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Early Lessons Targeting Populations with a Value Chain Approach
Community of Practice: Financial Services
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has long recognized the important contribution that micro and small enterprises (MSEs) can make towards poverty reduction, employment and private sector development. USAID’s value chain approach provides a holistic and practical methodology for identifying and prioritizing constraints to improve industry performance, where the poor are concentrated. Value chain projects link large numbers of low income entrepreneurs into better markets, facilitate win-win relationships with larger firms and implement strategies for productivity enhancement while providing a safety net. Whether MSE’s are vulnerable to serious disease or facing long-standing systemic issues like conflict, the value chain approach offers a vehicle to provide better wage-earning opportunities, create wealth in poor communities, and raise national income.