How can we strengthen collaboration in support of micro-enterprises in value chains?


(Jolene Dawson) #21
    1. Co-ordinate effetively :

      • As alluded to my comments on value proposition, many corporates and development agents approach micro-enterprise inclusion in a siloed manner. They typically think of value for their own organisation and not necessarily the beneficiary micro-enterprise. Accenture has seen programmes, ambitious and small, fail due to poor co-ordination, mainly due to ineffective communication and expectation management.

      • Part of this siloed approach breeds an unsustainable intervene and leave approach. He alignment and commitment to long-term investment and incremental wins is so critical to success.



Richard Gilbert said:

Thanks everyone - Let’s kick off with the first question:

Q1. Our new report highlights five key interconnected needs of micro-enterprises that would enable them to thrive – how do these needs exist for the micro-enterprises you engage with and support? Are some more important to address than others?


(Graham Baxter) #22

Fascinating Andres. How do you build self esteem or does it grow organically through successful enterprise?


(Juan Carlos Thomas Soto) #23

I couldn´t agree more with this set of 5 challenges that face microentrepreneurs for further development and any attempt to take Management and Tech Skills, A2Mkts, A2F, infrastructure and policy to an optimal level should be not only welcome but encouraged. However, we need to realize that this is a marathon rather than a sprint and it takes an alignment of a variety of public and private players to move a whole ecosystem to the next level.

So where do we start? how can we build momentum by demonstrating a valid approach that will convince public and private players to do what it is required? how can we start helping microentrepreneurs and their communities that can not wait decades to get their ecosystem fixed?

We start by addressing the most critical ones, which doesn’t mean neglecting the rest. Our experience suggest that in many underdeveloped markets, although base conditions are far from ideal, they are "good enough" at least for a sizable segment of microentrepreneurs, so we have started to work with them in the most critical ones. These are usually a subset of managerial skills as we have found that no matter how good is regulation, infrastructure, A2F and A2Mkts is , if some core managerial skills are not present, they will not benefit from that. Conversely a few key managerial skills have demonstrated to largely help entrepreneurs overcome or at least maneuver in suboptimal ecosystems and growth at a great pace. Among these core skills are included the ability to identify both market and funding opportunities, which would address other two key gaps identified in the guide.

TechnoServe and its partners have tested this approach at scale (thousands of entrepreneurs) with great results in a number of very diverse markets, from Nicaragua to Burkina Faso, which is creating evidence and momentum to help us influence governments, corporates and financial institutions to join forces.


Richard Gilbert said:

Thanks everyone - Let’s kick off with the first question:

Q1. Our new report highlights five key interconnected needs of micro-enterprises that would enable them to thrive – how do these needs exist for the micro-enterprises you engage with and support? Are some more important to address than others?


(Jolene Dawson) #24
  1. Measure impact :

    • Many ventures fail based solely on the metircs they measured. What some performace management processes often fail to acknowledge or attempt to measure is the direct vs. Indirect imapct that they are having. In terms of pure revenue generation for firm x, things may have only improve by 1%, but the mincrease in available cash in the beneficiairy miciro-enterprise can be life-changing through the same programme, though not explicityl maasures.

    • Accenture has a long and successful history of helpng both coprorates and developmetn agentns to craft thier montioring and evaluation programmes to incoporate the entire eco-system – input – impact and everything inbetween, qualititatively and quatitatively, directly and indirectly. In our exereince, often the micro-eterpise is unsure of how to define success in the same launguage as a coprorate and is often unsure of how or why to measure progress.

    • In terms of importance ofthe needs, I believe all 5-interconnected needs of micro-enterprises is importnat, thought the order is. Start with understanding who you are dealing with, then how you can work togeher and what you both define as success then figure out who plays what role, and how to co-ordinate effectively.



Richard Gilbert said:

Thanks everyone - Let’s kick off with the first question:

Q1. Our new report highlights five key interconnected needs of micro-enterprises that would enable them to thrive – how do these needs exist for the micro-enterprises you engage with and support? Are some more important to address than others?


(Catalina Garcia) #25

In our part of Latin America (Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Honduras and El Salvador) since the majority of mom and pop shops are owned by women, the most important need for them to also address their family needs. For them business and family are one thing. So they need to manage both correctly and lead their families properly and impact positively their communities.


