Region
Sub-Saharan Africa

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"This report by the Tony Elumelu Foundation focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing young agricultural entrepreneurs. It contains a comprehensive analysis of Africa's entrepreneurial ecosystem and discusses challenges and opportunities that African start-ups face along the agricultural value chain."

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"Over the course of twelve months in 2018, we worked on the ground with 15 entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs), interviewed more than 80 ESOs, and engaged more than 1,000 stakeholders, from entrepreneurs to investors to government leaders. We learned that the entrepreneur support sector in Africa has an opportunity for better communication and collaboration. ESOs are growing businesses - much like the startups they serve. We need to focus on resourcing and strengthening existing hubs, rather than creating new ones."

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"The study was set in rural markets in Kenya with the objective of testing how the GET Ahead programme affects the profitability, growth and survival of female-owned businesses, and to evaluate whether any gains in profitability come at the expense of other business owners. A year-and-a-half after the training had taken place, a mentoring intervention was randomly assigned among trained women to test whether additional group-based and in-person support strengthens the impacts of training on intended outcomes."

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"Opportunity-driven entrepreneurs generate much of Africa's employment, income and hope for a better future. But how are these companies progressing over time? This question is answered in the VC4Africa 2015 Venture Finance in Africa report.

This report captures the performance of ventures listed on the Venture Capital 4 Africa online platform and highlights the activity of investors' part of the network. As the community continues to grow, it is expected this yearly report will lend insights into what is happening across the larger startup space. The report breaks down insights across 5 indicators: employment, performance, investments, investors and ecosystem."

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"Timbali Technology Incubator in the Mpumalanga region of South Africa seeks to help rural farmers whose livelihood has been undercut by high-volume large farms. Supported by government financing and fee-based services, Timbali is largely based on a franchise model. Its clients supply cut flowers to Amablom,Timbali’s commercial arm. Individual clients can begin generating revenue almost immediately. Timbali helps clients both onsite and off, training them in business methods and helping them find loans to get started. It is helping clients expand intoother product lines and value-added food processing, and plans to export its model into other parts of South Africa."

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"Solar Sister, a social enterprise operating in Tanzania, Uganda, and Nigeria, is dedicated to eradicating energy poverty through the economic empowerment of women. In addition to economically empowering its women entrepreneurs, the business model of Solar Sister also cultivates sales networks built on trust in last-mile distribution methods. While Solar Sister has previously conducted research regarding its many entrepreneurs, it has lacked information on its end customers. In 2016 a research team from Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship undertook survey research with Solar Sister to examine the effects of solar lantern use on users’ health, education, time allocation, household savings, income generation, and increased agency. The research team conducted a 53-question survey in more than 20 villages across five regions in Tanzania, with research assistants providing English-Swahili translation. The data and stories presented here are intended to help illuminate the potential of solar lanterns to improve livelihoods in rural Tanzania and beyond."

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"ANDE, the Center for Development Alternatives, Enterprise Uganda, and Koltai & Company released the Phase I findings of ANDE's Uganda Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Initiative on November 28. The Phase I report maps the entrepreneurial ecosystems of Kampala and Gulu—two key regions for Ugandan economic growth. It then outlines a strategic path forward for promoting entrepreneurship in these regions, recommending specific actions to overcome ecosystem constraints. The second phase of the initiative will use these findings to design and implement a multi-stakeholder, multi-million-euro program to develop Ugandan entrepreneurship, beginning in 2019. Read the full report."

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"The Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), a traditional incubator run by the government, has made a significant impact by locating value-added processing systems from its Kampala headquarters into farmer communities. While the model lacks the necessary innovation development, UIRI offers SME clients in these regions the opportunity to expand their personal income and their existing businesses through local market development and value-added food processing. At the same time, however, UIRI’straditional incubator has been challenged to graduate incubatees who do not have the financial resources to stand on their own."

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"The Landscape for Impact Investing in West Africa is a state of the market analysis of the impact investing industry in the region. The report includes regional findings from 15 countries, as well as dedicated chapters covering the most active markets: Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal. Across the region, investors highlight opportunities for impact and financial return, particularly in the key sectors of energy, financial technologies, and agriculture.

The landscape study is based on thorough analysis of relevant literature, large volumes of transaction data, and extensive interviews with key industry stakeholders. Detailed country chapters include information on the supply of capital by investor type, investment opportunities by sector, and regulatory considerations and hurdles for impact investors and investees."

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"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."

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