"We assess whether imperfect knowledge of labor regulation hinders job creation at small and medium-sized firms. We partner with a labor law expert that provides information about labor regulation via newsletters and access to a specialized website. We randomly assign 1800 firms to get access to this service for a 21-week period. Six months later, the average employment level at treatment firms was 12% higher than at control firms. The intervention decreased the perception that labor regulation is a constraint to hiring and increased optimal employment level."
"Standard business training programs aim to boost the incomes of the millions of self-employed business owners in developing countries by teaching basic financial and marketing practices, yet the impacts of such programs are mixed. We tested whether a psychology-based personal initiative training approach, which teaches a proactive mindset and focuses on entrepreneurial behaviors, could have more success. A randomized controlled trial in Togo assigned microenterprise owners to a control group (n = 500), a leading business training program (n = 500), or a personal initiative training program (n = 500). Four follow-up surveys tracked outcomes for firms over 2 years and showed that personal initiative training increased firm profits by 30%, compared with a statistically insignificant 11% for traditional training. The training is cost-effective, paying for itself within 1 year."
"In this guide, we endorse management and governance systems as a key ingredient for a successful and stable business. We encourage SMEs to establish appropriate systems and to avoid the common 'one-man show' approach among them. We show them the relative ease of achieving such a positive development just by making a few changes in how they manage their businesses. To help them, we present best practices and benefits of proper management and governance systems, along with business case studies about their fellow SMEs that have successfully applied them."
"In March 2015, the ANDE South Africa chapter brought together just over 30 participants involved in the education entrepreneurship ecosystem including public and private funders, capacity development providers, academics and edupreneurs for a full-day roundtable discussion in Johannesburg to flesh out challenges and opportunities faced by edupreneurs in South Africa and to come up with collaborative actions to strengthen the ecosystem. The discussion, which covered five topics from Access to Finance to Infrastructure and Enabling Technologies, focused on direct instruction models (predominantly Low Fee Private Schools) and EdTech entrepreneurs."
"This report outlines the key characteristics, influencing environment and needs of women-owned businesses in order to support investors and technical assistance providers in Africa to adopt a gender lens within their current practices and policies. The paper summarizes the findings from primary field research conducted in three areas: technical and business support, financial support, and gender specific considerations. The report also includes considerations for investors and technical assistance or business service providers when adopting a gender lens with their current practices and policies within the three areas. "
"This document presents ENERGIA’s four-year journey to create and upscale womencentric energy enterprises that sell safe, reliable and affordable energy solutions to low-income consumers in underserved areas. ENERGIA works with partner organizations in seven countries in an effort to develop and test new, disruptive business models and approaches that promote women as energy entrepreneurs. This document is a self-reflection, undertaken collectively by the WEE programme coordinator, the partner organizations and the ENERGIA International Secretariat. As a learning document, it seeks to analyse the various strategies with which we have worked in different contexts. It draws out common features of the most promising ones, as well as lessons from efforts that did not go so well, or even failed completely. Since documentation on women’s energy entrepreneurship is only beginning to emerge, wherever relevant, we have crosschecked our lessons with those from women’s entrepreneurship in other sectors."
"This research is unique as it is one of few studies that looks at women entrepreneurs from a regional perspective, to assess similarities and differences in how women entrepreneurs are coping with financial and non-financial barriers to growth in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda respectively. The study also establishes how these women currently fund their businesses, explores attitudes to different types of financing to expand their enterprises and reveals the funding gaps and capacity building needs."
"Recent field experiments demonstrate that advice, mentorship, and feedback from randomly assigned peers improve entrepreneurial performance. These results raise a natural question: what is preventing entrepreneurs and managers from forming these peer connections themselves? We argue that entrepreneurs may be under-networked because they lack the necessary social skills- the ability to communicate effectively and interact collaboratively with new acquaintances-that allow them to match efficiently with knowledgeable peers. We use a field experiment in the context of a business training program to test if a short social skills training module improves who the participants choose to learn from within the program. We find that entrepreneurs who were exposed to the social skills training formed 50% more relationships with peers. These relationships exhibited more matching based on managerial skill and were more ethnically diverse. Finally, the training also substantially increased entrepreneurs' business performance. Our findings suggest that social skills help entrepreneurs build relationships that create value for both themselves and their peers."
"A survey of the support available for entrepreneurs in South Africa was undertaken by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), South Africa. The Infographic highlights the key findings while interactive buttons provide a more detailed overview of the support available."
"The promotion of micro and small enterprises has been a centerpiece of the Ethiopian government's strategy to alleviate urban unemployment among the youth since 2004. Since this time, the government has adopted twin strategies of creating a business environment conducive to start and operate MSEs while at the same time actively triggering the establishment of new MSEs.
In this research, using a large dataset collected from 13 major cities in Ethiopia, we explore whether government-induced enterprises (cooperatives) differ from self-initiated enterprises (non-cooperatives) in various aspects of business productivity, business practices and performance."