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.

A cocoa farmer in Sierra Leone

The amount of competition between intermediaries in agricultural markets has a large role in determining prices but can be very hard to measure.

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.

Millions of people make their living running microenterprises, but these businesses typically fail to expand or provide more than subsistence-level income to their owners.