Markets hold significant power to create or combat poverty. Increasingly, international development initiatives focused on economic growth and/or poverty alleviation are working to open existing markets to poor producers and consumers and make the benefits of well-functioning markets more widely accessible to the poor. The challenge for development practitioners is to promote economic growth strategies that improve the competitiveness of industries. Developing value chains that are within competitive industries has specific challenges when the majority of micro- and small enterprises are extremely poor. This paper draws from the experiences of SEEP members working on value chain development with the poor and presents lessons gleaned from the Value Chain Working Group on-line discussion from February through June 2006.