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Middle East & North Africa

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"From launching a fund to exiting investments, this handbook provides an introduction to equity investment throughout Africa. The handbook presents a panorama of SGB investment in Africa, introduces equity investment methodology, and suggests a roadmap for launching an investment vehicle targeting African SGBs."

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"In recent years, investment in the various facets of Morocco's entrepreneurship ecosystem has become the focus of both the public and private sectors. The foundation has been developed, and all the structures necessary for nurturing not only entrepreneurship, but specifically climate entrepreneurship, have reached a 'start-up' stage. Nonetheless, the overall support environment requires more targeted intervention, in particular, favorable policies, resources, and a resilient entrepreneurial-minded culture to inspire future growth.

This report takes a mixed-methods approach to unpacking the climate entrepreneurship sector of the Moroccan economy, and is based on four forms of data collection and analysis undertaken from August-November 2016. By using different data sources, the team was able to triangulate the data and gain higher validity and consistency for the findings and recommendations."

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"We have therefore launched a study on this subject that combines quantitative analyses and qualitative comments of our entrepreneurial companies and partners, their employees, and our investment teams. This research has allowed us to capitalize on our knowledge and to provide an overall picture of what the path to formalization looks like. We do hope, of course, that this study will inspire African governments, development agencies and scholars. But the most valuable part of this work relates to what is very rarely analyzed and even less frequently shared: the practical challenges companies face as they progress towards formalization. Our business gives us access to unique knowledge and insights which are essential to understanding how companies and their employees view public policies, as well as best practices for leading a business towards successful formalization. This study will therefore be of interest to entrepreneurs engaging in the formalization process, as well as to private and public investors who face the challenges of exiting the informal sector."

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"In economies characterized by low labor demand and high rates of youth unemployment, entrepreneurship training has the potential to enable youth to gain skills and create their own jobs. This paper presents experimental evidence on a new entrepreneurship track that provides business training and personalized coaching to university students in Tunisia."

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"As part of an effort to increase the evidence related to youth entrepreneurship in the Arab world, the ILO has joined with regional partners to create the Taqeem initiative. Taqeem provides support for the rigorous evaluation of youth interventions and disseminates findings and recommendations on “what works” in youth employment. As part of the Taqeem initiative, a global research team was assembled to evaluate the impact of an innovative youth entrepreneurship reality TV show in Egypt called El Mashrou3, produced and directed by the international NGO Bamyan Media. Bamyan defines the primary objective of the show as: to use the power of mass media to inspire a new generation of youth entrepreneurs. This is achieved through broadcasting messages about entrepreneurship skills and good business practices. In addition to producing the show, Bamyan Media carried out support activities to create a bridge between El Mashrou3 and the real world. A website was created so that viewers could access online courses, educational videos and mentoring services. Public viewing parties and networking events were also organized.

This report has several purposes. The first is to set out clearly for the study team and for interested parties all the details involved in selecting the study population, including details of the random selection process used. The second is to summarize information from the baseline survey to give a picture of the types of young people involved in the study. Finally, the report provides background information about the TV show itself, the contestants and the content of the episodes. It should be noted that only minimal data are presented from the baseline survey, as data continue to be collected, improved and analysed."

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"We conduct a randomized experiment that generates exogenous variation in the access to foreign markets for rug producers in Egypt. Combined with detailed survey data, we causally identify the impact of exporting on firm performance. Treatment firms report 16-26% higher profits and exhibit large improvements in quality alongside reductions in output per hour relative to control firms. These findings do not simply reflect firms being offered higher margins to manufacture high-quality products that take longer to produce. Instead, we find evidence of learning-by-exporting whereby exporting improves technical efficiency.

First, treatment firms have higher productivity and quality after controlling for rug specifications. Second, when asked to produce an identical domestic rug using the same inputs and same capital equipment, treatment firms produce higher quality rugs despite no difference in production time. Third, treatment firms exhibit learning curves over time. Finally, we document knowledge transfers with quality increasing most along the specific dimensions that the knowledge pertained to."

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"Entrepreneurship education has the potential to enable youth to gain skills and create their own jobs. In Tunisia, a curricular reform created an entrepreneurship track providing business training and coaching to help university students prepare a business plan. We rely on randomized assignment of the entrepreneurship track to identify impacts on students' labor market outcomes one year after graduation. The entrepreneurship track led to a small increase in self-employment, but overall employment rates remained unchanged. Although business skills improved, effects on personality and entrepreneurial traits were mixed. The program nevertheless increased graduates' aspirations toward the future."

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"While the world has made huge economic gains over the past 50 years, this progress has been highly uneven. This is particularly acute in the agriculture sector, with many of the 500 million smallholder farmers around the world living on meager incomes and facing high levels of economic insecurity.

Despite some recent innovations and advances in including smallholders as market players, there have been few cases where truly widespread, market-level, transformative change towards inclusion has been achieved.

In this report, we explore the role of different kinds of capital in bending the arc of agricultural market development towards inclusive growth. We pay particular attention to how impact-focused players deploying capital that is flexible in terms of risk-return expectations can best deploy it in order to catalyze large-scale transformations towards inclusion."

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"What type of local businesses make up the Tunisian private sector? What are the characteristics and needs of local businesses? What is the financial and non-financial offer available to serve the needs of the different types of local enterprises? Get a better understanding of the Tunisian entrepreneurial and financial ecosystem and get acquainted with the opportunities to close the gap for missing middle entrepreneurs locally."

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"Private equity firms play a key role in creating an enabling environment for local business development, and supports their growth objectives by implementing best practice ESG policies in portfolio companies. This survey builds on AVCA's inaugural Sustainability Study, released in 2016. In this edition, we quantify how many jobs have been created from a selection of PE-backed companies in Africa between 2009 to 2016, and evaluate the extent of ESG integration in the private equity investment process."

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