Business support for small and medium enterprises in low- and middle-income countries
Systematic Review 25, 2016
This systematic review by Piza and colleagues synthesises the existing evidence on the impact of business support services for small and medium enterprises. It compares the relative effectiveness of different direct and indirect business support services on firm performance. The authors looked for evidence in all low- and middle-income countries, but particularly sought to understand how the available evidence applies to African contexts and the mechanisms that contribute to the success of an intervention. The review finds that, on average, supportive interventions positively impact on firm performance, employment generation, labour productivity, exports and investments. However, the authors find a lack of evidence in the African context, as well as a dearth of both qualitative and cost-effectiveness data. They suggest that more research to address these gaps is needed.