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Business Support Centres
A Business Support Centre (BSC) is a physical space with well-trained staff who both coordinate the activities of the BSC and directly support entrepreneurs through various programmes. The BSC supports startups and existing businesses in business training, coaching, access to information and finance.
Startups and SMEs in fragile and conflict-affected regions experience specific and unique hurdles to doing business, such as exclusion of certain groups from the job market, legal restrictions to register a company, restrictions of movement, difficulty in meeting potential clients and expanding to new markets.
Within a SPARK-led BSC, these entrepreneurs can receive direct support from trained staff targeting their unique needs. SPARK always works with strong local partner organisations (youth and women associations, universities, business incubators etc) when setting up the structure and procedures of a BSC. We build the capacities of local partners so that the work of the BSC can later be completely transferred to them, enabling local ownership and sustainability, long after SPARK leaves a region. SPARK has started BSCs in the Western Balkans, sub-Saharan Africa and in the Palestinian Territories.
Download the SPARK Business Support Centre manual for our approach to implementing BSCs in fragile and conflict affected regions.