Synthesis Documents

Working with Lead Firms, FIELD Facilitation Working Group, 2008-2009

    This series of four documents outlines the results of discussions among members of the FIELD Facilitation Working Group, a consortium of mostly North American agencies involved in enterprise development, about how best to work with lead firms.

    The first document seeks to define lead firms in a value chains context, and to outline core principles and good practices in facilitation. The latter include guidance on how best to promote relationships between market actors, on how to choose which lead firms to work with, on how to structure collaboration with lead firms and on how to ensure sustainability of impact.

    The second document examines the criteria for selecting lead firms in more detail. Considerations include the number and quality of linkages to MSMEs, the long-term viability of the firm and its potential to influence other market actors. The third paper suggests how best to manage relations with lead firms, and includes sections on establishing the credibility of the development organisation and on negotiating memorandums of understanding.

    The fourth paper, entitled 'Interventions with Lead Firms', begins with a typology of common interventions that development organisations undertake in this area. The overview is followed by a set of thirteen 'intervention briefs', detailing experiences of FIELD members with key interventions involving lead firms.