Target group: Private sector, development and environmental organisations, civil society, academics, experts and public sector
Initiator(s): The Shift with the support of DGD – Private Sector Development D.2.4

Start: 18-01-2016

Sustainable Development Goal(s): 1. End poverty8. Decent work and economic growth12. Responsible consumption and production15. Life on land17. Partnerships for the goals

Priorities for change: Transversal

Belgian SDG Charter for Development


By signing the BELGIAN SDG CHARTER FOR DEVELOPMENT, signatories commit to working with others to help achieve the SDGs in the Global South and North.


  • Realise a multi-actor collaboration with the Belgian private sector in favour of the SDGs
  • Contribute to inclusive economic growth in emerging economies and fragile states
  • Support the principles of sustainable supply chains and Human Rights Due Diligence


Signatories of the Belgian SDG Charter for International Development commit to contributing to the realization of the SDGs both nationally and internationally. The Shift supports signatories in their implementation by guiding them through the multi-actor and Private Sector Development landscape, supporting ideation and conceptualisation, challenge grant proposal development and facilitate access to financing.


The list of signatories is getting longer. In the meantime, 131 signatories with different backgrounds have committed to work together on SDGs. These are players from sectors such as profit, not-for-profit, civil society, development cooperation, academia and the public sector.


Social entrepreneurship as an effective strategy for international development. We believe that the positive impact of social entrepreneurs can be greatly enhanced through strong partnerships with private sector actors. Conversely, by partnering with social entrepreneurs, private sector players can deliver on their commitments towards the SDGs, develop more inclusive business models and expand their operations sustainably in Africa.

Via The Shift you can find other actors to join forces with and

  • contribute to sustainable inclusive growth aligned with United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs);
  • contribute to social progress and respect for the ecological carrying capacity of our planet;
  • learn from each other in a multi-actor perspective.


The Shift co-edited the Belgian SDG Charter for Development initiated by the Belgian vice-Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. It was officially launched on October 18th 2016.

A series of Change Labs in 2017 focused on Health, Energy and Food commodities and materialised in partnerships such as AREA and helped identifying the need for financial support for Belgian partnerships in their take-off. Hence, the DGD launched a new funding initiative called the Business Partnership Facility in December 2018.

The Shift welcomes the stories of the first generation of 11 Business Partnership Facility grantees. In countries all over the world they work with for profit and not-for profit partners on the ground to drive inclusive economic development respecting the boundaries of the ecosystem.

An intensive process of stakeholder consultations and roundtables in 2018 led to Beyond Chocolate, a partnership benefiting from the financial support of DGD the Belgian development administration. In Beyond chocolate the Belgian chocolate industry, major retailers, universities, NGOs and impact investors commit to making Belgian chocolate 100% sustainable by 2030.

The partnership results from the work of IDH, The Shift and Minister De Croo’s cabinet. 62% of Beyond Chocolate signatories are members to The Shift and are also signatories to the Belgian SDG Charter for Development. The program management was assigned to IDH in June 2019. The Shift continued to support IDH in co-facilitating partnership discussions in the run-up to the first call for proposals launched in December 2019.

Upon members request, The Shift started exploring other supply chain initiatives in the course of 2019, mostly related to food commodities and biodiversity but also the textile and garment sector.

Last but not least, The Shift will step up its efforts to work with as many signatories of the Belgian SDG Charter for Development as possible in 2020. We welcome all ideas and concepts and questions – however big or small - with regards to the challenge of making SDGs become a reality.