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Private Sector Development and Entrepreneurship

Woman shop owner in Mombasa, Kenya receives cash payment from a customer

Generating new knowledge on private sector development in developing countries.

What are the key features of private sector development and firm dynamics in developing countries? And what is the role of government policies in determining the relevant policy tools? New knowledge generated through research-based ideas designed, implemented and tested through the Strategic Research Program (SRP)  is highlighted here.

The research work focuses, particularly, on using new data sources to understand firm dynamics in developing countries; conducting a series of impact evaluations designed to measure the impacts of specific policies designed to enhance firm growth; and studying the determinants of informality and consequences of business environment reforms.  Much of this work involves closely working with country governments and World Bank operational units to test the impact of specific reforms and policy efforts they are implementing.

Using firm-level data to explore and document key features of private sector development and firm dynamics in low-income developing countries. The program was built around three sets of interrelated activites:

  • Employing a combination of experimental and non-experimental methods to examine the role of government policies in promoting private sector development. 
  • Encouraging researchers to generate and test new ideas for policy instruments that governments and World Bank operational teams could utilize in attempting to support the SME sector in developing countries.

SRP Benefits



Read about the SRP benefits.







Read about the Evidence Note.

High growth brief.
Exploring and documenting key features of private sector development in low-income countries.

Read the High growth brief.

Working with governments and other partners to test the effectiveness of specific policies to spur private sector development.

Firms Brief



Read the Formalizing firms brief



Gender brief



Read the gender and business training brief.

Innovative approaches to getting researchers more involved in proposing new ideas for SME policy.

SME brief



Read the SME ideas competition brief.

News, views, methods, and insights from the world of impact evaluation.
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David McKenzie

Lead Economist

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