Putting development back at the centre of business development services
In this chapter examining the basis of the market development approach to business development services (BDS) a number of doubts are raised. First, the emphasis on the commercial delivery of BDS inevitably shifts the focus of interventions towards the formal, growth-oriented sector and away from poorer microenterprises, which are not so much unwilling to pay as unable to pay. Moreover, it is difficult to promote markets for BDS where the small enterprise sector is not buoyant and demand for such services is very weak. The author distinguishes between business-to-business services, which even the poorest microenterprises are prepared to pay for, and business development services, which promote growth or innovation and for which microenterprises and small businesses are less willing to pay the full costs because of the risks involved. It is argued that for such BDS, subsidy is still justified.
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