The focal constituency of ISED is enterprise development.  ISED is a legal personality constituted as a Scientific Society, under the TCLSC Act, 1955. The motto that drives its activities is "sustainable development through enterprise".

The origin of the Institute, in 1988, owes to the initiatives of a group of professionals and concerned citizens from various parts of India, who were influenced by the global Sustainable Development agenda, put forward by the World Commission on Environment and Development. The active helping hand of the Planning Commission, New Delhi, offered the early strength and vitality to the nascent Institute.

ISED considers development of private enterprise as the fulcrum of sustainable development. The Institute believes that, even when the global resources get depleted day by day, sky is the limit for human capabilities. It is these capabilities or creativity(or 'entrepreneurship' in a wider sense), that forms the ground for germination and growth of enterprises.

Action for sustainable development of enterprises and entrepreneurship is complex, and difficult. It need to be based on a holistic understanding of the process of development, on the one hand, and feedback on intelligent interventions, on the other, Suck understanding and action leads to knowledge creation. ISED programme and strategies are anchored on such a knowledge base.


ISED identifies its role in society as a development support organisation . Support for enterprise development, naturally, has to give a special focus on small enterprises, since they form the seed bed of entrepreneurship in any society.


The mission of ISED is to advance the theory and practice of sustainable development, among enterprises and their various stakeholders: policy makers, financial institutions , promotional agencies, international partners, media, and the community at large.


Besides having a small corpus, the Institute supports itself on various types of programmes, both in-house and external assignments. ISED, unlike many other institutions, is an innovator, and hence, utilises a significant part of its resources on development of innovative programmes. The Institute is registered under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (1986) and is eligible to accept foreign contributions. It is also tax-exempted under Sec. 12(A) of the Income Tax Act. The Institute has the necessary infrastructure for research, documentation, communication, meetings, and guest accommodation.


ISED Annual Report 2015-16. Click to Read..



The development priorities and concerns of the modern world are unique. Enterprises and entrepreneurial capabilities are the engines of economic growth today. How entrepreneurs are born and behave, what they contribute to the economy, and how public policy set the tone and tenor of enterprise growth, are crucial aspects of the sustainable development debate today. The research agenda of the Institute is tuned on the above lines . Research at ISED includes, themes of the Institute's, priorities as also areas of concern by sponsors.


Commissioned (Contract) Research means those assignments undertaken by the Institute as per request by a sponsor. This includes, both research projects and consulting assignments.

Contract research includes, assignments from sources such as, government agencies, apex Research Councils in India and abroad, Universities, Research Institutes, Multilateral agencies, donors etc.


The Institute has a strong track of independent research as well. Based on its core mandate areas, ISED cultivates research interest in particular areas and mobilises resources for their implementation. Such research interest has, over time, developed into full-fledged programmes. Development Reporting at the Institute(eg: India MSME Report Series),as also the work of the ISED Small Enterprise Observatory, are examples. Though there is a significant focus on the core mandate areas, such research offers the vital inputs for other related activities of the Institute as well.



While the forte of ISED is enterprise development with a spotlight on micro , small and medium enterprises , it has a 'total system' approach to developmental issues. As such , the themes of current interest to the Institute are the following cross-cutting areas:

Private sector in development.

Economic growth and sustainable livelihoods.

Public policy

Poverty , empowerment, and capabilities

Clean and green business strategies


Overview :

  •  An outlier of basic sectoral and policy studies
  •  A more focused, fact-finding or problem-solving studies
  •  Post-project evaluative studies

What is on ?.

The research agenda of the Institute today is focused on the changing scenario of micro, small, and medium enterprises in the context of rapid changes in the global economy. SMEs, by themselves, cannot address all these changes, and find solutions. However, as a strong pillar of any economy that helps to maintain its social fabric, it can play a key role. The current research interests of the Institute range from global value chains, trade regime, collective efficiency strategies, intellectual property rights, finance and financial inclusion, technology and innovation, business development services, and a variety of other issues concerning the development of such enterprises. Studies on these lines are important to help them perform as change agents.

Latest Research

Business Development Services ( BDS )

Business Development Services (BDS) are a critical link between knowledge base and practice. BDS is a comprehensive concept that includes a wide variety of non-financial services, such as entrepreneurship training and mentoring, labour and management training, extension, consultancy, and counselling.

It also includes mechanisms to improve business linkages through sub contracting, franchising and business clusters. These services form an important part of the "market support structure" that helps build SME competitiveness.