(Elaine McCrimmon) #26

This is a great point Andres, we found low levels of confidence when we conducted the needs assessment in Europe. This insight helps frame the response and how to interact, engage, motivate and learn together.


Andres Peñate said:

I would say the most important is probably not in the list. The most important need in my opinion is not economic, financial or technical, although all of them are critical. In my opinion the most important need is psychological. Small businesses owners need first of all more self esteem to be able to cope with the challenges they confront.


(Richard Gilbert) #27

Hi Elaine - That's interesting. Once you have identified the needs - how do you prioritise which ones to address?



Elaine McCrimmon said:

Exploring the real needs of micro-enterprises upfront is hugely insightful and can be a much more impactful and resource efficient way to develop effective interventions in support of micro-enterprises.

In SABMiller Europe, we undertook research in 4 of our key markets (Italy, Poland, Romania and Czech Republic) to understand the challenges faced by small retailers in our distribution chain. While the terminology used to describe the challenges differs slightly from what is used in the report, our findings reflected many of the five needs identified.

For example, retailers said they lacked understanding of store and stock management, lacked funding to invest in their business and, had concerns about bureacracy and red tape.

So I think the five needs identified in the report offer a useful structure that can act as a starting point for an organisation to then drill deeper into understanding how these needs manifest themselves for specific micro-enterprises.

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Jolene Dawson said:



Richard Gilbert said:

Thanks everyone - Let’s kick off with the first question:

Q1. Our new report highlights five key interconnected needs of micro-enterprises that would enable them to thrive – how do these needs exist for the micro-enterprises you engage with and support? Are some more important to address than others?

    1. Understanding Micro-Enterprise Needs :

  • Many of the micro-enterprises we have worked with feel misunderstood. There seem to be largely due to misunderstandings of deep cultural norms (e.g. some farmers feel spoken at, and cultural norms prevent them from interrupting or correcting the person speaking).

  • In this context, both the corporates or donor organisations as well as the beneficiaries or micro-enterprises make faux-pas – and things get lost in translation.

  • By focussing on human-centred design, Accenture Development Partnership have made huge in-roads into setting up healthy partnerships between corporates, donors and micro-enterprises in health, agriculture and finance. This concept ensures that the very human beneficiary is front and centre to the design of all elements of the programme or products in question.


(Jane Nelson) #28

Hi everyone. I'm Jane Nelson, director of the Corporate Responsibility Initiative at HKS. I very much agree with previous points on starting with a more human-centered or micro-enterprise centered design and really understanding the context and personal needs of the micro-entrepreneur herself or himself, in order to achieve more effective linkages and sustained growth for both the micro-enterprises and the companies they are working with. At the same time, if we are to have any hope of scaling high potential models and initiatives, to my mind one of the most important needs on the list would be at the other end of spectrum - it would be an enabling policy and regulatory environment, as this can help to create incentives and structure for addressing all the other needs.


(Andres Peñate) #29

In Latam we did exactly the same process than Elaine is describing, but in a different context, the context of the small informal retailers at the base of the pyramid. To do that we hired the services of anthropologists and sociologists first so that we had the right lenses to understand these retailers, which are different than others, as human beings and not just economic agnetnts in our value chain. We complemented these studies using neuro science methods used in marketing to understand the reaction to words and emotions.


(Autumn Gorman) #30


Excellent point. Women often face more constraints or have different priorities due to family obligations or other social dynamics. I heard of one story where the women reacted unexpected to a new water pump was installed in their village because they missed the social time they had while fetching water.


Catalina Garcia said:

In our part of Latin America (Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Honduras and El Salvador) since the majority of mom and pop shops are owned by women, the most important need for them to also address their family needs. For them business and family are one thing. So they need to manage both correctly and lead their families properly and impact positively their communities.


(Elaine McCrimmon) #31

Prioritising is key but it is not easy. What we found is that while there are similar needs ‘what works’ is context specific and the priority should be local. Aligning closely elements of support for micro enterprises with either a regulatory change or business activity helped to gather momentum and pace.




Richard Gilbert said:

Hi Elaine - That’s interesting. Once you have identified the needs - how do you prioritise which ones to address?



