"Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are thought to be important drivers of growth in developing economies, but entrepreneurs in these countries face many barriers, including poor access to training, finance, and business networks. In Colombia, Fundación Bavaria's "Destapa Futuro" (Open the Future) program identifies promising enterprises and provides them with a suite of financial, technical, business, and training resources. Researchers found that the trainings did not affect key business outcomes, such as sales and profits, but helped entrepreneurs to expand their business networks."
"We investigate the effects that the experience level of accelerator management teams has on the performance of the accelerators they manage. In particular, we examine how the collective business experience of the accelerator managers influences the survival and growth of tenant firms within the accelerator. The experience of accelerator managers is assessed from two perspectives: their own direct knowledge from operating entrepreneurial startups, and their ability to access the knowledge of others from their professional networks. The survival and growth of tenant firms is assessed as the hazard rates for successful exits (acquisitions) and unsuccessful exits (firm failures). We find evidence to suggest that increased knowledge of accelerator managers reduces the risk of firm failures and that this reduction can be attributed more to differences in the amount of direct experience the accelerator management team has as founders in startups, than to differences in connectedness to the ecosystem."
"Large amounts of funding are going towards programmes to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in low- and middle-income countries in order to increase revenue and profits, generate employment, and, so, create economic growth and reduce poverty. The Campbell review summarizes evidence of the impact of these programmes on measures of SME performance including revenues, profits, and productivity, as well as the firms’ ability to generate employment and increase their labour productivity Included studies examine interventions targeted at SMEs (up to 250 employees) involving tax simplification, exports and access to external markets; support for innovation policies; support to local production systems; training and technical assistance, and SME financing and credit guarantee programmes. Findings from 40 studies are summarised in the review. These studies present evidence from 18 low- and middle-income countries, with 26 studies analysing programmes in Latin America, six from Asia and five from Africa."
"Working with five Ethiopian firms, we randomized applicants to an industrial job offer, an "entrepreneurship" program of $300 plus business training, or control status. Industrial jobs offered more and steadier hours but low wages and risky conditions. The job offer doubled exposure to industrial work but, since most quit within months, had no impact on employment or income after a year. Applicants largely took industrial work to cope with adverse shocks. This exposure, meanwhile, significantly increased health problems. The entrepreneurship program raised earnings 33 percent and provided steadier hours. When barriers to self-employment were relieved, applicants preferred entrepreneurial to industrial labor."
"We design a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the adoption of credit scoring with a bank that uses soft information in small businesses lending. We find that credit scores improve the productivity of credit committees, reduce managerial involvement in the loan approval process, and increase the profitability of lending.
Credit committee members' effort and output also increase when they anticipate the score becoming available, indicating that scores improve incentives to use existing information. Our results imply that credit scores improve the efficiency and decentralize decision-making in loan production, which has implications for the optimal organization of banks."
"The Impact Management Project is a global effort of over 700 organizations to share fundamentals for how to talk about, measure and manage impact. This involves a thorough understanding of the investor's perspective, and how asset managers view impact on people and planet. The report describes the "five dimensions of impact" and what fundamentals investors and businesses should agree on to achieve their impact goals."
"This report presents a detailed analysis of impact investing activity in East Africa, examining the supply of global impact investment capital as well as the demand for investment resources from small and medium enterprises (SMEs), social enterprises, and others who aim to drive social and environmental impact through the private sector. The report covers five “focus countries” in depth: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Rwanda; and six additional countries in the region in less depth: Burundi, Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Somalia."
"This report seeks to illustrate common challenges that entrepreneurs and intermediating financial service providers are facing because of the coronavirus crisis, as well as various strategies being implemented by impact investors to address these challenges. Specifically, the report explores ways investors work with investees to address immediate solvency constraints, adjust their activities to ensure the achievement of impact and financial objectives, and reimagine business models and processes with the future in mind."
"This report dives into how impact investing is at an inflection point, building off the rich histories of community finance in the United States and other countries, microfinance, international development, and the integration of ESG factors (Environmental, Social and Governance) in institutional portfolios more broadly. For over 30 years, these practices have been laying the foundation for an expanded continuum of investor options for thematic and asset allocations into privately-owned investments structured for financial returns and social and environmental impacts."
"A randomized control trial with 432 small and medium enterprises in Mexico shows positive impact of access to 1 year of management consulting services on total factor productivity and return on assets. Owners also had an increase in "entrepreneurial spirit" (an index that measures entrepreneurial confidence and goal setting). Using Mexican social security data, we find a persistent large increase (about 50 percent) in the number of employees and total wage bill even 5 years after the program. We document large heterogeneity in the specific managerial practices that improved as a result of the consulting, with the most prominent being marketing, financial accounting, and long-term business planning."