Business planning

Starting a new enterprise is invariably risky and failure is probably more common than success. Avoiding failure depends on good planning and time spent on this is time well spent if someone is going to be a successful entrepreneur. If credit is used to finance a new enterprise it is even more important that people take good decisions about the investment and assess the market for their products. Lack of finance is often cited as a major constraint for business development but loans would be more readily available if entrepreneurs were able to prepare and explain appropriate plans and budgets to officers of financial institutions. The growth of micro financial services in recent years has provided many poorer people with the opportunities to start new enterprises. However, much remains to be done to support "micro-entrepreneurs" with advice, market information, product research and development, advocacy services, legal support and so on. This is particularly so in rural areas and the provision of business advisory services, complementing agricultural advisory services, has yet to develop in many places.

Library Resources

resource title type year resource
Unleashing the Power of Data to Inform Your Business Toolkit 2020

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This resource appears in: Business planning, Financial products, Technology and outreach

Financial service providers (FSPs) are capturing large amounts of data on their internal systems and also have access to external data – as a result of improved connectivity and increasing smartphone penetration, as well as through publicly available external data (e.g. national surveys). However, many FSPs are not making full use of this data as they may not understand its full potential, have information overload, inefficient processes and systems, and think it is expensive to make use of data.

This toolkit aims to help FSPs understand the different data sources available to them and how to use them effectively to transform their business. Although primarily aimed at FSPs, the toolkit may also be of use and interest to those who provide services to FSPs in their respective markets (such as data management and research firms) and other organizations wanting to implement programs that encourage FSPs to make more and better use of data.

Publisher Oxford Policy Management
Number of Pages 95 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords data management, Product Design, product delivery
Related Resources
Promoting Women and Youth Financial Inclusion for Entrepreneurship and Job Creation Brief 2020 English (en)

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This resource appears in: Business Support, Business planning, Staff development, Gender, Investment, Private-public partnerships

Guinea, a country of roughly 12.4 million people with a bank account penetration rate of 15 percent as of 2017, has made modest gains in reducing financial exclusion levels since 2011, despite being hit by the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). A disproportionate number of the unbanked are women, youth and rural dwellers and an eight percent account ownership gap between men and women remains. The Global Findex also indicates that only 13.0 percent of the youth have an account at a formal financial institution, compared with 14.6 percent for the entire population. Emerging research indicates that the failure to close the gender and youth gap in access to finance represents a massive loss of output and potential – especially for the youth: it undermines their lifetime productivity and earnings potential, making it difficult for them to escape poverty.

Under a grant from the International Development Research Center (IDRC) of Canada, the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) – an economic policy institute headquartered in Accra, Ghana – partnered with Ayani B.V., a consultancy firm in Guinea, to assess the effectiveness of financial sector initiatives in advancing women’s and youth’s financial inclusion.

The study’s emphasis was to diagnose the state of financial inclusion of adult women and youth in Guinea, gauge the impact of different approaches, and draw lessons for policy makers, regulators and service providers to enhance entrepreneurship and job opportunities for women and youth.

Following the African Union definition, this study defined youth as individuals aged between 15 and 35. An analytical framework (based on the Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s definitive framework) helped assess financial inclusion among women and youth using four indicators (Access, Usage, Quality, and Welfare improvements). The data collection phase involved a survey and focus group discussions (FGDs) among Guinean women, female and male youth in both rural and urban settings. The study engaged experts from government ministries, regulatory bodies and private sector banks, microfinance and other non-bank financial institutions along with mobile network operators (MNOs) and mobile money services. 

Document  -  English (en)

Publisher The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET)
Number of Pages 44
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Women and Youth, Financial Inclusion
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Basic Business Models for Banks Providing Digital Financial Services in Africa Report 2019

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This resource appears in: Business planning, Technology and outreach

Digital Financial Services have progressed rapidly since the first mobile-money services in East Africa a decade ago. Their early success in Kenya and Tanzania sent telecom firms, banks, technology firms, and development institutions scrambling to launch similar services. Yet many or most of these new services found only limited success of their own. The process delivered valuable lessons to the industry, however, including insights about scale, effective engagement models, the importance of adopting new technologies and rethinking corporate cultures, and the need for new digital financial services and products.

Pathways to prosperity: 2019 rural and agricultural finance state of the sector report Report 2019

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This resource appears in: Business Support, Business Support Services: General, Agribusiness and enterprise support, Business planning, Equity investments in agribusiness

Despite significant progress in the rural agricultural finance sector, financial service providers are still unable to meet the full USD 240 billion demand of rural households for agricultural and non-agricultural finance. The latest data suggests that providers are currently supplying approximately USD 70 billion. This leaves around USD 170 billion —or 70%—of the global demand for smallholder finance unmet. This gap cuts across all geographic regions and financing types, but is particularly concentrated in long-term agricultural finance, for which 98% of global demand remains unmet. As with the direct-to-smallholder finance market, there is a large gap when it comes to lending to agricultural SMEs. There is no comprehensive global sizing of the demand and supply for lending to agricultural SMEs, but recent analyses have painted a stronger picture of how the market functions and illustrate why—despite agricultural SMEs playing a vital role in economic development—financial service providers limit their lending to these clients.

In recent years, new financing products have begun to penetrate rural markets. These include the rise of lending “innovators”—fintechs and mobile network operators that deliver credit directly to rural households through digital channels, holding the associated credit risk on their own balance sheet. While these innovators have great potential to address customer pain points and reach unserved customer segments, they currently represent a small portion of the lending market. At the same time, there’s been an emergence of new models of agricultural insurance, digital payments, and savings accounts. With greater breadth, depth and innovation in rural financial services than ever before there are new opportunities emerging to close the persistent rural finance gap.

