Small and growing businesses (SGBs) are one of the most promising avenues for sustainable development and positive change across the globe. Every $1 USD invested in SGBs generates $13 USD in the local economy – and SGBs have the potential to reach 4.5 billion new customers across 92 countries. Yet SGBs continue to face difficult barriers to sustaining growth given the contexts in which they operate, hindering their ability to scale to new markets. Despite the growing ecosystem of external support, it is clear that more needs to be done to help SGBs scale.
This report seeks to understand how SGBs can be better supported to scale. Our hope is twofold: that it will introduce some practical recommendations to test, and will initiate a wider dialogue for how SGBs can scale.
Through a literature review and in-depth interviews with over 50 SGBs, funders and other organizations that support SGBs, we offer insights on some of the barriers that exist. We also offer recommendations that will hopefully inspire practitioners – SGBs, funders, technical assistance providers, and other intermediaries – to apply the report’s insights in a practical and meaningful manner.
We invite you to read the report and contribute to this interesting and vital conversation.