Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
Over the past several years, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), donors, and development practitioners have been grappling with methods to develop sustainable business service markets that will help small enterprises increase their profits and integrate on beneficial terms into local, regional, and global markets. Although it remains clear that microenterprises need services beyond training and access to credit, practitioners often struggle to develop sustainable service markets that include microenterprises, particularly in environments where product and business service markets are weak. In June 2002, The SEEP Network’s Practitioner Learning Program (PLP) provided 10 organizations with grants to undertake market research in weak markets, and then pilot interventions to develop commercial and sustainable business service markets that would help microenterprises increase their profits. EDA Rural Systems Pvt Ltd, a private consulting company in Gurgaon, India, received a grant to research the leather footwear subsector in Rajasthan and pilot interventions to help artisan microentrepreneurs in this subsector increase their incomes. As a central objective of the SEEP PLP, the purpose of this case study is to understand EDA’s challenges and lessons learned in its leather subsector project and share them with the practitioner community.