In recent times, the dynamics of business have changed from just making money to the inclusion of continuous learning of key skills to increase productivity. This has led to a tremendous resurgence in business development services to help entrepreneurs promote their products to increase their levels of incomes.
Business Development Services (BDS) refer to a wide range of non-financial services provided to SMEs to help them operate efficiently, identify key challenges and offer solutions, poverty alleviation, help access to key markets and employment creation. BDS is also offered at various levels of their business needs. This is basically aimed at offering mentorship, skills transfer and business advice.
Business Development Services are important to SMEs because it is easier to point out various gaps in business by experts. They assist entrepreneurs to run their business effectively by addressing these gaps. If appropriately applied businesses experience positive changes within 6 to 12 months of mentorship.
Many BDS activities also help entrepreneurs to come up with business plans that are helpful and at times act as collateral when seeking financial support from lenders.
It is also important to note that BDS offers mentorship to entrepreneurs. Mentors come with legal, financial, entrepreneurial skills, guidance, business advice and training that are well packaged to help business owners grow. Humans are tailored to consistent learning and this is what BDS does.
In Kenya there several programs helping business owners through BDS. They are mostly offered by NGOs, banks and service providers such as Equity Group Foundation (EGF), KCB Foundation among others. The most common service providers are Pan African Center for Strategic Development and Capital strategies.
At Equity Bank, the EGF’s main objective is to help business owners with the ability to undertake detailed business planning; better understand their competitive position and their potential client base; improve financial management, general business management, skills and knowledge transfer, assist entrepreneurs to identify and evaluate possible business opportunities and enhance human resource management.
Finally, BDS programs commonly address financial, marketing, cashflow management, loan management, drafting of business plans and support in feasibility studies. Definitely this is the best journey for every enterprise in the 21st Century.