5 Business support: Recommendations

To support business support services donors should:

5.1 Take a long-term approach to enhance sustainability of agro-industrial parks, working with both public and private sector actors and targeting technical assistance to help industries work towards agreed environmental, social and governance objectives to achieve economies of scale.

5.2 Increase awareness of the heavy reliance of agricultural incubators on donor and state institution funding.

5.3 Support incubators in both measuring their performance against standard business metrics and in increasing their engagement with women-led agribusinesses to address their specific needs for advisory support.

5.4 Invest more in innovative intermediation (e.g., acceleration and incubation models) in order to build the natural capacity of local support ecosystems.

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Effectiveness of agri-business incubation in emerging markets [33 pages]

Successful incubators offer a wide range of services, including mentors, infrastructure and markets, and link to an ecosystem of early-stage investors who can take on a number of roles within incubatees.

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Agro-industrial parks: success factors, incentive mechanisms and donor roles [81 pages] and its executive summary [6 pages] includes a comprehensive overview of the challenges and success factors for driving investment into agri-SMEs.

As part of CASA’s work to explore the key sector challenge of strengthening the pipeline of investable enterprises, two studies were undertaken to look at specific elements of business support services.

To support business support services donors should:

5.5 Put in place financial and non-financial support targeting dynamic, family-run, livelihood-sustaining enterprises and niche ventures in all government-led and donor-led large-scale market and development initiatives, thereby helping them grow into market leaders.

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State of agri-SME sector – bridging the finance gap [67 pages] breaks down the market in a comprehensive and holistic way to show where finance is specifically flowing & recommends ways for addressing the current agri-SME finance gap.

Updated March 2023

Change Projects to Progress