"An in-depth research report, issued by the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), with support from the Lemelson Foundation, on the role investors and innovators can play in accelerating private sector investment for physical climate adaptation solutions in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda. The report outlines the barriers and opportunities for investment in climate adaptation technologies in East Africa, as well as pathways for impact investors to fund innovative adaptation technologies in the sectors most impacted by the climate crisis: agriculture, health, and infrastructure."
"Backed by a unique database of over 255 African companies supported by I&P and insights from two decades of experience in impact investing, we highlight the critical role of formal SMEs in driving sustainable and inclusive growth in sub-Saharan Africa, how SMEs face barriers to accessing traditional financing, and how Catalytic capital offers a solution to bridge this gap. I&P shares insights on improving conditions and availability of catalytic capital, fostering collective learning for more impact investments in Africa."
"Access to capital is crucial for fostering entrepreneurship, fueling business growth, and enhancing productivity. Unfortunately, femaleentrepreneurs in developing countries face significant challenges securing formal financial support and making lower profits than maleentrepreneurs. While the evidence on the gendered investment gap is well documented, scant evidence-based studies investigatewhether the disparity arises from investor bias. Authors Shibiru Ayalew, Shanthi Manian, and Ketki Sheth implemented a large-scale field experiment in a high-stakes natural context to identify whether loan officers exhibit discriminatory behavior in capital allocation decisions for businesses inEthiopia. The experimental study showed no evidence that financial providers discriminate against women-owned businesses in reviewing loan applications."
"Female founders raise less capital from investors than male founders, even if their ventures are similar or identical. However, providing systematic evaluation frameworks could encourage investors to assess all candidates equally, thus reducing gender disparities. In this vein, the authors – Amisha Miller and Saurabh Lall – investigated whether changing systematic evaluation practices could close the gender gap in investment decisions. The authors designed and implemented a two-stage experiment in collaboration with Village Capital across different developing regions across Africa, South Asia (India), the Middle East, and Latin America to reduce gender disparities in investment decisions. The experimental findings confirm that using a systematic evaluation framework – prompting investors to consider both risks and growth, as well as progress – reduces or even reverses gender disparities in investment decisions. This study provides strong causal evidence for an intervention that can be implemented right out the gate at a low cost: providing a systematic evaluation framework to investors."
"Uganda's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Initiative (UEEI) Phase II aimed to address key gaps and opportunities in the entrepreneurial ecosystems of Kampala and Gulu, Uganda. The initiative was designed to work collectively towards addressing interrelated constraints such as limited access to financing, mentorship, and network connections, which were found to be limiting entrepreneurship in Uganda. While progress has been made, challenges such as bureaucratic red tape and a lack of appropriate financial products for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) still exist. The UEEI Phase II serves as a valuable learning opportunity for practitioners and policymakers working to cultivate a thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem in emerging markets."
This report establishes a baseline understanding of the state of green entrepreneurship in Kenya by assessing existing business models, the available financial and technical support for entrepreneurs, and key sectoral issues regarding the policy landscape and market opportunity. The purpose of the study is to inform decision-makers, such as policymakers, donors, investors, and business development service providers, of the primary trends, opportunities, and challenges in the green entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kenya.
Climate change and environmental degradation pose a significant threat to Kenya’s economy. To combat these challenges, Kenya has supported a green economic transition through various government policies and initiatives. Green entrepreneurs play an important role in helping the country reach these climate and environmental targets by meeting consumer needs in a sustainable manner. This report examines the ecosystem of support for green entrepreneurs in Kenya. Using data collected via surveys and desk research, this snapshot report uncovers important challenges and opportunities for green entrepreneurship to inform stakeholders of how to better support the development of Kenya’s green economy.
Climate change and gender inequality are among the world’s most pressing and complex development challenges. Women are catalysts for innovative solutions to tackle climate change. However, their underrepresentation in decision-making processes and labour markets means that women are prevented from fully contributing to climate-related planning, policy-making and implementation. Recently, WUSC joined partners in celebrating the development of a new roadmap for climate finance and marked the culmination of a unique project at the intersection of climate finance and gender implemented by a consortium of partners including ANDE and AKFC and generously funded by Global Affairs Canada. The purpose of the Roadmap is to present recommendations to donors on how to facilitate women climate entrepreneurs’ access to appropriate climate finance, contributing to greater equality and inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa while advancing innovative and transformative women-led climate solutions.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) act as drivers of economic growth due to their positive impact in creating jobs and driving social change. However, their owner-managers (entrepreneurs) generally face a lot of stress in running a business through role conflicts, working long hours, high time pressure, coping with past failures and managing many economic demands. This project examines the impact of a psychosocial intervention on the business performance of female entrepreneurs in Nigeria. This project update shares the methodology used to address this research question and early insights that have emerged so far.
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.