Case study

Improving the environment for small businesses in Indonesia and Russia: Experiences from Swisscontact

Making markets work for the poor case study series


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Published by
Swisscontact, Springfield Centre
Project implementer
Results level
Case study
Data source
Monitoring Data
Intervention type
Improved value chain coordination

Examining Swisscontact's experience in stimulating a more conducive environment for small businesses in Indonesia and Russia. The report was commissioned by the Fauna Consortium, a mandate of the Employment and Income Division of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). It forms part of a series exploring the application of the M4P approach to different fields of private sector development.

Main findings

  • Business membership organisations are shown to work in Indonesia. Of 72 informal groups comprised of 30-150 enterprises established by the intervention, 50 per cent are continuing to operate without further support.
  • Business membership organisations in the Nizhny Novgorod region of Russia increased by 20 per cent as a result of the intervention. Leaders of business membership organisations have also shown to be developing skills in communicating the interests of entrepreneurs to local authorities.

Intervention description

The intervention had three primary aims: to strengthen private sector ability to engage constructively in reform; to build government capacity to conduct reform; and enhance mechanisms of dialogue and create a supportive framework to ensure sustainability. Some projects pre-date M4P and so did not explicitly follow this framework, although many similarities exist.

Evidence methodology

  • The experiences outlined relate to small, pilot enterprises. A more thorough assessment requires more time. This report does not offer a thorough impact assessment but does offer qualitative (and some quantitative) evidence of lessons already learned.

Useful for:

The report identifies its audience as third-party agencies looking to obtain experience for the purposes of promoting sustainable and appropriate reform processes for small and informal businesses. However it provides valuable insights into the M4P approach and would therefore be interesting to donors, policy makers, NGOs and researchers too.