Business Support Services: General

It is widely recognised that poor clients need more than finance to break out of conditions of poverty. In the first instance they may need to overcome health problems and malnutrition. Then they may have complicated decisions to make in terms of how to earn money, whether to develop new enterprises, which technologies to adopt, where to sell produce, how to react to problems, how to manage multiple demands on limited cash resources and how to build up assets for security or larger investments. Thus an ideal situation would see rural households receiving a coordinated combination of services to improve their health, nutrition, family planning, education, business activities and so on.

Many development organisations that have moved into the provision of microfinance, do also provide other services. However, if they need to cover costs and remain financially viable, it raises questions about whether or not non-banking services can be provided on a sustainable basis. There are a number of successful "credit with education" models, which use the group-based approach to microfinance as an opportunity to provide low-cost education services to clients. There has also been a growing interest in providing business development services as a commercial enterprise in recent years and experience and innovations have been increasing in this field.

Library Resources

resource title type year resource
Jobs from Agriculture in Afghanistan Book 2018

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

The agriculture sector can play an important role in poverty reduction and sustained growth in Afghanistan, primarily through job creation, improved productivity, and inclusiveness. Using an 'agricultural jobs lens' and multidimensional approach, this report explores the sector’s direct and indirect roles in explaining the dynamics of rural employment. The report critically examines three dimensions. First, it evaluates the current jobs structure in rural areas and finds that rural jobs are concentrated in cereal agriculture, especially in wheat, which reflects why the returns from jobs in agriculture are low in Afghanistan. Second, it analyzes the inclusive nature of agriculture jobs for vulnerable groups such as women, youth, those who are landless, and the bottom 40 percent of income earners. The analysis finds that although agriculture jobs are inclusive, many women and youth participate as voluntary family workers because they are unable to access markets and/or find paid jobs in the nonfarm sector. Third, the report evaluates the role of public and private sector interventions in supporting job creation in agriculture. It was argued that interventions can work and that there is significant scope to scale them up. Overall, the report exhibits many insights about the state of Afghanistan's rural labor market and provides guidance for formulating effective job-creation policies for the rural population. The key recommendations provide a pathway to achieve sustained and inclusive job growth through diversification toward high-value crops and livestock, linking farmers to markets through continued investment in connectivity and rural infrastructure, a balanced development strategy for an enabling environment for farm and nonfarm sectors, and strengthening the private sector presence in agriculture and its linkage with the public sector to agribusiness. In tandem, it is important to improve the design structure of jobs measurement for rural jobs, especially jobs in agriculture tailored to sectoral context.

Inclusive business models for the integration of smallholders into agrifood value chains Brief 2015

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

Inclusive business models promote the integration of smallholders into markets, with the underlying principle that there are mutual benefits for poor farmers and the business community. A business model describes how any given enterprise – large or small, informal or formal – creates and markets its products or services, obtains fi- nance, and sources inputs. Each enterprise has its own unique business model.

The range of business models that make up an agricultural value chain include farm enterprises, traders, agroprocessors, wholesalers, transporters, warehouses and retailers, among others.

An inclusive business model approach reinforces the value chain by focusing exclusively on strengthening business models that link small farmers to value chains. Smallholder business models include traders, farmer organizations, agrifood processors and large buyers.

Author FAO, Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division
Publisher FAO
Rome, Italy
Number of Pages 4 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Business Advice, business models, Small Farmers, Small Enterprise, value chain
Related Resources
Farm Digital Reference Material 2015 English (en)

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

Farm Digital, an initiative that involves a.o. ICCO and WUR (Wageningen Agricultural University). Farm Digital develops a practical web-based service for farmers and cooperatives that minimizes certification work. The service helps farmers to collect the right documents, quickly answer questions and easily share with their auditor. Farm Digital also develops an accessible international standard that makes exchanging certification data much more efficient.

