Align business support services


Business development services (BDS) are a “wide array of non-financial services critical to the entry, survival, productivity, competitiveness, and growth” of BOP businesses.[1] BDS interventions can be an effective instrument for policy makers to support private sector growth in BOP markets. For inclusive businesses, BDS can be delivered in the form of operational and strategic business consultancies, skills transfer, marketing assistance, cost management, and technology development. Although BDS do not include direct financial support, they can be used to facilitate access to credit and other financial services, such as banking and financial planning.

BDS providers, such as government agencies, NGOs, private firms, or industry associations should perform comprehensive assessments of the local BOP market and develop their services in collaboration with their clients according to their specific needs. In order to be effective and sustainable, services should be provided in a business-like manner at affordable prices and should build upon the existing local models. Successful BDS providers will empower inclusive business entrepreneurs and drive private sector growth in BOP markets. They can provide knowledge, networks, and support to pilot inclusive business models.

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Development partnerships


Development partnerships are agreements between public and private sector entities to pursue a shared set of development goals. Ideally, such partnerships combine public sector outreach and resources with private sector entrepreneurialism and skills. Development partnerships, in contrast to the more traditional Public Private Partnership (PPP), are entirely voluntary, although the government can make such projects more attractive to private sector partners by offering incentives such as favorable tax terms, co-financing, infrastructure access, and policy changes. 

For governments, collaborating with the private sector brings many benefits, including access, resources, technology, and data and expertise. For private partners, such agreements can increase business opportunities or market share, increase reputation and provide a “social license to operate,” and/or greater access to suppliers.

Development partnerships can be implemented on different levels and with a wide variety of partners, from small, local companies to large multinational firms. The role of each stakeholder within development partnerships is not pre-determined; governments, private companies, and other actors can take on many roles.

At the onset of a partnership it is important to align on goals and definitions of success, as well as monitoring and reporting requirements. Challenges can occur in the implementation phase of development partnerships as public and private sector partner often do not have the same understanding of an issue, have different procurement or operational rules, or operate under different timelines.

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