Theme
Capacity Development

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"The authors conduct a randomized experiment among women in urban Sri Lanka to measure the impact of the most commonly used business training course in developing countries, the Start-and-Improve Your Business program. They work with two representative groups of women: a random sample of women operating subsistence enterprises and a random sample of women who are out of the labor force but interested in starting a business. They track the impacts of two treatments -- training only and training plus a cash grant -- over two years with four follow-up surveys and find that the short and medium-term impacts differ."

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"According to our findings, the number of accelerators serving impact enterpriseshas grown rapidly over the last five years (over 70 percent of the accelerators surveyed were founded in 2008 or later). Despite this strong growth, there is only lim-ited research and data-driven analysis of accelerators’ role in the impact invesment ecosystem. This report aims to generate a greater understanding of accelera-tors in that sector and is part of a broader strategy to analyze, evaluate, benchmark,and strengthen accelerators. It is not intended to be a comprehensive evaluation ofimpact accelerators but an initial assessment of the landscape of these organizations."

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"Do business accelerators add value? If so, how? We investigate these questions by focusing on Start-Up Chile, a government-backed ecosystem accelerator. Using a regression discontinuity design, we show that entrepreneurship-schooling services of accelerators can significantly increase new venture performance by improving the entrepreneurial capital of participants. We speculate about the existence of four performance-enhancing mechanisms: greater social clout, the provision of an accountability structure that induces entrepreneurs to articulate and reflect about specific strategic tasks, an increase in self-efficacy, and know-how about building a start-up. We find no support for causal effects of basic services of cash and co-working space."

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"This report describes the landscape of business incubators and accelerators in the UK, exploring the scale and distribution, both geographically and sectorally."

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"Since the last decade, the revolution in information technologies and liberalisation of trade regimes have created enormous opportunities for knowledge-based businesses as well as challenges for planners to create the one billion new jobs now needed the world over. The business incubation centre (BIC) helps tackle the obstacles faced by entrepreneurs and facilitates the venture creation process. While numbers are increasing - to around 3,500 worldwide including over 1,500 in the developing countries - their performance and sustainability are being questioned. The determinants of success in the Olympiad of venture creation can be expressed as five interlinked rings: public policy that stimulates entrepreneurial businesses and provides the business infrastructure; private sector partnerships for mentoring and marketing; knowledge base of learning and research; professional networking, national and global; and community involvement to promote entrepreneurism and cultural change. This paper outlines the distinguishing characteristics of incubators in selected developing countries. Based on recent experiences, good practices and the lessons (to be) learned are drawn. Case examples from China, Brazil and other developing countries indicate the variety of approaches."

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"To identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of business incubator models and their potential use in worldwide. Methodology: We studied two international cases: (a) United States, (b) United Kingdom. Findings: The results highlight the similarities and differences between the countries. It adds knowledge for both academics and practitioners who are interested in business incubation. Value: This paper is the first to utilize the SWOT technique to analyze the business incubation field and provides recommendations to implement successful adoption of the incubator's strengths. The potential of Business Incubators who act as models in worldwide and their contribution to the economy, the active role they play in the local, regional and national economic development are discussed. Implications: Adaptation of a Business Incubator Model leads to (1) the support of diverse economies, (2) the commercialization of new technologies, (3) job creation and (4) increases in wealth, given that weaknesses can be overcome."

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"Business incubators (BI) have been established worldwide as tools for company creation and small businesses support. BIs claim to help their tenants by providing them with the optimal conditions for increasing early stage survival and long-term performance. Practitioners and researchers agree that business support is a crucial feature of incubating businesses. Yet this is seldom researched. In this study we theoretically relate business support to help in solving problems and further investigate to what extent business incubators support their tenants overcome their developmental problems. Results show that tenants do not experience many problems and when they do business support is not necessarily sought. Furthermore, our data suggests that business support is not preferentially sought within incubator environments. When this happens, support provided by the BI does not contribute to problem solving. Finally, we discuss the impact of the type of BI on helping their tenants."

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"A large share of the poor in developing countries run small enterprises, often earning low incomes. This paper explores whether the poor performance of businesses can be explained by a lack of basic business skills. We randomized the offer of a free, 48-hour business skills course to female entrepreneurs in rural Mexico. We find that those assigned to treatment earn higher profits, have larger revenues, serve a greater number of clients, are more likely to use formal accounting techniques, and more likely to be registered with the government. Indirect treatment effects on those entrepreneurs randomized out of the program, yet living in treatment villages, are economically meaningful, yet imprecisely measured. We present a simple model of experience and learning that helps interpret our results, and consistent with the theoretical predictions, we find that "low-quality" entrepreneurs are the most likely to quit their business post-treatment, and that the positive impacts of the treatment are increasing in entrepreneurial quality."

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"Business support interventions in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) direct a large amount of resources to SMEs, with the assumption that institutional constraints impede small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from generating profits and employment at the firm level, which in turn is thought to impede economic growth and poverty reduction. Yet despite this abundance of resources, very little is known about the impact of such interventions. To address this gap, this systematic review analyses evaluations of SME support services in LMICs to help inform policy debates pertaining to SMEs and business support services. This review examines the available evidence on the effects of SME support services in LMICs on firm-level performance indicators (such as revenues, profits, and productivity), employment generation, and labour productivity."

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"In this paper, we propose an overarching incubator model that synthesizes elements and best practices emanating from the five archetypes empirically identified and also incorporates substantially higher economies of scale and scope, as well as global and local (gloCal) knowledge arbitrage potential. This paper presents an architectural blueprint for designing a gloCal, real and virtual network of incubators (G-RVIN) as a knowledge and innovation infra-structure and infra-technology which would link entrepreneurs and micro-entrepreneurs with local, regional, and global networks of customers, suppliers and complementors and thus help not only bridge, but also leverage, the diverse divides (digital, knowledge, cultural, socio-political, etc.)."

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