The ability to easily access business development services is vital for the success of MSMEs. Such support extended by the Institute includes, information, advisory services necessary to improve the entrepreneur's personal and organizational effectiveness, monitoring and training. These services form an important part of the "market support structure" that helps build SME competitiveness.

Business Development Services are of two types : (a) operational; (b) strategic. The common parlance and practice of BDS is operational, i.e., providing services mainly for setting up a unit. Strategic services, which are more comprehensive, encompasses the variety of services needed for day-to-day problem solving.

Business Development Services are getting increasingly internationalized, as the market boundaries are getting narrowed down. Therefore, a large number of entrepreneurs need business information and strategic services, preferably at affordable rates. ISED addresses this problem through its special window for Non-commercial Business Development Services (NCBDS). NCBDS implies, Business Development Services meant for those SMEs who cannot afford such services at market rates. ISED, through its international networks channelizes world class BDS to the requirements of SMEs in India.

The latest thinking on the strategy of enterprise development is anchored on the theory of 'collective efficiency'. ISED has pioneered some initiatives in this area since 1995.


Enterprises and entrepreneurship are the thrusts of the Institute's mandate. SMEs, atomic by nature, need to have professional support, to analyse their own environment, to articulate their needs, and to understand the impact of policies that get shape there from. On the other hand, government, business associations and donors alike, need to have professionally sound communication with industry such that policies are shaped in the right manner, and their impact is realistically understood at the right time. These two imperatives demand bringing in enhanced professionalism into this area . To the SMEs, therefore, ISED comes out with:

  •  The outcomes of changing policies;
  •  Predictions on the shape of things to come and suggestions on what to do; and
  •  Extension of direct professional services relating to preparation of business plan, marketing solutions and finance.


General Projects: For those with investible funds, but not having a clear project idea, or that there is a project idea, but not having clarity on funding, the institute extends its support services.


For projects focusing on agro-related products, ISED has a special window of support services. This has emerged through the. ISED - Coconut Development Board Collaboration programme.

ISED - Coconut Development Board Programme

ISED has a collaborative agreement with the Coconut Development Board, under which the Institute's services are extended to the projects under the National Coconut Development Mission. Entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs, desirous of starting new projects/expand their coconut related projects, can contact the Institute directly. For support in project development and handholding.

The Coconut Technology Mission under the Coconut Development Board, Government of India, is a comprehensive programme meant for promotion of coconut-related enterprises and marketing activities .Projects using the resources of the coconut tree, such as timber, coconut shell, charcoal, leaves, tender coconut, and copra, qualify to get support under the Coconut Technology Mission.


Both industrial activities and marketing activities qualify support under this scheme. Applications are invited from prospective entrepreneurs for setting up/ modernizing/expanding coconut processing units:


Financial assistance @ 25% of the project cost, limited to a maximum of Rs. 500,0000 is extended as credit linked back-ended subsidy for setting up of coconut processing projects meant for value added coconut products. Modernisation and expansion of existing processing units will also be eligible for assistance. The detailed project proposal should be submitted through the loaning financial institutions. The term loan component should be, a minimum of 40% of the project cost for private entrepreneurs, and 25% for co-operative societies.


The scheme also covers manufacture and market promotion of coconut products through brand publicity. It covers publicity through electronic media including website, print media, parlours, kiosks, warehouse, undertaking activities like buyer-seller meets, exchange of delegations, participation of exhibitions/fairs/melas, printing of leaflets, pamphlets, brochures, posters, display of coconut products at airports/railway stations and erection of hoardings etc. The admissible financial assistance, under reimbursement basis, from the Board is 50% of the project cost, limited to Rs. 10 lakhs for individuals ,and Rs. 25 lakhs to co-operatives.


The latest thinking on the strategy of enterprise development is anchored on the theory of 'collective efficiency'. ISED has pioneered some practical initiatives in this area since 1995 (see 'Stories of Change' in "Our Work")

  •  Clusters and Collective Efficiency: Theoretical Contributions

An enterprise cluster is a group of firms and related organizations that collaborate and compete at the same time, to achieve collective efficiency, which is higher than that could be achieved at the individual level.

Cluster, as an enterprise development strategy, has become the fashion of the day. But in many developing countries it has become a fad rather than a strategy, and do not adequately reflect the ground- level realities.

