What we do
Through collaboration with the private sector, we provide people with the dignity of working their own way out of poverty and generate long-term sustainable development for the future. The private sector of many developing countries consists primarily of informal microenterprises operating alongside a limited number of large firms. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which can be important contributors to equitable economic growth and job creation, are often lacking or few in number. Cordaid’s Private Sector Development efforts aim to address this ‘missing middle’ by supporting SMEs with an innovative two-track strategy: Resilient Business Development Services and Access to Finance.
We run several programmes as part of our Private Sector Development efforts. Our Resilient Business Development Services Programme (RBDS) supports SMEs in countries such as Sierra Leone and Ethiopia, with the aim of accelerating their businesses and encouraging their economic and social impact. This is done through promoting stronger business management capacity, supporting the formation of business structures, giving SMEs the opportunity to apply for and receive investment and growth financing, and providing training on accessing finance. RBDS also provides local young entrepreneurs – 60% of which are women – with better access to finance.
Additionally, we work with specific groups within society that may be facing unique obstacles in accessing the labour market. Our Bright Future programme in Afghanistan offers young individuals with training in the job searching and application process, support in kickstarting their businesses, and follow-up business development support to their SMEs once established.
Our support of female entrepreneurship in fragile and conflict-affected states aims to account for the unique challenges women can face in accessing the private sector, especially when they are in the demographic of marginalised groups in society. Cordaid currently provides a total of 64 female owned businesses with training, technical assistance, and mentorship to assist them in attracting investors and making their business flourish.
In the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, Cordaid’s Cooperative Entrepreneurship (COIN) program supports initiatives and municipalities that want to establish a social cooperative. In collaboration with various parties, such as local businesses and civil society organizations, Cordaid helps social cooperatives become sustainable. Our program reaches out to people with a low income and/or a distance to the labour market in the Netherlands, who are thwarted in their plans to set up their own business.