Author Matt Shakhovskoy of ISF Advisors, and Clara Colina and Mikael Clason Höök of the Mastercard Foundation Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab
Publisher The Mastercard Foundation, USAID, and Small Foundation
Number of Pages 61 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Rural and Agriculture Finance
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Is Data Privacy Good for Business? Technical Note 2019

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This resource appears in: Business Support, Business Support Services: General, Agribusiness and enterprise support, Business planning, ICT applications

As digital financial services grow rapidly, so do concerns over data privacy and protection especially for poor customers who are particularly vulnerable to abuses and injury from lax data policies. CGAP set out to test how much poor people value their data privacy and whether there was a business case for financial services providers to offer better data protection. The results from six experiments in Kenya and India make the case that customers will choose products with data policy and protection features built in, and they are willing to pay for them. This opens an avenue for voluntary self-regulation in markets that do not have strong consumer protection and data policies in place.

Author Maria Fernandez Vidal and David Medine
Publisher Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)
Number of Pages 12 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Customers, Donors and Investors, Business and markets, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya, India
Related Resources
Agent Networks at the Last Mile: A Guide for Digital Finance to Reach Rural Customers Document 2019

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This resource appears in: Business Support, Business Support Services: General, Agribusiness and enterprise support, Business planning, Remittances and payments

Most digital financial services users around the world live in cash-based societies, and they require a cheap and easy way to switch between the worlds of cash and digital currency. Agent networks that provide this service tend to cluster around urban and peri-urban areas and larger rural towns. However, global evidence shows that emerging agent network business models are improving agent viability in remote areas home to many of the world's poor, financially excluded populations. 

Based on an analysis of these models, this report describes six principles for effective cash-in/cash-out agent networks at the last mile and highlights examples of where they are being applied throughout the world. Digital financial services providers, policy makers, and regulators will find concrete recommendations for putting these principles into practice to advance financial inclusion.

Author Emilio Hernandez
Publisher CGAP
Number of Pages 32 pages
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Business and markets, Distribution, Payments
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Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2019 Report 2019

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This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General, Agribusiness and enterprise support, Business planning

Governments play a key role in enabling growth in agriculture. Laws and regulations influence the cost of production and determine the extent to which the private sector can benefit from investment and trade. Supportive regulations facilitate farmers’ participation in agricultural value chains, whereas unnecessary burdens prevent them from reaping the benefits of the increasing global food demand. Enabling the Business of Agriculture assesses whether governments make it easier for farmers to operate their businesses. The indicators provide a measure of progress and identify regulatory obstacles to market integration and entrepreneurship in agriculture. With globally comparable data on regulations covering agricultural inputs, plant health, access to credit and markets, the study finds large disparities across countries on the strength of regulations and the efficiency of their implementation. 

Small and Growing Businesses in Africa: Profiles, Successes and Challenges Report 2018

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This resource appears in: Business planning

In Sub-Saharan Africa as elsewhere, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) play a crucial role in economic development and job creation. However the sector hardly achieves its full potential because of a series of challenges, among which is limited access to financial services, but also because of a more general lack of knowledge about this particular segment. In order to better meet MSMEs’ needs, a first step consists in identifying the profiles, growth paths, success factors and challenges faced by those who managed to turn their microenterprises into small or medium entities, hereinafter referred to as “Small and Growing Business” (SGB) owners. As microenterprises are likely to resort to microfinance institutions (MFIs) to get access to financial services, the study relied on five MFIs in Ethiopia, Kenya and Madagascar to identify a total of 83 SGB owners and interview them individually to get details about their paths.

Publisher ADA – Appui au Développement Autonome
Number of Pages 29 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Africa
Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar
Keywords Access To Finance, SME Finance & Leasing
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The African Seed Access Index, TASAI Website 2015 French (fr)

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This resource appears in: Business planning

L'Indice africain de l'accès aux semences (The African Seed Access Index, TASAI), lancé le 12 mars 2015, comprend 16 points de mesure dans 5 catégories : recherche et développement, compétitivité des industries, services au petit agriculteur, politique semencière et réglementation, et soutien institutionnel. Il existerait d'énormes possibilités de développer des capacités durables de production de semences en Afrique, mais les investissements seraient souvent limités par une mauvaise compréhension de ce qui doit être fait dans chaque pays. Le TASAI dresse donc la situation du secteur des semences sur le continent africain et souligne les difficultés qui empêchent les agriculteurs de s'en procurer.

TASAI  -  French (fr)

Publisher Market Matters Inc., Cornell International Institute for Food and Agricultural Development, Emerging Markets Program
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global, Africa
Keywords Agribusiness Finance, Business Planning, Investment In Agriculture, Challenges, Small-Scale Farming, Smallholder Farming, Capacity Building
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Economía institucional: propuesta metodológica para el análisis de la formación de precios agrícolas Paper 2014

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This resource appears in: Business planning

El documento constituye un aporte al diseño de una metodología que permita el análisis de los acuerdos  institucionales que determinan la formación y transmisión de precios agrícolas en los mercados centroamericanos. Para tal fin, hace referencia al análisis de cadenas de valor y utiliza la economía institucional como marco analítico para la investigación empírica.

Author CEPAL
Publisher CEPAL
Number of Pages 34 pp.
Primary Language Spanish (es)
Region / Country Global, Americas, Central America
Keywords Economic Development
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SME Toolkit – Build Your Business Website 2012 English (en) Spanish (es)

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This resource appears in: Business planning

A project of the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, the SME Toolkit offers free business management information and training for small businesses / small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on accounting and finance, business planning, human resources (HR), marketing and sales, operations, and information technology (IT). The SME Toolkit offers a wide range of how-to articles, business forms, free business software, online training, self-assessment exercises, quizzes, and resources to help entrepreneurs, business owners, and managers in emerging markets and developing countries start, finance, formalize, and grow their businesses.

