Theme
Capacity Development

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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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"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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"Prior research hints at the accelerator as a new generation incubation model. Accelerators have become an umbrella term for any program providing a service structure of mentorship, networking opportunities and access to funding. The challenge, however, is to understand their distinctive characteristics and profiles geared towards reinforcing business start-ups. How do accelerators operate as a new generation incubation model and how do they differ from existing incubation mechanisms? This inductive study investigates 13 accelerators across Europe and adopts a design lens to identify the accelerator model's key design parameters. We identify five key building blocks and distinguish between three different types of accelerators, taking the primary design theme of the accelerator into account. We contribute to the incubation literature by extending recognition of the heterogeneity of incubation models, by delineating the accelerator as a distinctive incubation model and by introducing the design lens as a useful theoretical framework to investigate incubation models and their evolution."

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"This report is primarily written for business and its role in supporting education and the SDGs. It is also meant to support the education community and other organisations with a stake in advancing education and training for sustainable development. The report shares a selection of good practice examples and insights that are intended to help raise awareness, spark new ideas and inspire more opportunities for collaboration."

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"Over the past six years, a new method of incubating technology startups has emerged, driven by investors and successful tech entrepreneurs: the accelerator programme. Despite growing interest in the model from the investment, business education and policy communities, there have been few attempts at formal analysis. This report is a first step towards a more informed critique of the phenomenon, as part of a broader effort among both public and private sectors to understand how to better support the growth of innovative startups."

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"The Government of Nicaragua and the US foreign assistance agency, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, launched a rural business services program designed to boost the income of the small farm sector. Relying on a randomized rollout strategy, this paper reports the results of a multi-year impact evaluation that spanned the 5-year life of the program. We argue that impacts of a program of this sort are unlikely to be fully revealed by standard binary treatment estimators and show that temporal pattern of impact indeed evolves in important ways over time. Income in the activities targeted by the program steadily rose, plateauing at a 30% increase over baseline after two years in the program. The program also appears to have provoked signicant increases in both mobile and perhaps xed farm capital. However, on average there have been no signicant impacts on household living standards to date. Finally, conditional quantile regressions give evidence of quite substantial heterogeneity in program impact."

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"A randomized control trial with 945 entrepreneurs in Jamaica shows positive short-term impacts of soft-skills training on business outcomes. The effects are
concentrated among men, and disappear twelve months after the training. We argue that the main channel is increased adoption of recommended business practices, exclusively observed in the short run. We see persistent effects on an incentivized behavioral measure of perseverance after setbacks, a focus of this training. We compare a course focused only on soft-skills to one that combines soft-skills training with traditional business training. The effects of the combined training are never statistically significant."

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"Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are thought to be important drivers of growth in developing economies, but entrepreneurs in these countries face many barriers, including poor access to training, finance, and business networks. In Colombia, Fundación Bavaria's "Destapa Futuro" (Open the Future) program identifies promising enterprises and provides them with a suite of financial, technical, business, and training resources. Researchers found that the trainings did not affect key business outcomes, such as sales and profits, but helped entrepreneurs to expand their business networks."

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"We investigate the effects that the experience level of accelerator management teams has on the performance of the accelerators they manage. In particular, we examine how the collective business experience of the accelerator managers influences the survival and growth of tenant firms within the accelerator. The experience of accelerator managers is assessed from two perspectives: their own direct knowledge from operating entrepreneurial startups, and their ability to access the knowledge of others from their professional networks. The survival and growth of tenant firms is assessed as the hazard rates for successful exits (acquisitions) and unsuccessful exits (firm failures). We find evidence to suggest that increased knowledge of accelerator managers reduces the risk of firm failures and that this reduction can be attributed more to differences in the amount of direct experience the accelerator management team has as founders in startups, than to differences in connectedness to the ecosystem."

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"Large amounts of funding are going towards programmes to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in low- and middle-income countries in order to increase revenue and profits, generate employment, and, so, create economic growth and reduce poverty. The Campbell review summarizes evidence of the impact of these programmes on measures of SME performance including revenues, profits, and productivity, as well as the firms’ ability to generate employment and increase their labour productivity Included studies examine interventions targeted at SMEs (up to 250 employees) involving tax simplification, exports and access to external markets; support for innovation policies; support to local production systems; training and technical assistance, and SME financing and credit guarantee programmes. Findings from 40 studies are summarised in the review. These studies present evidence from 18 low- and middle-income countries, with 26 studies analysing programmes in Latin America, six from Asia and five from Africa."

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