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Supporting small forest enterprises – A facilitator’s toolkit. Pocket guidance not rocket science!

The goal of this toolkit is to help supporters of small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs) work more effectively. It is aimed at 'facilitators', for example donors at the international level and, most importantly, government extension services and non-governmental organisations at the national level. We have not written this toolkit for enterprises – although they may find some of the materials in component three useful.

We have arranged the toolkit in a series of self-explanatory modules (or tools) for different elements of SMFE support divided into three components. Component one deals with broad international considerations on setting up capacity building programmes for SMFE support (primarily aimed at donors). Component two provides considerations on national level planning and capacity building, before providing in component three more hands-on advice for direct facilitation activities. The idea is that practitioners at any level can dip into sections that catch their eye, and those unfamiliar with enterprise support can read through the toolkit in a logical way.

Each of the sixteen modules (or tools) provides step-by-step guidance, followed by practical tips based on our personal experiences. We have also included a section pointing the reader to other useful manuals and tools already in existence. At the end of this toolkit is a reference list and a glossary of terms.

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To restore forests and get out of poverty, rural communities need the knowledge and connections to build flourishing enterprises. Forest landscapes are among the most isolated and marginalised areas in the world, where land, food and energy security and income generation are pressing concerns. Achieving sustainable development in the forest landscape while addressing those immediate needs is a complex challenge that requires joined-up efforts.

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