Theme
Capacity Development

This content is also available in: Español, Português

"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."

READ MORE

"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?"

READ MORE

"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."

READ MORE

"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."

READ MORE

"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."

READ MORE

"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."

READ MORE

"A fundamental challenge for new ventures is overcoming liabilities of newness - particularly, lack of relevant knowledge. Accelerators, intense, time-compressed entrepreneurial programs, attempt to alleviate these liabilities by providing ventures with intensive learning. While accelerators have rapidly emerged as prominent players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, entrepreneurs, policy makers, and other practitioners have continued to raise questions about their efficacy. Mirroring such concerns, extant organizational theories offer competing predictions about whether and for which ventures accelerator participation might be beneficial. Drawing on hybrid empirical methods that triangulate across multiple quantitative and qualitative analyses, we consistently find evidence that many accelerators do indeed aid and accelerate venture development and that their effects are neither due purely to selection or credentialing. Intriguingly, our results also indicate that accelerator participation complements rather than substitutes for many forms of prior founder experience (e.g., having worked for a company that produces a lot of startups). Overall, we contribute by pioneering work on the nature and outcomes of accelerators, offering insight into the fundamental value of intensive indirect learning (vs direct learning) in new ventures and extending understanding of how organizations may speed products and services to market."

READ MORE

"Innovative start-ups are often considered to be a key source of innovation and job creation. As such they are the subject of several types of supportive public policies. This study examines the short-term and long-term effects of business incubators on the performance of innovative start-ups in terms of sales revenues and job creation. A large sample of N-¯=-¯2544 innovative Italian start-ups, of which 606 were incubated, was followed over a period of up to six years. Tobit and Poisson regressions and propensity-score matching analyses point towards a significant negative effect of incubator tenancy on sales revenues and no significant effect of incubation on job creation. Findings also suggest that the initially negative effect of incubation on sales revenues turns into a positive effect in the long term. The effects of incubator characteristics, in terms of ownership, certification, and size on the growth of tenant start-ups were further analysed, but these effects were found to be negligible. The study contributes to the literature on the evidence-based evaluation of business incubation performance. It suggests that public policy makers should lower their expectations regarding the numbers of new jobs created by business incubation support."

READ MORE

"The objective of this paper is to understand the mechanisms by which development projects facilitate market linkage of smallholder farmers based on panel data from Nicaragua. We find that activities related to entrepreneurial practices have positive and statistically significant effect on commercialization. We also find that increased commercialization is positively correlated with total bean sales income, suggesting a positive indirect effect of the activities. Other activities demonstrate no positive and robust effect on commercialization while direct positive effects on sales income can be observed. This implies that market linkage of smallholder farmers require different sets of intervention tools than traditional farm technical assistance."

READ MORE

"Whether differences among accelerators explain differences in the performance of member ventures is an important and underexplored question. Conversely, are the effects of accelerators so isomorphic, because they copy each other, that ventures from different accelerators report little performance differences? We use variance decomposition analysis to test whether variations in characteristics of accelerators explain performance differences in the ventures that belong to them. Using a sample of 1,442 ventures from 117 accelerator programs across 22 countries, we find that 11.13–14.18% variance of venture performance can be attributed to accelerator membership. Accelerator membership also accounted for 3.00, 5.15, and 16.65% in the variance for employee growth, employee costs, and revenue change, respectively. Our findings suggest that between accelerator differences can make a significant economic difference to venture performance."

READ MORE