The ICO vision is to ensure the sustainable communities; and as an ICO agency SPARK works for the  sustainable economic growth for establishing self-reliance and thereby poverty alleviation.Spark is an independent international development organisation with about 80 staff, and aims to develops higher education and entrepreneurship to empower young, ambitious people to lead their conflict affected societies into prosperity. SPARK runs programmes in West Africa, the West Balkans, Southeast Europe, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and has recently begun programmes in Libya and Yemen.

SPARK has been working in conflict affected environments since 1994, and learned valuable lessons by operating various SME financing solutions which lead to the facilitation of over 350 small business loans in challenging business ecosystems.


  • Over 1000 businesses benefited from SPARK’s Technical Assistance Programme.
  • Facilitated over 350 small business loans (on average between Euro 5K-10K) to businesses who could not access traditional financing to grow their businesses.

Lessons Learned

  • Improvements of overall credit appraisal and due diligence processes.
  • Strengthening investment contracting and understanding the limits and scope of local legal enforcement tools.
  • Long partnerships with local financial institutions (Banks, MFIs, other Equity Funds) as well as local technical assistance providers.

For the latest Spark achievements and  percentages by regions, please click here .