In essence, our mission is to contribute to economically sustainable activities. We feel that financial assistance to support entrepreneurial activities is appropriate in many cases, but we reject structural subsidies. In our view, sustainability is inextricably linked to economic stability, and thus with profitability. However, profit orientation is not synonymous with profit maximisation. Earning profits without social responsibility, without due consideration of the interests of clients and staff, and without adherence to strict ethical principles and ecological imperatives, is for us just as questionable as modern neoliberal philosophy, upon which rests the ubiquitous notion of maximising profit or shareholder value in the short term.
Development of institutions
Neither financial systems nor societies can function without institutions that operate in a responsible, goal-oriented and sustainable manner. Reliable institutions enable individuals to plan activities and thus contribute to economic and societal development. In many of the countries in which we operate, daily survival is a challenge and the low incomes barely cover household needs. Intransparency and corruption are all too often the result, which is then compounded by institutional failure. It is important to us to systematically counteract these tendencies with our work. We want to contribute to the long-term economic success of the institutions we advise or establish, simultaneously helping them to actively fulfil their social and development-related roles.
Anchoring of knowledge and skills
In our view, meaningful development co-operation should focus on setting up and supporting efficient institutions. This model stands in direct contradiction to many short-term projects that fail to contribute lasting elements that would enable countries to further develop in a self-sufficient way. Therefore, effective co-operation must be centred around goal-oriented knowledge transfer which has been adapted to local conditions. Far-reaching training measures are therefore an important component of our projects, from comprehensive training programmes as part of advising financial institutions to establishing professional development centres. These do not simply convey knowledge and skills through manuals, but rather ensure that the acquired learning takes root where it can be applied in the long run: in the hearts and minds of our partners.
A systematic approach
Decades of experience with a variety of institutions have taught us how systems and organisations work. Organisations consist of processes that can only function efficiently if structure and communication are logically and harmoniously intertwined. However, it is human beings, with all of their strengths and weaknesses as well as interests and motives, who create these structures and manage this communication. We therefore feel that it is essential to scrutinise the complex interplay between markets, people, structures and communication, incorporating this into our work. In other words, every situation requires a tailored solution that is based on sound contextual analysis.