Farm Digital Website  -  English (en)

Author Farm Digital
Publisher Farm Digital
Number of Pages 2 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords web-based service, Agriculture
Related Resources
Guidelines for improving linkages between producer groups and buyers of agricultural produce Guideline 2015

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

Small actors in agricultural value chains are tied to markets through a series of forward and backward business linkages, which incorporate various types of business models. The complexity of these business models varies according to the commodity, number of actors involved, local context and market structure. Aimed at designers of agricultural value chain projects, rural development projects and enterprise development projects, together with grassroots NGOs that implement smallholder commercialization projects, these guidelines have been developed to facilitate the design and implementation of interventions that strengthen business models linking smallholders to value chains. An important contribution of this publication to existing literature on agricultural value chains is the guidance it provides on designing business model strategies that do not only link smallholders to markets, but that also encourage practitioners to consider the quality of market inclusion and its impact on poverty reduction.

Author Kelly, S. ; Vergara, N; Bammann, H.
Publisher FAO
Rome, Italy
Number of Pages 128 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Business Advice, Agricultural Value Chain, Agribusiness Linkages, Market Linkages
Related Resources
Microentrepreneurs and Their Money: Three Anomalies Paper 2007

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

This is an interesting paper relating to some ongoing research being undertaken primarily in India. The authors are interested in how microfinance clients manage their cash and what drives and constrains their investment behaviour. In this paper they discuss three observations from the field which they believe should affect product design in financial institutions and also lead to a number of non-credit interventions.

The first observation concerns the persistence of borrowing cycles. Given the high cost of borrowing, it is striking that many individuals find themselves in perpetual debt. Surveys conducted among microentrepreneurs such as vegetable vendors in both India and the Philippines showed that the majority used high interest short term loans to finance daily working capital. Very few reported attempting to substitute borrowing with savings. This is what puzzled the researchers – why do vendors not put aside some profits and borrow less? Their calculations showed the following: "Saving 10 Rupees a day, a vendor would have 1000 Rupees saved for working capital in only 28 days. Saving 5 Rupees a day, it would take a vendor 33 days. Saving just 1 Rupee a day, it would take 50 days. She then saves one hundred rupee a day in interest expense, which is roughly $2 a day, enough to raise the person above the poverty level." The researchers examine a number of possible explanations for this and conclude that improving mental accounting and financial planning, plus access to a savings lock box may help people to switch from a debt cycle to a savings cycle.

The second observation is the lack of joint production ventures. Many MFI models are built on a foundation of group solidarity. This being the case, the researchers wonder why there are not more instances of profitable joint production. If social collateral is powerful enough to overcome information asymmetries in the credit markets for formal sector lenders, why haven’t poor individuals come together for years to engage in more profitable production ventures when there are economies of scale to small operations? Even activities that rely on minimal cooperation such as joint purchase of items which benefit from bulk discounts are not commonly observed. Extrapolating this back to groups used by MFIs, they conclude that joint liability groups may significantly discourage people from using these services.

The final observation concerns the consequences of labour and rental market failures on the decisions of microentrepreneurs. The researchers suggest that perhaps more investment should be made in businesses that provide employment or rent out capital equipment. Currently MFIs over-emphasize entrepreneurship.

Author Ananth, B.; Karlan, D.; Mullainathan, S.
Number of Pages 18 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global, Asia, Southern Asia
India
Keywords Microenterprise, Financial Management, Investment Decisions
Related Resources
Financially Viable Training for Microentrepreneurs: the Business Model of ACCION ABCs of Business Paper 2006

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

This Insight considers the question of whether organisations can offer business training services to microentrepreneurs and recover their costs so they can operate sustainably over time. It notes that microentrepreneurs have limited ability to pay for such services, and the large amount of capital required to develop them makes it difficult for organisations to break even without donor subsidies.

In reflecting on the sustainability issue the short paper describes the business model of the ACCION ABCs of Business training program, and its efforts to promote financial viability in its own operations and the operations of the institutions to which it licenses its training materials. It also details lessons ACCION has learned about providing sustainable business development services and how lessons were incorporated into the program’s structure.

