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Your Industry Experts

Carolin Seeger 

Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights

Carolin Seeger has worked with the Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights since early 2021. She is a business and human rights expert with more than 15 years of experience working with global corporations. In early 2020, she founded her own consulting business, Seeger Consultants. Previously, Carolin was the Managing Consultant of twentyfifty GmbH, the leading consultancy on business and human rights in Germany. At twentyfifty, her clients included seven of the German DAX 30 companies, among many others. In previous roles Carolin worked at Maplecroft (2005-2008) and as the human rights practice lead at Telstra, Australia’s leading telecommunications company (2012-2016). Based in Berlin, Carolin works internationally and bilingually in English and German. Her broad international experience stems from having spent 16 years living and working in India, Ireland, the UK, the US and Australia.

Dr. Corinna Franke-Wöller 

Director

Dr Corinna Franke-Wöller is a manager at GIZ and an expert at the interface of business, politics and law. She has been head of the Agency for Business & Economic Development since it was founded in 2016. She and her team of around twenty are the central points of contact for companies and associations in the field of international development cooperation: "We particularly support small and medium-sized enterprises in their activities in developing and emerging countries," she emphasises. "We want to introduce as many of them as possible to the exciting business opportunities and advise them from a single source on possible partners, financing options and funding offers. We are also happy to provide information and support on questions regarding human rights due diligence and sustainability."

Corinna Franke-Wöller has worked in business for many years. As managing director of a public-private partnership company, she was most recently responsible for business administration, sales and operations. She worked for an environmental technology company and contributed, among other things, to the recommendation of the Sustainability Council in the area of raw materials strategy of the federal government. Franke-Wöller has served as an expert in numerous parliamentary hearings.

A law graduate with a focus on European and international law, she earned a Master's degree in European law (LL.M.) in Oslo and a doctorate in Polish-German constitutional law at the University of Viadrina/Breslau.

Karla Luzette Beteta Brenes

Tourism and Creative Industries

Karla Luzette Beteta Brenes joined the team of the Agency for Business & Economic Development in 2019. From her time in the diplomatic service, most recently in a senior position as ambassador, she brings valuable expertise and a strong network. A native of Nicaragua, she feels a strong connection to sustainable tourism and cooperation with the business community: "In this sense, I am very happy to support German and European companies that want to contribute their innovative strength, creativity and capital in the partner countries in their search for suitable financing and funding instruments," explains Beteta. She is particularly interested in networking the players involved.

Key Career Positions

  • Ambassador of the Republic of Nicaragua to Germany
  • Ambassador of the Republic of Nicaragua to Luxembourg, Slovakia and Poland
  • Administrative Director at a state-owned company in Managua

Ulrich Boysen 

Agriculture and Food Industry

Before joining the Agency for Business & Economic Development in 2018, Ulrich Boysen worked for ten years in North and West Africa and was responsible for projects that modernise the agricultural and food sector at the African Development Bank and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

The economics graduate is familiar with the perspective of small and medium-sized enterprises and the structures of global supply chains from his many years of work in the German agricultural and food industry: as Managing Director of the German Fruit Trade Association, Boysen was involved in the introduction of sustainability standards. "It is important to me to inform about procedures and instruments of development cooperation and to shape effective cooperation between public and private actors in the partner countries of German development cooperation," Boysen notes.

Key Career Positions

  • Programme Coordinator at GIZ, Agricultural Development Programme, in Burkina Faso 
  • Programme Manager at GIZ, Competitive African Rice Initiative, in Nigeria
  • Agribusiness Coordinator at the African Development Bank in Tunisia 
  • Managing Director of the German Fruit Trade Association (DFHV) e.V.

Ina Dettmann-Busch

Trade 

Ina Dettmann-Busch has been with the Agency for Business & Economic Development since 2016. Previously, she worked at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and led seminars for executives from ministries of economics and finance for over two decades.

Ms Dettmann-Busch has many years of experience in promoting the private sector in developing and emerging countries and in advising on economic reforms. As a consultant and project manager, she has completed longer periods abroad in Togo, Benin and China and has developed projects in other countries in Africa and Asia together with local partners. "Suitable economic policy framework conditions promote the reciprocal dynamic between rising exports and higher investments. In this way, they create positive development impulses," she says. "Trade can promote development. AWE's advisory services aim to help you take advantage of these opportunities."