The site is built around 7 key areas of business activity:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business Planning
  • Human Resources
  • Legal and Insurance
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Operations
  • Technology

Each section contains a link to a range of sub-topics where you can access and download a range of resources such as “how-to articles”, business forms, tools and training opportunities etc (as referred to above).

Also, of particular note, the site contains regional and sector toolkits. The regional toolkits cover a range of geographies and can be accessed in a variety of languages. Furthermore, they have been adapted to take into account the local rules and legislation of the specific regions. The sector toolkits focus on fund management and sustainable finance.

SME Toolkit - Build Your Business  -  English (en)

SME Toolkit - Build Your Business  -  Spanish (es)

BDS Market Assessment Questionnaire Document 2006

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This resource appears in: Business planning

This checklist has been produced by Emmanuel Osadebe who works as an Advisor with GNSLimited, a Consultancy dedicated to the improvement of small businesses in Lagos, Nigeria. The checklist covers all aspects of business operations - financial matters, marketing, employees, plans, etc. - and has been used by the author in his consulting assignments. He has decided to share it with RFLC users but has placed security settings on the document so that we may not print it out. If you are interested, you will have to read it on screen.

Author Osadebe, E.
Number of Pages 8 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Africa, Western Africa
Keywords Business Appraisal, Business Planning
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GET Ahead for Women in Enterprise Training Package and Resource Kit Book 2004 English (en)

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This resource appears in: Business planning

This training package and resource kit has been designed for trainers from ILO partner agencies: development organizations reaching out to women in income generation and micro-enterprises, together with successful and respected female and male entrepreneurs and their associations. It consists of three parts:

  • Part 1 sets out the main aims and strategies, and gives an overview of the training content and structure. It provides tips for trainers and hints for organizing training on GET Ahead for women in enterprise.
  • Part 2 is organized into four modules and covers a total of 10 sub topics. Each module consists of a series of exercises. Each exercise starts with listing the specific learning objectives for participants, gives an overview of the training aids needed, outlines possible preparatory activities which need to be carried out before the start of an exercise and provides a step-by-step session plan. The session plans provide guidance both in terms of key content and the process of training delivery. Each session plan concludes with key messages and pointers for the future for use by the trainer at the end of each session. At the end of each exercise, training aids such as text and illustrations on key messages, worksheets, as well as guides for group work or role-plays, and handouts are provided for use during the sessions and for distribution to the participants as relevant.
  • Part 3 provides resource and reference materials for trainers and entrepreneurs. A Background Paper on Gender and Entrepreneurship Together: GET Ahead for Women in Enterprise provides further reading on the opportunities and challenges faced by women entrepreneurs during the enterprise life cycle. A Quick Reference Guide is given with an overview of common business and financial terms. Finally, the training package includes the list of sources screened and used in preparing this package as well as other useful information sources, such as web addresses.

The four modules in Part 2 are: Module 1 Basics on Gender and Entrepreneurship Module 2 The Business Woman And Her Environment Module 3 The Business Project Module 4 People, Organization and Management The training package includes outlines for model five day workshops and shows how to facilitate learning in a visual, attractive way. All elements of the package are fully downloadable from the website of ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. It is a highly recommended, practical resource that can be adapted for use in a variety of situations.

GET Ahead for Women in Enterprise Training Package and Resource Kit  -  English (en)

Author Bauer, S.; Finnegan, G.; Haspels, N.
Publisher ILO
Number of Pages 355 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Gender, Gender Equality, Entrepreneurship, Business Planning, Enterprise Development
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Guía del Desarrollo de Empresas y la Economía Rural Guideline 2003

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This resource appears in: Business planning

Esta guía se basa en el enfoque de Desarrollo de Empresas y Economía Rural (DEER), el cual tiene como objetivo la diversificación e innovación de la economía rural a través de una mejor orientación hacia el mercado y la promoción del valor agregado a los productos rurales. Por lo tanto, el DEER tiene como objetivo estimular y mejorar los vínculos sectoriales entre la agricultura, la agroindustria (que tiene nexos pre y post-cosecha con la agricultura) y actividades económicas no-agrícolas, incluyendo la prestación de servicios.

A pesar de que el DEER sostiene que los empresarios y el sector privado son los motores principales del desarrollo rural, también considera una participación del estado en el mismo, a través de la implementación de infraestructura y servicios que favorezcan el crecimiento económico y la reducción de la pobreza. Asimismo, el enfoque enfatiza que las políticas estatales deben llevar a un equilibrio entre el interés público por reducir los niveles de pobreza y mejorar los medios de vida de la mayoría de la población por un lado; y por el otro, fomentar los mercados eficaces como elemento básico del desarrollo económico sostenible.

El DEER incluye la promoción de actividades comerciales agrícolas y no-agrícolas en hogares y empresas rurales con la finalidad de generar nuevos empleos, mejorar los medios de subsistencia en el entorno rural y fomentar el crecimiento. En ese sentido, promueve el empleo y la generación de ingresos por medio de la micro, pequeña y mediana empresa rural.

El enfoque DEER aspira a ser utilizado por los diseñadores de políticas, los gobiernos nacionales y locales, las agencias de desarrollo, los profesionales de campo, el sector privado y los participantes de ONG. Es útil tanto para aquéllos que trabajan directamente en la producción agrícola y las actividades relacionadas con la agricultura, como a los que apoyan el desarrollo del sector privado.

En ese sentido, esta guía apoya a las partes interesadas, involucradas en el DEER, en lo referente al desarrollo participativo de estrategias y la gestión de conocimientos para afrontar los desafíos críticos antes mencionados. Para ello, facilita el acceso a las experiencias consolidadas de expertos de distintas formaciones profesionales e institucionales, y posibilita una identificación sistemática de obstáculos y oportunidades para una intervención.

