Who We Are ?

National Business Development Program for SMEs (NBDP) is a project of SMEDA, funded through Public Sector Development Program of Government of Pakistan.

SMEDA aims to be a worldwide model organization, which is effective in determining SME and entrepreneurship policies, handholds SMEs to undertake an important role in the global market by increasing exporting capacities of SMEs, provides access to valuable information and networks and promotes internationalization and innovation levels of SMEs. Following are the major intervention areas of the NBDP project:

  • Provide quality assured information and business advice to the SMEs by engaging subject matter experts and practitioners. Use of ICT for enhancing outreach of such services is a major consideration.
  • Develop and disseminate information on concepts and issues related to small business management for enhancing the understanding of SMEs. and material.
  • Enhance quality and increase the number, outreach and diversity of the training programs offered to SMEs.
  • Promote Business Startups and provide small grants.
  • Improve SMEs access to finance and export markets through provision of Credit Worthiness Assessment Support.
  • Provide support to SMEs in improving their Marketing of existing businesses and developing linkage to the local, regional and international customers.
  • Assist SMEs in developing their organizational systems and capabilities in order to improve efficiencies and effectiveness of management and operations.
  • Facilitate small businesses, particularly exporters by improving their access and affordability to the national and international certifications and product testing services.
  • Provide SMEs with access to qualified human resource and equipment for improving product features / functionality.
  • Engage higher education institutions, build their capacity to establish / operate Business Incubation centers and help them create linkage with entrepreneurial echo system of the country.
  • Carryout Research / Publications to identify issues in policy and business regulations and propose solutions for improving ease of doing business.
  • Develop and implement programs for identification, strengthening, networking and market linkage for the business development service providers.
Our Priority Area

Our Priority Area

Priority areas pertaining high growth for SME development will include but may not limited to manufacturing, energy, construction, trade, transportation, tourism, innovation and communication, technical and managerial activities. Special focus will be given to sectors where there are higher possibilities of value addition and innovation.



The program will be implemented in all provinces of Pakistan. Executed form the NBDP Head Office, Lahore, the program will implement its activities through SMEDA's four provincial offices and Regional Business Centers strengthened / established in the areas with major SME concentration across Pakistan.



Advice & Information Service

The service will aim at providing information and advice to the existing or potential SMEs who would either walk in to a SMEDA designated helpdesk or approach SME support helpline for their business related information requirements. The system would entail an information database supported by SME research / publication services for help desk / helpline staff to answer SME queries. It is expected that around 200,000 existing and potential SMEs will be facilitated on their legal, HRD, marketing, finance and technology related information requirement.

Over the Counter Documents

Identification, development, and printing of Over The Counter (OTC) products such as feasibility studies, commercial contracts, legal templates, industrial guidelines and regulatory procedures will be developed and updated. These documents will be made available to the SMEs through SMEDA website, helpdesks and relevant training programs. It is estimated that over 761 of the above-mentioned documents will be developed / updated during the project tenure.

SME Training Support

Economic survival is not possible in the present era without knowledge -based workforce. Capacity building of SMEs in HR, marketing, management, technology and regulatory issues is a must. SME training support will manage systematic training need assessment, development of quality assured training modules / materials, and will execute the demand based trainings through short listed training service providers. It is estimated above of 3,800 programs will be conducted, benefiting 95,000 SMEs. With the arrangement of converting the training material into online training modules and short documentaries, the outreach of this component will be increased many folds. SME training will also address entrepreneurship development support to potential businessmen and youth. A customized program for building entrepreneurial capacities of individuals particularly young graduates will be executed in collaboration with the academia.

Business Startup Support

The individuals successfully completing the mandatory entrepreneurship development program will be provided business start up grants in order to facilitate business initiation. It is estimated that for this component, 913 new businesses will be facilitated during the tenure of the project.

Credit Worthiness Assessment Support

Lack of availability of quality assured independent information on credit history, character, capital and capacity of the SMEs act as a major stumbling block for SMEs' access to finance. Lack of information on the above increases reliance of the banks on collateral for ensuring payback of loans. The services offered through private sector companies for providing to the banks, an assessment of the on ground position of the SME loan applicant on a standard format. Majority of the cost included in provision of such assessment will be facilitated by this project. This service will be provided to around 9,500 companies.

Marketing & Market Linkage

Existing and new SMEs will be provided support in improving marketing and market linkages. The assistance will include but not limited to improvement in packaging, design of marketing campaigns, establishment / strengthening of distribution systems, development of franchise network / dealerships and participation in local / international trade exhibitions. It is estimated that for this component, 400 businesses will be facilitated during the tenure of the project.

Organizational Development Support

Under this program, SMEs will be provided support for developing / improving their organizational capacities. Support will be provided to SMEs for improving their manufacturing capacity and organizational systems (accounting, resource planning, taxation compliance, financial management and reporting etc.) It is estimated that for this component, 152 businesses will be facilitated during the tenure of the project.

Service Acquisition Support (Certification / Testing)

This program looks at developing capacities of SMEs for compliance with international regulations and standards. The program will encourage professional organizations to develop and execute programs / products / services to improve SME compliance with international standards and regulations. It is estimated that for this component, 500 businesses will be facilitated during the tenure of the project.

Technical R&D Support

The program supports new SMEs who intend to start a technology oriented business or for existing SMEs who desire to add a technology dimension in their current activities. The support will include but not limited to equipment, hardware, raw material, software, etc. Under this component of the program, qualified PhD / MS etc. students of the technical universities will also be provided to work in the supported businesses. It is estimated that for this component, 150 businesses will be facilitated during the tenure of the project.

SME Market Research / Publications

SMEDA will carry out primary research in order to facilitate GoP in developing evidence-based policies for SME development in the country, identify demand based programs and products for SME facilitation and identification of potential areas for innovation, value addition and investment mobilization. SMEDA will researchers from academia and private sectors to carry out research and develop publications in line with the need assessment carried out for this purpose. The academia / private sector may come up with proposed research areas for which funding would be provided after due consideration. It is estimated that for this component, 23 quality business research papers / publications will be facilitated / developed during the tenure of the project.

Business Incubation & Academia

Technical assistance will be provided to academia for establishment and operation of business incubation centers. The incubation services will be offered to the startup companies who are giving business startup grants or individuals / graduates of the respective academic institution who fulfill the requirements for enrolment under the incubation support program. There will be a special focus on incubation services for female businesspersons. It is estimated that for this component, 16 business incubation centers will be facilitated during the tenure of the project. This component will have the potential to facilitate around 1,600 technically innovative businesses during the tenure of project

BDSP Strengthening & Networking

It is an international best practice to involve private sector business development service providers in delivery of development support to small & medium businesses. There is a gap when it comes to acquisition of services form the Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs) by the SMEs in Pakistan. Lack of scalability of the products and absence of any quality assurance mechanism for the BDSPs are the major issues. This component will identify, strengthen and network the BDSP for enhancing usability of their services by the SME sector. Around 3,800 BDSPs will be facilitated to service SME market requirements under this project.