Since 1979 GTZ has been experimenting with an approach to development that borrows heavily from behavioural psychology and personal development, as well as from business management and entrepreneurship development. The approach goes by the acronym of CEFE, which stands for Competency-based Economies through the Formation of Enterprise. The approach is now used in many different countries and is applied to many different situations related to enterprise development. This article has been prepared by two people who have been involved with its conceptual elaboration and dissemination; it is a personal analysis and is not intended to represent the views of all those who are using the approach. This article briefly reviews the evolution of entrepreneurship promotion and identifies the key considerations for the sustainable replication of practical and cost-effective enterprise promotion programmes in emerging economies. It concludes with the presentation of the CEFE method of enterprise promotion which is now used in 50 countries in Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa.
This article draws the distinction between business development service providers that have until recently derived most of their income from delivering programmes for donors, and those that serve private sector businesses directly. The former have tended to be responsive more to their donor clients than the businesses they are intended to develop. They also find it difficult to see how to increase their fee income from businesses in the event of donor subsidy diminishing. On the other hand, smaller suppliers who are already in the BDS market, even in a small way, are quicker to recognize opportunities that will potentially expand their markets. To be more market oriented, however, both sets of BDS suppliers need to use more modern market-assessment tools in the design of BDS products. This paper looks at how some of these tools have been applied in one project in Nepal. The results of a broad national survey on the consumption of BDS in Nepal are presented and key lessons are drawn for project design. A least-distortionary project 'offer' is presented which provides feasibility support for suppliers to commercialize their BDS products for a wide range of private sector firms. The emphasis is on pre-delivery assistance such as: market niche identification, product development and product concept testing, tailor-made capacity building, awareness and demand creation with the target market and in some cases trial marketing to test for feedback. Subsidies on the transactions between suppliers and their customers are not provided. A range of indicators are suggested to: track changes in the increasing market for BDS, identify impact at the firm level, evaluate the viability of individual BDS products, and monitor the overall project efficiency.
A frequently heard comment these days, from those engaged in microenterprise and small business promotion, is, 'BDS, yes, well… a good concept but how can it work in practice?'One of the problems in this field is that the term business development service (BDS) has frequently become detached from its sister concept 'market development', the result has been that BDS is perceived to be a rather narrow concept only applicable in limited conditions. This article presents three case studies of how facilitators, using the BDS market development approach, can positively intervene in weak service markets and still avoid the distortions that appear to have characterized much of the donor or publicly sponsored projects of the past.