Briefing Note – International Case Studies: Support programmes to small businesses

The development of many emerging economies is hindered by the so-called “missing middle”, the small, medium and micro enterprises that serve as important drivers of job creation and economic growth. The challenges faced by these enterprises include regulation, lack of access to capital, informality that limits access to services, and high levels of bureaucracy. This has resulted in a need to develop support services for SMMEs.

Because of the different needs of the sector, support policies should also take this diversity into account when designing programmes. A range of countries has, over time, provided different forms of support to SMMEs and some of these experiences are presented below as brief case studies. These provide an overview of what is possible around SMMEs for development, and many more case studies continue to emerge as SMMEs are recognised in emerging economies as key drivers of growth.

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