The paper begins by discussing funding start-up costs and the challenge of developing an effective structure to provide large-scale training. In particular, it is highlighted that the model had to provide:

  • Significant coverage and impact on the clients receiving training
  • Ability to recover costs (i.e. achieve financial sustainability)
  • Ease of replication in different settings around the world

Striving for complete cost recovery is then discussed looking at: cost recovery for the ACCION ABCs of Business team, cost recovery over time for the ACCION ABCs of Business team and cost recovery of local training institutions. The paper then expands further on finding local training institutions in terms of both the qualities it seeks and how it actually seeks them out.

Author Guzman, D.
Publisher ACCION
Number of Pages 10 pp.
Volume / Issue# No. 20
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Training Methodology, Business Development, Microentrepreneur
Related Resources
Teaching Entrepreneurship: Impact of Business Training on Microfinance Clients and Institutions Paper 2006

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

This study measures the impact of a business training program for female micro entrepreneur clients of a group banking program in Peru. Using the credit with education model, the researchers assigned clients randomly to either treatment or control groups. Treatment groups received thirty to sixty minute entrepreneurship training sessions during their normal weekly group banking meeting. These lasted between one to two years. Control groups remained as they were before, meeting weekly with the group banking program solely for making loan and savings payments. The study shows strong benefits for the microfinance institution, as well as improved business processes and knowledge by the clients. Also, there are a strong positive impacts on repayment rates and client retention for FINCA, the lender. Clients also report engaging in some of the exact activities being taught in the program: separate money between business and household, reinvest profits in the business as much as possible, maintain records of sales and expenses, and think proactively about new markets and opportunities for profits. However, these changes did not lead to a measurable increase in business income or assets.

Several reasons could exist for the lack of impact on business income or assets:

  • these are likely the noisiest to measure, and hence perhaps true impacts have occurred but simply are not detectable;
  • the length of time, one to two years, may not be long enough to measure the impact;
  • related to the first and second, perhaps the true impact of making these changes to ones business process are simply too small to detect with this sample size;
  • these business changes, listed above, do not in fact lead to improved business income or assets. These may be the type of business processes that good entrepreneurs do, but merely doing these activities is not sufficient to become a good entrepreneur;
  • further experimentation, perhaps with tighter control or influence on the changes in business practices, may be necessary in order to establish whether these practices are indeed beneficial for individuals to undertake.

The study shows that the treatment led to higher repayment and client retention rates for the microfinance institution, improved business knowledge and practices, but no measurable impact on business income or assets.

Capacitación Financieramente Viable para Microempresarios: el Modelo de Negocios de Acción – Diálogo de Gestiones Paper 2006

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

Este artículo de la serie InSight de ACCION presenta la experiencia del programa de capacitación para microempresarios que ACCION implementa, llamado Diálogo de Gestiones. Esta experiencia responde a la interrogante que generalmente se plantean las instituciones de microfinanzas al ofrecer servicios de capacitación: es posible ofrecerlos de manera financieramente viable y sostenible en el tiempo, sin necesidad de contar con subsidios o donaciones.

El programa de Diálogo de Gestiones se inició con apoyo de un fondo proveniente del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo y en el tiempo demostró que su modelo de gestión podía ser financieramente sostenible.

ACCION aplica un sistema de franquicia para la entrega del programa de capacitación. A través de este sistema, las instituciones financieras compran las licencias de los materiales de capacitación, a través de las cuales adquieren los derechos de uso de los materiales de capacitación, recibir asistencia técnica y otros recursos adicionales para los instructores. De esa manera, ACCION entrena a instructores locales. En ocasiones, ACCION también implementa el programa de manera directa con los clientes finales.

La sostenibilidad financiera del programa se pone en evidencia a lo largo del artículo. ACCION cubre el 100% de sus costos de personal, mercadeo, capacitación y desarrollo de nuevos módulos de capacitación, a través de una base diversificada de ingresos (por licencias, regalías por cuadernos de trabajo, y otros recursos). Asimismo, la mayoría de entidades locales (IMFs y bancos, ONGs y universidades, cámaras de comercio, etc) que adquieren el programa de capacitación, han alcanzado en promedio en tres años, su punto de equilibrio.

