Entrepreneurs who lead innovative companies and spearhead transformative solutions are needed to address some of the world’s most pressing issues. Endeavor Insight offers in-depth research on innovation and entrepreneurship across agriculture, healthcare, and clean energy sectors, made possible with support from the Lemelson Foundation, and additional funding for agriculture-specific research by Small Foundation.
These studies evaluate the challenges and opportunities for founders creating positive impact in emerging markets, specifically sub-Saharan Africa and India. Based on data from more than 500 innovative companies and interviews with over 130 entrepreneurs, the research draws lessons from high-performing companies, identifies how they are addressing urgent needs, and analyzes the role of ecosystem actors such as support organizations in enabling their success.
"Endeavor Insight has partnered with the Argidius Foundation to promote further learning among organizations that support entrepreneurs. This guide draws from Endeavor Insight’s body of research on ecosystem development and summarizes the most effective ways that stakeholders, primarily entrepreneurial support organizations and donors, can incorporate lessons into their decisions."
"Endeavor Insight partnered with HSBC to examine the challenges that climate tech founders face as they scale their companies, and the opportunities for investors and supporters to help them succeed. This study demonstrates how global connectivity can further drive innovation and highlights what decision makers can do to better support female-led and minority-led companies."
"The Climate Capital Network’s (CCN) first annual India Climate Finance Report explores the direction of climate finance in India, uncovers funding opportunities and gaps, and showcases organisations that are using innovative approaches. This report consolidates survey findings, interviews, and articles from leading climate finance organisations allocating in India. The universe of funders in India has grown significantly to encompass everyone from the Climate Committed (core mandate and/ or deploying in these sectors for a number of years) to the Climate Crossover (newly part of the mandate and starting to actively deploy/ refine thesis) to the Climate Curious (will opportunistically deploy, but no specific mandate at this point). We reached out to funders who are actively and strategically looking at climate right now. The focus of this report is on the data as a way to provide context and background, but equally importantly on the insights and areas of emergence."
"Entrepreneurship To the Point (eTTP) conducted research in South Africa on accelerating women-owned businesses in male-dominated sectors. To better understand the key barriers to entry and growth that women-owned businesses face in male-dominated sectors, they conducted surveys of 97 women and interviews with 17 women entrepreneurs in the male-dominated sectors in South Africa. The key findings of this report are 1) women’s participation in male-dominated sectors has increased, 2) the increase is driven by women entrepreneurs' passion, 3) but they still face multitudes of challenges in entering the sector and growing their businesses, 4) while the government has pushed for some policy frameworks to support women-owned businesses, 5) women entrepreneurs need both men and women mentors, and 6) there is more need for sector-focused accelerator/incubator programs"
"Entrepreneurship is a fundamental element for innovation dynamics, employment generation as well as productivity generation and economic growth (van Praag & Versloot, 2007). However, women are less likely to start a business (Parker, 2009). Albeit this trend has been slowly changing in recent years (GEM, 2021), female founders seem to be losing out, particularly in the high-growth venture. Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico have some of the most dynamic entrepreneurial activities in the world. However, particularly in Brazil and Chile, the rate of early-stage entrepreneurship is significantly lower for females than for males (GEM, 2021). The fact that the gap in entrepreneurship is visible not only in general but especially among ambitious and high-growth start-ups is worrisome. This report presents a diagnosis of the gender finance gap for start-ups that applied to accelerators, that is, start-ups that operate mostly in the technology sector and have high-growth ambitions. The finding of this report matters to female founders trying to grow their venture, investors who might miss out on more efficient investment opportunities by overlooking female-led ventures, and policy makers who steer macroeconomic policy decisions."
"In recent decades, the number of female entrepreneurs has grown substantially, particularly in low and middle-income countries. However, the characteristics and performance of female-led ventures differ significantly from those of ventures led by men. A potential reason for this is the lack of clearly defined venture goals, including the profit margin that ventures target. We study the relationship between gender and target margins using a large dataset of ventures located in Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa. We find that ventures led only by women are almost five percentage points less likely than male-led ventures to establish target margins, even after controlling for observable venture and founder characteristics. In addition, ventures with only female founders tend to set lower target margins than those with only male founders. These results suggest that policymakers, accelerators, and incubators, can play a major role in supporting female entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses by encouraging women to set clear and realistic target margins to be more successful at raising funds for their ventures."
"This Guide was developed for impact and mission-driven investors (“Investors”) operating in emerging markets to provide concrete, practical pathways for investing with a gender lens. The adoption of Gender Lens Investing strategies amongst investors in emerging markets in turn increases the amount of capital deployed towards women-led and gender inclusive businesses. Specifically, this Guide offers pathways for investment professionals, limited partners (LPs) and general partners (GPs) at impact and mission-driven Venture Capital (VC) and Private Equity (PE) firms that are investing in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Other actors that may also find the Guide useful are limited partners (LPs), asset managers, foundations, family offices and development finance institutions (DFI) that are providing capital to SMEs in emerging markets (Please see Figure 1: Who is this Guide for?). While the investor examples and data presented in the Guide originate from Investing in Women partners and countries of focus, the lessons learned apply broadly to investors operating in emerging markets.
There is no singular or linear path to investing with a gender lens, and there is no single ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to meet the needs and theses of all investors. With that in mind, the Guide outlines various options for investing with a gender lens. We know that gender lens investing is not an “all-or-nothing” scenario. There are multiple ways to integrate progressive practices, including ways that are not resource-intensive. This Guide outlines entry points for investors at any point in their gender lens investing journey and provides various options for decisive actions that can be taken at any stage of the investment process.
There is no single prescribed starting point. Investors can customize their approach to getting started and/or to deepen their involvement. The Guide builds on – and contributes to – a rapidly growing body of knowledge shared within the fields of gender lens investing and development, and is intended to spur action and learning. Recognizing that new resources are continually emerging, this Guide delves into the “how” of gender lens investing and is designed to complement the work of our partners and colleagues cited throughout this paper."
"This paper provides an analysis of local development, to deepen understanding of characteristics and behavior of women in rural areas in the municipality of Los Cabos, Baja California Sur. Specifically in the local delegations of Santiago, Miraflores, and La Ribera. We also identify investment opportunities that promote the entrepreneurial activity of women in that area. We wish to determine the business opportunities available in the area. We also identify market demands, available and potential resources, and analyze the possible impact of local areas through potential economic activities. The methodology involved examining documentary sources. In addition, we utilize direct observation, and planning workshops. Later, we administer a questionnaire to a representative sample of women from the study area. The results allow us to diagnose the woman’s situation and her development opportunities."
"Conventional wisdom holds that women are less likely than men to start and lead businesses. This trend, however, may be changing. Since 2020, the Visa Economic Empowerment Institute (VEEI) has surveyed small businesses around the world. Our findings suggest that firms born in the past two years are more likely than older firms to be headed by women. They are also more likely than pre-pandemic firms to be led by minority women. And once they start to export, they sell to a larger and more diverse set of markets. These women-led firms are also adopting digital technologies at about the same rate as those led by men. What factors predict success? The newly established women-led firms that weathered the initial impacts of COVID-19 better than other businesses share three characteristics: 1) they are more likely to use digital payments; 2) they are more likely to sell on global marketplaces that enable them to scale their sales and diversify their markets; and 3) they are more likely to export. This paper sets out recommendations for policymakers and the business community to better encourage and support the development of women-led firms by: 1) providing access to digital opportunities; 2) fostering digital skills; and 3) promoting a safe environment in which women-led firms can operate."