The COVID-19 pandemic transcends boundaries and disrupts business operations in countries around the globe, one of them being India. In India, a country home to one of the largest start-up ecosystems of the world, enterprises and Business Development Services (BDS) providers alike are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Multiple actors have recognised the critical importance of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) during the Covid-19 pandemic, which are indeed impacted negatively by the pandemic effects, but which also continue to be the drivers of local green and inclusive growth. Hence, governments, donors and international players put them at the heart of their green and fair recovery packages. In this light, the effectiveness and efficiency of enterprise support programmes driven by intermediaries, accelerators, business advisors, tech hubs and support agencies is a critical piece in upcoming recovery measures. These organisations and programmes are essential in building a resilient SME sector by providing business training, access to markets, networks and mentors, financial and social capital, and in-kind support.
At the ecosystem level, SEED's Green Recovery Ecosystem Builder (GREB) programme supported intermediaries, accelerators, business advisors, tech hubs and support agencies making MSME support programmes resilient, green, fair and recovery proof. This new Green Recovery Ecosystem Builder programme offered by SEED (hosted by adelphi) aimed at maximising the impact of Covid-19 related enterprise support measures building a growing network of ecosystem builders. The programme targeted participants who lead programmes or departments and are responsible for the successful implementation of MSME support services.
Designed as a programme spanning several months with virtual modules, it targeted both the programming and enterprise support level. Programming institutions (e.g. from international development cooperation or local incubator programmes) and implementers (e.g. business development service providers) worked together in a case-based peer-learning process to advance potential or existing support programmes using hands-on tools. The holistic programme toolkit is based on design thinking and user-centred frameworks allowing the participants to work on their real-life programme cases pioneering new approaches or refining existing good practices.