De otro lado, ACCION exige a sus clientes que los servicios de capacitación, deben estar disponibles al público, que deben contar con un plan de mercado para dichos servicios; asimismo, que éstos sean de calidad y financieramente viables para los microempresarios.

Entre las lecciones aprendidas de este modelo de capacitación, se mencionan aquellas relacionadas a los siguientes temas:

  1. Identificación de las entidades que desean ser financieramente viables
  2. Peligros de acuerdos de exclusividad
  3. Monitoreo de las instituciones licenciadas
  4. La duración ideal de la licencia
  5. La diversificación del público objetivo de la capacitación.
Author Guzman, D.
Publisher ACCION
Number of Pages 12 pp.
Primary Language Spanish (es)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Microentrepreneurs
Related Resources
Good Practice in Business Development Services: How Do We Enhance Entrepreneurial Skills in MFI Clients? Paper 2006

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

The author begins by suggesting that microcredit needs to be combined with operational support in order to help entrepreneurial clients succeed in today’s market place. It is noted that any entrepreneur has to have a combination of technical, operational and strategic skills. The technical skills come with the commitment, creativity, experience and knowledge they have within their field. The operational skills (including accounting and finance, business planning, quality control, health and safety regulations, marketing and human resource management) can often pose a challenge and necessitate support. Finally, strategic skills can take an entrepreneur from the start-up phase to the next level in business management.

The paper argues that most entrepreneurs believe a lack of ongoing capital is the reason for stagnation within their businesses. While this can be an important factor, a lack of continual operational skills support also plays a strong role in Micro Small Enterprise (MSE) failure, or in MSEs not reaching their growth potential.

The following question is posed by the author: How do we enhance entrepreneurial skills in microfinance institution clients? The bulk of the paper then aims to answer that question by identifying best practices in Business Development Services offered in close partnership or integrated within microfinance institutions.

Five aspects of these services are discussed:

  • Education and Awareness: financial literacy
  • Asset Building: creating successful savings
  • Business Training
  • Networking
  • Mentoring

Some existing microfinance projects already show how microfinance institutions and business development service providers work together effectively. The final section of the paper talks through three case studies, also highlighting the main challenges faced.

Mujeres Saludables, Negocios Saludables Report 2006

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

Este estudio, desarrollado con el apoyo de la Agencia de Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (USAID) y la Red de Educación y Promoción de la Pequeña Empresa (SEEP Network), mediante su Programa de Aprendizaje para Profesionales (Practitioner Learning Program), da una mirada entre bastidores a una destacada red microfinanciera que ofrece servicios integrados de salud y microfinanzas.

El aná¡lisis se basa en datos recopilados en la primavera del 2005.El estudio se enfoca en cómo se las arregla una red para ofrecer una variedad de servicios financieros y no financieros sobre una base sostenible. Además de analizar los costos y beneficios de los servicios de salud y microfinanzas ofrecidos por tres instituciones microfinancieras (IMF) de Pro Mujer, el estudio explora cómo la demanda de la clientela, las condiciones del mercado y el contexto de un país afectan las decisiones tocantes a modelos de prestación de servicios.

El estudio no busca probar que la prestación de servicios integrados es buena o mala, ni asume que ofrecer servicios integrados es fácil o adecuado para todas las instituciones financieras. Más bien, intenta abordar realistamente los factores clave requeridos para que una institución ofrezca servicios integrados exitosamente y las limitaciones que debe superar para alcanzar la sostenibilidad.

Pro Mujer es una organización internacional dedicada a las microfinanzas y el desarrollo de la mujer con IMF en Bolivia, Nicaragua, Perú, México y Argentina. Actualmente tres IMF de Pro Mujer ofrecen una gama completa de servicios microfinancieros y de salud, así como otros servicios para el desarrollo humano. Aunque ciertas caracterí­sticas centrales definen el modelo de Pro Mujer, la organización ha permitido que su estrategia de prestación de servicios sea adaptada a las condiciones locales de cada país. Esta flexibilidad ha llevado a tres variaciones de prestación de servicios directos e indirectos, que sientan una base para analizar cómo diferentes estrategias de intervención afectan resultados diferentes, tales como satisfacción de la clientela, impacto sobre el desarrollo y desempeño financiero.

