• Sectors
  • Employers and Business Support Organisations

Employers and Business Support Organisations

Download pdf

PUM contributes to the development of the business environment for employers and business support organisations (chambers / associations / federations). This improves conditions for companies to do business. By supporting employers and business support organisations, they in turn can boost the business climate. The sector also supports chambers of commerce and other organisations such as cooperatives.

Assistance includes the creation of good service for members, the set-up of business plans and programmes to exchange experiences and good practices between (associations of) entrepreneurs as well as the provision of training courses.

PUM experts from this sector can help you set up – or improve existing – organisations that offer business support in your country. Your request for assistance should be as specific as possible so we can assess what expert is most suited to be matched with your organisation to offer advice and help.

Areas of expertise

Management and service development of chambers of commerce

A chamber of commerce is a form of business network, for example, a local or regional organisation of businesses that has the goal to further the interests of businesses. Local businesses are members, and they elect a board of directors or executive council to set policy for the chamber.

Management and service development of employers associations

An employers organisation or employers association is an organisation of manufacturers, retailers, or other employers. Employers organisations seek to coordinate and support the efforts of their member companies during negotiations with trade unions or government bodies.

Management and service development of sector associations

An association or sector association is an organisation founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry. An industry trade association participates in public relations activities such as advertising, education, lobbying and publishing, but its main focus is collaboration between companies, or standardisation and quality improvement.

Andrew Kizito Seruma
PUM representative, Uganda

“PUM expert Dries Stoel collaborated with AREA-Uganda: they looked at the chances and challenges, worked on administration and governance, built a new strategy, and discussed membership management. Dries’ detailed approaches and methodologies set standards to attract new clients and build replicable knowledge in this domain, especially for other associations.”

Client examples

Membership growth and retention

A Chamber of Commerce faced declining membership and a high turnover of members. Moreover, at least a third of the members were not paying their annual fee. With the help of a PUM expert, a plan was drawn up to improve communication to members, define more concretely the importance of joining the chamber, examine structurally what members expect from the Chamber and communicate more clearly the importance of effective lobbying to the government. As a result, membership stabilised and subsequently began to grow.

New strategic plan

A cooperative of 150 SMEs lacked an actual business plan. Activities were implemented on an ad hoc basis. This did not yield enough and gave the cooperative an unclear image to its members. With the help of a PUM expert, a strategic plan was drawn up with annual action plans linked to it. The ground work was also laid for a communication plan, so that the provision of information to members was significantly improved.

One stop window for export

A Chamber of Commerce uniting exporters in various business sectors wanted to make the procedures for export easier. It asked a PUM expert to formulate a plan for a one-stop window, a service center where exporters could get all relevant information and advice and where they could do most of the paperwork needed for exporting their goods. The Chamber of Commerce co-operated with the government in achieving this goal. The PUM expert developed a model for the service center and described the job requirements for the future employees, customer and service orientation being the most important one.

New services

A business association had been struggling for some time with its services towards members. The impression was that they no longer met the needs of members. In collaboration with a PUM expert, a SWOT analysis was conducted and a survey among members was carried out. Based on this, the existing services were restructered and new services were developed. For instance a COVID-19 survival checklist for members was developed.

Training for social dialogue

An employers’ organisation concluded that the number of conflicts between employers and employees should be reduced. This can only be achieved by setting up a process of social dialogue involving the employers’ association, trade unions and the government. Experts began training trainers across the country. They in turn guided the parties involved in constructive negotiations and, if necessary, mediation. As a result, the number of conflicts has greatly decreased since the start of this process through constructive cooperation, respect for each other’s interests and the sharing of ideas.



Professional people for positive impact

Looking to grow your business or organisation sustainably and build a brighter future for your community? Contact one of our representatives in your country for criteria, more information and guidance on the application process.