"Business incubation is a growing area attracting substantial interest both from governments and the private sector. Unfortunately, it is difficult for "would-be-entrepreneurs" to operate an informed choice given the large variety in nomenclature, programmes, services offered, underpinning business models, and the frequent lack of availability of performance data, or a common set of metrics that could be used to compute (and provide) widely acceptable KPI useful to facilitate the choice. Additionally, the role of the Information Management System has been under investigated. The present paper presents the research being conducted for the design and implementation of a modular information management system expressly designed to adapt to the needs of business incubators irrespective of the business model and approach adopted. The design is informed of the most relevant different business models presently adopted, the set of services and programmes offered, and the guidelines proposed by the European Union and the CSI federation. Best practices adopted in the UK and Europe have also been considered along with Cabral-Dahab principles. Finally, we identified a set of metrics that can be easily collected and used to generate valuable KPI able to support both the business incubation management as well as the applicants."
"In recent years, there has been growing interest and funding dedicated to technical assistance (TA) designed to strengthen the commercial and development impact of businesses in developing markets. However, relatively little is known about the nature and effectiveness of these initiatives. To help address that knowledge gap, this paper focuses on efforts by development finance institutions (DFIs) to provide technical assistance to agribusinesses, which—while comprising only a small share of overall DFI investment portfolios—receive 30% of all TA."
"What keeps social entrepreneurs in developing countries from growing their ventures? Around the world social entrepreneurs are creating innovative businesses that reduce poverty and improve the lives of their customers. These pioneers often encounter many hurdles along the way that make growing a social business a significant challenge. With insights from more than 120 interviews with early-stage social entrepreneurs in developing countries, we explore the common financial and non-financial obstacles they face. The survey showed that access to financing is still a major issue for most of the entrepreneurs: loans are expensive, require significant personal collateral and traditional financing providers don’t take the social mission of the business into account. Besides access to capital, especially in the missing middle, social entrepreneurs also have challenges finding new customers for their products and services, managing their operations and technical excellence, as well as recruiting and retaining high quality staff. Based on our findings we distilled specific conclusions and recommendations for entrepreneurs, investors and intermediaries."
"This Roadmap for the Small and Growing Business (SGB) Sector outlines the expected transformations in the sector over the next ten years, and the challenges and opportunities inherent to such change. It includes a set of 13 recommendations that, if adopted, can help sector support organizations focus resources, initiate momentum-building, "catalytic" actions, and mitigate inherent challenges from both within and outside the sector."
"A classical approach to collecting and elaborating information to make entrepreneurial decisions combines search heuristics, such as trial and error, effectuation, and confirmatory search. This paper develops a framework for exploring the implications of a more scientific approach to entrepreneurial decision making. The panel sample of our randomized control trial includes 116 Italian startups and 16 data points over a period of about one year. Both the treatment and control groups receive 10 sessions of general training on how to obtain feedback from the market and gauge the feasibility of their idea. We teach the treated startups to develop frameworks for predicting the performance of their idea and conduct rigorous tests of their hypotheses, very much as scientists do in their research. We let the firms in the control group instead follow their intuitions about how to assess their idea, which has typically produced fairly standard search heuristics. We find that entrepreneurs who behave like scientists perform better, are more likely to pivot to a different idea, and are not more likely to drop out than the control group in the early stages of the startup. These results are consistent with the main prediction of our theory: a scientific approach improves precision—it reduces the odds of pursuing projects with false positive returns and increases the odds of pursuing projects with false negative returns."
"This paper summarizes the key features of a systematic framework for assessing the aggregate employment impacts of a portfolio of development cooperation interventions. The methodological approach follows a bottom-up procedure based on three steps: (i) estimating employment effects at the intervention level, net of the counterfactual scenario; (ii) estimating (economy-wide) employment impacts of interventions taking into account employment-related indirect effects of the intervention such as displacement, substitution and multipliers; (iii) aggregating these employment impacts across the portfolio and deriving comparable parameter values for employment effects. We discuss these steps, along with two preparatory steps that enable an identification of projects for which a detailed evaluation may be most relevant and feasible. To this end, we develop a classification of intervention types from an employment perspective and propose an approach to judge their availability ex-ante. Finally, we discuss how these bottom-up estimates can feed into a system of institutional learning about employment impacts, based on the specification of an indicator for employment outcomes that can be compared and aggregate across heterogeneous development projects. The paper is based on an exploratory study conducted for German development cooperation; hence there is a necessary focus on a framework applicable in this specific context."
"Over the past 15 years, accelerators emerged as a popular and distinct new form of intermediary organization, playing a key role in supporting entrepreneurial and innovation activities. To date, despite significant growth in accelerators research, there is still little understanding of how different forms of accelerators operate, and what outcomes they produce across different contexts. This paper reviews the existing scholarly research on accelerators using the Context-Intervention-Mechanism-Outcome framework and is based on the analysis of 98 research papers on accelerators published in the last 15 years. The analysis identifies four mechanisms which explain how accelerators operate and the role they play in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation: the validation of ideas and products; the provision of product development and models learning; the provision of support to increase startups' market access and growth; and the provision of support for innovation. The paper identifies the methodological and theoretical gaps in current research and provides avenues to support future research and industry practice."
"This toolkit is designed to help entrepreneurs, investors, consultants, evaluators or other practitioners deepen their social impact measurement and management process in the impact investing sector. The toolkit is intended to be used in tandem with already existing standards and methods like the GIIN’s IRIS+, the Impact Management Project’s five dimensions of impact, and 60 Decibels Lean Data, to complement and deepen those metrics and approaches."
"In an effort to deepen understanding of the incubator and accelerator landscape in South Africa, ANDE hosted a series of breakfast roundtables in Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2017 and 2018. This document presents an overview of the key findings of the roundtables and provides recommendations for further research."
"This report - a first of its kind focused on Latin America- summarizes information gathered from 48 Impact Investors and entrepreneurial ecosystem stakeholders in Latin America -primarily members of the ANDE network- as well as 254 firms that comprise their portfolios. It includes information from surveys and key informant interviews with 24 Impact Investors and entrepreneurial ecosystem actors. This report highlights that while it is clear that gender equality is good for business and good for development, Impact Investors in Latin America are still only in the early stages of embedding this focus in their investment process and activities."