ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Turning livelihoods into business

Most rural economic actors get by rather than get ahead because they run their farm or enterprise as a livelihood activity rather than as a business. The shift from conducting a livelihood activity to managing a business is first and foremost a matter of changing mindsets. Like its “Dreams to Reality” financial education program, ACCESS’s entrepreneurship development program begins by addressing attitudes before it enhances knowledge and skills, drawing on each client’s own hopes and dreams as the source of inspiration.

After gaining an understanding of the key characteristics shared by entrepreneurs––goal setting, commitment, motivation, risk taking, and decision-making––participants are equipped with the necessary knowledge of the concept of enterprise development and management, enabling them to assess the potentials of an enterprise and the areas for improvement that can contribute to an increase in income.

In order to acquire knowledge of the various aspects of an enterprise and to be able to assess weaknesses and areas for improvement, ACCESS also introduces participants to the enterprise development cycle:

  1. Idea generation (identifying opportunities)
  2. Formulation (preparing a business plan)
  3. Financing (start-up and/or expansion)
  4. Implementation (establishing an enterprise)
  5. Evaluation (reviewing performance)
  6. Organization and management (human resource requirements)
  7. Process flow (to manufacture a product or deliver a service)
  8. Marketing


  • Entrepreneurship training needs assessment
  • Design of training materials and delivery channel
  • Training of trainers
  • Coaching and mentoring


Shifting a farmer or informal business owner’s mindset to thinking about their income-generating activity as a commercial activity instead of a livelihood is the main thrust of ACCESS’s entrepreneurship development program. That transformation enables the client to be linked to a formal financial institution, which is the main objective of the intervention.


  • Understanding Successful Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Philippines and Vietnam: Foundation for Development Cooperation, 2019-20.
  • Support for Value-Chain Based Farm and Agri-Enterprise Development: Conducted under the “Financial Access via Cooperative Upgrading and Enterprise and Farm Development in Kayin State, Myanmar” project. European Union and Agence Française de Développement, 2014-17.
  • A Linkage Model for Commercial Bank Financing of Rural SMEs: GIZ Myanmar, 2016.
  • Remittance-Building Linkages for the Development of Rural Migrants and their Families through Microfinance Services (ReBuiLD MFS): International Fund for Agricultural Development, 2010-12.