Elaine McCrimmon said:

Exploring the real needs of micro-enterprises upfront is hugely insightful and can be a much more impactful and resource efficient way to develop effective interventions in support of micro-enterprises.

In SABMiller Europe, we undertook research in 4 of our key markets (Italy, Poland, Romania and Czech Republic) to understand the challenges faced by small retailers in our distribution chain. While the terminology used to describe the challenges differs slightly from what is used in the report, our findings reflected many of the five needs identified.

For example, retailers said they lacked understanding of store and stock management, lacked funding to invest in their business and, had concerns about bureacracy and red tape.

So I think the five needs identified in the report offer a useful structure that can act as a starting point for an organisation to then drill deeper into understanding how these needs manifest themselves for specific micro-enterprises.

br/>

Jolene Dawson said:



Richard Gilbert said:

Thanks everyone - Let’s kick off with the first question:

Q1. Our new report highlights five key interconnected needs of micro-enterprises that would enable them to thrive – how do these needs exist for the micro-enterprises you engage with and support? Are some more important to address than others?

    1. Understanding Micro-Enterprise Needs :

  • Many of the micro-enterprises we have worked with feel misunderstood. There seem to be largely due to misunderstandings of deep cultural norms (e.g. some farmers feel spoken at, and cultural norms prevent them from interrupting or correcting the person speaking).

  • In this context, both the corporates or donor organisations as well as the beneficiaries or micro-enterprises make faux-pas – and things get lost in translation.

  • By focussing on human-centred design, Accenture Development Partnership have made huge in-roads into setting up healthy partnerships between corporates, donors and micro-enterprises in health, agriculture and finance. This concept ensures that the very human beneficiary is front and centre to the design of all elements of the programme or products in question.


(Gerry Boyle) #32

Catalina - CARE's focus is on women and undoubtedly the overlap between "business" life and family life is a huge issue for women. We therefore work much more widely across communities and especially with men and boys to develop changes in gender attitudes and norms so that women's economic contribution is better recognised and the care burden is shared. The report spends a bit of time highlighting the importance of looking at the value chain with a gender lens to better understand these issues



Catalina Garcia said:

In our part of Latin America (Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Honduras and El Salvador) since the majority of mom and pop shops are owned by women, the most important need for them to also address their family needs. For them business and family are one thing. So they need to manage both correctly and lead their families properly and impact positively their communities.


(Richard Gilbert) #33

Thanks for all the great points! Let's move onto the next question:

Q2. What are some of the limitations of current approaches to supporting micro-enterprises in value chains? How can taking a more “market systems” approach deliver greater commercial and social value?


(Catalina Garcia) #34

n SABMiller Latam, we developed a research in 6 countries (Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Honduras and El Salvador) to understand not only their needs but their fears and dreams. So we can approach them in more complete way. We change our relationship with the retailers, from asking them to buy our products to support them face their life challenges and family needs


(Elaine McCrimmon) #35

For example, in one market, nee regulation came into force for small retailers and there was a need to train retailers on the new requirements. This was an opportunity to help retailers improve their business skills.



Elaine McCrimmon said:

Prioritising is key but it is not easy. What we found is that while there are similar needs ‘what works’ is context specific and the priority should be local. Aligning closely elements of support for micro enterprises with either a regulatory change or business activity helped to gather momentum and pace.




Richard Gilbert said:

Hi Elaine - That’s interesting. Once you have identified the needs - how do you prioritise which ones to address?



Elaine McCrimmon said:

Exploring the real needs of micro-enterprises upfront is hugely insightful and can be a much more impactful and resource efficient way to develop effective interventions in support of micro-enterprises.

In SABMiller Europe, we undertook research in 4 of our key markets (Italy, Poland, Romania and Czech Republic) to understand the challenges faced by small retailers in our distribution chain. While the terminology used to describe the challenges differs slightly from what is used in the report, our findings reflected many of the five needs identified.

For example, retailers said they lacked understanding of store and stock management, lacked funding to invest in their business and, had concerns about bureacracy and red tape.

So I think the five needs identified in the report offer a useful structure that can act as a starting point for an organisation to then drill deeper into understanding how these needs manifest themselves for specific micro-enterprises.

br/>

Jolene Dawson said:



Richard Gilbert said:

Thanks everyone - Let’s kick off with the first question:

Q1. Our new report highlights five key interconnected needs of micro-enterprises that would enable them to thrive – how do these needs exist for the micro-enterprises you engage with and support? Are some more important to address than others?

