Leveraging Innovation Capabilities of Asian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises through Intermediary Organizations

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are a source of livelihood for billions of poor people worldwide. The current global economic downturn has hit these enterprises particularly hard, putting some out of business. Aware of this, governments in China and other Asian countries are trying to formulate policies that will help MSMEs regain their competitiveness and productivity. There is still no consensus, however, on the kind of policies required to reach this goal.

This project will endeavor to produce evidence that incentives directed toward intermediary actors - technology agents, training centres, industry/trade associations, financial agents, etc. - are more effective and inclusive than those aimed at individual firms. This is because they benefit all firms within a cluster, including those in the unregulated or informal sector. Moreover, the growth of micro and small enterprises will help the poor by providing jobs, whereas the growth of large firms seldom provides decent jobs for the poor, who lack technical skills.

The project is premised on the fact that intermediary actors are a source of knowledge and learning that can enhance the market performance of firms. Comparative case studies will be carried out China and Thailand, and research fellowships leading to a MSc or PhD will be offered to junior faculty and graduate students at Zhejiang and Thammasat universities with a view to increasing research capacity in this area.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, March 17, 2011

End Date

Thursday, November 28, 2013


24 months

IDRC Officer

Osir, Ellie Onyango

Total funding

CA$ 211,400


China, Far East Asia, Thailand, Central Asia, South Asia


Networked Economies

Project Leader

Yongyi Shou


Zhejiang University

Institution Country


Institution Website