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"Entrepreneurial ecosystems have become a prominent concept, yet in its current state, the concept itself represents a paradox. While it draws on a rich intellectual history and provides an opportunity to synthesize different strands of research, it is also under-theorized and the mechanisms that govern ecosystem evolution are not well understood. This paper takes stock of recent advancements in ecosystem scholarship and synthesizes the empirical reality of the causal mechanisms. We use these dynamics to position ecosystems in a broader context, within and beyond the domain of entrepreneurship research, and propose a transdisciplinary research program for ecosystem research and practice."

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"A large portion of economic activity in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is driven by (micro)entrepreneurs, who face significant challenges in starting and running profitable businesses. More than half of workers in low- and lower middle-income countries run their own business, against around 10 percent in high-income countries (ILO, 2019). Around a third of these entrepreneurs are driven by necessity (e.g., running their own business as a means of providing a subsistence income), rather than opportunity (e.g., hoping to build a business that grows beyond the scope of subsistence needs). Well-documented barriers facing LMIC entrepreneurs include weak education systems that hamper human capital development, limited access to finance, poor infrastructure and information access, and weak institutions. Policy interventions have sought to respond to these challenges with often inconclusive or underwhelming results.

Insights from behavioral science can help us better understand how the complexities of the human decision-making process impact LMIC entrepreneurs and the policies aimed at supporting them. Behavioral science recognizes that people’s behavior does not only depend on internal drivers (personality, preferences) and external drivers (information, incentives, regulations), but also on the decision-making process itself, which is influenced by available mental resources, automatic thinking, social norms and relationships, and mental models. While these influences impact everyone, their importance is exacerbated by challenging living conditions, making them potentially more influential for individuals living in LMICs. The majority of entrepreneurship research and programming continues to focus on building capital and business skills, but adding a systematic focus on behavioral influences shows a broad range of potential barriers that might interfere with an entrepreneur’s decision-making process (Figure A). A deeper understanding of entrepreneurs’ decision-making context can help practitioners improve both their diagnosis of the obstacles facing entrepreneurs and the design of entrepreneurship-related policies and interventions."

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"As investors with experience in gender lens investing (GLI), our peers often ask us for information on how to kickstart their GLI journey. Many useful resources are available to do this. However, this brief addresses a gap in information on the tools and approaches used to design and implement gender-smart technical assistance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to improve their social and financial performance. We also share our reflections from our collective experience to date."

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"The Gender Equality Scorecard© (GES©) Manual is the collective effort built upon SEAF’s work on the GES©, a tool SEAF developed to assess women’s economic empowerment and gender equality within growth-orientated small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”). The GES© Manual provides clear guidance on how to utilize the tool and objectively score a company when assessing it’s demonstrated commitment to gender equality through six gender equality performance vectors."

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"By investing in gender inclusion, businesses can generate opportunities for women while also furthering their business objectives. In recognition of the opportunities outlined above, the Shell Foundation and Value for Women embark on a partnership in 2016 designed to pilot a holistic framework for gender inclusion in enterprise operations, using a "bottom-up", business-first approach, aimed at testing the impact of gender inclusion on business performance. The approach first hones in on business challenges, and then designs practical, measurable solutions with a gender lens."

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"This paper is aimed to support DCED member projects to integrate gender considerations more fully into private sector development (PSD) measurement systems. It takes a first step at bridging the knowledge gap by: 1. Reviewing definitions of women’s economic empowerment, 2. Identifying current measures for women’s economic empowerment in WED, and 3. Offering practical ways forward for measuring household level change in women’s economic empowerment."

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"This tool has been developed for businesses to allow them to directly enter data, in order to assess their business operations from a gender perspective at three levels: human capital, productivity management, and market. The tool will walk businesses through a three-step process to collect data about where women are within agribusiness operations, provide a report analyzing the data showing gender gaps in women and men participation as employees and suppliers, as well as highlighting the policies, practices and systems that should be in place for a business to support gender inclusion. Finally, the report will provide recommendations on action steps businesses can take towards increasing women's inclusion across core business areas."

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"Today India, and the world, finds itself in the unenvious position of enduring two major economic recessions in a span of 10-12 years, unprecedented in modern history. In the aftermath of COVID-19, which has hit the small enterprise sector the hardest, where a majority of women-led ventures are recorded, it has become imperative to actively find avenues to encourage sustainable growth. This report delves deep into the various factors and circumstances inhibiting the growth of women-led enterprises, and further explores how women entrepreneurship can be encouraged while also being a force of change. Through various articles mentioned in this collection, which are based on original research studies conducted in this area during the pandemic, we seek to provide a snapshot of the existing obstacles, but also the way forward in promoting women entrepreneurship, which can be a major contributor in the socio-economic recovery of India."

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"Globally, the literature on public sector experiences with GRP is limited. This report aims to contribute to the current knowledge base on how governments can better support women entrepreneurs and WLBs who seek to sell to the government. Most of the examples and case studies in this report come specifically from Chile, the Dominican Republic, and the City of Buenos Aires, which have developed GRP programs and are at different stages of implementation."

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"In collaboration with Google, this report presents four opportunities for unlocking the potential of female entrepreneurship in India: 1) Level the playing field for the high-impact, employment-creating entrepreneurs; 2) Enable ambitious “solopreneurs” and small business owners to scale and become high-impact entrepreneurs; 3) Encourage more women to start enterprises; 4) Build, strengthen and scale productive rural “agripreneurs.”

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