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Evaluating the BDS Providers and MSMEs: Challenges and Strategic Actions


  • Sandeep Goyal

    () (Institute for Competitiveness)

  • Bruno S. Sergi

    () (Harvard University
    University of Messina)

  • Amit Kapoor

    () (Institute for Competitiveness)


This article studies the role of private business development service (BDS) providers in targeting the business needs of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) using a self-sustainable business model. The availability and access to private BDS providers is essential for MSMEs to learn and acquire new operations, marketing, management, resourcing, technology, and innovation skills. The research objective involves understanding BDS challenges and corresponding strategic actions adopted by BDS providers while serving the MSMEs. A qualitative multicase-based research methodology is applied to data collection and analysis. The experience of BDS providers studied here helps gauge provisioning across all countries. BDS challenges involve environmental complexity, lack of awareness and identity, decisions on the types of service offerings, scarcity of resources, and ethical dilemmas. The corresponding strategic actions are identified and mapped to the challenges faced by BDS providers.

Suggested Citation

  • Sandeep Goyal & Bruno S. Sergi & Amit Kapoor, 2017. "Evaluating the BDS Providers and MSMEs: Challenges and Strategic Actions," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 29(4), pages 725-744, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:29:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1057_s41287-016-0058-z
    DOI: 10.1057/s41287-016-0058-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert Bennett & Paul Robson, 1999. "Intensity of Interaction in Suppy of Business Advice and Client Impact: A Comparison of Consultancy, Business Associations and Government Support Initiatives for SMEs," Working Papers wp142, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    2. Robert Bennett & Paul Robson, 2003. "Changing Use of External Business Advice and Government Supports by SMEs in the 1990s," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(8), pages 795-811.
    3. Robert Bennett & William Bratton & Paul Robson, 2000. "Business Advice: The Influence of Distance," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(9), pages 813-828.
    4. Kevin F. Mole & William Keogh, 2008. "The implications of public sector small business advisers becoming strategic sounding boards: England and Scotland compared," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 77-97, June.
    5. Dr. Washington O. Okeyo Ph.D & Dr. James Gathungu, Ph.D, & Prof. Peter K’Obonyo Ph.D, 2014. "The Effect of Business Development Services on Performance of Small and Medium Manufacturing Enterprises in Kenya," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 4(6), pages 12-26, June.
    6. Knight, Gary A., 2001. "Entrepreneurship and strategy in the international SME," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 155-171.
    7. Dubois, Anna & Gadde, Lars-Erik, 2002. "Systematic combining: an abductive approach to case research," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 55(7), pages 553-560, July.
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