WHAT IS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SERVICES

Business Development Services (BDS) are a very important means of supporting the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which are known to create employment, generate income and contribute to economic development and growth. Employment and income generation are particularly important as far as impoverished rural areas, vulnerable communities and groups are concerned. In this sense, supporting BDS is an important means of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by addressing poverty and empowering the poor and vulnerable groups (see IBLF/UNDP, 2003). Recent UNDP strategic developments, such as the publication of the report “Unleashing Entrepreneurship” (2004a) and the small enterprises strategies for South East Europe (2003a) and Central Asia (2003b), have underlined the continuing role to be played by UNDP in addressing private sector development, partly focused on MSMEs through support to BDS provision. However, 15 years into the process of transition in Europe and the CIS, a revised approach needs to be developed. This BDS How to Guide provides it.