ENTER-L: Enterprise Development in Developing Countries

Some Observations


How should we define an enterprise and what topology should we use? should we make a strong distinction between micro and small enterprises (MSEs) small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and medium and large scale enterprises (MLEs) ? is the concept of enterprise development synonymous to private sector development and if so how do we define private sector? is it strictly in opposition to what we define as the public sector?


How important is it? how can it be improved? is it a prerequisite to any intervention for enterprise development? What kind of policies should be developed ? should we have different policies for different target groups?


This is often seen as a key component of any micro and small enterprise development project but a lot remains to be explored from the point of view of the development practitioner. Guarantee Funds for instance, are they or are they not effective in changing Commercial Banks attitude towards the financing of micro and small enterprises? I have my doubts...


(technical advice, management training, etc.). Most people agree that they are essential but what about cost recovery and sustainability? can it be done? and how? The ex- perience so far is mixed. Should the private sector pay for it and what happens with the microenterprises which cannot afford the extra expenses? should it be included upfront as part of the credit costs? how effective are endowment funds?


Essential again but it seems that we are forever rediscovering the wheel. Couldn't it be possible to find out what are the best training practices and where they can be accessed?


What kind of interface? what kind of policies? what is the impact of the distinction between direct employment and self employment? What sort of interface should be developed between technical education and vocational training and enterprise development?


Everyone agrees that it should be appropriate but most of the so-called appropriate technologies have not stood that well the economic test of the market place. What are the best ways to achieve sustainable technology transfer?


For a long time the emphasis has been on a supply ap- proach to enterprise development (in particular with regards to credit) There seems now to be a shift towards a demand approach. What are the implications and how could market development be better achieved?


No one disputes its importance (in numbers) but the prevailing vision is one of survival, low productivity and very little value added, in other words an inescapable evil when it comes to economic growth. Can we and should we challenge that perception? I personally think we should.


Who is he or she? without getting on the debate "entrepreneurs are born not made" how successful have been the various entrepreneurship development programmes? what about incubators?


There are some very interesting new initiatives on entrepreneurs networking. What can we learn from them?


It normally applies to larger enterprises but have we learned something in the process which could be applied to smaller enterprises? What lessons can be learnt from what hap- pened in Eastern Europe and Russia?


It is now the number one issue in most developed economies (the recently elected President of France stated that it is his first priority) Is there anything we can learn from the new approaches which are going to be developed? What is the interface with enterprise development?


A recent Club of Sahel study, the WALTS study ( the West African Long Term Study ) indicates that the urban economies will be the driving forces pulling agricultural development. What are the implications for the ways we used to look at rural devel- opment and enterprise development? Is a new paradigm being born which would fill the gap between the old industrial and agricul- tural development paradigms?


What is the present State of The Art in enterprise development? at the policy programming and operational levels? what kind of approach should we favor? an integrated horizontal approach or a vertical subsectoral approach?


Most of microenterprises are women, and they are also considered better credit risks. What are the best approaches to include women in enterprise development? should it be women only type of approaches (such as the Women's World Banking approach) or should it integrate gender issues in enterprise development and if such how?
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Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org
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