||The past decade has seen a strong growth in the number of new seed enterprises emerging in Africa, Asia and Latin America. If successful, they will contribute tremendously to the economic growth of their countries, regions and farmers. Use of seed of improved varieties encompasses the essence of agricultural productivity improvement and is a major catalyst for investment in organic and inorganic fertilizer, conservation agriculture practices, and labor to provide a greater pay-off to farmers. However, less than 50% of all farmers in low-income countries have access to yield-enhancing maize seed and they are far fewer for other crops. Newly emerging seed enterprises explore new markets, make seed of more diverse varieties and crops available, inform and educate farmers: their success is essential for agricultural economies to succeed. As a major provider of improved maize and wheat germplasm, available as an international public good, CIMMYT developed this publication as a practical guide for lead personnel of new maize seed businesses. Even though targeted to the African business environment, we expect that its content will benefit newly emerging seed enterprises world-wide. Different from other maize seed production books, it links technical and business related aspects, and most importantly draws on the experiences of entrepreneurs that have succeeded in managing small and large seed businesses under most difficult conditions. We hope and expect that their experience and wisdom, that is greatly acknowledged, will contribute to making a greater number of new seed entrepreneurs more successful. Success in the sense that they see their seed business growing, their investment paying off and improved seed reaching farmers that have so far not benefitted sufficiently from crop improvement and good quality seed.