Carolin Schramm

How do enterprises themselves feel about donor support for inclusive business?

It feels like a long time since I finished my role as monitoring & evaluation manager for the DFID Business Innovation Facility pilot (BIF) in December 2013 and my last blog post on assessing and demonstrating additionality of private sector development programmes.

Since then, I have wondered many times how 'our' BIF-supported companies are doing now, how well (or not) planned trajectories have been met and if indeed our fairly limited amount of technical assistance has made a difference to enterprise progress.

A few weeks ago, at the SEED Africa Symposium, I had the unexpected opportunity to get answers to some of these questions when meeting two BIF-supported companies: Achenyo Idachaba, Founder of Mitimeth, a social enterprise making handicrafts from invasive aquatic weeds and other non-timber resources prevalent in Nigeria, and Ahmed Sunka, Deputy Director of Rab Processors Ltd working with smallholder farmers in Malawi.

Mitimeth received advisory support from BIF to help them develop their marketing and partner engagement strategy with retail outlets in Lagos, Nigeria. Rab Processors has worked with BIF to trial the company's warehouse receipt system for smallholder farmers.

It was inspiring to hear that both companies are doing well in developing their inclusive business ventures and how donor support from BIF (and other donors) can indeed make a difference.

Find out yourself in these short video interviews:

  • Achenyo Idachaba shares how technical assistance from the DFID Business Innovation Facility in 2012 has helped to form sustainable retail partnerships and led to rapid business growth
  • Ahmed Sunka explains how Kulima Gold's Warehouse Receipt System improves the lives of smallholder farmers in Malawi and how USAID support is helping the company increase its impact.

Interested to find out more about assessing and demonstrating the role of donor support in private sector development?

This blog is a part of the October 2015 series on inclusive business portfolio impact and learnings. For more opinion, analysis and studies click here.