"This article presents an innovative method of engaging MBA students in a capstone course by offering a customizable project with businesses that are currently progressing through a regional, independent incubator, or accelerator program. We include various project options but focus on customizable capstone project alternatives to traditional business strategy simulations and case study methods. Namely, our innovative learning solution is a mock consulting project which drives innovation and fosters strategic collaboration between small business owners, university faculty, and MBA students while providing business strategy experience and generating positive exposure for both the university and the small businesses involved. Our method includes pairing MBA students with participating startup businesses and allowing the soon-to-be MBAs an opportunity to garner consulting experience while simultaneously serving the needs of the businesses in the accelerator. Accordingly, MBA students act as consultants to business owners and prepare detailed weekly briefings to inform stakeholders within the university and the constituent businesses. By breaching the typical capstone project parameters, the mock consulting option provides for experiential and applied learning experiences for MBA students and develops higher order strategic thinking by challenging them to work hand-in-hand with real startups."
"Current women's economic empowerment interventions are not enough to overcome all obstacles facing female entrepreneurs. The emerging evidence from psychology and experimental economics on agency; mindset, and leadership show that for successful interventions to be transformative, they need to move beyond basic access to financial and human capital and also tackle central psychological, social, and skills constraints on women entrepreneurs.
Emerging evidence from recent studies on different capital-based, training-based, and gender based interventions, using randomized control trials, present promising interventions to support women entrepreneurs. An experimental study in Uganda found that Providing financial capital (i.e., subsidized microcredit coupled with Start and Improve Your Business training module), while effective for men, does not have any impact on female owned enterprise profits. Similarly, a randomized control trial on Tanzania's Business Women Connect program found that while the mobile savings program substantially increased savings, it did not have an effect on female-owned enterprise profits or sales even when combined with hard business skills, such as business management, basic profitability concepts, and record-keeping. Both studies, however, show that loans paired with business trainings as well as improved access to mobile savings accounts paired with business trainings had a positive impact on male-owned microenterprise profits or sales. Thus, a successful women's economic empowerment intervention needs more than only access to financial capital and hard business skills."
"Social enterprises that not only deliver financial but also social and environmental returns for those at the 'bottom of the pyramid' (BOP) and society as a whole are being promoted as an integral solution towards sustainable development and inclusive growth. This study sets out a market assessment on the incubators and impact investors that act as enablers of the social enterprise ecosystem in the India. It doing so it clarifies the services these different organizations provide, their business models and sector wise, geographic and service related gaps, as well as the challenges they face from the individual perspectives of system enablers. It draws on a series of stakeholder consultations including an online survey, and desk research of a sample of 16 social enterprise incubators and 33 impact investors active in the country."
"The purpose of the information presented in this report is to inventory different organizations in Guatemala that could help build local capacity and catalyze and accelerate SME development and growth. The information includes specific activities, programs and services offered by the different organizations and where possible shows their interconnectivity."
"The purpose of the information presented in this report is to inventory different organizations in Nicaragua that could help build local capacity and catalyze and accelerate SME development and growth.
The report includes a contextual overview of Nicaragua, which helps to shed light on some of the challenges and opportunities for SME development and poverty alleviation. This information also puts into perspective some of the key sectors that have been the focus of capacity development organizations. The report also includes an overview of key donor activities, as they can often stimulate SME-related activities and also provide a sense of where large interventions in the SME landscape are occurring."
"In this report we share our views on the best way SF can help to achieve the SDGs by accelerating the growth of such markets. Where can we best deploy capital to maximise long-term value for the people we serve? What is the most cost-efficient way to achieve these charitable goals? How can we partner with like-minded organisations to unlock private capital to fund greater impact?"
"Special attention has been given to untie the constraints of Micro and Small Enterprises in Ethiopia for they are important vehicles to address the challenges of unemployment, economic growth and equity in the country. The government is implementing different support service programs, in the forms of financial and business development, in different parts of the country. This study is aimed at evaluating economic impact of MSEs support service programs on enterprise sales, employment and capital asset formation in Dire Dawa Administration, Ethiopia. Propensity Score Matching is employed to estimate the impact of support service program. The result revealed that the program resulted in average increment of monthly sales by 28%, employee level by 42%, and capital asset formation by 60%. It is, therefore, indispensable to strengthen and expand the support service program to non participant enterprises by giving special attention to the major problems that participant enterprises are currently facing."
"Asia is facing simultaneously huge growth potential and increasing inequalities, with often weak national solutions to the social issues at hand. Social purpose organisations (SPOs) – which includes but are not limited to non-profit organisations, charities and social enterprises - are seen to solve these issues sustainably. Social incubation is seen as a tool to help SPOs grow and potentially build a pipeline for social investors. Yet, how does social incubation in Asia work? The insights presented here are the first insights from surveying 15 social incubators in Indonesia, Thailand, India, Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore which have existed for at least two years."
"The present "Effectiveness of Entrepreneurship Development interventions on Women Entrepreneurs" issue brief is the result of an in-depth review of six meta-evaluations and twenty three rigorous impact satudies undertaken during the past 10 years in women's entrepreneurship development initiatives around the world. It provides a synthesis of impact findings and identifies interventions which seem to have worked more effectively.
The brief corroborates for example that combining finance and business training -although more costly - seems to be more effective in supporting women's business start-up than either finance or business training alone. Also, training packages that combine business and gender knowledge are more likely to lead to women's empowerment. While more evidence is still needed, the brief concludes with a series of recommendations for future interventions and impact evaluations including providing more than access to skills and finance, by also addressing gender-based barriers and women's strategic needs, in order to ensure the business success and consolidation of women entrepreneurs."
"This study is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) on the effects of mentoring on SMEs in Norway. We aim to get a better understanding of firm development and dynamics in the presence of public interventions. Does mentoring affect firm performance and firm-survival? Does it matter what type of state aid a firm is granted; mentoring versus the financial equivalent of the service?"