4.1.3. Train Finance Seekers in Marketing Skills
Marketing skills are an essential element to increasing the profitability of SMEs. Strategic marketing not only advertises an enterprise’s offerings to the consumer, but to finance providers as well. USAID is experienced in assisting enterprises with marketing the benefits of their product or idea, particularly within the agricultural sector.
- Ability of borrowers to provide the details/documentation needed to get a loan
- Appropriate capital to meet borrower needs
- Cash flow uncertainty
- Off-take risks associated with target sector/region
- Production costs associated with target sector/region
- Rate of return on lending in target sector/region
Because marketing support is often combined with other advisory services, it is difficult to isolate specific impact; however, if SMEs are able to advertise their products/services more effectively, they may attract more customers, leading to increased profits and contributing to overall economic growth. Foundational training to finance seekers can also be utilized in future ventures.
Difficult to develop performance metrics; high relative cost for advisory services provider
MUST HAVE’S, CRITICAL POINTS, OR QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
Launched in November 2016, the Small and Medium Enterprise Activity (SMEA) five-year project is aimed at improving the financial and operating performance of SMEs across the industrial, manufacturing, and service sectors in Pakistan.
Among other initiatives, USAID SMEA offers a series of free skills development training sessions to entrepreneurs aimed at increasing skills in digital marketing and advertising. As part of the session, participants were provided hands-on training in various digital marketing tools. SMEs were invited to participate in the program free of cost and were required to meet a specific set of criteria: legally registered business, annual business turnover of less than PKR 800 million, under 250 full-time employees, part of SMEA’s target sectors (ICT, Hospitality,Textile, Logistics, etc.).Women-owned SMEs were specifically encouraged to apply.
This activity was in support of SMEA’s project objective to improve the financial and operational performance of SMEs in Pakistan.