Supply Capacity > International Labour Organization (ILO)


Development of the business environment

The aim of this service is to enhance the business environment in which small enterprises develop in a manner that serves employment goals. The service provides policy guidance, technical cooperation and international advocacy aimed at enhancing the employment creation potential of enterprises and ensuring appropriate levels of regulation. It focuses on those areas that are specifically relevant to small enterprises. The service is provided through direct technical assistance, training programmes, and the dissemination of information.

The ILO collaborates with other agencies through the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (specifically the Working Group on Business Environment, which is chaired by the ILO), and the drafting of comprehensive guidance for donor agencies.

For more information:

Skills for Trade and Economic Diversification (STED)


Olga Strietska-Ilina,
Employment Sector, Skills and Employability Department

Tel: +41 22 799 7237


Skills for Trade and Economic Diversification’ (STED) is a technical assistance tool developed by the ILO that provides strategic guidance for the integration of skills development in sectoral policies. It is designed to support growth and decent employment creation in sectors that have the potential to increase exports and to contribute to economic diversification.

STED takes a forward looking perspective, anticipating a sector’s development and growth opportunities based on its global competitive position and market development. Together with an analysis of current skills supply and demand, this provides an outlook of existing and future skills shortages.

Thus, STED supports the formation of skills for which there is demand in the labour market and helps to avoid skill mismatches that contribute to unemployment, in particular among the young.

More information on country level experiences can be found here: www.ilo.og/sted.

Value chain development


Merten Sievers,
Employment Sector, Enterprise Development Department

Tel: +41 22 799 8078,

The ILO’s Value Chain Development work focuses on the subsectors that are most relevant for job creation and job quality improvement.The ILO aims at addressing systems and institutions that can drive competitiveness and job creation in specific sectors by using a market development approach. The ILO’s interventions build on private sector development strategies that seek to strengthen enterprises, business relationships & services, market structures, and the business environment so that they channel more benefits to the poor and create more and better jobs effectively.

Relying on ILO’s strong knowledge background in developing business service markets and its tools to improve the business environment as well as drawing from best practice conceptual thinking and participatory methodologies, ILO’s Value Chain Development methodologies are now being applied in 25 projects in more than 20 countries around the globe.

A unique ILO strength in this area is training in Value Chain Development. In collaboration with the International Training centre of the ILO in Turin, more than 500 professionals have been trained in applying market development thinking to sectoral development strategies.

The ILO has been co-leading the UN VCD group that aims at sharing information and increasing the coherence of the UN systems interventions in the area of value Chain Development

Core practitioner tools and training resources can be accessed here: and here

Workplace practices


Michael Elkin or Markus Pilgrim,
Employment Sector Enterprise Development Department

Tel: +41 22 799 6779,;

In order to remain competitive in national and international markets, sustainable enterprises need to innovate, adopt environmentally friendly technologies, develop skills and human resources, and enhance productivity. The application of productive workplace practices, based on good labour-management relations and respect for workers’ rights, provides an effective means of increasing enterprises’ trade capacity and international competitiveness. The ILO uses a two-part strategy to promote good workplace practices: documentation and dissemination of examples of good practices, case studies and guidelines; and strengthening entrepreneurial management skills through capacity building and training resources that foster the adoption of good workplace practices in micro, small and large enterprises. Implementation of capacity building and training are carried out through strategic partnerships with ILO constituents - governments, workers’ groups, and employers’ groups.