Developing markets are usually disconnected and unregulated, which limits their opportunity to bridge market gaps and balance demand and supply. The fragile connection between small-to-medium enterprises often results in lost business opportunities, higher production costs, and limited scalability. Their insufficient knowledge and skills in business development, accompanied by limited access to technology and finance, pose real obstacles to industrial upgrading and innovation.
Building strong market linkages strengthens trade and investments ties at the local and international level. It helps local markets cope with the needs of globalisation by boosting productivity, jobs, incomes, and standards of living. Within the same market, it brings enterprises together to reduce market risks, exchange knowledge, and eliminate unequal market power. Internationally, it helps local enterprises penetrate new markets and magnify national exports.
SMEs require support to develop and scale, get access to markets and finance, overcome regulatory restrictions, lower operating expenses and widen their network. In particular, they lack the skills, systems, and qualifications required to grow and benefit from donor support programs. Women-owned enterprises, in particular, need further attention by investors and development agencies to grasp potential business opportunities.
Furthermore, business associations do not necessarily meet the needs of their clients, and due to a lack of capacity and strategy, they may not fully support their respective sectors and industries. Essentially, the future of business development services relies on the role of associations in facilitating quality services, promoting a culture of enterprise development, and supporting the roll-out of new competitive processes and products.
Leaders International works with the entire value chain to connect local enterprises and build their capacity to meet local needs and expand into global markets. We go beyond capacity building and funding schemes to foster the crucial role of SMEs in developing the whole supply chain of promising industries. This approach extends the life span of small businesses and amplifies their consistency and reliability as suppliers to both local and international markets.
Leaders International facilitates the cooperation between SMEs, business development service providers, business associations, chambers of commerce, regulators, and governmental bodies; creating a holistic framework where all parties grow to achieve one mutual goal, economic wellbeing.
Through several projects, Leaders International has provided technical and financial assistance to hundreds of enterprises to facilitate their access to markets through skills development, product development, research, and product qualification and certification. We further utilise our global network of partners, especially in Europe and the Middle East, to connect local enterprises with international buyers and gateway markets through trade fairs, exhibitions, conventions, B2B meetings, and startup-pitch competitions.