Understanding Embedded Business Services, Springfield Centre, 2005

    This paper discusses recent experience with the promotion of embedded business services (EBS). EBS are services packaged within or bundled around commercial transactions between a buyer and seller. They are typically not as visible or as tangible as other service delivery mechanisms (such as fee-for-service, public services, social networks or media) and have therefore received less attention. However, interest in EBS as a credible mechanism for service delivery is gaining importance, particularly as the limitations of other mechanisms in reaching the poor, rural and weak markets, become clear. The paper looks in detail at two practical experiences of understanding EBS within two very different value chains in Ghana and Bangladesh. They demonstrate clearly that EBS are there, are many and varied and can be a critical source of information positively impacting on poor producers in very remote and structurally weak areas. The paper was written by the Springfield Centre, on behalf of the FAUNO Consortium as an input to the SDC Rural Value Chains Community of Practice - 5th cycle of discussion.