El estudio examina primero las similitudes y diferencias en las estrategias de servicios de salud de las tres IMF, y hace una apreciación de cómo sus clientes y contrapartes evalúan los beneficios de estos servicios. Luego mide el desempeño financiero de cada modelo desagregando los costos directos e indirectos atribuibles a cada servicio y asignándolos de una manera sistemática.

El estudio muestra que las clientes de Pro Mujer valoran los servicios financieros y de salud que reciben. También demuestra que las clientes han mejorado sus conocimientos y hábitos de salud, y que tienen mayor acceso a servicios de salud. Ofrecer servicios múltiples saca mayor partido de la infraestructura existente de Pro Mujer, acrecienta la lealtad de la clientela y fortalece su posición competitiva en los mercados de servicios financieros. Sin embargo, ofrecer servicios tanto financieros como de salud necesita de una significativa capacidad institucional, porque los dos programas tienen diferentes requerimientos de gestión.

El estudio concluye que los modelos de servicios integrados pueden tener un impacto positivo y sostenible, pero identifica una serie de prerrequisitos y cuestiones a la gestión que las IMF deben considerar antes de replicar un modelo de servicios integrados o el ejercicio concomitante de asignación de costos. Entre otras consideraciones, la factibilidad de la replicación se ve determinada por el compromiso de la gerencia, la capacidad institucional, la demanda de la clientela y el entorno en que se opera. Los factores que han contribuido al éxito del enfoque de Pro Mujer son sus relaciones permanentes y de largo plazo con sus clientes, la prestación de servicios ví­a centros regionales (conocidos como centros focales), cobertura rural y agrupamiento de grandes números de clientes para alcanzar escala. Finalmente, el estudio encontró que la asignación regular de costos directos e indirectos beneficia la toma de decisiones estratégicas y operativas de una institución, así­ como su capacidad para comunicarse eficientemente con los inversionistas.

Author Junkin, R.; Berry, J.; Pérez, M.E.
Publisher Pro Mujer
Number of Pages 50 pp.
Primary Language Spanish (es)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Microfinance Institutions
Related Resources
The Marginal Cost of Integrating Microfinance with Education Using the Unified Approach Paper 2006

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

Credit with Education is a methodology that integrates two services: financial and non-financial - where the fundamental purpose is to achieve a greater socioeconomic impact on its clients. This paper contends that credit is a very important resource to address obstacles related to poverty and an optimal instrument to achieve sustainability in any microfinance institution. However, the paper also notes, it is not sufficient – it argues that low income people, who are socially isolated, lack self esteem, have limited business experience, and have deficient health and nutritional conditions, need more than financial services. The living conditions of these people not only limit their possibility to become good clients, but also prevent them from developing the knowledge and skills to address their condition.

The paper suggests that while credit can make an institution sustainable, training consolidates its sustainability. Several experiences have demonstrated that non-financial services are closely related to satisfaction, loyalty, and indexes of client default. It is noted that the organizations that work with the Credit with Education services have demonstrated that through this integrated service, it is possible to render efficient educational services during the group borrower meetings. In this way, not only is the efficient use of resources achieved, but also the consolidation of an institution with social objectives.

In this paper, cost analysis and the results obtained from the credit with education service are examined. To this purpose, the successful experience of CRECER—a Bolivian institution that works with the unified service approach and has consolidated this service—is used. In the first part of the document, an analysis of the different forms of integrating education with financial services is presented. The second part consists of a description of the methodology used by CRECER, which allows a detailed understanding of the procedures used by the institution to provide the service. The third part presents a cost survey of the educational component - this survey was conducted by CRECER – and also sets out the method used for the cost estimate and the results achieved.

Finally, a series of conclusions are presented that go beyond the cost analysis. These include the author’s reflections and arguments related not only to the investments of financial services, but also to the results and impacts generated by them.

