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About us

There is a growing industry of business advice-giving in South Asia involving the public and non-governmental sectors. In recent years, there has been a shift toward private sector emphasis on development, towards economic growth-driven initiatives, entrepreneurship, and a focus on SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). This change has altered streams of business advice and finance: steering microfinance into business finance, and informal lending towards formal debt. 


Our research project titled "Ethnographic Solutions to Inequalities in South Asian Advice Ecosystems" draws critical attention to this shift, exploring the effects of these changes on existing inequalities, including inequalities of access and widening rural and urban inequity. We aim to better understand these processes to facilitate knowledge exchange from the ground-level of business advice ecosystems and co-produce a resource ‘toolkit’ for recipients and practitioners to address inequalities within advice delivery. By mapping and studying advice ecosystems alongside our partners in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, we intend to channel the untapped potential of practitioner-academic partnerships into capacity-building actions on the ground, leading to better advices for people who need them the most.

"Inequality is not Inevitable"

Our Mission

Our Team

Professor David Lewis (Principal Investigator)

Department of International Development, LSE

Dr Rebecca Bowers

LSE Fellow, Department of Anthropology, LSE

Dr Luke Heslop

Lecturer, Brunel University

Anjali Sarker

Senior Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity, LSE

Dr Sohini Kar (Adviser)

Associate Professor, Department of International Development, LSE

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Our partners

BRAC Skills Development Programme started its journey in 2012 with the aim to create an inclusive and sustainable economic development for the disadvantaged and marginalised youth in addition to creating decent employment opportunities. It is one of the 16 social development programmes of BRAC, one of the largest development organisations in the world, based in Bangladesh.

The Centre for a Smart Future (CSF) is an Asia-centric hub for advancing great ideas where young professionals work in an interdisciplinary, contemporary and solutions-oriented way. It is a virtual think tank headquartered in Colombo, with a network of practitioners, researchers, policy professionals, and thought leaders across the world.

Would you like to learn more?

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