Thinking like a small business owner
January 8, 2016 Editor 0
Ecuadorian bread by Vilseskogen, CC Flickr
The World Bank helps to design dozens of projects that assess and address the difficulties of reaching small business owners with services, which include anything from credit and technical assistance, to exports markets, value chains, technology and more.
A deeper understanding of the challenges, opportunities and risks small business owners face might help Bank staff and other development specialists to do an even better job.
For example, meet Reina, a baker in Quito, Ecuador. Reina operates a business with four workers, two ovens, and a range of sweet and salty breads popular with the neighbors. Her small shop has electricity most of the day and a reliable water connection most of the year. The display windows are filled with freshly baked rolls that hide the ovens, the small warehouse for raw materials and the occasional chaos that arises during busy weekends and holidays.
How did she get here? Reina worked for another baker for five years, learning the trade. She took a two-day course on business management from an institute on the other side of town. Then Reina took out a loan from an informal group of friends, who lend periodically to each other for business and home needs, to buy her first oven. Reina offered part-time jobs to a few relatives and a friend and trained them in the basics. And Panadería Estrella (the Star Bakery) was born. It is a story repeated thousands of times in emerging markets. This is how the shadowy informal sector creates work… and wealth.
With her investment on the line, Reina makes a number of decisions every day which can determine the bottom line of the bakery. As we go decision by decision, you will understand what she does and what she needs more easily. One decision leads to another and another.
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Categories: World Bank PSD
Tags: small business owner
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