"A growing body of research has shown that business accelerators programs can effectively help ventures move to the next stage of growth. However, further examination has revealed that women entrepreneurs do not experience the same benefits as their male counterparts, showing that women are still underrepresented and underperforming in accelerator programs. This brief synthesizes the key findings of four selected research projects and draws actionable insights for practitioners aiming to fill the evidence gap on the needs of women entrepreneurs and in what ways accelerators can address key barriers."
"Entrepreneurship To the Point (eTTP) conducted research in South Africa on accelerating women-owned businesses in male-dominated sectors. To better understand the key barriers to entry and growth that women-owned businesses face in male-dominated sectors, they conducted surveys of 97 women and interviews with 17 women entrepreneurs in the male-dominated sectors in South Africa. The key findings of this report are 1) women’s participation in male-dominated sectors has increased, 2) the increase is driven by women entrepreneurs' passion, 3) but they still face multitudes of challenges in entering the sector and growing their businesses, 4) while the government has pushed for some policy frameworks to support women-owned businesses, 5) women entrepreneurs need both men and women mentors, and 6) there is more need for sector-focused accelerator/incubator programs"
"The evidence is indisputable: high-growth scaling ventures are game changers. Scale-ups are the ventures that:
Create the vast majority of new jobs in an economy;
Generate the most value in the form of financial, economic and social returns;
Drive innovation and shape ecosystems;
Incubate and develop talent pipelines; and
Spawn the next generation of thriving scale-ups and the experienced entrepreneurs that create them.
Africa needs more startups that transition to scale. Many more.
But scaling is rare. And difficult. All the more so in sub-Saharan Africa, where large populations do not equate to large addressable markets, necessitating very early (and risky) expansion into new markets in search of the critical mass of customers needed to raise funding and scale a business.
Whilst there are some universal scaling principles that can and should be applied, there isn’t a formula for scaling. Because it isn’t pure science. On the contrary, scaling is predominantly an art: a unique blend of inputs, decisions and actions that is different for each scaling business."
Extant research results illustrate that women are roughly half as likely to become entrepreneurs as men (Kauffman Compilation: Research on Gender and Entrepreneurship, 2016). However, women may see themselves fit in traditionally male jobs when the language used in the job advertisement is communal in nature (Gaucher, 2011), and vice versa. To empirically test this idea, the authors first sought to understand if there were any gender biases in the accelerators’ calls for applications using a validated scale of masculine and feminine words. They found a higher percentage of feminine words across most regions, which is in the opposite direction of what was expected. Second, the authors manipulated the language used in an accelerator program call for application (1) with the percentage of gendered words found from the accelerators on the ANDE list (3-4%) and (2) an exaggerated percentage of gendered words (9%), to see how it affected women and men’s perceptions of the accelerator program. In general, men in the U.S. express high entrepreneurial fit, sense of belonging, and application success possibly because the U.S. is high on both individualism and masculinity on Hoefstede’s country culture dimensions. However, women in Latin America report results that are opposite to men in the United States.
"In 2018, the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), with the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), launched the Gender Lens Impact Measurement (GLIM) Fund to enhance the awareness, rigor, and quality of impact measurement for organizations supporting entrepreneurs with a gender lens approach. Each grant from the fund went to a partnership between small and growing business (SGB) support organizations in Latin America and researchers to use measurement for driving improved gender-inclusive strategies. This synthesis report summarises the tools and lessons from these grants on using measurement to increase gender inclusion for SGB support organizations."
"With the support of the Australian Government, GALI is working to increase understanding of acceleration and early-stage ventures in the Asia-Pacific. This knowledge brief includes application and one-year follow-up data from 473 ventures operating in emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region to better understand short-term impacts and key challenges. In addition, three accelerators from the region are profiled to give a closer look at how programs are adapting to meet local needs."
"Over the last decade, the maturation of the business landscape has opened new opportunities in Africa, especially the entry of accelerator and incubator programs (AIPs). These AIPs are consistently adapting their models to respond to the ever-changing needs of the ventures they support, and there is a need for existing literature to keep abreast with this dynamism in order to strengthen programming and the ecosystems in which AIPs operate. This knowledge brief explores characteristics of AIPs in East Africa, focusing specifically on Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. It highlights existing practices and perceptions among AIPs to better establish a common understanding of the current AIP landscape, best practices, and key challenges."
"The question of if and how business support programmes – particularly accelerators and incubators – can play a role in entrepreneurial growth in South Africa is at top of mind for donors and government alike. And while there is some evidence that these programmes do have an impact on early-stage businesses, there is less clarity on how they can best serve the needs of often-overlooked women entrepreneurs. This brief provides a regional review of the intersection of gender and acceleration in South Africa, drawing on GALI’s global findings while highlighting primary analysis of entrepreneur data collected by Catalyst for Growth (C4G), a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) platform for programme monitoring, analytics, and reporting in South Africa."
"In the GALI dataset, approximately one-third of ventures based in Mexico that applied to accelerators had already participated in a similar program. GALI produced this knowledge brief, with the support of Citibanamex, to better understand the incremental benefits that entrepreneurs receive by attending multiple programs as well as how entrepreneurs and accelerators view this phenomenon."
"GALI is working to increase understanding of acceleration and early stage ventures in the Andean region. This data summary includes information from 873 ventures operating in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, contributed by 53 accelerator programs."