Handbook: How to Fulfill the Potential of Business Development Services

Published on 30 November 2021

Drawing on the research of many PEDL projects, the Argidius Foundation recently released a handbook, containing a report and series of tools, which seeks to offer Business Development Services providers and funders guidance on how to boost small business growth and job creation. The handbook brings bring together the findings, knowledge, and experiences of practitioners, academics and funders over the last ten years. The handbook highlights five key characteristics that are shared by the most effective enterprise support schemes: 

  1. they select the entrepreneurs they are best suited to help;
  2. they focus on helping businesses diagnose and solve their particular problems (whether then through acceleration, peersupport, appropriate finance, consultant or new techniques);
  3. they monitor and evaluate whether problems are solved and performance improves (and adapt accordingly);
  4. they charge a fee that signals enough commitment that the entrepreneur is willing to work on their problems, but is not exclusionary.
  5. practitioners who are scaling successfully address their own organisational challenges particularly on financial sustainability, building a capable and empowered team and establishing effective governance.

The report and toolkit, including a diagnostic tool and reflection tool, are available for download here on the Argidius Foundation website. Spanish, French, and Portuguese translations will be made available.