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Small And Medium Businesses

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 12 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of Stae for International Development what steps her Department is taking to encourage small and medium businesses in developing countries. [14136]

My Department is actively supporting the development of micro, small and medium enterprises. They are an essential means of providing poor people with greater access to income and employment opportunities.The budgetary commitment to current projects exceeds £100 million. This is expected to continue to increase, notably in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa and South Asia.DFID' s support takes three forms: improving the policy and regulatory environment, creating or strengthening local financial institutions, e.g. leasing companies or microfinance institutions and supporting local organisations providing cost effective business development services, e.g. skills training, market access.