Supporting Public-Private Partnerships for Industry Development

Industry development and commercial innovation are often presented in idealised terms, focusing on shiny new start-ups and ignoring the struggle of existing firms.  It is challenging to understand the practical problems of private firms face and use this information to nurture innovative processes to take business to the next level. Over the last two years,…

Frugal innovations contribution to regional and economic development

I’ve been working on policy guidance to encourage frugal innovation (more on this later) and want to share my thoughts on the relevance of frugal innovation for regional and local economic development. Frugal innovation has been promoted as a business management practice that can be applied in resource-constrained conditions. However, it is also relevant for…

Micro and small enterprises: preferential policy treatment and exclusions

Many governments around the world assign policy preferences to micro and small enterprises. There are two rationales for this. First, micro and small enterprises deserve of special attention because of their overall contribution to national development. As a total sector, micro and small enterprises are major contributors to employment in almost all countries. Second, micro and small…

SME Development Agencies

Over the last few months, I’ve provided advice to a number of government funded national SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) development agencies. Such agencies are very popular among governments, but less so among enterprise development specialist. While they can focus government efforts on supporting the small business sector, they can easily become expensive bureaucracies that…

The global economy drives SME growth and job creation

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in economic development and job creation. While the general features of this role are understood, there are many features of this that require more research. Of particular interest to countries and regions around the world is the importance of the traded economy –– that part of…

Arguments on Africa de-industrialisation

It’s been interesting to observe the range of arguments surrounding the topic of “Africa’s de-industralisation”. These range from whether or not Africa is indeed de-industralising, to how best to re-industrialise. Within these discussions there are interesting debates on the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the importance of business environment reform, the need for…