Author Isabel Rueda Fernández
Publisher CRECER
Bolivia
Number of Pages 24 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Education, Non-Financial Services, Microfinance Policy
Related Resources
Practical Skills for Microentrepreneurs: ACCION’s Experiences with its ABCs of Business Training Program Paper 2005

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

How can microentrepreneurs acquire the skills they need to compete in an uncertain business environment? In 1995, ACCION International developed a program to help microentrepreneurs improve their business skills and their ability to manage credit. ACCION ABCs of Business1 is a training program for microentrepreneurs that fosters an interactive learning environment and employs adult learning techniques to teach management skills.

This InSight describes ABCs of Business and the premises upon which it was developed. It details lessons ACCION has learned about adult education and how these lessons were incorporated into the interactive training style the program applies.

The objective of ABCs of Business is to provide microentrepreneurs with the means to develop their managerial abilities through educational methods that eliminate the barriers to learning that entrepreneurs often face. These general topics covered by ABCs of Business are presented through specific educational modules.

In addition to providing information about business management, ABCs of Business aims to develop four key abilities that help entrepreneurs turn information into action:

  • Seeing: entrepreneurs gather information to identify problems. They consider what experiences and knowledge they have to resolve these problems.
  • Analyzing: entrepreneurs are taught to find solutions to their problems by analyzing their causes and consequences.
  • Transformation: entrepreneurs establish a plan of action using the training to resolve problems or to improve the conditions for their microenterprises or their personal situations.
  • Evaluation: entrepreneurs examine which business solutions have succeeded and why, and what practices should be changed.
How can we help small enterprises? Editors Note 2005 English (en)

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

In this Editor's Note, Malcolm Harper explores the difficulty of promoting enterprise development. Most business advisers are not themselves running businesses and he highlights common mistakes that are made and some basic facts he thinks they should remember. For example, he says that in development we often assume people want to be entrepreneurs when in reality they would much rather have a decent job. Many development workers also assume that all businesses require loans from banks or MFIs whereas the vast majority of businesses, including farms, are financed from their own earnings, or with loans from family and friends, or moneylenders, or local traders.

test link  -  English (en)

Author Harper, M.
Region / Country Global
Related Resources
Synergies through Linkages: Who Benefits from Linking Finance and Business Development Services? Paper 2004

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

Access to financial and business development services (BDS) is essential for the growth and development of micro and small enterprises (MSEs). Over the past decade, these two types of services have most often been provided separately. This paper explores the synergies derived from linking them.

The central hypothesis is that MSEs in developing countries can benefit from linking finance and BDS. It is recognised, however, that this will only happen if the providers of finance and BDS also benefit from the linkage. The paper considers, therefore, the costs and benefits of linking for three main groups of actors:

  • micro and small enterprises;
  • financial service providers;
  • business development service providers.

The paper reviews over 25 examples of linked provision and distils the main costs and benefits for the actors involved. It finds that there can be major benefits, especially for those MSEs that gain access to additional services that are essential for their growth.

In addition, a six-part typology of linked service provision is proposed, based on whether the linkage is voluntary or compulsory for the client and whether delivery is provided through one unified department of an organisation, through parallel departments, or through separate partner organisations. The six resulting linkage types are (i) Unified-Compulsory, (ii) Unified-Voluntary, (iii) Parallel-Compulsory, (iv) Parallel-Voluntary, (v) Partner-Compulsory, and (vi) Partner-Voluntary. Each of these types has implications for the groups of actors involved.

The paper suggests that there is no one best type of linked service delivery, but that the circumstances of local providers and their markets will determine which approach is appropriate. It suggests, however, that voluntary provision is preferable to compulsory approaches, that the ‘unified’ or single department approach should be used sparingly, and that smaller microfinance institutions should attempt to partner instead of adding a parallel department.

This paper should be of value to practitioners and policymakers. It seeks to stimulate a new discussion on MSE growth and employment creation through linked service delivery.

