The integration of micro-enterprises into local value chains

by Beatrice Tschinkel

Institution: Vienna University of Economics and Business
Year: 2011
Keywords: RVK QG 720; business linkages / expert/key informant interviews / micro-enterprises / MSME promotion / Private Sector Development / informal sector / informal economy / Sub-Saharan Africa / Uganda / upgrading / value chains / value chain promotion
Record ID: 1031786
Full text PDF: http://epub.wu.ac.at/3095/1/Dissertation_Tschinkel.pdf


The objective of the study is to identify how micro-enterprises can be integrated into local value chains by using the so-called "value chain approach". The "value chain approach" has become a relatively popular approach among donor agencies and NGOs engaged in Private Sector Development in recent years, being based on insights from studies on global value chains. The study includes investigation into the following points: 1) Which business linkages exist among micro-enterprises and with enterprises of different sizes and sectors, and how are they related to the upgrading process of micro-enterprises? 2) What influence does the legal status of micro-enterprises have on the development of business linkages and on the upgrading process? 3) How can the development of business linkages and the upgrading process (and, therefore, the integration into value chains) be supported and enhanced within the framework of PSD? The empirical study was conducted in Uganda. It includes a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches: (1) a questionnaire-based survey among micro-entrepreneurs, and (2) expert or key informant interviews, using a semi-structured interview guideline. The study provides an assessment of the relevance and applicability of the "value chain approach" to micro-enterprises and local value chains in the context of a developing country characterised by low levels of industrialisation, as well as policy recommendations for practitioners (from public and private sectors, as well as donor community, NGOs and civil society). Furthermore, the study highlights the importance of the issue of informality of micro- and small-scale enterprises. (author's abstract)