Accessing Markets and Fortifying Entrepreneurship: Sectoral Approaches to Microenterprise Development

Marva Williams

This report analyzes how sectoral networks, a fairly recent innovation in microenterprise development in the United States, facilitate the establishment of formal and informal alliances between firms producing similar products or services.  The programs profiled are: Rural Ohio's Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet) Food Ventures program; and the Chicago-based Women's Business Development Center's (WBDC) Apparel Roundtable. The report describes each program's technical assistance, mentorship, and networking services and how the programs affect job creation, increased sales, and improved entrepreneurial capacity.