Swisscontact's objective is to transfer agricultural and entrepreneurial skills to enhance the competitiveness of smallholder farms, service providers, and producers with promising ideas of a small business.
Innovative business and entrepreneurship activities form the basis of private sector development. Swisscontact’s work in enterprise development projects focuses on addressing business needs in urban as well as rural regions.
Building on analysis, Swisscontact uses specific development strategies – aiming to make market systems more inclusive for the disadvantaged segments of the population, while addressing social, environmental and gender issues. These development strategies are systemic and comprehensive, but at the same time target clearly identified constraints and opportunities.
Swisscontact applies a number of methodological approaches in its work, adapted to the goals of the projects and the local conditions.
Emphasis is placed on a thorough analysis of existing market actors and the interplay of all of them. This provides a better understanding of how the market works for the poor and what interventions are needed to facilitate their inclusion. Interventions focus on both the supply and demand side of a given sector. Opportunities are then created for the disadvantaged so that they are able to generate more income and ultimately improve their livelihoods.
To maximise impact, scale and sustainability of interventions, the Inclusive Systems Development approach seeks to introduce fundamental changes to market mechanisms, stimulating change and innovation.
Swisscontact strives to play a facilitating role to avoid performing as a market actor. Focus is on identifying opportunities among the different players in the system that make the market work more effectively for all actors. Interventions therefore need to be sensitive to local conditions.
Swisscontact has been at the forefront of the development of the «Inclusive Systems Development» approach, which internationally has become known as M4P (Making Markets Work for the Poor).
Value chain development helps SMEs and smallholder farmers take advantage of business opportunities to increase their incomes and create jobs.
The Value Chain Approach focuses exclusively on certain sectors or sub-sectors with particular growth potential. The approach focuses exclusively on sectors or subsectors with particular potential for growth. It analyses the various steps involved in the production process, from raw material extraction through production and processing of intermediate and final products, all the way to supplying the end consumer. It identifies and addresses bottlenecks and constraints to more successful SME and farmer participation through specific interventions.
Working together with public and private sector actors, we generate resources that enhance local value added, thereby creating new earnings potential in the region. Projects for local and regional economic development focus on the specific development potential of a given location.
Together with the most important public and private interest groups in selected regions, we identify economic sectors with particular potential for growth and employ collaboration mechanisms to foster their development.
Entrepreneurs play a crucial role in developing homegrown economies. Yet, the success of new entrepreneurial ventures is strongly impacted by something much larger than the business itself: the surrounding ecosystem. Swisscontact fosters economic growth by strengthening the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and by improving the quality and quantity of services offered to entrepreneurs. Having access to local and seamless support for entrepreneurs will help them in their endeavour to survive and grow, and hence create new wealth.
Services offered by ecosystem support actors consist of coaching and mentoring, business administration, business modelling, financing, human resource management, talent recruitment, marketing, peer-learning or financial trainings for investment readiness and more. Given that a single player will never be able to offer all these services, a productive ecosystem can only exist if there is collaboration among its actors. This means that beside offering their support service, ecosystem support actors are bridge builders and connectors to facilitate networking for the entrepreneurs which allows them to quickly find the support they need at each stage of growth.
Swisscontact closely collaborates with the local community and jointly develops initiatives that are based on articulated demand from the local ecosystem actors. By focusing on the process and not on the content, Swisscontact puts local players in the driving seat, acknowledging that there is not one “correct” way of strengthening ecosystems but that each city or region needs to develop its own model, reflecting local culture and context.
Swisscontact only supports initiatives that benefit more than one actor (additionality) and ensures that all interventions are aligned with interventions of other enterprise support organisations (eco-system fit).
Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@ swisscontact.org