This series of technical notes focuses on value chains (VCs) as a means of asset protection and consumption smoothing. VC interventions are most appropriate for households falling in the “promotion” category of the provision-protection-promotion continuum of household economic vulnerability.
Household enterprises are the fastest growing segment in terms of numbers, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, contributing to aggregate employment, production and economic growth. Self-employment for low-income and vulnerable households matters, especially because as consumers or producers, they sell their labor and products in formal and informal markets to meet their needs for food and essential services. Most low-income households live in areas with limited state support and are more socially and geographically isolated. Yet they have to rely on self-employment—usually in traditional industries such as agriculture, handicrafts or tourism—to generate income. Better engagement in value chains can help low-income households get the most from their entrepreneurial efforts by facilitating better quality and more equitable linkages with their suppliers and buyers.
These publications are part of a practitioner-oriented technical note series featuring economic strengthening interventions. Additional technical notes in this series focus on cash transfer and voucher programs (provision) and savings groups (protection).