Small Enterprise Development

Over US$24.5 billion of development aid is targeted at Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and donor interest is increasing, yet the development benefits of targeting small enterprises are controversial. This page explores the debates in more detail, and lists key resources on the topic.

For more specific resources on adjusting SME development programmes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the DCED knowledge page on Adjusting PSD interventions in the short term.

At a glance: Short reads on Small Enterprise Development

 DCED publication           External publication

A policy brief that summarises the findings of a review of the theory and practice on MSE-oriented business environment reforms.

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An article that discusses the key takeaways of a literature review looking at the effectiveness of entrepreneur support programmes.

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A Synthesis Note that summarises current debates on the definition of small enterprises, their role in job creation and poverty reduction, and the most appropriate forms of support.

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DCED publications

The role and constraints of small enterprises in developing countries

Different forms of support to small enterprises

Photo credits: Chandan Dey.