Many people in developing countries are either self-employed or employed in small enterprises (roughly ten or fewer people). IPA’s research in this area investigates solutions to help these businesses thrive and grow through access to finance, skill-building, and encouraging first-time entrepreneurship.

Compared to their counterparts in high-income countries, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in low-and-middle-income countries, are often less productive, grow slower, and hire fewer workers.

A cocoa farmer in Sierra Leone

In perfectly competitive markets, higher valued agricultural products should translate into higher prices, putting more money in the pockets of farmers.


In developing countries small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are thought to be an important source of innovation and employment because of their fle