We have managed this project in Maldives since April 2010. The project reached thousands of Maldivians through the establishment of Business Development Service Centres (BSDCs). The Centres provide business support services to start-ups and SMEs including training, support to develop business plans to attract investment, marketing and business management. A pilot platform wasestablished where MSME’s can also access technical assistance. Businesses contributed 20% of the value of assistance either in cash or in kind. Over 500 people directly benefitted from this service with an estimated out reach of 3000 indirect beneficiaries.
A highlight of the year was Hubasaana 2011, an Artsand Crafts Festival which provided exposure to MSME’s to market their products and build their market networks. The festival was a resounding success, and, because a number of theevents around the festival took place around the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit, it allowed MSME’s to showcase uniquely Maldivian products and artisanal skills to visiting dignitaries.
The infrastructure to support economic growth through SMEs in Maldives is firmly established and the BDSC model is now being rolled out in other regions.