Published by
International Labour Organization (ILO)

This report tries to answer one of the trickiest questions for technical cooperation projects promoting entrepreneurship and business management training: what makes a programme sustainable?

After more than 30 years of start-up and MSME business management training in over 100 countries, this report looks at what the ILO’s Start and Improve your Business (SIYB) entrepreneurship training programme has learned about financial and other forms of sustainability of these interventions.

Sustainability is an explicit goal of most development projects. The aim of entrepreneurship promotion projects is usually to build up the capacity of local organisations to provide well-adapted business development services to entrepreneurs and enterprises. The underlying idea is to design projects that intervene to build the capacity of local organisations for a certain period after which the project withdraws and hands over to local organisations.

However, taking a closer look at the long-term impact of entrepreneurship promotion projects shows that projects often still fail to achieve long-lasting results. Training and related services for entrepreneurs often cease to be delivered by local organisations after project funding and support ceases.

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