Is the 'collective efficiency' model which underpins the cluster strategy, relevant and appropriate to the context of developing countries? If yes, under what conditions should this strategy be followed? These are the key areas of concern for ISED relating to the theory of Cluster Development.

ISED's initiatives, on cluster development as a strategy, were based on its enquiries on local economic development, which dates back to the early half of 1990's. Having globalisation as a relatively new experience in the Indian context, it was appropriate to think of its , implementation on local economic development. The enquiries of ISED ended up in its finding on 'entrepreneurial atomism' as the key driver of local economic development Decentralisation is the emerging political process in most developing countries today. But, what next after political decentralization? Given the resource crunch which faces most of these countries, the prime mover of development should be 'enterprise' itself. Where governments progressively move out of the scene, capabilities embedded in the atomic entrepreneurs need to be unleashed. Cluster is a viable strategy in this regard. The ISED initiatives in the area belong to the following categories:


In the pre-globalisation days, bamboo as a non-timber forest produce was under heavy regulatory control of the Union and state governments. The globalisation era has witnessed a rethinking on the alternative opportunities available. It is in this context that ISED evinced interest in this commodity. Jointly with the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), ISED initiated a study on this sector, followed by design of an comprehensive action programme. ‘Named Bamboo Village Network (BVN)', this programme has further developed into a replicable operational model, with wide theoretical and practical implications. The BVN model gained international recognition of Oshikawa International Award by the Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), Tokyo


Traditional beads making is a women-dominant rural craft. Having a highly segmented market, this craft, of late, is facing severe strains. ISED developed a programme for technology upgradation and organizational reforms in this sub sector. The industry is now in the process of being reorganized under a Craftsmen Producers' Association.

Urban Micro Enterprise Development Programme (UMEDP)

The problem of urban poverty in India has traditionally been considered as an individual specific issue, for which stand-alone solution were recommended. Jointly with the DFID, the Institute modelled an intervention programme called Urban Micro Enterprise Development Programme (UMEDP), which was subsequently experimented in various cities. This model is the predecessor of the Kudumbashree project in Kerala.

Craft Cluster Models

Following the above project, ISED raised the wider issue of academic debates (see Holmstrom 1977; Das,2003) as to what extent rural crafts have an entrepreneurial potential. Jointly with the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, ISED modelled a Craft Cluster Development Model, which was subsequently experimental in various parts of the country. The Ambedkar Hasthkala Vikas Yojana of the Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) was evolved out of these early initiatives.


For existing firms who want to upscale their activity through new technology and innovation, we offer solution. Productivity enhancement and technology improvement solutions are offered by the BDS Unit.


Levels of enterprise morbidity is a matter of concern in enterprise development. Both individual enterprises and clusters are subject to the process of morbidity and death. Therefore, from point of view of private sector development, it is important to have health/revival packages. The Institute offers services this area.


The ISED Small Enterprise Observatory(ISED-SEO) maintains a variety of data resources that are directly useful to entrepreneurs, financial institutions, and other stake holders. These knowledge resources are essentially meant for inhouse research needs of the Institute ,and for the requirements of the members of the Observatory.Those interested in such resources on a regular basis are advised to seek Membership in the ISED-SEO. Other requests also may be addressed to: The Co-ordinator, ISED Small Enterprise Observatory, ISED House, ISED Road,Cochin-6820289(Tel: 0484-2808171/2809884).

Advisory Services and Policy Support

ISED understands this vitality, and therefore, remains prepared to service them in the best possible way. Such services can be in the form of advisory roles, training opportunities, promotion of start-ups, growth support , networking and linkages, and support for institution development. In this mission, the Institutes work converges with that of business associations, policy makers and the media. It's proven expertise in working with issues of development, marketing, communication, networking and institution development, enables it to provide customized solutions. Public policy takes shape from real life experience. Networks and networking help to pool such experience, as also to take the fruits of policy to the common man's interests.


Our support and help to the entrepreneurs range from, vital info on the local enterprise systems, to Business Development Services to the individual entrepreneurs. Though the SMEs are often described as "islands of capabilities", these islands of capability need to be nourished and strengthened from the point of local economic development. The process of growth, globally, vary significantly according to the interests and aspirations of the people at the local level. It is , therefore, important to educate the entrepreneurs with the latest trends and processes in the economy, and also offer them relevant services. ISED, thus, offers the entrepreneurial community with help for a self-analysis, predictions on the emerging business situation, info. on new business opportunities and business development services, such as training, mentoring, documentation services etc.


