Small enterprise development

Introduction

Over US$24.5 billion of development aid is targeted at Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and donor interest is increasing; yet targeting small enterprises is controversial. Advocates maintain that smaller enterprises are the place where most poor people find employment and economic opportunity; targeting them with assistance makes more sense than helping larger companies (which may not need as much help anyway). Opponents of such targeting, however, argue that much employment is also lost through ‘churning’, as small enterprises come and go. Besides, they note, it is important to look at the private sector as a whole, since small enterprises often depend on larger ones for their inputs and markets.

This page explores the debates in more detail, and points you to further reading and key resources on the topic. Resources relevant for programmes promoting small enterprise development are also available on the DCED Knowledge Pages on different PSD approaches. To suggest additions to this page, contact the DCED Secretariat.
 

Current debates on small enterprise support – synthesis note

For a DCED summary of ‘Six Debates on Small Enterprises and Development Agency Support’ click here.
 

Resources on small enterprises

 

Overview documents and links

 

Access to finance

 

Business environment reform, trade facilitation and small enterprises

 

High growth enterprises

 

Micro-enterprises

 

Small enterprises and gender

 

Small enterprise productivity and innovation

 

Small enterprise support programmes and evaluations

 

Guidance for small enterprise promotion

Photo credits

Photo Credit: Chandan Dey