'Enterprise development' has evolved from the upgrading of individual businesses to the attempted advancement of entire industries using new approaches such as value chain development and making markets work for the poor. This change has resulted in an increased focus on macro-level issues such as enabling environments, trade agreements and national associations, and some policy makers question the relevance of programmes that target microenterprises. This paper presents the case of rural homebound women in Pakistan to illustrate that, although systemic analysis is essential to good programme design, projects that specifically target marginalized communities can produce significant results that would not be achievable through industry-level interventions alone. It provides an overview of MEDA's (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) work in Pakistan with sequestered women, a description of how the programme is attempting to integrate these homebound women into lucrative value chains, results of the programme to date, and conclusions relevant to the broader development industry.
The decision to purchase new productive technologies, however promising, presents great risks for the rural poor. The result is that farmers are disinclined to purchase new technologies, and manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are unwilling to invest in inventory and supply. To break this chain, smart subsidies can be used to accelerate demand and supply for critical production technologies. Properly administered incentives can attract commercial suppliers to actively address the needs of rural, underserved smallholder farmers without creating dependency. This article presents the case of smallholder farmers in Zambia to highlight how incentives can play a role in developing weak agribusiness service markets.