As the world works towards food system transformation, the role of various stakeholders serving small farmers and agri-SMEs has gained increasing importance. The market of business development services (BDS) for agri-SMEs has grown significantly in the last decade, with more organizations providing technical, financial, and capacity-building support to these enterprises. However, evidence gaps still exist in our understanding of the services and business models of these service providers.
In their latest learning brief, SAFIN and 'Nourishing Africa' address this challenge by mapping the landscape of BDS providers-also known as enterprise support organizations (ESOs)- in eight countries of sub-Saharan Africa. This brief shares key insights about local ESOs in these countries, including their effectiveness, accessibility, and business model sustainability, among others. This work is the beginning of a broader effort to establish sustainable support mechanisms for agri-SMEs through local ESOs.