Business Development Services (BDS) with an aim of increasing effectiveness have changed their mode of operation from receiving business problems to going out of office to look for them.
This was revealed by Antoine Manzi, the Director Entrepreneurship in Private Sector Federation (PSF).
“Initially we were sitting in office chairs and waiting but now we walking out to struggling small and medium enterprises,” he said.
He said that, “each consultant at every BDS will attend to 15 struggling SMEs in that particular area.”
Antoine said that the BDS will carryout a ‘business health check’ to assess the state of the SME before administering help.
“First will be the business health check to identify the challenges faced by the SME and then this will followed by an action,” he said.
He explained that previously they were not systematic in their operations towards the SMEs.
“Previously we were mixing things like training in languages, business plan writing and other things,” he said.
The Private Sector Federation (PSF) started BDS in 2006 with four centres.
In 2007 with noticeable success, there was a need to increase the service to other areas.
Later, On-The Frontiers (OTF), a consultant firm in business competiveness on behalf of PSF conducted a survey to determine the importance of BDS.
It found out that the service had gained popularity. “According to the survey, the SMEs were willing to pay for the services,”Manzi said.
By 2008 they had increased to thirteen and presently are 17. PSF has a target of reaching 30 BDS by 2012 to establish presence in each district.