Islamabad - The USAID Small and Medium Enterprise Activity (SMEA) formally launched its Business Development Services (BDS) programme for Pakistani small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on the occasion of the first Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises Day 2018 in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The BDS Programme will support the growth of SMEs in the information and communications technology (ICT), hospitality, and other key sectors by helping them improve their financial and operational performance.  “USAID is committed to assisting small- and medium-sized businesses in Pakistan. Through today’s launch of SMEA’s BDS Programme, the project will assist enterprises become more competitive and help create more rewarding business opportunities,” said Mary Hobbs, Director, Economic Growth and Agriculture Office, USAID.  Joint Secretary Investment and Facilitation, Ministry of Industries and Production Zarar Haider expressed appreciation for USAID’s efforts to support economic growth initiatives in Pakistan.

Under USAID SMEA’s BDS Programme, enterprises will receive customized assistance to help them gain key technical skills and certifications, improve their understanding of and access to markets, increase access to finance, and streamline their production and management processes. USAID’s five-year Small and Medium Enterprise Activity is supporting Pakistan in SME-led economic growth that will help create jobs, foster entrepreneurship, and contribute to an increased GDP.  The project is also working towards improving the business enabling environment for private- sector led economic growth and provides funding opportunities for start-ups and SMEs through grant programmes under its Challenge Fund.