Business Consultants for Development

Specializing in sustainable community economic development with women of less developed countries.

Project Development

Project Assessment

About BCD:

BCD is a partnership of women professionals whose work is dedicated to assisting others in their struggle for economic independence. Our services range from writing a clear business plan to organizational development. We assist people in making decisions about what computers to use and whether or not to computerize. We develop training proposals and we can implement the training or assist in locating qualified personnel who can work with you over time. In addition, we do market studies, systems analysis and leadership training for women. We advise on income generation programs and business enterprise. In the future we look forward to offering credit program development, using the Grameen bank as our model.

Our commitment

Our commitment is to provide affordable management consultant services and to see the projects through to the achievement of our mutually developed goals. From the start we will be open and frank about what we think can be achieved.


Economic development and women's lives are intricately related. Too often our macro-economists forget to consider the impact of their policies on one half of the world's population: women. This is not a reason to prevent development or to protest the need of government economic accountability. Rather BCD believes in working directly with women to improve their economic situation and to overcome social barriers. We don't believe in imposing definitions of people's social needs, we believe that through economically improved lives women will make their own demands and needs heard. At the same time we recognize that women the world over face huge obstacles to even begin the process. The methods used build strong businesses led by women, recognize the need for empowerment, self-esteem and leadership training, but don't neglect critical education in skills such as book-keeping or marketing.

BCD believes that the primary vehicle for women's empowerment is their economic status. But the company also believes that improving the economic status of women comes only with addressing structural obstacles at the workplace and in society as a whole. We take a holistic approach to our solutions and we take a long term view of our relationships.

Business and philanthropy: Making it work.

Business is a field that often fails through inexperience. There are many opportunities for misplaced philanthropy to become a corrupting and destructive force. This is preventable with good planning and advice. This is BCD's job and BCD can make sure your income generation project is sustainable and appropriate.

Some typical BCD projects:

Micro projects:

Khemara House in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This is an outlet for Cambodian craft producers that is dedicated to marketing Cambodian crafts. In addition, it represents the kind of achievement BCD exists to promote. Khemara House is an autonomous business, run by women for women producers. In small but constructive ways Khemara House challenges the status quo of women in Cambodia. It provides leadership opportunities, entrepreneurial opportunities, employs women in traditionally male occupations, such as driver and guard. Khemara House makes selective use of technology

Bahini Foundation, Kathmandu, Nepal. This is a safe house for young girls rescued from illegal trafficking in prostitution. These young girls range from 6 years old to 14 when they come to the safe house. BCD is currently undertaking to research income generation projects that will assist the young women in their bid for independence and at the same time help support the maintenance of the home.

A macro project:

Weaving Revitalization: Marketing an Image. This is an integrated development project working with Cambodian weavers to produce silk and market it overseas. The project aims to preserve a skill and write down the history of a major cultural icon. The Weaving Revitalization project includes training and development of women into leadership positions to ensure their future control of the industry and labor.

Project Development

You have a project you want to develop but don't have time. The project may be crucial to the future of your organization. We will put it together professionally. International projects of any scale need preliminary surveys, proper staffing, management and monitoring and lastly they need funding. Projects we formulate always provide critical conditions for monitoring, staff profiles and timelines. The resulting document will be your blue print for the duration of the project.

A World Bank official said "the projects you do are world class. Anyone would have to give such a well presented project serious consideration."

Project Assessment

Can a non-profit make business work? There are many efforts to launch income generation projects and while the motivation may be sincere the consideration of business realities may not be sufficient. When philanthropy and business meet don't throw away the rigorous criteria you would apply to a for profit business. Nor should you throw away the social goals of a philanthropic enterprise. How can you achieve both? We can help you assess individual projects to create a successful combination.

Before providing funding it takes an experienced eye to give a realistic estimate of what is possible. BCD consultants are practical operators who are available to visit and assess a program.

Cross -Cultural Survival for Development Professionals

Preparation and consultation with families and individuals planning to live in other countries. Your staff may be going from the US or coming to the US on a short term assignment. We look at what you will be doing, your living conditions and who you are to provide critical survival strategies. So you can enjoy and benefit from your time in a new culture. No potted phrases, truisms or cultural stereotypes. We look at the situation and hone the skills from there. We help you develop a plan that is going to work for you.

BCD full-time consultant:

Katharine Wardle, Master of Science, Political Development in Southeast Asia, School of Oriental and African Studies, London. She is founder of BCD and long time activist in the field of fair trade and women's empowerment. She has extensive experience living and working internationally, particularly China and Southeast Asia. Ms. Wardle speaks five languages. Her professional experience includes working in small business, cross-cultural consulting for US corporations, program management and fair trade retail development. She offers special assistance in organizational development, marketing, trouble shooting and computer solutions.

Thank you for considering our organization as a partner in building your future.

Contact Information

Business Consultants for Development (BCD)
P.O. Box 5105
Berkeley, CA 94705-0105