EVI explores and implements innovations in sustainable enterprise development.  This is achieved by supporting enterprise opportunities that respond to market needs that EVI identifies through comprehensive market opportunity assessments across stable and emerging economic sectors in project locations.  EVI conducts this market research, provides recommendations to partners, and designs and implements projects that improve livelihoods by supporting new, market demanded enterprise opportunities or strengthening existing enterprises to better meet market needs.

EVI utilizes training materials and tools designed to improve critical enterprise development and management skills that are identified through market research in order to ensure that entrepreneurs are well-equipped to function in new or changing marketplaces.  This capacity-building mitigates some of the risk of enterprise start-up for inexperienced entrepreneurs.

Through its Market Partnership Model, EVI works directly with private sector actors, or through local service providers, to form partnerships that pull new enterprises into market systems by offering unique incentives and support.  EVI works to ensure that market partners benefit through access to needed goods or services that allow their business to grow.  By brokering effective, early-stage market partnerships, EVI further reduces the risk of enterprise start-up and increases the likelihood of long-term enterprise stability.

Recent EVI projects related to Enterprise Development include:

  1. Eastern Caribbean: Market opportunity assessments in five countries to identify enterprise demand for out-of-school youth across many economic sectors; delivery of enterprise development and management training for youth; identification of potential market partners; and capacity-building for local service providers to identify and form market partnerships;
  2. Sierra Leone: Market analysis to identify opportunities for out-of-school youth to upgrade existing income-generating activities into market-driven enterprises or launch new enterprises to meet demand for goods and services in growing economic sectors;
  3. Tanzania: Market research to identify barriers to entry and competitiveness of women-owned, sustainable fuel briquette production enterprises; training for women on critical enterprise development and management skills; and technical assistance for women on improving physical characteristics of fuel briquettes to better to compete with traditional charcoal;
  4. South Africa: Market opportunity assessment to identify enterprise demand in the construction sector; and capacity-building for vocational training providers to incorporate relevant construction enterprise development  and management  skills training into existing curriculum; and
  5. United States: Market assessment of green microenterprise opportunities in the DeKalb County, Georgia, based on key growing sectors; identification of energy efficiency, green building, local and sustainable food, green cleaning, and green waste management as areas with microenterprise opportunities; forming partnerships with stakeholders to support pathways towards green business through the provision of technical assistance, access to finance, and market linkages.