Key Career Positions

  • Project Manager at GIZ in Togo
  • Specialist planner for sustainable economic development at GIZ
  • Head of economic policy seminars and dialogues at the German Foundation for International Development (DSE) and the Capacity Building International, Germany (InWEnt)

Almuth Dörre 

Training and Qualification 

As an expert at the interface of development cooperation and the private sector, Almuth Dörre has worked in various regions and positions in Germany and abroad: she was responsible for sales in German-speaking Europe for an Indian polyester yarn manufacturer and was seconded as an expert for development cooperation (DC Scout) to the Bavarian Centre for Foreign Trade. She has been involved in various private sector development projects for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.  Her professional career has taken her to the Balkans, India, Guatemala and Belgium, among other places. "There is much more to Made in Germany than high-quality products. It also includes compliance with social and environmental standards, the involvement of local workers and, above all, high-quality training. This additional entrepreneurial commitment is a clear competitive advantage for the German economy," Dörre highlights.

Key Career Positions 

  • Consultant for Development Cooperation (seconded by BMZ) at Bavaria Trade and Invest
  • Project Manager at the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) in Kosovo
  • Marketing/sales German-speaking Europe for an Indian polyester yarn manufacturer

Hans-Joachim Hebgen

Financing, Fundamental Issues, develoPPP and the Textile Economy

Hans-Joachim Hebgen has worked for more than 30 years at DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH in managerial positions, most recently as the Director of the Department for Development Programmes and Advisory Services.

The business economist has advised numerous medium-sized companies, particularly in the development of internationalisation strategies, and accompanied them in structuring and financing their investments in developing countries. "My focal points have included the systematic preparation of foreign investments, assessment of partner, project and country risks, and clarification of financing issues. I am also happy to advise on these topics at AWE," he says. As the person in charge, Hebgen implemented various funding programmes, especially programmes of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). He has published numerous how-tos on the subject of foreign investment.

Key Career Positions 

  • Head of the Department for Development Programmes and Advisory Services at DEG 
  • Employee of DEG, since 1986 as head of department in various functions
  • Lecturer at the Wirtschaftsvereinigung Bergbau e.V. and the Fachvereinigung Auslandsbergbau e.V. in Bonn

Dr.-Ing. Peter Ludemann

Mechanical and Plant Engineering, Construction Industry, Water and Waste Management, Municipal Enterprises

After most recently working at the Servicestelle für die Wirtschaft of the Federal Development Ministry, Dr.-Ing. Peter Ludemann has been a senior consultant at the Agency for Business & Economic Development since 2016. After studying business administration and mechanical engineering in Aachen, he gained experience in various management positions in sectors such as mechanical and plant engineering, construction and water and waste management.

He has provided technical support for licensing projects in developing countries for a major German mechanical engineering company, managed medium-sized companies in the field of technology as managing director and managed the business of a venture capital company. Ludemann has also examined financing projects in Africa, Europe and Asia for DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH. His professional path has taken him to Tunisia and other countries in Africa as well as to Asia and Eastern Europe.

Key Career Positions

  • Review of financing projects at DEG
  • Managing director of a venture capital company
  • Managing director of various small and medium-sized enterprises in the field of technology 

Verick Schick

Climate Protection, Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Systems

Verick Schick advises companies from Germany, Europe and partner countries on the funding and financing instruments of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In doing so, Mr Schick also provides information on financing solutions and project design; his substantive focus is on the areas of renewable energies, energy efficiency and energy storage.

Previously, Mr Schick held management positions at various institutions and companies, including the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Procter & Gamble and an Ethiopian ministry. Most recently, he worked for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Gmbh as a project manager in Morocco. He is currently on secondment to the BMZ's Agency for Economic & Development via GIZ.

Verick Schick holds a degree in engineering (KIT Karlsruhe) and an MBA from the University of Toronto and the University of St. Gallen.

