MUNICIPAL councils and chambers of commerce should take on the role of business development agencies, says the National Centre for Small and Micro Enterprise Development (NCSMED) chief executive officer Ravi Chand.
He lauded the establishment of the Lautoka Chamber of Commerce and Industry's business incubator, saying the initiative would encourage entrepreneurs and forge partnerships with financial institutions.
Mr Chand said this would also grow small to medium enterprises and stimulate economic growth.
"Municipal councils and chambers of commerce should become business development agencies," he said.
"The perception is that municipal councils are enforcement agencies but that image is now changing and councils and chambers are becoming more proactive.
"The Lautoka Chamber has a business incubator and this is what is needed — councils and chambers becoming business development agencies," he said.
Mr Chand said policies that encouraged the growth of entrepreneurs in the country were needed.