When supported by sound policies and strong institutions, private enterprise is the primary engine of inclusive, pro-poor growth.

Robust systems of private enterprise — where businesses of all sizes are encouraged to thrive and grow — create good jobs and exciting opportunities. A competitive private sector fulfills local needs for goods and services, delivered at fair prices and sound quality. Dynamic, innovative firms address pressing economic, social, and environmental challenges. They further inspire improvements in public services and, by contributing to the tax base, make it possible for governments to ensure public safety, education, health and infrastructure.

Nathan helps economies achieve this virtuous cycle through a broad range of private sector development activities. From high-level strategy development to firm-level assistance, our services generate solutions where they are most needed.

We begin by rapidly identifying both overt and hidden constraints to doing business in the formal sector, whether in the political economy, in law and regulation, or in institutions charged with facilitating commerce. We create data-driven strategies for change which capture the unique opportunities found in each location where we work. Our efforts may center on a single sector or a limited set of bureaucratic constraints, or we may facilitate change more broadly through a multi-faceted, systems-oriented approach.

Nathan supports firms of all sizes in locating and succeeding in new markets by tapping new strategies, players, and technologies. We elevate the importance of a skilled, diverse, and innovative workforce, offering practical approaches for bringing out the best in human capital.

We also shed light on the true cost of under-valuing the participation of women — and then create solutions for helping women realize their full economic potential. At the same time, we help firms and economies embrace the vast opportunities found in the digital economy.

Nathan’s work is grounded in the core values underlying sustainable, inclusive systems of private enterprise: Equal access and opportunity. Institutional transparency. Free and fair competition. Rule of law. By integrating these values into reliable legal structures and administrative processes, Nathan helps its clients displace chaos and opacity with order and predictability. We model and support accountable systems of corporate governance, broad-based access to capital and markets, transparent approaches to commercial justice, and progress in the elimination of corruption.

Nathan’s in-house experts and network of consultants represent an elite corps of professionals from business, law, economics, Information and Communications Technology, data analytics, and women’s economic empowerment. We bring not only a passion for the work, but also a track record of results. Our thought-leadership in private sector development topics is the cornerstone for current practice across the field. With reliability and cost-effectiveness, our experts help public and private-sector clients realize the promise of dynamic markets and thriving private enterprise.

Tailoring our approach to each unique challenge…and delivering best-practice results

Nathan delivers solutions in the following areas:
Pro-poor, inclusive Market Systems programs. Nathan designs, implements and evaluates market systems programs that address the underlying causes of poverty. We harness incentives offered by market trends and amplify the voices of private-sector actors to help generate more responsive government services. In Ghana, for example, we facilitated the development of systems to deliver improved seed varieties to thousands of small-scale farmers. We also established a Business Growth Accelerator that mentors entrepreneurs and facilitates their access to finance.

Best-practice legal and regulatory environments for doing business. Nathan helps government institutions serve their important functions without discouraging companies from formally registering, becoming licensed, or paying their taxes. Nathan builds trust in e-governance solutions and reduces opportunities for corruption by moving key services online. In such diverse environments as Laos, Honduras, Moldova, and the Kyrgyz Republic, we transform requests from state institutions for help into practical approaches to business-friendly change. We work closely with private sector associations in their roles as advocates, drivers, and implementers of shared solutions.

Competitive, outward-looking small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). Nathan works with SMEs to master the basics of becoming established and competitive, including by connecting them to fundamental skills, capital, and the capacity to comply with local and international health, safety, and environmental standards. We link SMEs to diverse markets and supply chains – including through e-commerce – and build their capacities to export under preferential trade schemes. In Zambia, we facilitated commercial links between micro-enterprises and SMEs and larger, “end-market” firms, including through support for private business-development services, which help build the competitiveness of their own markets.

Inclusive workforce development. Nathan understands the critical role that a skilled workforce plays in economic growth. We show both firms and governments how to proactively invest in workers through consistent, relevant, and growth-oriented approaches to education and training. Nathan devotes special attention to ensuring that neither law nor practice keeps qualified people out of good jobs, especially in “non-traditional” sectors. Across the Asia-Pacific, our Women in STEM, Women in Transportation, and Healthy Women, Healthy Economies initiatives have improved conditions and opportunities for women in the paid workforce.

Investment preparedness. In addition to connecting enterprises to credit systems, Nathan mobilizes capital through investment funds and challenge grants. We prepare enterprises to attract, absorb, and successfully engage outside capital. Whether through encouraging angel investors in woman-owned enterprises, or developing a legal framework for private bond issuance, Nathan’s solutions are innovative and pro-growth.

Digital economy. Nathan leads the way in connecting enterprises to the digital economy. We help governments integrate best legal, regulatory, and administrative practices into emerging ICT infrastructures, digital financial services, and systems for data privacy and cybersecurity. Our support for digital trade ranges from training small enterprises in social media marketing, to facilitating reduced costs of postage so that SMEs can afford to sell their goods over the Internet. From strengthening local digital ecosystems to helping economies embrace the growth of digitally delivered services, we engage the private sector in developing agile, innovative opportunities in e-commerce and digital trade.

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Contacts

Buddhika Samarasinghe Nathan Associates

Buddhika Samarasinghe

Head of PSD – Markets
Suba Sivakumaran Nathan Associates

Suba Sivakumaran

Head of PSD – SME Growth
Louise Williams

Louise Williams

Practice Lead PSD - Principal Associate