Building Businesses with Small Producers

Topic :

This book presents the findings and a comparative analysis of seven case studies involving the provision of business development services (BDS) to small and microenterprises. Three services were given particular attention in the case studies: marketing, access to technology and business management skills training. Each case study – from Bolivia, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Ghana, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe – shows how small producers were introduced to new production and marketing systems and how private sector participation was successfully promoted.

The analysis of these experiences enables readers to assess the feasibility of market-based BDS provision and the role of non-governmental organizations in building BDS markets. Some of the critical issues are how to assess impact, sustainability and the cost-effectiveness of such services.

The research discussed in this book makes an important contribution to the ongoing debate regarding market and demand-based provision of non-financial services to micro entrepreneurs and businesses in Southern countries. This debate has been influenced by the growth of successful microcredit programmes. The analysis presented here reminds us that, to provide effective assistance to small producers, business development services need to be provided in a multi-faceted and flexible manner.

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