The prevailing vision of the 'informal sector' is one of survival, low productivity and very little value added. But this has been changing, as more and more importance is placed on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) - for generating employment, for increasing income and providing services which are lacking.
Policies have generally focussed on direct interventions in the form of supporting systems such as training, technical advice, management principles etc.; and indirect interventions in the form of an enabling policy and market environment.
A key component that is always incorporated as a sort of common dinominator has been finance, specifically microcredit - in different forms and for different uses. Microcredit has been provided to SMEs directly, or as a part of a larger enterprise development programme, along with other inputs.