La guia tiene la siguiente estructura, el primer capitulo presenta la introducción al enfoque DEER. El siguiente capitulo, muestra una descripción del marco conceptual del enfoque a través de diez ‘Piedras Angulares’ para una intervención exitosa en el desarrollo rural económico y empresarial. Estas son:

  • Entorno favorable para la inversión y el dinamismo empresarial
  • Mecanismos, procesos y estructuras que se adecuan a las necesidades locales
  • Instituciones activas del sector privado y vínculos dinámicos
  • Infraestructura funcional y eficaz (“blanda” y “dura”)
  • Acceso a mercados integrados y abiertos
  • Acceso a recursos y servicios de apoyo efectivos y eficaces
  • Capacidad de gestión adaptable, y competencia empresarial en los negocios y las empresas
  • Organizaciones, grupos y asociaciones locales (que representan a los pobres), como elementos esenciales
  • Partes interesadas bien relacionadas que se involucran activamente y muestran un sentimiento de responsabilidad con respecto a los procesos de desarrollo
  • Aprendizaje permanente de todas las partes interesadas

El capítulo siguiente explica cómo aplicar cada una de las piedras angulares, y describe los campos y entornos institucionales en que la Guía podrá hacer contribuciones útiles para el análisis de situaciones, el desarrollo de estrategias y su posterior evaluación. Finalmente, hay un anexo que facilita informaciones detalladas sobre métodos de implementación y vínculos con información sobre estudios de caso y otros recursos.

Author Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
Publisher Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
Eschborn, Alemania
Number of Pages 70 pp.
Primary Language Spanish (es)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Development Rural, Rural Economics, Rural Financial Markets
Related Resources
Guide to Rural Economic Enterprise Development Guideline 2003

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This resource appears in: Business planning

The Rural Economic and Enterprise Development (REED) approach aims at diversification and innovation of the rural economy, increasing its market orientation, and fostering value addition to rural products. The intensification of agriculture and the transformation of agricultural and natural resource products will lead to additional non-farm employment, increased local incomes, and greater demand for local agricultural and non-farm products. REED therefore aims at stimulating and enhancing the sectoral links between agriculture, agribusiness (which forward and backward links to agriculture) and non-agricultural economic activities (including service provision).

REED views entrepreneurs and the private sector as the main drivers of sustainable rural development, and emphasises the importance of providing an enabling environment for marketoriented economic activities. However, REED also has a public policy element, which focuses on the provision of basic rural infrastructure (soft and hard) and services that foster poverty reduction and economic growth. Rural economic and enterprise development needs a policy environment conducive to fostering investment and increased effectiveness of existing public and private institutions. Public policy needs to strike a balance between the public interest in reducing poverty levels and improving the livelihoods of the majority of the population on the one hand and, on the other, stimulating efficient markets as a basic element of sustainable economic development.

Although agriculture remains the most important livelihood of the rural poor, REED has the potential to help them to diversify their income-generating activities by stimulating engagement in value addition to rural products and in non-farm production and services, which provide additional income opportunities and reduce household risk. It allows people to graduate from subsistence and food security activities to improved, diversified and sustainable livelihoods.

After a chapter covering background details and rationale, chapter 2 presents the ten cornerstones for successful intervention in rural economic and enterprise development:

  1. An enabling environment that provides for an attractive investment climate and fosters dynamic entrepreneurship;
  2. Adequate mechanisms and structures that address local needs;
  3. Active private sector institutions and linkages;
  4. Functioning and effective infrastructure (hard and soft);
  5. Access to integrated and open markets;
  6. Access to effective and efficient support services and resources;
  7. Adaptive management capacity and entrepreneurial competence within business and enterprises;
  8. Local organisations, groups and associations (representing the poor) as building blocks;
  9. Active participation in and ownership of development processes by well-linked stakeholders; and
  10. Ongoing learning from success and failure by all stakeholders.

Chapter 3 describes how to apply them, and discusses areas and institutional settings where the Guide can make useful contributions to situation analysis, strategy development and evaluation. The Annex provides detailed information on implementation methods and links to case study information and other resources.

Author GTZ (Editeur)
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Agricultural Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Interventions, Enterprise Development
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Compétences en gestion pour les petits producteurs de semences Document 2002

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This resource appears in: Business planning

Le présent manuel vise à améliorer les compétences en gestion des petits producteurs de semences. Il est destiné aux petits producteurs agricoles, aux petits entrepreneurs et aux institutions communautaires intéressées dans la production des semences agricoles à des fins commerciaux. Il a été conçu pour les personnes n’ayant pas une expérience ou une éducation formelle dans la production des semences. Pour une meilleure compréhension des sujets traités dans ce manuel, il pourrait être utile de recourir à l’assistance des ONG ou des agents de vulgarisation. Le document comprend les thèmes suivants:

  • Pourquoi créer une entreprise de semences ?
  • Prendre la décision de créer une entreprise de semences
  • La planification de l’entreprise
  • Tenir une comptabilité pour développer votre entreprise
  • Connaître le marché
  • Développer et organiser votre entreprise

Enfin, le document fournit un exemple de plan d’entreprise et un glossaire sur le langage commercial.

Rural Women in Africa: Ideas for Earning Money Multimedia 2001 English (en)

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This interactive resource is the first in a series under development by IWTC in partnership with Media One, Kampala and IDRC/Acacia Project, Nairobi. The "computer book" as the narrator refers to it, is for rural African women entrepreneurs who have access to a computer through a telecentre but no experience in using one. The computer book is available online for direct use, free of charge, by those who have access to an internet connection and can also be obtained on CD-ROM.

