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This report evaluates the impact of the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) Strengthening Project in Cambodia implemented by Development Alternatives, Inc (DAI) and funded by USAID over the period of October 2005 to September 2008. The project aimed to improve entrepreneurship and competitiveness for MSMEs in select value chains and target provinces by enabling improvements to businesses and the overall business environment in this country.
Results at the closing of the project in 2008 show that the project was an overall success and many final year targets were exceeded, often by large margins.
- Sales for pig value chain reached 232% of target sales volume, while fish, brick, and tile value chains did not meet volume of sales targets
- Targets for new investments by pigs and brick and tile makers were exceeded by over 400%, while targets for fish value chains were not met due to most enterprises being new or small producers
- Targets have been exceeded for accessing loans from any source at any time in 2008 for MSMEs, except brick and tile makers.
The project utilized a six-step approach to strengthen MSMEs:
- Identify value chains with potential for positive impact in market demand, job creation, and revenue generation
- Build the knowledge, capacity and skills of firms within those value chains
- Strengthen vertical linkages within the chains
- Strengthen horizontal linkages between companies and business service providers at multiple levels of the chain
- Improve access to finance to upgrade inputs, productivity and quality
- Improve the enabling environment by engaging the private sector and strengthening institutions.
The report examines data from quantitative sample surveys in face to face interviews by field research interviewers of 889 MSME clients in Cambodia who varied across value chain and role within production cycle. Because the pig value chain accounted for 92% of all clients who received the survey, a sample of pig and fish producer enterprises that were not clients of DAI were also surveyed using random selection.
Anyone interested in the market systems approach, specifically with interest in business environment reform to strengthen the role of MSMEs in value chains in Cambodia and Southeast Asia. This might include potential investors and partners, as well as development practitioners and researchers.