The PRIME programme collects information on the effects of the support by CBI and PUM to small and medium enterprises in developing countries. An important data collection tool is the yearly online survey to all supported firms and supporting experts. This yearly monitoring allows the detection of effects in time on the firm’s knowledge, business practices and economic performance.
Based on the answers to only two questions on ten different business management areas, a Contribution Score is computed. This Contribution score is indicative of effectiveness, and permits comparisons of effectiveness between support institutions. We find that the Contribution scores correlate positively with the increase in profits in the SMEs.
In 2014 and 2016, PRIME collected data from SMEs. We find that both organisations contribute to improvements in these areas. CBI has, on average, a higher contribution score, but their support is more intensive and costly than the support provided by PUM. The figure present contribution scores per area, and indicates that CBI has highest effectiveness in addressing ‘quality requirements of international buyers’ and improving ‘marketing techniques’, while PUM is especially effective in improving ‘Ideas about new products’ and ‘Efficient ways of organising the production process’. The support of both CBI and PUM is less effective in improving financial management of the SMEs.
The two questions are:
- Have your business practices in this area changed?
- Is this change influenced by CBI/PUM support?
Enablers and barriers
To gain insights in the effectiveness of CBI and PUM activities, we do six case studies. This qualitative research will give us a better understanding of the context in which the interventions take place and an understanding of the characteristics of the support. The case studies provide an opportunity to identify these types of spillovers by interviewing not only the supported firms but by also reflecting on the dynamics in the sector with unsupported firms or sector experts.