This study of good practice in business development services was undertaken to help US development organizations improve their non-financial business services to better help small businesses grow and create jobs. Our findings and recommendations, however, will be useful to Business Development Services (BDS) providers around the world. In 2000 and 2001, Shorebank Advisory Services analyzed the business development strategies, service delivery systems and lessons of 15 organizations around the world with strong records of helping small firms reach markets and create or improve jobs in local communities. The focus was global, in order to bring a wide range of innovative experience and lessons to US-based practitioners, who are in need of new strategies. The focus was on small firms because they are the engines of business growth. This study emphasizes programs that create and improve jobs because businesses have the greatest impact on poverty through job creation.

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