The “computer book” is made up of three main sections plus an introduction and uses a visual format with audio narration for ease of access by those with minimal or no education. The sections are as follows:

  • Introduction – explains the computer and how to use it, explains the purpose of the “computer book” and how to navigate through it using the navigational tools.
  • Starting with what we have – recognition of the resources women have and thinking of new ideas for using what they have.
  • Making money from a product or service – guidance on choosing a product or service, pricing the product or service, getting the product to the customer and promoting the product or service.
  • Expanding our opportunities – exploring new ways of making money, diversifying the current business and how to find the money needed.

The programme is particularly practical as it uses an interactive learning process to promote problem-solving, introduces new ideas and uses experience gained from other successful small-business learning materials. The real life situations and identification of resources within Uganda provide a good example for adaptation to the local situation.

Rural Women in Africa: Ideas for Earning Money  -  English (en)

Publisher International Women’s Tribune Centre; IDRC
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Money Management, Gender Equality, Enterprise Development, Income Generation
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Gestión de Nuevos Negocios para la Microempresa Rural Reference Material 2001

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Manual de contenido y métodos para capacitadores

El propósito principal de este completo y detallado manual es contribuir a llenar un vacío de información aplicada sobre conceptos, modelos, enfoques y, sobre todo instrumentos prácticos útiles para generar y realizar negocios en el mundo de la producción secundaria de pequeña escala, decir, las pequeñas empresas y microempresas rurales.

Este manual pone énfasis en el concepto de agronegocio, o simplemente de negocio, concebido como una oportunidad entre otras, para que la población con bajos recursos y sin tierra de las áreas rurales, pueda generar su fuente principal de ingresos o complementar los ingresos que obtiene de otras actividades lucrativas. El manual se centra en el empresario, no en la empresa, e intenta ofrecer a esta figura clave de la actividad económica elementos conceptuales y herramientas que le permitan materializar su capacidad potencial para realizar negocios rentables.

Para la preparación de este manual, los autores han considerado en forma particular, a los pequeños empresarios y las personas que desearían convertirse en tales, en áreas como el agroturismo, las manufacturas rurales, las pequeñas agroindustrias que procesan alimentos o materias primas de origen vegetal o animal, los pequeños talleres que reparan o construyen en áreas rurales, los artesanos que basan su producción en técnicas ancestrales o tradicionales, las pequeñas empresas que proveen servicios de transporte o comercialización, etc.

A grandes rasgos, este manual cubre los siguientes aspectos:

  1. Tendencias y nuevos escenarios empresariales
  2. La inteligencia empresarial
  3. Crear el concepto de negocio
  4. El plan de negocios para el nuevo negocio
  5. Investigación de mercado del nuevo negocio
  6. Determinación del precio de venta de un producto o servicio
  7. El plan de marketing del nuevo negocio
  8. El plan de operaciones del nuevo negocio
  9. Gestión financiera del nuevo negocio
  10. Técnicas administrativas para gestionar el nuevo negocio
  11. La empresa en el largo plazo: la planificación estratégica

Asimismo, se presentan una serie de consideraciones finales y bibliografía recomendada.

Doing a Feasibility Study: Training Activities for Starting or Reviewing a Small Business Article 2000 English (en)

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This manual is part of a series entitled “Appropriate Business Skills for Third World Women”, which makes years of “how to” experience readily available to trainers and programmers. This particular volume is focused on providing training which will help women identify new business ideas and decide if they are feasible or review their existing business enterprises to see if they can be improved. The materials were developed in Somalia, Senegal, Honduras and Peru. The training is oriented to group businesses but is equally applicable to individual businesses and is appropriate for many kinds and sizes of business.

The entire programme requires about two to three months of part time involvement to complete. The first phase involves a structured learning programme of about 25 hours, which can be spread over 1 - 3 weeks. Participants are then invited to do their own feasibility study, including attendance at a planning meeting, field visits to gather information and several 1-2 hour meetings to discuss and analyse information and make business plans. Topics covered in the structured learning include:

  • Why do a feasibility study?
  • Choose a product or service to sell
  • Find out if people will buy our product or service
  • Determine how the business will operate
  • Calculate business expenses
  • Estimate sales income
  • Decide if the business is a good idea

The manual contains many examples of visual materials that can be used to stimulate discussion and recommends much local observation and information-gathering visits. This helps to overcome literacy problems.

The manual is an extremely rich resource for people involved in front line training for small business development.

Doing a Feasibility Study: Training Activities for Starting or Reviewing a Small Business  -  English (en)

Author Kindervatter, S.; (Ed.);
Publisher OEF International, UNIFEM
Number of Pages 170 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Business Planning, Marketing, Business Development Services
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Improve Your Business. Basics Article 1999 English (en)

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This training guide is aimed at decision makers in small and medium sized businesses interested in developing their business skills, as well as trainers and consultants who may be needing to advise small enterprises. It is part of the Start and Improve your Business series and replaces previous editions. The authors'argue that entrepreneurs will have to enhance their practical management skills by developing active and creative thinking processes in order to survive in a competitive marketplace where profitability and growth are key.

Improve your Business takes a practical approach to business management, incorporating step-by-step guidelines, action plans, practical exercises and a glossary. The book includes chapters on:

  • marketing
  • costing and financial planning
  • buying and stock control and
  • recordkeeping

There is an associated Trainer's Guide (price USD 6.95)which shows how to use this material to run a 40 hour training course.

