"Through the efforts of the irene|see network, the researchers have contributed to both theoretical and empirical knowledge around social enterprise and social economic empowerment that is pluralistic in disciplines, as well as methodology. The multidisciplinary studies presented in this volume contribute to the effort to understand the diversity of social enterprise experiences at national and local levels, as well as the way third and private sector enterprises and organizations are embedded in their respective societies. This volume aims to presents some of the findings, results, and recommendations of the researchn conducted through the irene|see network."
"In this brief, we use data from the Entrepreneurship Acceleration Research Initiative in order to respond to the following question by Steve Cumming of the MasterCard Foundation about Youth Entrepreneurship: At The MasterCard Foundation, we have a portfolio of youth entrepreneurship projects that we support in Sub Saharan Africa. We're always looking for data to better understand the space and to inform our programming. I'm wondering if you could share any data by ages 18-24 and 25-30, and by African country or region if possible. Do you see anything interesting under these parameters?"
"Special attention has been given to untie the constraints of Micro and Small Enterprises in Ethiopia for they are important vehicles to address the challenges of unemployment, economic growth and equity in the country. The government is implementing different support service programs, in the forms of financial and business development, in different parts of the country. This study is aimed at evaluating economic impact of MSEs support service programs on enterprise sales, employment and capital asset formation in Dire Dawa Administration, Ethiopia. Propensity Score Matching is employed to estimate the impact of support service program. The result revealed that the program resulted in average increment of monthly sales by 28%, employee level by 42%, and capital asset formation by 60%. It is, therefore, indispensable to strengthen and expand the support service program to non participant enterprises by giving special attention to the major problems that participant enterprises are currently facing."
"Grants for agricultural innovation are common but grant funds specifically targeted to smallholder farmers remain relatively rare. Nevertheless, they are receiving increasing recognition as a promising venue for agricultural innovation. They stimulate smallholders to experiment with improved practices, to become proactive and to engage with research and extension providers. The systematic review covered three modalities of disbursing these grants to smallholder farmers and their organisations: vouchers, competitive grants and farmer-led innovation support funds. The synthesis covers, among others, innovation grant systems in Malawi (Agricultural Input Subsidy Programme), Latin America (several Challenge Funds for Farmer Groups), Uganda (National Agricultural Advisory Services ), and Colombia (Local Agricultural Research Committees - CIAL)."
"Current women's economic empowerment interventions are not enough to overcome all obstacles facing female entrepreneurs. The emerging evidence from psychology and experimental economics on agency; mindset, and leadership show that for successful interventions to be transformative, they need to move beyond basic access to financial and human capital and also tackle central psychological, social, and skills constraints on women entrepreneurs.
Emerging evidence from recent studies on different capital-based, training-based, and gender based interventions, using randomized control trials, present promising interventions to support women entrepreneurs. An experimental study in Uganda found that Providing financial capital (i.e., subsidized microcredit coupled with Start and Improve Your Business training module), while effective for men, does not have any impact on female owned enterprise profits. Similarly, a randomized control trial on Tanzania's Business Women Connect program found that while the mobile savings program substantially increased savings, it did not have an effect on female-owned enterprise profits or sales even when combined with hard business skills, such as business management, basic profitability concepts, and record-keeping. Both studies, however, show that loans paired with business trainings as well as improved access to mobile savings accounts paired with business trainings had a positive impact on male-owned microenterprise profits or sales. Thus, a successful women's economic empowerment intervention needs more than only access to financial capital and hard business skills."
"This legal guide provides an overview of legal issues and requirements for impact investors and social entrepreneurs who are entering into business in East Africa. Without a better understanding of the regional context, the legal process can often be poorly suited for specific markets and take months and incur substantial expenses for investors and businesses. Understanding the local legal environment streamlines the due diligence process and improves the ongoing viability, sustainability, and growth potential of investments."
"Presenting rigorous and original research, this volume offers key insights into the historical, cultural, social, economic and political forces at play in the creation of world-class ICT innovations in Kenya. Following the arrival of fiber-optic cables in 2009, Digital Kenya examines why the initial entrepreneurial spirit and digital revolution has begun to falter despite support from motivated entrepreneurs, international investors, policy experts and others. Written by engaged scholars and professionals in the field, the book offers 15 eye-opening chapters and 14 one-on-one conversations with entrepreneurs and investors to ask why establishing ICT start-ups on a continental and global scale remains a challenge on the "Silicon Savannah". The authors present evidence-based recommendations to help Kenya to continue producing globally impactful ICT innovations that improve the lives of those still waiting on the side-lines, and to inspire other nations to do the same."
"The African Agricultural Capital Fund, managed by Pearl Capital Partners, primarily invests in small- and medium-sized agricultural enterprises to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in East Africa.
This case study gives an overview of the fund, describes its capital structure, its primary impact governance mechanisms, and the stakeholders’ key risk mitigation strategies. To provide additional insight into the motivations and decisions that shaped the impact investment, interviews with representatives of the four investors and the fund manager are included."
"Through our analyzes of over 30 models of smallholder service delivery, in 16 different counties, we have been able to identify best practices and key drivers for farmer resilience and business sustainability. Here, in this report we share with you our findings. Read on to better understand the key leverage points for creating systemic improvements in delivery systems. The data we’ve gathered, and patterns observed should enable farmers, service providers and investors to make smarter decisions for sustainable growth. Couple this with innovative blended finance, to de-risk investments, and we will be able to unlock billions of dollars in smallholder agriculture to take these models to scale."
"Rabobank Foundation, AgriProFocus and ICCO Cooperation offer support to agri-food SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa in overcoming some of the most important hurdles to growth and development...The study increases our understanding of the challenges faced by agri-food SMEs as well as those faced by investors and capital funds operating in Sub-Saharan Africa. We trust that this report challenges regulators, donors and potential investors to come up with novel approaches for making critical capital available to agri-food SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa."