What We Do
A viable and self-sustaining institute, ECDI depends on training, consultation and technical assistance fees from capacity development and learning events as well as action-research field projects. ECDI enjoys the support of both local and international agencies but does not accept donations. Project sustainability is a key consideration and planned from the very beginning of any initiative undertaken by the institution. Activities are designed to be demand-driven and based on comprehensive research and understanding of market mechanisms and community needs. Attention is accorded to clear and significant returns and strategies to strengthen market linkages, both by building incentives for existing market players and by providing income-oriented motivational benefits for poor women MSEs. Benefits to MSEs are ensured through financially sustainable models of project delivery and by working with private sector VC actors and institutions as much as possible.
ECDI believes that with the right leadership, partnership and support, Pakistan has the people power, initiative and resources to rapidly advance and achieve equitable economic development. It focuses its work towards the implementation of Value Chain Development (VCD) through analysis of market systems and trends, product development, skill development, and facilitating market linkages. Its Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) support includes training, the creation of a more supportive enabling environment by facilitating the development of appropriate and accessible service providers, improving linkages to finance, establishing networks and improving women’s mobility to access markets and services.
While working to expand MSE incomes, ECDI accords great attention to private sector development including enterprise development and market promotion. It seeks to help the poor increase income, employment and assets that benefit the poor, such as VCD and facilitating Business Development Services (BDS).
To meet its objectives, the institute has been actively involved in the following activities:
- Conducting needs assessment studies for developing MSEs and markets,
- Developing strategies for appropriate identification and selection of potential women entrepreneurs and leaders,
- Evolving effective training strategies and methodologies for new and existing MSEs,
- Implementing effective projects to encourage women to engage in income generation or self employment,
- Developing strategies to transfer technology amongst low-income people and to link production with effective marketing,
- Conducting research and identifying the demand and supply constraints and opportunities in various markets, and
- Exploring various learning mechanisms for developing tools for MSEs and BDS market development.
ECDI favors a focus on small enterprises as a critical route to increasing incomes and assets of the poor, within a broader approach to stimulate and allow the market to respond. ECDI’s core focus for the future is leveraging learning from successful work across Pakistan to expand, adapt and introduce innovations for unprecedented empowerment of women micro-entrepreneurs. Both rural and urban VCs are targeted, with awareness of the changing urban landscape in Pakistan, as well as the adoption and adaptation of approaches and technologies that have been implemented in urban development in other countries. The key challenge for ECDI in its private sector development work in the future is to show tangible, significant results in poverty eradication and deliver large-scale, sustainable programs that benefit the poor.