Business Opportunities and Support Services (BOSS) Project (Timor-Leste)

The BOSS Project aims to contribute to employment creation and income generation based upon a systemic approach to enterprise development.

Project Background

The Timor-Leste private sector is severely underdeveloped and many prevailing challenges and constraints prevent its sustainable growth and development. Against this backdrop, real need/market oriented strategies and instruments have to be put in place and the main partners involved in the process of private sector development must operate in an integrated and coordinated manner.

The BOSS Project is supporting the Institute for Business Support (IADE) of the Secretary of State for the Promotion and Support of the Private Sector (SEAPRI) and other relevant stakeholders, to deliver need/market oriented services to micro and small enterprises (MSEs) and contractors, develop value chains in selected sectors, promote better coordination and alignment of private sector initiatives and contribute to a “private sector-sound” development.

Project Strategies

The Project strategy is based on a systemic approach to enterprise development that addresses a range of needs and challenges of Timorese MSEs. In particular, the Project intends to tackle some of the main problems and constraints identified by the Timorese entrepreneurs: lack of dialogue and coordination between the public and the private sectors; lack of market access for products and services, ineffective utilization of local resources/opportunities, limited involvement of private sector in Government service delivery and weak managerial and entrepreneurial knowledge. Moreover, the Project will ensure that the needs of women entrepreneurs are better catered for and ensure a gender sensitive approach in private sector development.

The BOSS Project is a private sector development project incorporating institutional strengthening of its partners. It acts as a facilitator, focusing on technical assistance, coordination, networking, and information. During the five years of implementation, the BOSS Project supports IADE in boosting local economic development, enhancing Government service delivery and creating quality employment in rural areas by development initiatives in Timor-Leste and cooperates with a range of partners and development organisations to foster synergies. The BOSS Projects integrates gender equality at all levels. Due to its embedded implementation methodology the Project enjoys a high degree of local ownership.

The Project focuses on sustainability and scale, which means striving for both systemic change and developing a clear vision of the future beyond the Project lifespan. The BOSS Project has a facilitative rather than an interventionist role. Acting as a “catalyst for change”
encourages more players to take part in the market systems (i.e. crowding in), and lead to greater local ownership and more relevant and sustainable change and impact. Interventions facilitated by the Project aim to address the prior identifi ed underlying causes of market underperformance.

Three Main Components of the Project

Objective 1:

Increased business opportunities for MSEs in target sectors and districts.

Objective 2:

Nation-wide access to enhanced and innovative market/need orientated business development services.

Objective 3:

Increased SEAPRI commitment and capacity to mainstream gender in all policies, programmess and activities.

Key Partners

  • Institute of Business Support (IADE) under the tutelage of the SEAPRI.