The youth are a seriously affected social group in most countries today. Not only that the youth are victims of unemployment, they are often alienated from the mainstream of economic and social processes. Being potential innovators and growth-primers, their potential need to be harnessed. Becoming an entrepreneur does not simply mean setting up an enterprise. ‘Entrepreneurship' is a significant trait of attitudinal changes, which every society badly needs. Inculcating such altitudes is a key objective of the ISED programme. The ISED programme includes, Skill development, start-up programmes and mentoring, as also information on business opportunities, internship opportunities, and access to networks.


Both for reasons of compliance, and with a business case , financial institutions need to keep themselves afresh on the latest developments in the MSME sector. However, while the top layers of the financial system often remain equipped with the latest developments, the performance of the ground level delivery system remains much to be desired. Knowledge resources and training interventions are vital in improving this situation.
ISED is at the service of financial institutions through, vital information on industries, sectors, and subsectors, and of regional business opportunities. It also has direct interventions, such as through start-up programmes, feasibility studies, and other need based studies.


Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) under the constitution of India are essentially a subject under the preview of the State governments. The central support to State programmes, under cooperative federalism; depends on , how state level programmes are documented and articulated. Both the Union Government(Ministries and NITI Aayog) need studies and evaluations, as also advisory services, both at the Center and in the States, has to happen in terms of Five Year Plan deliberations. Such deliberations, as also mid-term correction of programmes, are based on a number of studies and evaluations, as also insights that are added to the knowledge pool from time to time. ISED adds to this process regularly through its various programmes, and involvement in the policy making bodies. (e.g.: Backward Area Programme for MSMEs in the 12th Five Year Plan).


Micro Small and Medium Enterprises have an excellent potential of being a media target in India, because of its high regional distribution. Tapping this potential, ISED provides the media with significant tools and techniques for such penetration... ..Analytical studies, the other side of the stories, perspectives, predictions on the emerging situation, grass root level stories etc... are of immense interest to the media.


The geography of civil society actors has significantly changed in many countries , and especially in India ,over the past about two decades. These organizations today, respond largely to the economic and livelihood aspirations of the people. Or more precisely, civil society organizations today are part of the so called ‘private sector'. ISED understands this reality and offers this sector, an excellent opportunity to grab the new opportunities relating to private sector development, where SMEs have a key role .


Though forming a significant part of the economic activities of people, micro, small and medium enterprises often do not form the mainstream of academic debates today. MSMEs provide insights into some of the least known aspects of development practice. The mission of ISED is to contribute to such a debates, through its own direct interventions, as also, support services. The Institute encourages research in this specific area through its own studies and support to other researchers. Studies include, themes and areas such as public policy, governance, techno-economic enquiries and fact finding exercises. Also see Current Research.


The Institute has a long track of advisory services and policy support. Some examples are as follows :   

Towards a Policy Framework for Women's Industrial Enterprises (Government of India).

A Study on Electrical Engineering Industry in Kerala (Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation).

The Economics of Energy in Marine Fisheries: A Study on the Lower South West Coast of India (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation).

Towards a New Approach to Understanding the Bamboo Economy (Small Industries Development Bank of India).

Energy Conservation in Marine Fisheries: A Study on Attitudes and Knowledge (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation).

Utilisation of Coconut Shell Resources: A Techno-economic Study (CAPART).

Intellectual Property Rights in the MSME Sector: A Study of the Bamboo Subsector ( Ministry of MSME)

Swarnajayanthi Gram Swarogar Yojana: A Study on Uttar Pradesh (Government of India).

Selection of Activity Clusters under SGSY: A study on Gujarat (Government of India).

Promotion of Entrepreneurship in the Renewable Energy Sub sector in South Asia: A Study of India and Bangladesh (USAID).

Economic growth and sustainable livelihoods.

World Trade Organisation and the SME sector in India: A Study of Medicinal Bio-technology Sub-sector (UNIDO).

Enterprise Development for the Returning Migrants in Kerala, India (ILO)

Coconut Husk and its Utilisation (Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation).

Urban Micro Enterprise Development Programme: A Manual (DFID).

National Project on Manufacturing Competitiveness (Government of India).

Project Reports for Special employment Programme (Six Districts) (KVIC).

Consultancies on Start-up and Performance of Improvement in the Coconut Subsector (various projects) (Coconut Development Board)

Labour Market Expert, Additional Skills Acquisition Programme(ADB Project).

