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Building Businesses with Small Producers

Sunita Kapila Donald Mead
Price: $ 25

This book presents a comparative analysis of seven case studies that challenge some of the current beliefs about good practice in the provision of business development services (BDS) to small and micro enterprises. It also highlights issues around the assessment of impact, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness of such services.

Three services were given particular attention in the case studies: marketing, access to technology, and business and management skills acquisition. The case study projects were drawn from Bolivia, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Ghana, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe. Each of the projects introduced small producers to new production and marketing systems and successfully promoted private sector participation. The analysis of these experiences looks at the feasibility of market-based BDS provision and the role of nongovernmental organizations in building BDS markets.

The research discussed here makes an important contribution to the ongoing debate regarding market and demand based provision of nonfinancial services to existing and potential small and micro entrepreneurs and businesses in the Southern countries. This debate has been influenced by the success to date in standardizing and commercializing micro-credit programs. This book argues that to reach and assist small producers, BDS often need to be designed and provided in a multifaceted and flexible manner.

Sunita Kapila has worked as a consultant and staff member for various NGOs and donor agencies, including IDRC. Her specialities include small business development in South Asia and Africa, women's information income generation, the acquisition of employable and entrepreneurial skills, strengthening of small and micro entrepreneurs' associations, and various aspects of urban governance. Donald

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