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.
Southeast Asia is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world, with a total GDP of over USD 2.7 trillion. However, its progress is threatened by the increasingly adverse impacts of climate change. Entrepreneurship has a leading role in developing solutions to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. This report evaluates the current support ecosystem for climate and environmental entrepreneurs in six developing Southeast Asian countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Through ANDE's data collection and analysis, this report offers insights on the set of organizations supporting entrepreneurs that aim to address climate change mitigation, adaptation, and non-climate related environmental protection challenges.
"Entrepreneurs in developing economies are vital to addressing climate change and promoting sustainable and resilient development. Developing countries will experience some of the worst climate impacts. and they also hold enormous potential for encouraging mitigation and adaptation on local and regional levels. Yet, entrepreneurs in developing economies face distinct challenges and barriers when it comes to addressing climate change. This report is intended to serve as an overview of the current literature on the intersection of entrepreneurs and climate action, as well as a call to action."
"This issue brief is a part of a series formulated by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) India chapter. It aims to contextualise the findings and strategy regarding our key urgent issues and the small and growing business (SGB) sector outlined in ANDE’s globally focussed issue brief, Climate and Environmental Action in the SGB Sector, at a regional level. This brief is a starting point for conversations on environmental action and is meant to help shape ANDE India’s strategy for the region. This is not meant to serve as an exhaustive collection of the research/literature on the topic, and proxy data points have been used to best represent the state of the SGB sector."
"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."
"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."
"The Global Cleantech Innovation Index (GCII) programme investigates where, relative to GDP, entrepreneurial clean technology companies are most likely to emerge from over the next 10 years - and why. Drawing on a wide range of factors and sources, the study seeks to answer the same question as the 2012 and 2014 GCII reports, namely: which countries currently have the greatest potential to produce entrepreneurial cleantech start-up companies that will commercialise clean technology innovations over the next 10 years?"
"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."
"In this Shell Foundation report, we share the findings from our work with leading social enterprises to build sustainable rural value chains in the off-grid energy sector over the last two decades. This report focuses on the question: can we improve the economics of social enterprises serving last mile customers to the point where they can secure sufficient investment to serve billions, not millions, of people who live on $2 to $10 a day?"
"What does it take to scale up the growth of green sectors? This study was initiated to shed light on the common challenges that have limited the scaling of green enterprises and the emergence of competitive green sectors in developing countries. It also aims to uncover and catalog emerging opportunities that offer potential for enabling the scale up of these sectors in ways that might not have been possible in the past due to lack of a technology platform, mature business model, or other emerging opportunity. Finally, the study offers key recommendations for donors, governments, development finance institutions (DFIs), and entrepreneurial supports organizations that support green enterprises and seek to scale green sectors in developing countries.
The study focuses on enterprises operating across five green sectors – climate-smart agriculture, renewable energy, solid waste management, drinking water purification and management, and wastewater management. Within these five sectors, the study takes a deeper dive into seven sub-sectors that provide an interesting mix of business models, some of which are scalable and replicable, offer insights for other subsectors, and highlight innovative responses to the common challenges that green sectors face. These sub-sectors are solar home systems (SHS), mini/micro grids, community water purification, drip irrigation systems, online platforms for waste management, e-waste management, and industrial wastewater management."