Business Center Establishment - Brief Description


International experience has proved that entrepreneurship promotion and small business development are effective means of creating new jobs, reducing unemployment, and generating income.  Small enterprises are an important and integral sector in the market economies of developed countries as well as transition countries.

In transition countries, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners often must operate without access to information regarding modern production technologies and market conditions.  In these countries, there is either no formal support structure for SMEs or the institutions that do provide support services are limited in their regional coverage and organisational capacity.  Existing institutions are frequently poorly designed and struggle to provide their services effectively and efficiently.   

In these circumstances, most would-be entrepreneurs require more than classroom training to establish and run a successful business.  While classroom training may provide general business knowledge and skills, SME owners also need expert advice on specialised technical and managerial subjects.  Merely providing information about possible sources of financing is likewise not sufficient.  SME owners need assistance in shaping their ideas into proper business plans and proposals that are acceptable to financing institutions.  Promoting  business advisory services through the establishment or strengthening of Business Centres and other advisory mechanisms has proved a successful approach to providing needed services to SMEs.
The successful establishment of a Business Centre is dependent upon a number of key variables, including:
  • The withdrawal of governments and donors from direct service provision (free of charge), leaving the provision of such services to private enterprises;
  • An active business community capable of demanding advisory and training services and able to pay, at least in part, for them;
  • The mobilization of business service providers to offer their services at market prices in line with demand and supply;
  • The development of business advisory and training services responsive to the needs and demands of the target groups;
  • The availability of competent resource persons to provide professional business advisory and training services;
  • Accompanying measures that stimulate the consulting market and promote business advisory services;
  • A successful marketing campaign that informs the target group of the available business advisory services in the region.