Improve Your Business. Basics  -  English (en)

Author Borgenvall, M.; Jarskog, H.; Murray, B.; Karlstedt, C.
Publisher International Labour Organization (ILO)
Number of Pages 174 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Management Development, Business Management, Entrepreneurship, Small Scale Industry, Small Enterprise
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Identifying and Assessing Market Opportunities for Small-Scale Rural Producers Document 1999 English (en)

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This manual is a tool for promoting a greater business and market orientation within the rural sector of small-scale producers. Not only will does it try to promote the diversification and processing of agricultural production, but it also to help detect market opportunities for traditional products of rural economies, in fresh or processed form. It can also be used to promote a business approach by including formal agronomic, agro-industrial, livestock, and commercial characterization plus economic evaluations of potential market options. In addition, the manual proposes a participatory procedure that involves the small-scale rural producer from the beginning in the research process.

The general objective is for the reader or trainee to be able to facilitate or participate in the process of identifying and evaluating market opportunities for small-scale rural producers in a given territory. These market options will (a) exhibit market demand, (b) be feasible in the territory under consideration, and (c) be accepted by the community of small-scale rural producers.

More specifically, after completing this manual the reader or trainee should be able to:

  • Understand basic background concepts related to market opportunity identification for small-scale rural producers in a given territory;
  • Plan and execute a participatory rapid market survey for a given territory;
  • Establish selection criteria for market options targeted to small-scale rural producers;
  • Characterize and screen market options for a given territory;
  • Plan and execute an evaluation process of market options by the rural community.

This manual is targeted to rural development practitioners (professionals and technicians) in the public and private sectors, who are dedicated to research, development or training. In this context, the manual can be used either as a field guide or as training material. The manual contains exercises, practices and a glossary to facilitate training processes. Additionally, this manual is directed to high school, college and university professors teaching subjects related to agricultural sciences, rural development, agro-industry, and participatory research.

This manual is designed ideally for use in its entirety, because it describes a logical process. The first section provides important concepts that can enrich the subsequent research and analytical process. The second section, the Rapid Market Survey, generates the first product portfolio, while the third section provides a two-stage screening procedure to eliminate unfeasible or inconvenient market options. The execution of the complete proposed methodology will result in abundant information for solid decision-making that will result in less business risk.

Identifying and Assessing Market Opportunities for Small-Scale Rural Producers  -  English (en)

Author Carlos F. Ostertag
Publisher CIAT - Centre International de l'Agriculture Tropicale
Number of Pages 180 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Agricultural Marketing, Market Intelligence
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International Best Practices in Micro and Small Enterprise Development Paper 1999

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This working paper forms part of a series of six prepared under the ILO/UNDP project on micro and small enterprise (MSE) development in Thailand. It aims to review some of the international best practice in the area of business development services and assess the potential for replication of some of the more promising approaches in Thailand.

This paper contends that MSEs require two types of services: financial services and non-financial services - also known as business development services. Financial services help entrepreneurs acquire the means for establishing or expanding a business (e.g. finance for machinery, production premises, and working capital). Business development services (BDS) refer to the provision of information, knowledge and skills, as well as advice on the various aspects of a business. The definition used in this paper implies a conscious action performed by the service provider for the benefit of the receiver of the service.

The paper also notes that the impact of BDS depends on the proficiency of the service provider and on the use made by MSEs of other services. BDS should be demand driven it argues, and the owner of the enterprise should recognise the need for BDS assistance. However, the service provider may also have a role in helping the entrepreneur to identify the specific problems of the enterprise, and in offering appropriate assistance.

Eight guiding principles of best practice in BDS are initially set out. The paper then moves onto to an assessment of BDS, including a review of indicators of good practice, an assessment of MSE needs and a discussion on assessing performance of BDS providers. Section three looks at BDS instruments such as training, access to information, technology development and transfer, access to larger and more profitable markets, and consultancy and counseling services. The final section assesses the provision of BDS, beginning with a look at BDS providers that have a record of good performance. This section also covers the topic of strengthening the capacity of service providers as well as lessons learnt from international best practice.

Empowerment through Enterprise: A training manual for non-government organizations Training Guide 1996 English (en)

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This manual has been written to help those involved in providing training to NGO staff and others, whose job it is to assist poor people to start or sustain micro-enterprises. The emphasis of the book is on NGO staff but some parts of the book are equally useful for training government staff, bankers or employees of private enterprises which run programmes to help micro-enterprises. NGOs are themselves enterprises and many are badly mismanaged. They may not have up to date accounts or accurate records of who owes them money; they may fail to communicate effectively with their clients or their financiers. It is particularly important that those who are engaged in training or advising poor people to start and run micro enterprises should be able to demonstrate the same skills themselves in the management of their own organisations.

For this reason, the sessions in the ten and a half day course outlined in this book, lead from the consideration of the management of micro enterprises to the management of the NGOs themselves. There are no sessions about participatory rural appraisal or needs assessment or project appraisal. This book is based on what is felt to be a more genuinely participatory approach in that it aims to help train NGO staff to help poor people do what they want to do. Detailed notes are provided for each session, together with any handouts that are required, e.g. for a case study or exercise. Session topics include:

  • Generating business ideas
  • Business planning
  • The financial reality of an enterprise
  • The practical use of business figures
  • How to obtain business information in the field
  • Women in micro enterprise
  • Group or individual enterprises?
  • Introduction to marketing
  • What do goods and services cost?
  • rates of return and the cost of money
  • Finance and strategy for NGOs
Empowerment Through Enterprise: A Training Manual for Non-government Organizations  -  English (en)

Author Harper, M.
Publisher ITDG Publishing
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Enterprise Development, Non-Governmental Organisations (Ngos), Business Development Services
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Management of Fisherfolk Microenterprises: A manual for training of trainers Training Guide 1993

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The Bay of Bengal Programme (BOBP) is a multiagency regional fisheries programme which covers seven countries around the Bay of Bengal – Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The programme tries to develop, demonstrate and promote new technologies, methodologies and ideas to help improve the conditions of small-scale fisherfolk communities in member countries. The creation of small village businesses is one strategy for individual upliftment as well as strengthening village-level economic development.