Decentralised Planning for Small Enterprise Development, An Experiment at Kalady, Kerala, South India (Small Industries Development Bank of India).

Capital, Caste, Class and Gender: The Political Economy of Women's Organisations in an Indian State (1880-1984)


The Institute provides comprehensive analysis of various industries and their dynamics, as also the policy environment in which they are groomed. Such studies are both customized research solutions and off-the-shelf products. They cover the key areas of interest for a potential investor :

  •  Industrial structure and geography.
  •  Regulatory and policy environment.
  •  Market potential - national and international.
  •  Demand dynamics and outlook.
  •  Competition and risk analysis.
  •  Enterprise development strategies.

The Institute also provides opportunities of networking with international agencies, financial institutions and    government departments.

Research Solutions and Evaluations

Customised research solutions, such as feasibility studies and evaluation of national and internationally funded programmes, market studies, and impact assessments, are key areas of expertise to the Institute. Some examples are  :

Marketing Strategies in the MSME Sector.
Information Needs of the MSME Sector: A Comparative Study.
MSMEs: Neo Liberal Policies and the Economic Slowdown.
Institutional Intervention and Informalism: The Kerala Experience
Responsible Business in UK and India: The Social Capital Dimension.
Change and Choice in Gender Structure: A Study on Declining Female Labour Participation in the Industrial Sector
An Evaluative Study of Women's Organisations in Kerala
An Evaluation of Water Supply and Sanitation Programmes in India
The Hidden Dimensions of Entrepreneurial Performance: A Study on Parentage.
Can Flexible Specialisation be the Alternative? An Exploratory Study on Bamboo and Ruttan Subsector.
An Approach Paper on Development of Small Enterprises in Kerala
A Situational Analysis of Small Industry Associations in India
Rural Development Programmes in West Bengal.
Industry Associations in South India: A study on Tamil Nadu
Industrial Stagnation and the Blurred Sectors?: A Study on Kerala's Industrial Backwardness
Urban Planning and the Informal Sector: Key Issues
Capital, Caste, Class and Gender: The Political Economy of Women's Organisations in an Indian State (1880-1984)
Rural Industrialisation:The Science and Technology Gaps
Dependent Entrepreneurship and Industrialization Strategies: Some Preliminary Observations
New Opportunities and Challenges for Small Business Associations in India .
Eleventh Five Year Plan of Kerala: Some Recommendations on the SME Sector.
Employment in Women-preferred Industries: A Study on Garment Industry in Kerala, India.
Small Industry Associations in Andhra Pradesh: Agents of Progress or Retardation?
The Bamboo Economy of Kerala, South India: An Analysis of Production-to-Consumption System.
Poverty Alleviation Programmes and Structural Changes in the Rural Economy.
Rural Development Programmes in Idukki District, Kerala.
Small-scale Industry in India (1960-1999):A Bibliography.
Collective Approach to Poverty Alleviation in India: A National Study
Employment Generation in the Agro and Rural Industries Sector in India: A National Study
Globalisation and SMEs in India: A Report
Media and Kerala's Industrial Development.
Understanding Informalism:Towards a Theoretical-Methodological Approach.
Profiles of Successful Women Entrepreneurs.

MSME Business Advisory Services

The BDS Unit leverages the Institute's three decades-old experience of working with MSMEs, in order to provide them integrated techno-economic business solutions, covering their whole life cycle. The broad levels of solutions are as follows:

  •  Organisational Counselling.
  •  Mentoring and Training.
  •  Start - up services and Business Plan preparation.
  •  Performance Improvement, Counselling and support.

CSR Advisory Services

'Corporate Social Responsibility or responsible business' is an area of core competence for the Institute. CSR Advisory Services is an important activity of the Responsible Business Team. This Desk offers expert advice in new and existing CSR interventions by the corporates and MSMEs. The focal areas of support are :

  •  Identifying a CSR opportunities.
  •  Developing a CSR plan.
  •  Estimating the business case for a CSR plan.
  •  Documenting CSR activities
  •  Facilitating CSR reporting.
  •  Training for CSR executives of companies.

