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Digitalization

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"Conventional wisdom holds that women are less likely than men to start and lead  businesses. This trend, however, may be changing. Since 2020, the Visa Economic Empowerment Institute (VEEI) has surveyed small businesses around the world. Our findings suggest that firms born in the past two years are more likely than older firms to be headed by women. They are also more likely than pre-pandemic firms to be led by minority women. And once they start to export, they sell to a larger and more diverse set of markets. These women-led firms are also adopting digital technologies at about the same rate as those led by men. What factors predict success? The newly established women-led firms that weathered the initial impacts of COVID-19 better than other businesses share three characteristics: 1) they are more likely to use digital payments; 2) they are more likely to sell on global marketplaces that enable them to scale their sales and diversify their markets; and 3) they are more likely to export. This paper sets out recommendations for policymakers and the business community to better encourage and support the development of women-led firms by: 1) providing access to digital opportunities; 2) fostering digital skills; and 3) promoting a safe environment in which women-led firms can operate."

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"Este documento é um guia estratégico desenvolvido pela Argidius Foundation e Dalberg Advisors para apoiar organizações de apoio a empreendedores (Business Development Services ou BDS na sigla em ingês) para a adoção efetiva de práticas e ferramentas digitais. O guia explora as práticas e oportunidades atuais em todo o setor para orientar organizações de apoio a empreendedores sobre o uso de tecnologias digitais para prestar serviços aos empreendedores de forma eficaz e inclusiva."

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"This document is a strategic guidebook developed by Argidius Foundation and Dalberg Advisors to support business development services (BDS) providers to successfully adopt digital practices and tools. It explores current practices and opportunities across the landscape to guide BDS providers in using digital technologies to provide services to entrepreneurs in an effective and inclusive way."

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"Risk is an inherent feature of agriculture around the globe. The ever-present uncertainties in weather, yields, prices, government policies, global markets, and other factors can cause high volatility in farm income. In developing countries, smallholder farmers (and other small enterprises within the value chain) often do not have access to risk management products such as insurance to protect themselves from shock. Key barriers to the development of insurance markets in developing countries include: lack of awareness and understanding about insurance among households, high overhead costs associated with data collection and claims processing, and the limited availability of insurance products that meet the needs of poor and low-income farmers.

The use of digital tools in agricultural insurance has the potential to facilitate client uptake, reduce transaction costs, improve efficiency of the insurance process, and increase household resilience to respond to external shocks while ensuring stability, growth, and sustainability of agricultural value chains. Technology has its shortcomings, and the use of digital tools alone will not be sufficient to increase access to affordable, quality agricultural insurance for smallholder farmers. However, when strategically and thoughtfully inserted into existing Feed the Future programs, technology has the potential to accelerate and amplify USAID investments in sustainable agriculture and food security."

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"Presenting rigorous and original research, this volume offers key insights into the historical, cultural, social, economic and political forces at play in the creation of world-class ICT innovations in Kenya. Following the arrival of fiber-optic cables in 2009, Digital Kenya examines why the initial entrepreneurial spirit and digital revolution has begun to falter despite support from motivated entrepreneurs, international investors, policy experts and others. Written by engaged scholars and professionals in the field, the book offers 15 eye-opening chapters and 14 one-on-one conversations with entrepreneurs and investors to ask why establishing ICT start-ups on a continental and global scale remains a challenge on the "Silicon Savannah". The authors present evidence-based recommendations to help Kenya to continue producing globally impactful ICT innovations that improve the lives of those still waiting on the side-lines, and to inspire other nations to do the same."

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"Mercy Corps’ AgriFin Accelerate Program (AFA) is a $25 million, six-year initiative funded by the MasterCard Foundation to support private sector actors to develop, prototype and scale digitally-enabled services for smallholder farmers across Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. AFA is intended to help partner banks, mobile network operators, agribusinesses and technology companies scale high impact services for at least one million farmers, driving 50% increases in smallholder income and productivity, while working to support all market actors to expand services to farmers through shared learning...In June 2018, AFA contracted the Dalberg Group to assess learnings across these engagements and conduct supplementary research on these youth pathways. The goal of this exercise was to support the development of AFA partners and to inform wider ecosystem growth through public learning."

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