Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI)

Department of Economic Development

Institutional Strengthening

The Department of Economic Development (DED), through its Trade and Economic Development Section, assists member states in their efforts to improve the capacity of their micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) support institutions to provide services that promote the productivity, innovation and competitiveness of MSMEs and their participation in domestic markets and international trade. This approach responds to OAS priorities to strengthen member states’ institutions and the capacity building of their human resources.

MSME support services provided by these institutions include:

  • Assistance to entrepreneurs development of business plans and financing strategies.
  • Use of information and communications technologies to improve productivity and broaden customer base.
  • Compliance with technical standards, packaging, and sanitary and phytosanitary requirements to access external markets.
  • Organization of cooperatives to strengthen the capacity of individual firms to achieve the volume and quality of products and services required by external markets.
  • • Preparing MSMEs to become providers of inputs to larger exporting firms as part of a competitive value chain.

The assistance provided is designed to impact a large number of enterprises by targeting the interventions on countries’ institutional framework that support MSMEs and establishing partnerships with cutting-edge technological companies to support MSMEs in their efforts to broaden their customer base. The interventions build on innovative institutional models for providing MSME assistance implemented by countries in the region. The recently established spaces for dialogue among MSME authorities have greatly facilitated the dissemination and adaptation of these successful experiences such as the US model of Small Business Development Centers (SBDC).