BIO was incorporated by the law of 3 November 2001, published in the "Moniteur Belge" (Belgian Official Journal) of 17 November 2001, at the initiative of the Minister for Development Cooperation.
BIO is a private company whose capital is held by the Belgian State (Ministry for Development Cooperation) and the SBI/BMI (Société Belge d’Investissement International S.A. – Belgian Corporation for International Investment) each holding 50%. Its early stage capital amounts to €5,000,000 and it makes investments using additional equity granted by the Ministry for Development Cooperation.
BIO enjoys decisional and operational independence, which provides the autonomy and flexibility it needs when analysing and evaluating the financing applications. Various control levels and processes ensure the efficient and correct use of its investment resources and the smooth implementation of its mission.
BIO operates according to a commercial logic inherent to its status and its development finance mission.
The financial contributions made by BIO are not conditioned by the involvement of other Belgian players of any type (companies, banks, etc.), but do not exclude it either.
BIO is careful to ensure the additionality of its investments to avoid entering into direct competition with the local established financial sector. BIO’s role is to provide long-term financial products that are generally unavailable or inaccessible on the local markets.
All projects must demonstrate long term financial viability and have a lasting impact on the development of the country in question, whether in terms of employment, the environment or economic and social growth. BIO also sets out to provide added value, in particular by contributing to good governance, by backing pioneering concepts and/or new initiatives or by attracting other investors.