The role of employment in poverty-reduction programmes in developing countries has received considerable attention worldwide. Many new employment opportunities in many developing countries are created in the informal sector where the rate of growth may be higher than that of the formal sector. Dairy markets offer good opportunities for non-farm rural and urban employment. This may particularly be true in informal milk markets, which rely less on modern milk processing equipment and more on traditional labour-intensive technologies. The case studies from Kenya, Bangladesh and Ghana provide an opportunity to gain strategic insights into how small-scale dairy marketing and processing can contribute significantly to rural and urban employment, most of which occurs in the informal sector. The capacity for small-scale dairy processing and marketing to generate jobs in rural communities, as well as in peri-urban and urban areas, is demonstrated. Although the evidence presented here is based on simple case studies and should be taken as only indicative, it nevertheless demonstrates the strong potential for even small quantities of milk to generate employment in rural and peri-urban areas.