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Mary Morgan, Marco Aldana, Dianna Darsney, Celina Lee, Zukiswa Mandile, Alexandra Snelgrove, Sarah Ward. (October 2006). No. 16. The Seep Network.
Markets hold significant power to create or combat poverty. Increasingly, international development initiatives focused on economic growth and/or poverty alleviation are working to open existing markets to poor producers and consumers and make the benefits of well-functioning markets more widely accessible to the poor. The challenge for development practitioners is to promote economic growth strategies that improve the competitiveness of industries. Developing value chains that are within competitive industries has specific challenges when the majority of micro- and small enterprises are extremely poor. This paper draws from the experiences of SEEP members working on value chain development with the poor and presents lessons gleaned from the Value Chain Working Group on-line discussion from February through June 2006.
Part of MEDA’s Information to Action: A Toolkit Series for Market Development Practitioners, the toolkit guides practitioners through pro-poor enterprise development programming. Mary McVay and Alex Snelgrove, January 2008.
This toolkit is a reference for value chain development practitioners that want to design sustainable, effective development programs. Program design is fundamentally about making critical decisions, and thus this toolkit has been structured around the key choices involved in the design of a value chain development program.
USAID’s Microenterprise Development office seeks to link economic growth and poverty reduction by fostering the competitiveness of value chains and promoting the participation of MSEs within these chains. In many cases, MSEs must respond to new market opportunities by innovating and increasing value added, a process also known as “upgrading.” This paper examines how MSE owners respond to upgrading opportunities within the context of the value chains in which they operate. Four specific types of upgrading are considered: