Articles by Juan Carlos Thomas
Making This Year Better Than the Last: A Recent Survey Assesses the Pandemic’s Impacts on Micro and Small Businesses
Micro and small businesses dealt with massive challenges during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and even those that adapted and survived still face major struggles. Juan Carlos Thomas at TechnoServe shares the results of a recent study on COVID-19's impact on these enterprises, and explores how his organization has been supporting them – including through a crisis toolkit that helps them weather the pandemic's challenges, and through digital tools focused on business training and access to finance.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing falling demand, mandatory store closings, labor shortages and other challenges for businesses around the world – and micro and small businesses are especially vulnerable. How can development organizations help these critical drivers of local economies? Juan Carlos Thomas and Andrea Bettosini at Technoserve provide answers to this question, based on past experience helping businesses weather socio-political upheaval in developing countries.
Developing countries have become increasingly important to multinational companies, with foreign direct investment often outpacing development aid. Meanwhile, the 400 million micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises in these countries are facing a wide variety of obstacles to growth. The new Catalyzing SGB Acceleration initiative, launched by TechnoServe and the Argidius Foundation, aims to find common ground between those two worlds. Juan Carlos Thomas and Annie Shoemaker at TechnoServe discuss the new project.
The inability to access capital is a frequent obstacle for would-be entrepreneurs in the developing world. But most of the energy spent on solving this problem is currently focused on the financial industry, or the supply side. Instead, we should focus more attention on the demand side of funding – working with entrepreneurs, argues Juan Carlos Thomas of TechnoServe.