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Does efficient provision of business development services yield better results for SMEs?: evidence from a networking project in Thailand

Aya Suzuki and Kengo Igei

Journal of Development Effectiveness, 2019, vol. 11, issue 3, 203-229

Abstract: Despite the growing attention on the role of managerial training in the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the SMEs’ use of business development services (BDS) remains low. While previous studies discussed demand-side constraints of SMEs, empirical evidence on the impact of improving the supply-side of existing BDS providers is limited. In this study, we focus on the supply-side constraints of BDS. We discuss a case in Thailand in which the government, in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, implemented a project to establish a formal network among existing BDS providers to enhance their effectiveness. Using primary data of SMEs and BDS providers, we find that providers in the treatment provinces may change their behavior in reaching out to SMEs. Further, SMEs that use BDS may enhance their knowledge and demand for providers, improve their business practices, and increase the likelihoods to have certified products and to export.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/19439342.2019.1638435

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