Fields of Expertise

Capacity Building

This component ranges from supporting programmes at a government level to aiding private companies to build their internal strengths. Our activities include training, organisational and policy development; we often apply and implement participatory approaches.

Enterpreneurship

We work in the field of entrepreneurship in the broadest sense of the word. Entrepreneurship is an individual skill but it also includes developing strategies around entrepreneurship in societies.  Our focus includes individual entrepreneurs, community based enterprises, trade networks and associations and governments in addition to whole value chains. We are experts in the area service markets for entrepreneurs (business development services) and stimulation of entrepreneurship for youth and rural communities.

Microfinance

Our focus is on researching, developing, evaluating and impact assessing  microfinance initiatives. Our approach includes finding the most appropriate and sustainable solution to a situation; this may include using a relatively informal system such as a savings and loans scheme or using a more formal institutional arrangement. We include all microfinance tools, rather than solely microcredit approaches.  In our research, we have often provided inputs into European microfinance.

Natural Resources

We have extensive experience of working in the natural resources domain. Our main focus is on forestry, agribusiness and subsistence farming throughout the supply chain from producer to consumer. We have worked with a wide variety of products including wood based products (from timber to decorative products to woodfuel), food products, gums and resins, handicraft products and traditional medicine based products amongst others.

We work on environment, market, policy and  social issues for natural resource based products for both private and public sector clients.

Private Sector

Our private sector work includes working on product sectors for public sector clients as well as working directly for large-scale private companies. Our corporate responsibility and sustainable development work within the private sector includes analysis of the supply chain as well as environmental and social due diligence.

A separate area of work uses appropriate market development tools to help develop pro-poor markets. These activities are primarily carried out in Africa and Asia.

Strategy

Strategy development focuses on the  future direction of our clients and it is a key element in our work. We often carry out an impact assessment or evaluation for an organisation or in a specific sector of work to develop the most appropriate strategy.  There are a range of models and approaches that can be used in strategy development and we seek to use the most appropriate tools combined with a direct and innovative approach.