAT amount.

Is there a set ratio of cash and in-kind support partners must provide in their co-contribution?

There is no set ratio for cash and in-kind contributions, however higher cash contributions may be viewed favourably in selection.

In-kind contributions must be a legitimate contribution to the business initiative being proposed, and fairly valued at market rates. Note these contributions can be indicative at the concept note phase, and be further discussed and elaborated for proposals selected to advance to full proposal stage.


How do you define partners? Is there a maximum number of partners?

BPP partners are organisations which will invest in, contribute substantially to, and work towards the goals and objectives of the partnership. This differs from suppliers or organisations which may support specific elements of implementation, but not contribute substantially to the overall partnership.

There is no maximum number of partners in a consortium, however each partner should have a clearly explained role, value and contribution.

I’m a business, can I apply to the BPP?

Yes, businesses may apply to the BPP to implement a commercial initiative which generates commercial, social and environmental impact. Businesses may partner directly with DFAT under the BPP. There is no requirement for businesses to partner with NGOs or other organisations.

I’m an NGO, can I apply to the BPP?

NGOs are welcome to apply to the BPP in consortia with a business but cannot apply to partner on their own directly with DFAT. NGOs can be a critical partner for businesses as they expand their operations, reach new markets, and change their business practices to have improved social and environmental impact.

Is the BPP only open to large businesses? Is it only open to local businesses? Is it only for Australian businesses and NGOs?

The BPP is open to Australian, local and international businesses of any size (small or medium enterprises, start-ups, social enterprises, large and multinational companies).

The BPP is open to all businesses and organisations which are operational in the countries eligible under the Call for Partnerships. Businesses and organisations must be registered appropriately and able to implement in the country they wish to work in. There is no preference for businesses or organisations from a particular country.

Can a government agency or a multilateral development organisation be a partner?

Yes, government agencies and multilateral organisations are eligible to apply to the BPP in partnership with businesses. However, any funding or in-kind contribution provided by government agencies or multilateral organisations cannot be counted as part of the partner co-contribution.


Can the BPP support existing business activities or initiatives?

Applicants must demonstrate that the BPP will allow them to do something new and which could not have been done without the DFAT funding. Examples include funding to scale an existing initiative, to reach new markets, develop new products, or make investments in improved business practices. The  BPP does not support activities or initiatives that are market ready and can be supported by existing market finance.

Can the BPP support a new business initiative?

The BPP can support both new businesses, and new initiatives from existing businesses. As BPP initiatives can be funded for 1-3 years, applicants should be able to clearly explain the path to commercial viability within that timeframe.

New businesses must be registered in the country they wish to work in, be able to demonstrate the fiduciary standards needed to manage funding from the BPP, and have the resources needed to implement their proposed initiative.

Is there a word limit for the concept note? Can I include my own format?

There is no word limit, but all text should be visible in the concept note PDF. Any text not visible in the PDF will not be visible to the assessment panel and hence will not be considered.

Submissions should be completed in the concept note PDF template, and additional information attached in other formats will not be considered.

The concept note is designed to be a compelling, high level overview of the proposal. Should your proposal be advanced, there will be an opportunity to provide more detail in your final proposal.

Sectors and themes

Is it mandatory to work in one of the stated sectors and/or themes?

For country rounds in Samoa and Sri Lanka, concept notes should be linked to one or more of the listed sectors. Those sectors can be found here for Samoa and here for Sri Lanka. Applications with proposals not linked to those listed sectors cannot be considered.

For the regional round, concept notes should link to one or more of the themes (green recovery, economic opportunities for women, skills development for workers and medium and small sized businesses, and/or digitalisation) as well as one or more listed sectors. More information on the sectors and themes in Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippines, Tonga and Timor-Leste is available on the BPP website ( here.

What do you mean by green recovery?

The BPP uses a definition of green recovery proposed by the OECD in Making the Green Recovery Work for Jobs, Income and Growth (2020).

According to the OECD, green recovery can be defined by its potential to create opportunities for income, jobs and growth, and at the same time accelerate action on medium and long-term environmental goals, both national and global.

What is critical infrastructure for SMEs in the context of the Philippines Call for Partnerships?

In the context of this Business Partnerships Platform Call for Partnerships for the Philippines, we are seeking partnerships that support critical infrastructure for SMEs. This covers a range of interventions to enable the growth and development of SMEs.

Some examples include:

  • Entrepreneurial education and skills upgrading
  • Technological innovation to increase quality and boost productivity
  • Access to finance, markets, use of e-commerce and internationalisation of goods and services
  • Green and inclusive SMEs: making SMEs investments intentional of generating both financial and measurable social and environmental impacts.

Could you provide more detail on the focus areas for the Fiji Call for Partnerships?

Women have demonstrated their resilience in response to previous disasters and shocks, and are well placed to help drive economic recovery in Fiji.

Therefore, it is important to recognise, value and support the areas of the economy where women participate, including the labour market, informal markets and MSMEs.

Focus areas for the Fiji Call have been selected as they are areas which have high potential to support diversification of Fiji’s economy and women’s participation in the economy as consumers, suppliers, producers and employees.

The focus areas selected in Fiji are:

Digital and e-commerce platforms that promote commercial opportunities and enable the increased participation of women as consumers, suppliers or producers. The BPP is particularly interested in ideas that provide business linkages and positive impacts for women in the informal sector

Firms offering business services (B2B) that can create new jobs or upskilling opportunities for women.

For initiatives in the B2B services sector, the BPP would welcome proposals from Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services as well as other professional services which cater to business needs

For example, relevant industries include ICT, accounting, legal and financial services, telecommunications, training and skills development, marketing and sales, where the proposal would support other businesses, particularly in facilitating women’s economic opportunities.

The Business Partnerships Platform is supported by the Australian Government and implemented by Palladium.

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