Key Career Positions

  • Project Manager Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for GIZ, Morocco
  • Ministry of Capacity Building, Ethiopia
  • Manager Production Procter & Gamble

Carolin Welzel 

International Organisations

Senior consultant Carolin Welzel joined the Agency for Business & Economic Development in 2018 from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Gmbh. She has many years of experience at the interface of business and politics and extensive expertise from working with associations and chambers. Experiences abroad have taken her to Asia and Africa; most recently, she managed the collaborative project with the Federation of German Industries (BDI) in East Africa for GIZ.

At our office, Welzel is the contact for international organisations such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank or the EU, which offer German companies interesting business opportunities - but which are still underused. "Many companies shy away from this path in order to place their foreign business on a broad foundation. I am committed to ensuring that more medium-sized companies in particular expand their network and get to know the development banks," says Welzel.

Key Career Positions

  • Contract manager and project manager for the cooperation project between GIZ and BDI in East Africa
  • Development cooperation scout for the GIZ at the Potsdam/Berlin Chamber of Industry and Commerce and at the BDI 
  • Contract manager for a GIZ project in North Africa, topic: cooperation between associations
  • Project manager for e-government and CSR at the Bertelsmann Foundation 

Bastian Geyer

Training and Qualification 

Bastian Geyer joined the Agency for Business & Economic Development in 2018 and is currently a junior consultant. His focus is training and qualification.

Previously, Bastian Geyer worked for DATEV eG in Brussels. At the interface between politics and business, he dealt with the topics of digitalisation and artificial intelligence and accompanied legislative procedures at a EU level. During his studies of political science and economics with a focus on development policy in Erlangen, he was particularly interested in the economic policy framework of development cooperation.

Erik Wessels 

(interim) Manager, Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights 

Erik Wessels is head of the Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights at the German Agency for Business & Economic Development (AWE). The Helpdesk team advises companies confidentially and at no cost on the implementation of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP). Wessels describes the service offer: "The core of our offer is the individual and confidential counselling of companies. We support companies in intensive consultation topics such as environment and social issues, supply chains and human rights. We also offer support in finding the right funding for your sustainability project and network you with relevant partners."

Erik Wessels is an authorised signatory and Vice President of Corporate Governance at DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, from where he was seconded to AWE. He was entrusted with corporate governance, environmental and social audits and portfolio management of financing projects. Previously, Mr Wessels worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers and was responsible for the areas of governance, risk and compliance in the West region for banking and insurance companies.

Malte Drewes 

Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights

Malte Drewes is a consultant at the Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights at the German Agency for Business & Economic Development. The German government's offer is aimed at companies and associations: they can obtain free, individual and confidential advice on the implementation of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP). As part of the team, Drewes supervised the further development of the German-language version of the CSR Risk Check - a tool that can be used to identify potential risks along global supply and value chains.

Mr Drewes' focus is on advising companies. In addition, he raises awareness of the topic in the business community through lectures, panel discussions and the organisation and moderation of workshops. Between 2013 and 2017, Mr Drewes worked at the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva and Berlin, where he most recently coordinated the technical contribution to the German G20 Presidency 2017.

Jenny Ohme 

Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights

Jenny Ohme has been part of the Helpdesk team since 2017. She previously worked abroad for eight years, primarily on the African continent, and gained experience in various areas of German-African cooperation, including at KfW and various political foundations. Ohme studied politics and economics in Pretoria, Cape Town, Paris and Berlin, specialising in international development and human rights.

Sabine Peters-Halfbrodt

Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights for the Food Industry

Sabine Peters-Halfbrodt has been working as a consultant in the food industry for the Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights since 2019. This sector-specific advisory service is a cooperation between the Helpdesk and the Federation of the German Food Industry (BVE).

After more than two decades in the food industry, Sabine Peters-Halfbrodt most recently works as an independent consultant. She has extensive experience and knowledge in marketing, corporate communications and corporate social responsibility, and has been involved with social, environmental and human rights standards in the industry for years. She is experienced in developing integrated commodity strategies and programmes for agricultural commodities, where human rights due diligence is an essential component.

This sector-specific consultancy service is the result of a cooperation between the Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights and the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE).

