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Capacity Development

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"This report sets out to evaluate the role that accelerators — organizations that provide capacity-building support to early-stage startups to help them scale their companies and attract investment — can play in addressing the gender financing gap. To determine this, we turned our attention to two primary questions, with a specific focus on startups in emerging markets: what is the gender financing gap pre- and post-acceleration, and what factors explain the gap? What strategies could accelerators employ to address the gender financing gap?"

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"In a webinar on February 20, 2020, Tim Ogden, Managing Director of the Financial Access Initiative at NYU shared the latest insights on SME business training programs, with guest speaker David McKenzie, Lead Economist in the Development Research Group, Finance and Private Sector Development Unit at the World Bank. Tim and David discussed what we know about small business performance and productivity, the importance of management, and training impact evaluations--all essential for innovating SME training programs."

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"This report presents the Rankings and Recognitions derived from the World Benchmark Study 2019-2020, sponsored by Qatar Development Bank. While traditional incubation and acceleration powerhouses in North America and Western Europe continue to be strongly represented, programs from around the world have captured top spots, underscoring the global importance of university, public, private and corporate incubators and accelerators for successfully nurturing the visionaries and changemakers of tomorrow."

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"Inspired by an efficacy debate, this paper aims to understand to what extent do entrepreneurs value business accelerators and what contributes to this value. And as entrepreneurs consider accelerators to be a viable alternative to traditional business incubators, the research seeks to compare these startup support options."

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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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