Author Sievers, M. and Vandberg, P.
Publisher International Labour Organization
Number of Pages 44 pp.
Volume / Issue# 64
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Business Development Services, Financial Linkages, Enterprise Development
Related Resources
Combiner les services financiers et non financiers? Article 2003

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

Cet article se propose d’aborder le thème assez controversé de la combinaison de services financiers et non financiers à travers le résumé d’un texte décrivant une expérience réussie de l’Agence Américaine pour le Développement International (USAID), et l’institution de microfinance ADEMCOL: «Bundling microfinance and business development services: a case study from ADEMCOL in Colombia» (USAID, août 2001).

Le crédit seul n’assure pas le développement global de l’entreprise; le crédit associé à des services d’appui non financiers permet une meilleure internvention. Cependant, ce point de vue et ce type d’expérience sont aujourd’hui controversés de par les avatars liés à la combinaison de ces deux types de services: il ne s’agit pas du même métier. L’expérience est risquée si les clients ne différencient pas les prestataires ou s’ils perçoivent le service non financier – par exemple une formation - comme un moyen d’accéder au crédit.

Une institution de microfinance qui choisira d’étendre sa gamme de produits avec entre autres des services non financiers le fera pour diversifier et sécuriser son offre. Or d’une part ces services non financiers suivent une logique d’accompagnement plus global de l’entreprise, et d’autre part la diversification ne fait pas forcément sens, par exemple si de tels services sont déjà proposés localement.

BDS Primer Toolkit 2003

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

Since the year 2000, the ILO has published an annual synthesis of work in the field of Business Development Services (BDS) in conjunction with its annual BDS seminar in Turin. In 2003 the document was divided into two parts. This is the first part, the BDS Primer, which presents the fundamental principles of BDS market development and summarises key tools. It is an introductory resource for newcomers to the field and a useful reference for experienced BDS professionals.

The Primer is divided into the following sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. How do BDS reduce poverty, generate economic growth and employment, and contribute to broad development goals?
  3. What does BDS market development mean?
  4. What are the important principles of BDS market development?
  5. How can practitioners select appropriate services to help small enterprises (SEs) develop and grow?
  6. How can practitioners assess BDS markets and choose interventions to strengthen them?
  7. How can services be affordable and sustainable?
  8. What strategies can be used to develop BDS markets?
  9. How is BDS program performance being measured?
  10. What’s next in BDS?

Formerly known as “non-financial services”, the field originally concentrated on providing training, consulting and other services that addressed the internal constraints of enterprises. More recently, it has grown to include marketing services, infrastructure, input supply, technology and product development and alternative financing mechanisms. The BDS field is currently focused on adapting lessons learned from the field of microfinance and consolidating decades of learning from small enterprise development experience around the world. This type of information can be found in the BDS Update also published by ILO.

Author Miehlbradt, A.O.; McVay, M.
Publisher International Labour Organization
Number of Pages 120 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Enterprise Development, Small Enterprise, Business Development Services (Bds)
Related Resources
The study circle method Guideline 2002

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

A study circle is a small group of people (normally between 7-12 participants) who during a certain time period repeatedly meet and carry out planned studies under the leadership of an accepted leader. The key elements are:

  • The participants’ experiences and skills.
  • A study plan or specially produced study material.
  • A well-informed and trained leader who is mainly responsible for the study circle work.

This guideline describes the basic principles, how to organise a study circle, the role of a study circle leader, how to plan the studies, preparing the study material and how to get started. It explains that the centre of study circle work is conversation among equals which aims at exploring issues together.

The booklet concludes with two examples of study circle experience. The first case describes a group of women who decide to study childcare and nutrition because their children are often sick and they are all underweight. The second case describes a group of farmers who decide to learn about poultry-keeping. Each example shows how the study plan is made and progress is monitored. The system has much to commend it as a learning method for livelihood change and development.

Author Kindstrom, C.
Publisher Studieforbundet Vuxenskolan
Number of Pages 9 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Adult Learning, Education, Extension
Related Resources
Building Businesses with Small Producers Book 2002 English (en)

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

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.