This manual is aimed at NGOs already involved with fisherfolk as well as those interested in such work, in the training of village field workers. It provides guidance for giving advice to those involved in fishing businesses and falls neatly into the client advice category of the Rural Finance Learning Centre Library, where we aim to provide resources that ultimately help people to improve skills to reduce their vulnerability and, at the same time, create more effective and reliable clients for rural financial institutions.

Section I begins with the basics of starting a business. It covers topics such as identifying business ideas, feasibility assessment, ownership and implementations. Section II covers the key facets of actually running a business. It looks at topics that are relevant to the day-to-day management of the business – such as, understanding and communicating with customers, production/manufacturing, buying and stocking, pricing, accounting and managing day-to-day finances.

Each chapter begins by setting out the key items to be covered by that particular topic. The chapters contain useful graphical illustrations as well as a list of key activities that can be undertaken during training. Finally, each chapter ends with a useful summary of key points to remember.

Author Velu Muthu, PSA Kunchitha Padam and Devi Bhatnagar
Publisher Bay of Bengal Programme for Fisheries
Number of Pages 183 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Business Planning, Fisheries Sector, Business Start-Up
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Planificación Agrícola Económica a Nivel de Finca Document 1991

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Los agricultores requieren más de su fuerza de trabajo y conocimientos de agricultura para poder administrar sus fincas. Requieren entender que sus fincas son negocios o empresas y que por lo tanto, deben ser dirigidas como tales. La toma de decisiones sobre el manejo de su siembra y crianza de animales se debe hacer a un nivel empresarial. El agricultor debe además conocer los elementos técnicos de su actividad económica, así como los conocimientos comerciales respecto a la compra de sus insumos y a la venta de sus productos. De otro lado, es necesario que cuente con los conocimientos financieros y económicos tanto para el mejor manejo del dinero como el de sus recursos de producción, así como a asumir los riesgos inherentes de su actividad productiva. De igual manera, el agricultor debe planificar, es decir ‘tomar en cuenta las experiencias del pasado y pensar en el futuro con vistas a tomar acción’ para el mejor manejo de su finca.

Este documento representa una guía que permite a las entidades financieras proveer asesoría en planificación agrícola económica a sus clientes productores que operan a nivel de finca. La guía se inicia con la definición de los objetivos, conceptos de planificación y terminología a usarse a lo largo del aprendizaje. Posteriormente explica los términos de la planificación agrícola económica, que comprende la planificación en el uso de los recursos de la agricultura (humanos, naturales y económicos), la combinación de los mismos y un ejemplo de modelo básico que permite ilustrar la forma de planificar el uso de estos recursos.

Como siguiente tema se describen las herramientas de la planificación, que pueden ser usadas en el desarrollo de la planificación agrícola y económica de la finca, las cuales son:

  • El cálculo de depreciación de los activos de la finca(herramientas y máquinas diversas).
  • El presupuesto de actividades separadas, el cual es ilustrado con un ejemplo y con un ejercicio práctico a desarrollar.
  • El flujo de mano de obra, el cual también se describe de manera extensiva e incluye un ejemplo y un ejercicio práctico a desarrollar.
  • El flujo de los ingresos y costos en efectivo de la actividad.
  • El resumen del flujo de ingresos y costos en efectivo.

La siguiente sección enfoca el análisis de los resultados de los cálculos previamente realizados. Finalmente se concluye con la recomendación del uso de una hoja o cuaderno de control para poder llevar una mejor planificación agrícola. Asimismo, se incluyen dos anexos, un ejemplo ilustrativo sobre la planificación de la crianza de cerdos que incluye todos los pasos a seguir, previamente discutidos en las anteriores secciones, y unos cuadros que corresponden a posibles respuestas a las tareas a desarrollar de las anteriores secciones.

Author C. Miller, E. Ramirez, M. Sanz
Publisher Asociación Menonita de Desarrollo Economico - MEDA
Number of Pages 42 pp.
Primary Language Spanish (es)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Operational Planning, Financial Planning
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Herramienta Empresarial Website Spanish (es)

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La Caja de Herramientas Empresarial, un proyecto de la Corporación Financiera Internacional, un miembro del Grupo del Banco Mundial, ofrece información gratis en la gestión y la capacitación de pequeños negocios o pequeñas y micro empresas, en temas como contabilidad y finanzas, plan de negocios, recursos humanos, comercialización y ventas, operaciones e innovación tecnología y diseño, entre otros.

La Caja de Herramientas Empresarial ofrece un elevado rango de artículos de cómo hacer las cosas, modelos de negocios, acceso gratuito a software para negocios, capacitación en línea, ejercicios de auto examen, juegos, y recursos para apoyar a los emprendedores, dueños de negocios, y gerentes en economías emergentes y países en desarrollo para empezar, financiar, formalizar y hacer crecer sus negocios.

El sitio web es construido alrededor de siete áreas claves de actividad:

  • Contabilidad y Finanzas
  • Planificación de Negocios
  • Recursos Humanos
  • Aspectos Legales y Seguros
  • Marketing y Ventas
  • Operaciones
  • Tecnología

Cada sección contiene un vinculo a un rango de sub temas, donde Ud. puede acceder y descargar una serie de recursos tales como las referidos anteriormente (articulos, modelos de negocios, software, etc).

Es de particular atención, que el sitio contiene herramientas regionales y geográficamente adaptadas, las cuales pueden ser accesibles en una variedad de idiomas. Estas herramientas han sido modificadas teniendo en cuenta las reglas locales y la legislación de cada región especifica.

