Theme
Capacity Development

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"Differences in management quality are an important contributor to productivity differences across countries. A key question is how to best improve poor management in developing countries. This paper tests two different approaches to improving management in Colombian auto parts firms. The first uses intensive and expensive one-on-one consulting, while the second draws on agricultural extension approaches to provide consulting to small groups of firms at approximately one-third of the cost of the individual approach. Both approaches lead to improvements in management practices of a similar magnitude (8-10 percentage points), so that the new group-based approach dominates on a cost-benefit basis. Moreover, the paper finds some evidence that the group-based intervention led to increases in firm size over the next three years, while the impacts on firm outcomes are smaller and statistically insignificant for the individual consulting. The results point to the potential of group-based approaches as a pathway to scaling up management improvements."

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"To contribute to the debate with such context-specific knowledge and insights, NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development commissioned a synthesis study. This study explored how a selection of research projects funded by the Food & Business (F&B) Research programme have directly or indirectly addressed key opportunities and constraints of sustainable inclusive business initiatives. The synthesis included 13 interdisciplinary research projects, which shared the long-term objective of contributing to improved food and nutrition security of marginalised and vulnerable groups. Based on this study, this paper presents new insights into the different business processes and innovations of, particularly, small-scale producers and entrepreneurs in the agri-business sectors of countries across sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia."

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"This publication aims to provide insights into the why, how, and what of inclusive business to inspire companies that want to develop their own inclusive business model, and civil society and public partners facilitating include business in Africa. Hereto, the publication shares knowledge from both theory and practice and delves deeply into three inclusive business cases from East Africa: financial inclusion through mobile banking service M-Pesa in Kenya; Community Life Centres for inclusive healthcare in Kenya; and inclusive agribusiness and food security in Ethiopia. In addition, the publication presents insights from research on 2SCALE, an incubator programme that manages a portfolio of public-private partnerships. (PPPs) for inclusive business in agri-food sectors."

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"We seek to show how evidence-based teaching for management affects the success of firms by way of changing managers’ actions. We conducted a randomized controlled field intervention with a sample of 100 small business owners in Kampala, Uganda. The intervention increased personal initiative behavior and entrepreneurial success over a 12-month period after the intervention. An increase in personal initiative behavior was responsible for the increase of entrepreneurial success (full mediation). Thus, the training led to an entrepreneurial mind-set and to an active approach toward entrepreneurial tasks. This particular management training was successful at improving knowledge and intangible skills that translated into successful organisational medium- to long-run outcomes for small businesses."

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"This study explores how the social entrepreneurship ecosystem can unite to develop an action plan on gender lens incubation and investing for enterprises focused on the low income market segment in India. It takes an international perspective with a geographical focus on India an emerging leader in innovation for the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) and is supported by examples of such innovative high impact, sustainable enterprises."

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"This study evaluates the impact of business-development-support programs (credit, training, and a combination of both) on the performance of micro- and small enterprises (MSEs) in Ethiopia. Using 2015 Ethiopian urban survey data and employing endogenous-switching regressions for multiple treatments, we document a positive and significant effect of credit, training, and a combination of training and credit on MSEs. Our results highlight the heterogeneity in treatment effects between women- and men-owned MSEs: women-owned businesses do not benefit from access to treatments. Our results suggest that improving the performance of MSEs requires fine-tuned interventions that meet the specific needs of men and women who own small businesses rather than one-size-fits-all programs."

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"The objective of the study was to rigorously evaluate SME programs in four Latin American countries Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru to gain insights into whether SME programs work, which programs perform better than others, and why. This report should be of interest to country governments, policymakers with responsibilities for SMEs, local researchers and the private sector in the region, as well as World Bank staff and bilateral donors."

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"This paper investigates the impact of investment in human capital (off-the-job training in short term) on productivity of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by using Propensity Score Matching (PSM) method with dynamic approach. The paper employs the data from two surveys on the SMEs in Vietnam in the year of 2009 and 2011 that provide detailed information about training and firm characteristics. The results found that training has significantly positive impact on the productivity of household business, but there is no evidence on the impact of training on productivity of the firms in formal sector in the short run; and there is no evidence on the impact of training activities on productivity in the medium run (one-or-two-year after training) for both household business and formal enterprises. Besides, qualitative approach shall be conducted to provide more description on training efficiencies in some specific cases."

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"Why is high-growth entrepreneurship scarce in developing countries? Does this scarcity reflect firm capabilities constraints? We explore these questions using as a laboratory an accelerator in Colombia that selects participants using scores from randomly assigned judges and offers them training, advice, and visibility but no cash. Exploiting exogenous differences in judges' scoring generosity, we show that alleviating constraints to firm capabilities unlocks innovative entrepreneurs' potential but does not transform subpar ideas into high-growth firms. The results demonstrate that some high-potential entrepreneurs in developing economies face firm capabilities constraints and accelerators can help identify these entrepreneurs and boost their growth."

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"This whitepaper gathers the collective wisdom of the industry to formulate a first set of milestones and metrics. We strongly advocate that, in the near term, the framework illustrated in this document be used to evolve and institute a nationally accepted set of metrics and milestones for incubators in India. We also advocate that the funding organizations implement these metrics and milestones, not only to select the host partner but also to track, measure progress and to reward success. Some recommendations in this document may require policy review and modifications."

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