Business Opportunities and Support Services (BOSS), Timor Leste

BOSS is a project of the ILO that supports the Institute for Business Support (IADE) and the National Directorate for Rural Development (NDRD) of the Ministry of Economy and Development in boosting local economic development, enhancing Government service delivery and creating quality employment in rural areas by expanding market access for MSEs, strengthening local contractors and improving the provision of business development services.

Donor: Irish Aid

The BOSS Project will support IADE and NDRD in carrying out activities towards two specific objectives:

    1. Expanded markets for MSEs through Local Economic Development (LED).

Local stakeholders, organized in “District Economic Forums” (DEFs), will be assisted by the Project to analyze business needs, constraints, as well as opportunities for local economic development. The Project will assist the DEFs in selecting potential economic sub-sectors and designing District Economic Action Plans. These plans will be based on the result of value chain analysis, through which problems and root causes of underperformance in priority economic sub-sectors will be unveiled and solutions identified. With the ultimate goal of improving market access for local products and services, the BOSS Project will then support the implementation of selected LED initiatives as recommended by the District Economic Action Plans (i.e. business-matchmaking events, technical training, study visits, initiatives addressing specific value chain constraints, workshops, etc).

    2. Nation-wide access to enhanced and innovative need and market oriented business development services.

IADE and its expanded network of Business Development Centres (BDCs) will be assisted to develop and deliver quality business management training and high-end business counseling. Given the ongoing and planned public investments in infrastructure rehabilitation, the BOSS Project will focus on improving the capacity of local civil works contractors to effectively respond to Government tenders, through the provision of specific training packages tailored to their needs. Furthermore, the BOSS Project will set-up business information units in each of the existing BDCs, increasing MSEs’ access to business opportunities, new markets and – above all - national as well as local Government tenders and donors’ projects. The BOSS Project will also facilitate strategic alliances between IADE and other financial and non-financial services providers and will promote institutional synergies with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Timor-Leste.

The BOSS Project is a critical vehicle for increasing and improving business development services in rural Timor-Leste - one of the expected outcomes of the Timor-Leste Decent Work Country Programme (2008-2013).