Impact Assessment

BDS Markets and Business Centres in East Java, 2000

    Summary of results
    This case study is a research paper on the topic "BDS Market Development in East Java". In addition, it serves as a means to review experience made in the application of the Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) in the course of Swisscontact's Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion projects in Indonesia. Swisscontact, a private Swiss foundation, has been engaged in various technical co-operation projects in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia. In Indonesia, Swisscontact pioneered a business-oriented approach in the field of Business Development Services (BDS) for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), collaborating with 11 Business Centers on Java island.

    In 1999, Swisscontact conducted comprehensive research into the BDS market in East Java. The (sometimes unexpected) findings are presented and interpreted in his paper. In East Java the potential number of BDS customers amounts to approx. 150,000, 30% of whom are active in the manufacturing industry. The 219 BDS providers (mostly NGOs, private businesses, educational institutions, and cooperatives) who took part in the Swisscontact survey proved to be a mixed lot, many of whom did not even know the actual cost of their own products. The 79 institutions that survived a first screening offered a total of 364 services (the top three: 1. Entrepreneurship/Leadership, 2. Technical Training, 3. Starting-up a Business) at widely different quality, duration and cost. In case of problems, entrepreneurs reported to consult family members and friends first; only 11% obtain counsel from specialized institutions (such as BDS providers). In spite of this, almost half of all SMEs have - at one time - made use of BDS. However, only 15-20% of them paid some money for the services. In Chapter 4.4. "Lessons Learned" the author concludes that the BDS market in East Java is still far from being ?developed?, and makes suggestions on how to further refine the BDS approach.

    Swisscontact applied the Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) at two of its Business Centers, WPU Malang and PT Centrama, Surabaya. No major problems came up in obtaining BDS provider data, as Swisscontact had previously developed a detailed benchmarking tool for performance assessment of BDS providers, covering most PMF indicators. Most questionable are indicators that are expected to measure impact. The author has his doubts, whether - at least in the field of training and counseling - direct impact of BDS can be assessed properly with such kind of indicators.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Final Documentation
    »Business Centres and Vouchers in Indonesia, Swisscontact 2002
    Synthesis Documents
    »Hanoi DC Conference, 2000