Key Career Positions

  • Independent consultant for sustainable business
  • More than 20 years in various functions at Mondelēz International (formerly Kraft Foods) 

Tim Richter 

Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights 

Tim Richter has been working as a consultant for the finance and services sector for the Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights at the Agency for Business & Economic Development since 2020. Mr Richter's focus is on advising and raising awareness on risk analysis, as he developed this topic over five years as a sustainability specialist at Deutsche Kreditbank AG (DKB).

Subsequently, Tim Richter headed the environmental and sustainability management of LAFIM-Diakonie in Potsdam. He can thus draw on expertise and experience in the areas of sustainability, quality and environmental management, marketing, communication, catering as well as corporate and business ethics.

For the Helpdesk, Tim Richter deals with the impact of Covid-19 on human rights and regularly gives lectures to translate the NAP requirements into practice. Furthermore, he is experienced in the processing of sustainability and ESG ratings, the development of sustainability strategies and the corresponding reporting according to the common standards (e.g. EMAS; German Sustainability Code).

Jana Sievers

Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights

Jana Sievers is a consultant at the Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights at AWE. Prior to this role, she has been supporting the Helpdesk as a student assistant. As part of her Master's degree in Economics, she specialised in international economics and sustainable development and completed extended study visits to North and South America. Through internships at the BMZ and the Federal Foreign Office, she was able to gain experience in the field of international cooperation. Previously, Jana Sievers also worked in the European Parliament and at a trade association.

Katharina Hermann 

Leitung Helpdesk Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte

Seit 2017 leitet Katharina Hermann das Helpdesk Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte der Bundesregierung bei der Agentur für Wirtschaft & Entwicklung. Das Helpdesk-Team berät Unternehmen vertraulich und kostenfrei zur Umsetzung de­s Nationalen Aktionsplans Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte (NAP). Das Serviceangebot beschreibt Hermann so: „Kernstück unseres Angebots ist die individuelle und vertrauliche Beratung von Unternehmen. Daneben bieten wir Unternehmen das Online-Tool CSR-Risiko-Check an. Außerdem unterstützen wir Sie dabei, die richtigen Fördermittel für Ihr Nachhaltigkeitsprojekt zu finden und vernetzen Sie mit relevanten Partnern.“

Hermann beschäftigt sich seit mehr als zehn Jahren mit dem Thema Corporate Responsibility, vor allem im Finanzsektor, im Bergbau, im Agrarsektor sowie in der Textilproduktion in Afrika und Asien. Sie ist Prokuristin bei der DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH und von dort zur AWE entsandt. Zuvor war sie mit Umwelt- und Sozialprüfungen und dem Portfoliomanagement von Finanzierungsprojekten betraut. 

Wichtige berufliche Stationen

  • Prokuristin bei der DEG
  • Unternehmensberatung Verisk Maplecroft, Schwerpunkt auf menschenrechtliche Risiken im Bergbausektor und zuständig für einen weltweiten menschenrechtlichen Risikoindex
  • Beraterin für das UN Global Compact sowie für das Team des ehemaligen UN-Sonderbeauftragten Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte, John Ruggie 
     

Michaela Streibelt 

Helpdesk Wirtschaft & Menschenrechte 

Michaela is licensed as a lawyer and joined the Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights team in the Agecy for Business & Economic Development as a consultant in 2020. Before, she worked as a lawyer in litigation and in environmental law as well as in a human rights organization in the field of business and human rights. Her legal training included working for a large international law firm and an international human rights organisation. In addition to her work for the Helpdesk Michaela Streibelt works on a PhD project in human rights law.

Erik Wessels 

(interim) Manager, Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights 

Erik Wessels is head of the Helpdesk on Business & Human Rights at the German Agency for Business & Economic Development (AWE). The Helpdesk team advises companies confidentially and at no cost on the implementation of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP). Wessels describes the service offer: "The core of our offer is the individual and confidential counselling of companies. We support companies in intensive consultation topics such as environment and social issues, supply chains and human rights. We also offer support in finding the right funding for your sustainability project and network you with relevant partners."

Erik Wessels is an authorised signatory and Vice President of Corporate Governance at DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, from where he was seconded to AWE. He was entrusted with corporate governance, environmental and social audits and portfolio management of financing projects. Previously, Mr Wessels worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers and was responsible for the areas of governance, risk and compliance in the West region for banking and insurance companies.

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