Business development services (BDS)
While the role that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) play in all economies is universally acknowledged, only a small segment of small businesses is capable of making full use of opportunities and coping effectively with threats without assistance. Smallness confers some inherent competitive disadvantages and same sort of external support is warranted in order for these enterprises to each their full potential (OECD, 2004). Services to promote and enhance MSME competitive performance accordingly constitute important policy instruments in many countries including advanced ones, such as the USA. However, programmes and institutions designed to support small enterprises have reached and assisted only a minority of them. This chapter examines the meaning, scope, role and the changing perspectives of business development services (BDS).