Mary Morgan, Marco Aldana, Dianna Darsney, Celina Lee, Zukiswa Mandile, Alexandra Snelgrove, Sarah Ward. (October 2006). No. 16. The Seep Network.
‘Enterprise development’ has evolved from the upgrading of individual businesses to the advancement of entire industries. New approaches – value chain development, making markets work for the poor, and industry competitiveness – are based on holistic views of economic structures and systems. This change has resulted in an increased focus on macro-level issues such as enabling environments, trade agreements, and national associations. As a result, some contributors to the development field are questioning the relevance of programmes that target microenterprises. Although the impact goals of development initiatives remain focussed on the world’s poor, some argue that engagement at a higher level increases the potential for wealth creation for all. This paper presents the case of rural homebound women in Pakistan to illustrate that, although systemic analysis is essential to good programme design, projects that specifically target marginalized communities can produce significant results that would not be achievable through industry-level interventions alone.