Private Sector Development and Planning

SMEs form the micro base of the private sector. However, planning for private sector development requires expertise in integrating development practice and enterprise development skills. The Institute's experience in modeling enterprise development and cluster development programmes equips it to offer such services .Some of the examples are as follows :


  •  Guidelines for identification of Activity Clusters for SGSY ( Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India)
  • Project reports for Special Employment Programme (Khadi and Village Industries Commission, Government of India)


Institution development is a challenging area in the modern world. Building up an institution enquires specialized skills, which many organisations, especially NGO's, often lack. The Institute offers support in the following areas: Training; Mentoring; Linkages; Marketing; Linkages; and Marketing.Direct consultancy services are also offered through sister institutions of the Institute. The Institute, in this context, also works with international partners.


The Institute, having 'SME Communication' as one of its key theme areas, is meticulous on ensuring that information is appropriately converted into knowledge resources, and subsequently into media resources. Through the ISED Media Resources Centre (IMRC), the Institute offers such services to the media, international, national, and vernacular. Friends from the media are invited to log in on ISED Media Resources Centre for mutual benefit.

Development Communication

Knowledge creation, by itself, cannot help the Institute to achieve its social goals. ISED uses knowledge as a development communication tool.


The coverage of Development Communication includes, a group of programmes and institutional platforms within the Institute , that helps it to take forward its mandate and agenda. a) ISED Small Enterprise Observatory ISED Small Enterprise Observatory is a(permanent platform that facilitates pooling of various sources of knowledge, and can contribute it to the cause of development.The 'Observatory Mirror' is a monthly publication meant to extent the message of the Observatory among the community. b) India MSME Communication Programme(IMCP) IMCP is a national programme for communicating the concerns of enterprise development among the relevant MSME stakeholders of India. This flagship programme of the Institute employs two commiunication tools for its reach out: 1) India MSME Report; and 2) India MSME Darshan series.While the Programme is initiated by the ISED Small Enterprise Observatory, the ISED Centre for Monitoring Enterprise Development in the States(ISED-SME) also participates in it.


REDA is a special programme for monitoring enterprise development strategies and their implementation by the State level and local governments of the country. The term 'audit ', in the context of development, means conducting a systematic review of a scheme or a programme. 'Enterprise Development Audit', as a programme, is meant to support governments in their enterprise development initiatives, by analysing the track record of enterprise development activities, and by offering innovative solutions. The term, 'government' specially means, State, District Administration and local governments, such as municipalities and Panchayaths. It further evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the stakeholders and systems . The audit also offers suggestions for improvement of the existing order of things. The audit will result in a report containing recommendations and action points as to how the State/ local government can create success stories in enterprise development. It will also provide the opportunity to discuss the Report's recommendations with global forums such as the World Economic Forum and the United Nations Conferences.

The significant growth of the Indian economy and the country's various policy reforms in the vital areas of enterprise development and social organization, have resulted in the emergence of Institution Development as an area of vital relevance. Civil society organizations, despite good intentions and laudable goals, need to acquire vital capabilities. Similarly, governments and donors, flushed with funds, are often on the search for good potential recipients. Here is the relevance of support for institution building. The concept covers a variety of activities, ranging from consultancy support for start-up, performance improvement, and external evaluation. While the latest data shows that the donor outflows even exceed the official development assistance at the international level, the key problem of development support today is not lack of resources, but the right institutions having the appropriate capabilities and absorptive capacity. ISED understands this critical gap, and provides support services in this area.



  • IndiaMSME Report 2015
  • Kerala Enterprise Development Report 2016


  • India MSME Report Series
  • IMCP National Report Series
  • State Enterprise Development Reports

The Institute also offers advisory services to State and local governments relating to enterprise and skill development

ISED Small Enterprise Observatory

The Programme of the Institute is moulded around its vision: "sustainable development through enterprise".'Sustainable development' is the outcome of an environment driven by action by various stake holders.A realization or understanding of one's own capabilities and potential leads to such actions, and of the spirit of working together.

Research leads to an enrichment of one's understanding of the systems and processes (knowledge creation) that shapes the enterprise ecosystem, and of the economy in general. Such understanding need to be communicated for facilitating self-analysis and advocacy. Collective action is needed for shaping public policy on socially desired lines. Besides, institutional initiatives and networking are needed for ensuring that action for development take place, and on the desired lines.

While public policy provides the broad canvas for action, people's action for enterprise development need to take place at the micro-meso levels. Market signals and incentives are the triggers of such action, though support from outside can be catalytic. Institutions of the right type can play a supportive role.

The architecture of the work programme of the Institute, on the above perspective, falls under the following heads:

  •  Research
  • Knowledge management and communication
  • Social responsibility initiatives (eg: advocacy, institution development, community services etc.)
  • Networking and 'real services' (eg: business development services, advisory services etc.).