Order Online  -  English (en)

Author Kapila, S.; Mead, D.; (eds)
Publisher ITDG Publishing
Number of Pages 214 pp.
Primary Language English (en)
Region / Country Global
Bolivia, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe
Keywords Enterprise Development, Business Development Services, Training Methods
Related Resources
Créer de meilleurs cadres de vie - Trois études de cas Case Study 2001

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

Ce document présente des études de cas effectuées dans les trois organisations avec différentes expériences d’intégration de prestation de services de secteurs différents qui ont été invitées à décrire leurs systèmes de services intégrés pendant la Campagne du Sommet de Microcrédit. Les trois cas ont été présentés avec le vocabulaire plus ou moins utilisé par chacune des trois organisations. La première partie du document examine le cas de la prestation unifiée de la Coopératives d’Epargne et de Crédit de la FUCEC (Fédération des Unions de Coopératives d’épargne et de Crédit du Togo). La deuxième partie souligne le cas de prestation de services parallèles du BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee). Il fournit enfin, un modèle hybride de gestion unifiée et de prestation parallèle de PRO MUJER en Bolivie.

El Costo del Componente Educativo en la Implementación del Modelo de Crédito con Educación de Freedom from Hunger Paper 1999

view page
This resource appears in: Business Support Services: General

Bajo la comprensión de que el crédito por sí solo no resuelve el problema de las personas viviendo en extrema pobreza, especialmente el de las mujeres de las zonas rurales, quienes enfrentan una serie de obstáculos para acceder a los servicios financieros y más aún para salir de su condición de pobreza (exclusión, falta de autoestima, falta de capacidad empresarial, y problemas de salud y nutrición), Freedom from Hunger ha ideado una estrategia de servicios crediticios que incluye un componente educativo. Este programa tiene como objetivo proveer conocimientos a sus clientes que les permitan enfrentar de manera directa y especifica los múltiples obstáculos antes mencionados.

Entidades como Freedom from Hunger, en su afán de prestar dichos servicios, también son conscientes de que éstos deben ser sostenibles y crear un impacto significante en las poblaciones a las cuales va dirigido. Es decir los componentes de calidad en el servicio y costos son importantes. Freedom from Hunger y sus organizaciones afiliadas han demostrado a través de esta modalidad de Crédito con Educación que un mismo promotor puede brindar a la vez, servicios de crédito como servicios de educación, de manera eficiente y tomando ventaja de las mismas reuniones con las prestatarias. De esa manera se reducen los costos de proveer servicios financieros y no financieros a mujeres en extrema pobreza.

Este documento presenta de forma ágil y clara un análisis de costos del componente de educación ofrecido en la metodología de crédito de Freedom from Hunger, dirigido a personas de escasos recursos. Se analizan los cálculos y las suposiciones usados para determinar la parte de los gastos operativos correspondiente a la inclusión del componente educativo a los servicios financieros.

A lo largo del documento se presenta información referente a:

  • Definiciones, datos y suposiciones, incluye costos de diseño, proceso interactivo e implementación, la definición de educación, el costo marginal, la entrega de educación, definición de costos de la educación suplemental.
  • Cálculo de costos de la ‘educacion suplemental’, que incluye una definición de términos y métodos de cálculo, un resumen de las formulas, y un anexo con información de los costos totales del programa de Crédito con Educación en los años 1996, 1997 y 1998, en cuatro diferentes países donde se viene aplicando, con claras distinciones de los costos del componente de educación en cada caso. Freedom from Hunger estima que la integración de servicios educativos al suministro de crédito a sectores de la población de escasos recursos constituye sólo de un 4.7% a un 10% del total de costos operativos. De otro lado, esa integración no necesariamente retrasa la sostenibilidad financiera del programa, constituye más bien un beneficio para la implementación y el impacto del mismo.
Author E. Vor De Bruegge, J. E. Dickey y C. Dunford
Publisher Freedom from Hunger
Davis, California, USA
Number of Pages 10 pp.
Primary Language Spanish (es)
Region / Country Global
Keywords Financial Education, Financial Services
Related Resources

Search Library Resources