    1. Understanding Micro-Enterprise Needs :

  • Many of the micro-enterprises we have worked with feel misunderstood. There seem to be largely due to misunderstandings of deep cultural norms (e.g. some farmers feel spoken at, and cultural norms prevent them from interrupting or correcting the person speaking).

  • In this context, both the corporates or donor organisations as well as the beneficiaries or micro-enterprises make faux-pas – and things get lost in translation.

  • By focussing on human-centred design, Accenture Development Partnership have made huge in-roads into setting up healthy partnerships between corporates, donors and micro-enterprises in health, agriculture and finance. This concept ensures that the very human beneficiary is front and centre to the design of all elements of the programme or products in question.


(Jolene Dawson) #36
  • Accenture Development Partnerships has delivered over 325+ partnership related projects where corporates, donors, governements and communities come together to achieve a joint outcome. Over this time we have been advocating the move from philanthropic, to opportunittics to strateic and finally transformational partnerhips. What this report highlights is the latter – transformation at a market-system level.



Richard Gilbert said:

Thanks for all the great points! Let's move onto the next question:

Q2. What are some of the limitations of current approaches to supporting micro-enterprises in value chains? How can taking a more “market systems” approach deliver greater commercial and social value?


(Gerry Boyle) #37

CARE are deeply engaged in attempting to improve the opportunities and operating environment for women-led micro-enterprises. While many of the women micro-enterprises we work with provide goods and services only to their local communities, we also recognise the opportunities that participating in global value chains can give women – provided they are properly recognised and supported. But we know that even where women play a key role in the value chain, their involvement can be invisible. Therefore, companies must identify where women work, must develop a clear gender strategy and must articulate the business case for supporting women.

However, mere exhortation is not going to change much, so that’s why we have tried to be much more practical, and have been delighted at the opportunity to work with our co-sponsors to develop this practical guide to both WHY companies should collaborate better to support micro-enterprises across their value chains, and also HOW they can do so. We also highlight in the report the additional challenges faced by women micro-enterprises – including legal obstacles, but also the many issues that confront women due to social and cultural attitudes to gender. We know that these issues can only be properly and sustainably addressed by a network of stakeholders working to effect systemic change – many problems are interrelated and solutions are interdependent. Within this, companies can play a key role in bringing focus to the issues, and in building up alliances of stakeholders.


(Jolene Dawson) #38

The limitations of current approaches are linked mainly to understanding the needs of the micro-enterprise and a siloed in-and-out approach. Some others include perceived competitiion between themselves and traditional competitors.

Richard Gilbert said:

Thanks for all the great points! Let's move onto the next question:

Q2. What are some of the limitations of current approaches to supporting micro-enterprises in value chains? How can taking a more “market systems” approach deliver greater commercial and social value?


(Jolene Dawson) #39
  • Many miss the opportunity to work side-by-side with competitors as partners, in a collaborative approach to solving a challenge they are both facing – a ‘market-system’ approach is not only better for the micro-enterprise, but builds far more resilience into the entire system for the corporates and supports government and development interventions too.



Jolene Dawson said:

The limitations of current approaches are linked mainly to understanding the needs of the micro-enterprise and a siloed in-and-out approach. Some others include perceived competitiion between themselves and traditional competitors.

Richard Gilbert said:

Thanks for all the great points! Let's move onto the next question:

Q2. What are some of the limitations of current approaches to supporting micro-enterprises in value chains? How can taking a more “market systems” approach deliver greater commercial and social value?


(Elaine McCrimmon) #40

As the report highlights, existing approaches to support micro-enterprises tend to focus on one or a small number of challenges.

Our business in Italy developed a retailer development programme focused on developing business skills of retailers through online and face to face training. The approach was supported by our sales and distribution function and got everyone aligned behind the value this model brought to both retailers and our business. For me this is a really strong foundation on which the team can over time develop and build their approach.r/>


Richard Gilbert said:

Thanks for all the great points! Let’s move onto the next question:

Q2. What are some of the limitations of current approaches to supporting micro-enterprises in value chains? How can taking a more “market systems” approach deliver greater commercial and social value?