Herramienta Empresarial  -  Spanish (es)

Community-based tree and forest enterprises Website English (en) Spanish (es) French (fr)

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This website includes links to the useful Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) materials. MA&D aims at identifying and encouraging micro and small-scale tree and forest product enterprises in order to strengthen peoples' livelihood strategies in rural communities, while at the same time ensuring sustainable use of natural resources. The MA&D process is based on one preliminary planning phase and three successive main phases:

  1. Identifying potential enterprises; making inventories of existing resources and products; identifying products that are already providing income for local people; and, eliminating non-viable products. Financial objectives are determined by the people who are interested in developing enterprises.
  2. Selecting the most promising products, identifying potential markets and discussing the means to commercialise the products.
  3. Preparing the enterprise strategy and business plans. Future entrepreneurs are guided through a pilot phase and training, learning to monitor their progress and to adapt when change is needed.

This website provide links to the MA&D materials which are all downloadable. These are:

  • Users' guide to the field manual
  • Introduction: Defining where you want to end up
  • Phase 1: Assess the existing situation
  • Phase 2: Identify products, markets and means of marketing
  • Phase 3: Plan enterprises for sustainable development
  • Case Study: Designing tree, forest and home garden product enterprises for sustainable development
  • Map of process

The publications include Field Facilitators' Guidelines. Examples of the MA&D method being applied in Colombia, Ganbia and Uganda are featured on the site.

Community-based forest enterprise development  -  English (en)

Empresas comunitarias de productos forestales  -  Spanish (es)

Développement des entreprises forestières communautaires  -  French (fr)

Petites entreprises communautaires de produits forestiers Website French (fr) English (en) Spanish (es)

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Ce site internet inclus des ressources du programme « Analyse et Développement des Marchés » (ADM). L´ADM a le but d´identifier et développer des petites entreprises viables de produits forestiers. Ces entreprises ont pour objectif de soutenir les stratégies de subsistance des hommes et des femmes des communautés rurales à travers la génération de meilleurs revenus, assurant en même temps l´utilisation durable des ressources naturelles. L’ADM se déroule en une phase préliminaire et trois phases principales :

  • la première phase analyse les entreprises potentielles, dresse un inventaire des ressources et des produits existants, identifie des produits qui sont déjà en train de fournir des revenus aux populations locales et élimine les produits qui ne sont pas viables. Les objectifs économiques des entreprises sont définis par les populations locales concernées ;
  • la deuxième phase comprend la sélection des produits de valeur, l’identification des débouchés commerciaux potentiels, et la prise en compte des moyens nécessaires à la mise sur le marché ;
  • la troisième phase sert à préparer la stratégie et le plan de développement de l’entreprise. Les futurs chefs d’entreprises sont guidés durant une phase d’expérimentation et apprennent à suivre le progrès de leurs entreprises et à s’adapter aux changements nécessaires.

Ce site internet fournit également des liens pour télécharger des documents de l’ADM. Ils se présentent sous la forme de six livrets et d’une présentation générale :

  • un guide des utilisateurs du manuel ;
  • une introduction : définition des concepts ;
  • une phase 1 : analyser la situation existante ;
  • une phase 2 : sélectionner les produits, les marchés et les modes de commercialisation ;
  • une phase 3 : planifier des entreprises dans un cadre de développement durable ;
  • une étude de cas : création d’entreprises de produits forestiers pour un développement durable ;
  • une présentation de la méthodologie ADM.

Il est également possible de trouver un ensemble d’études de cas dans le but d’analyser quelles sont les conditions les plus favorables pour développer des petites entreprises de produits forestiers. Des études ont été menées en Gambie, Colombie, Ouganda et Buhoma.

Développement des entreprises forestières communautaires  -  French (fr)

Community-based forest enterprise development  -  English (en)

Empresas comunitarias de productos forestales  -  Spanish (es)

Empresas comunitarias de productos forestales Website Spanish (es) English (en) English (en)

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Este sitio web incluye vínculos a materiales útiles de Análisis de Mercado y Desarrollo (AM&D). El AM&D busca identificar y alentar las empresas comunitarias de productos forestales, de micro y pequeña escala, para fortalecer las estrategias de medios de vida de las comunidades rurales, mientras que al mismo tiempo asegura el uso sostenible de los recursos naturales. El proceso de AM&D está basado en una fase preliminar de planeamiento y tres sucesivas fases:

  1. Identificando empresas potenciales; haciendo inventario de productos y recursos existentes; identificando productos que ya proporcionan ingresos para gente local; y eliminando productos no viables. Los objetivos financieros so determinados por la gente interesada en el desarrollo de las empresas.
  2. Seleccionando los productos más prometedores, identificando mercados potenciales y discutiendo los términos de comercialización de productos.
  3. Preparando las estrategias y planes de negocios. Los futuros emprendedores son guiados a través de una fase piloto y entrenamiento, aprenden a monitorear su progreso y adaptarlo cuando el cambio es requerido.

Este sitio web brinda vínculos a los materiales de AM&D los cuales son todos descargables. Estos son:

  • Guía de usuarios al manual de campo
  • Introducción: definiendo a donde uno quiere llegar.
  • Fase 1: evaluando la situación existente
  • Fase 2: identificando productos, mercados y medios de comercialización
  • Fase 3: planeando empresas para el desarrollo sostenible
  • Casos de estudio: diseñando empresas de viveros caseros para desarrollo sostenible.
  • Mapa de procesos

Las publicaciones incluyen la Guía de Facilitadores de Campo. En el sitio web también se presentan ejemplos de cómo el método AM&D es aplicado en Colombia, Gambia y Uganda.

Empresas comunitarias de productos forestales  -  Spanish (es)

Community-based forest enterprise development  -  English (en)

Développement des entreprises forestières communautaires  -  English (en)

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