Sustainable development cannot be secured without a sound revenue base for developing economies. A vibrant, inclusive and innovative private sector is the engine for achieving this.
NIRAS complements our core private sector development and trade expertise with an increasing focus on science, technology and innovation (such as through our Digital Futures Hub) to accelerate development impact across the sectors in which we operate.
Our approach to economic development seeks to benefit local communities, businesses, investors and governments.
We provide technical assistance and skills transfer to the public and private sectors including start-ups, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), smallholder farmers, processors, traders, larger businesses and government ministries.
To do this effectively we use tailored approaches that include:
- Market systems development
- Innovation ecosystems development that supports entrepreneurship through our engagement in science, technology and innovation projects, especially via investments in start-ups, and innovation acceleration. We also promote open innovation by linking clients to local and international expertise, facilitating knowledge exchange and academia-company engagement
- Business development services to assist small businesses build capacity and expertise
- Strengthening of national legal, policy and institutional frameworks and enhanced public services for improving MSME competitiveness and their integration into value chains and markets
- Improving the environment for doing business, trade and investment
- Value chain development, for example in agriculture and forestry
- Market linkage creation, and public‒private partnerships (PPPs)
- Facilitating access to finance via a range of funding sources and new mechanisms with scaling potential such as blended finance, impact investments and loan development. We do this by bolstering financial intermediaries and engaging with new and traditional finance providers
- Providing support for conducive business environments, which include an improved investment climate for MSMEs and stronger business support organisations which can advocate for change
- Facilitating SME linkages between the Global South and North to promote trading opportunities and private sector engagement, supporting transition from aid to trade
- Advising on Local Economic Development, for example by assisting cities to draft LED plans in which infrastructure is linked to key value chains with potential for job creation
- Develop market based-solutions that work across both micro and macrolevels. We also understand how to integrate these solutions to address a range of sustainable development outcomes including climate resilience, food security and peace and stability
- Developing cutting-edge monitoring and evaluation systems for complex trade and private sector development programmes based on international best practice, such as the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED).
Within the practice areas noted above we offer:
- Complex project design and implementation
- Business diagnostics
- Curricula development
- Capacity building and business planning advice
- Policy analysis and development
- Research and Market studies
- Facilitation of market linkages (Markets System Development)
- Access to finance support
- Monitoring, evaluation and learning systems