Networking for local economic development (LED) is a new initiative mooted by the ISED. The International Conference on 'SMEs Under Globalisation' came out with an operational plan of networking for local economic development. The International Network on Small and Medium Enterprises in Local economic development (INSLED-India) was formed as the first networking initiative. The movement is getting momentum in other countries as well. (eg; Italy, Bangladesh, Brazil, Netherlands)
In the area of Cluster Development, the ISED stamp is unique on two counts:

  •  It gives significant emphasis on modeling of programmes, to be replicated by other agencies and actors.
  •  It give significant focus on playing the role of an outside observer, and keeps an independent analytical position.

While keeping this independent position, ISED moves with its initiatives in the area of Cluster Development. It invites research collaboration, as also action programmes. The Institute has trained personnel in the theory and practice of Cluster Development.

ISED is an accredited Cluster Development Agency by the Ministry of MSME, Government of India. The Institute and its experts have a creditable task of designing and implementing Cluster Development programmes in various sub-sectors.

Partnerships and Networks

Our Partners

Commercial Banks.

Development Banks.

State Governments

Government of India

UN gencies

Corporate Sector.

International Donors


Research Institutes

Public promotional agencies

Diplomatic Missions.

Local Governments

Policy Institutions/ NGOs

Multilateral Institutions

Industry Associations


Small and medium enterprises

Trade Promotion Organisations


All India Association of Industries, Mumbai
Andhra Bank
Automotive Research Association of India, Pune
Council for Leather Exports
Axis Bank
Bank of Baroda
Bank of India
Bank of Maharashtra
Bombay Stock Exchange
Canara Bank
Catholic Syrian Bank
Central Bank of India
Central Silk Board
Commonwealth Secretariat, London
Chandigarh Business School


The ISED Programme, by its very nature, implies  co operation and interaction with a cross section of different stake holders, on the one hand, and sharing of different levels of professional expertise, on the other. This implies the opportunity, as well as need for, partnerships and collaboration at various levels. The links and  networks of the ISED are a rich source of sourcing expertise and capabilities to the larger interests of enterprise development.


► ISED Partnership Programme

This programme is meant for organizations that wish to remain at the forefront of policy formulation and thought leadership.
What Partners receive:

  • Partner -only briefing and networking events
  • Discounted rates for attending ISED Conferences
  • Regular alerts on programmes
  • Access to library resources

For more details, please contact Director, director@isedonline.org.

► Friends of ISED

Become a friend of ISED, and keep updated on the latest developments in the area of MSMEs.
You will receive:

  • Priority invitation to ISED events
  • Reduced delegate fee for events
  • Publications at 10 per cent discount.

To enquire about Friends membership, please contact ISED Help Desk (info@isedonline.org)

► Join the Observatory

ISED Small Enterprise Observatory (ISED-SEO), set up in 1997, is a premier knowledge platform on industry and enterprise development. We service the data and policy analysis requirements of research-oriented entities, including the most respected academic institutions and international orgnisations, key policy makers and top decision makers in industry and finance, and of the entrepreneurs. It is a monitoring system for business at the global, national and regional levels, with a special thrust on aspects that clearly relate to MSMEs. From the usual variables such as, trend in production, export, employment, location of units etc., at one end, it dwells into the wider issues of policy, such as trade regime and barriers, and regulatory policies. How does government policy change? What will happen to particular industries tomorrow? Which are the good NGOs, say in Orissa, that can be partners in a major livelihoods development project? How do multilateral trade negotiations influence our MSMEs? What are the opportunities and risk factors in lending to a particular cluster/ subsector? The Observatory is a platform that constantly seeks to answer such questions. The Observatory scans developments in the economy as it affects MSMEs. It is an integrated platform which draws upon and makes available intellectual resources in a readily usable form.
The ISED Small Enterprise Observatory (ISED-SEO) offers an excellent platform of storage and exchange of knowledge resources. Members are eligible for a variety of services offered by the Observatory. Some of the attractions offered by the Observatory are :

  • India MSME Report Series.
  • Sectoral and subsectoral snippets.
  • ISED Annual Small Enterprise Lecture
  • Seminars and Conferences.
  • Policy briefs and Memoranda.
  • Databases and Analytical reports.
  • Awards and honours.
  • The Monthly Monitor of MSMEs.

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