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The Nucleus Approach


Nucleus and SME statistics

Statements of chambers and SMEs

Impact: What changed? Interview with Jordi Castan


Legal property of the Nucleus Approach



Types of Nuclei

Manual for the Nucleus

The start

9 criteria for the selection of a sector

How to kill a Nucleus

Chambers and Associations

Lobby and Public Private Dialogue

Benchmarking of chambers

Case study:
Local public private dialogue (PPD) in Santa Catarina, Brazil

by Simone Lehmann (extract from a report about a mission to Vietnam)

Relationship between the state and the private sector in Brazil

There is a long time tradition in Brazil and other Latin American countries that the local elite of entrepreneurs involve themselves in politics on local, state and national levels. Chambers and associations are often used as a jumping board to enter into politics. Presidents and board members are invited to assume the function of a secretary in the local government (e g in Joinville)

In Brazil there is no strict division between the public and the private sector with the entrepreneurs on one side, and on the other side the politicians and the public administration. The entrepreneurs are in the advantageous position to be able to easily enter into and influence the local / regional governments with proposals in favour of the entrepreneurship. But the entrepreneurs' participation does not guarantee better economic politics: There is a danger of the emergence of powerful rent-seeking lobbies which exert strong pressure on the state. Interaction may only formally take the format of a “dialogue” but is likely to constitute a cloak for rent-seeking activities.

Local PPD in Santa Catarina:
the point of departure before 1991

Three chambers of commerce and industry (ACEs) in the North East of the federal estate of Santa Catarina were used to do some kind of lobbying before a partnership project with the Chamber of Crafts and Small Industries for Munich and Upper Bavaria was launched in 1991.

Since the ACEs were driven by big businesses in the respective localities, local government had little chance but to listen whenever they strongly demanded something. It was a dialogue among local elites. Because of the way political campaigns were sponsored, it was very easy for associations to make themselves heard. Lobbying to improve the traffic and transport system in the town was for example: "Please put tar on street x until the entrance of my enterprise."

But even more importantly the ACEs were not prepared to elaborate proposals on how to change certain conditions in an operational matter in order stimulate the weak public administration for improvement of certain framework conditions. The participation of the entrepreneurs in dialogue was never the bottleneck but the lack of visions and proposals for solutions from both sides. Jordi Castan remembers the ACEs’ general approach in terms of lobbying. Back then, the entrepreneurs said: "We need more energy” or “water supply could be a problem in the future" but most of the time without presenting relevant information and data to support the argument and mostly without proposals on how to overcome this problem.

15 years later: ACEs are important dialogue partners in local and regional development

The traditional lobbying strategy worked until the nineties when Brazil started to open the economy and delegated responsibilities and tasks to the lower administrative levels and the civil society.

Suddenly the ACEs were under pressure to adjust and become more professional as well as to come up with operational proposals including solutions. Finally they had to launch a more systematic lobbying effort, based on complaints and proposals from an enlarged membership. With PACA and the Nucleus Approach the ACEs were supported to improve their planning and problem solving capacities. Today, the private sector representatives are ready to contract (technical) specialists to compile relevant information and are well prepared with technical proposals when they enter into PPD.

An increased number of entrepreneurs who are supported by the ACEs or even their presidents have come into important positions in the local and the state government being in charge of economic development. ACE Joinville, which is one of the three supported chambers, today participates actively in more than 30 councils in universities, local and state governments. They are very representative and have a strong voice in these councils. The town majors discuss their future plans with the ACE.

This case was compiled after an interview with Dr. Jörg Meyer-Stamer, PACA Consultant, Rainer Müller-Glodde, Nucleus Consultant and Jordi Castan, ACE Joinville Vice President