"Fintech recently became the most-active sector for startup investment in the Middle East and North Africa. While much of the media coverage has focused on digital payments and e-commerce, this report will highlight fintech innovation that is improving "financial health" for the region's most marginalized communities: tech that helps people manage their income and expenses, weather financial shocks and plan for a healthy financial future."
"This report reviews the state of measurement as of 2014 in two types of organizations that directly support small and growing businesses (SGBs) - impact investors and capacity development providers. Using a mixed-methods approach, ANDE collected data and interviewed over 30 organizations across these two categories, and analyzed key trends in measurement practice."
"The Landscape for Impact Investing in West Africa is a state of the market analysis of the impact investing industry in the region. The report includes regional findings from 15 countries, as well as dedicated chapters covering the most active markets: Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal. Across the region, investors highlight opportunities for impact and financial return, particularly in the key sectors of energy, financial technologies, and agriculture.
The landscape study is based on thorough analysis of relevant literature, large volumes of transaction data, and extensive interviews with key industry stakeholders. Detailed country chapters include information on the supply of capital by investor type, investment opportunities by sector, and regulatory considerations and hurdles for impact investors and investees."
"This report seeks to illustrate common challenges that entrepreneurs and intermediating financial service providers are facing because of the coronavirus crisis, as well as various strategies being implemented by impact investors to address these challenges. Specifically, the report explores ways investors work with investees to address immediate solvency constraints, adjust their activities to ensure the achievement of impact and financial objectives, and reimagine business models and processes with the future in mind."
"This report dives into how impact investing is at an inflection point, building off the rich histories of community finance in the United States and other countries, microfinance, international development, and the integration of ESG factors (Environmental, Social and Governance) in institutional portfolios more broadly. For over 30 years, these practices have been laying the foundation for an expanded continuum of investor options for thematic and asset allocations into privately-owned investments structured for financial returns and social and environmental impacts."
"A randomized control trial with 432 small and medium enterprises in Mexico shows positive impact of access to 1 year of management consulting services on total factor productivity and return on assets. Owners also had an increase in "entrepreneurial spirit" (an index that measures entrepreneurial confidence and goal setting). Using Mexican social security data, we find a persistent large increase (about 50 percent) in the number of employees and total wage bill even 5 years after the program. We document large heterogeneity in the specific managerial practices that improved as a result of the consulting, with the most prominent being marketing, financial accounting, and long-term business planning."
"We study the causal impact of credit constraints on exporters using a natural experiment provided by two policy changes in India, first in 1998 which made small‐scale firms eligible for subsidised direct credit, and a subsequent reversal in policy in 2000 wherein some of these firms lost their eligibility. Using firms that were not affected by these policy changes as our control group in each case, we find that credit expansion increased the growth rate of bank borrowing and had a positive effect on exports. The subsequent policy reversal in 2000 had no impact on the growth rate of bank borrowing or on exports."
"We investigate the relationship between employees' and managers' training and firm performance using a policy intervention that randomly assigned training support to small- and medium-sized enterprises in the UK accommodation and food service sector. Because the number of firms self-selected into training exceeded available places, training was randomly assigned to some firms, resulting in a randomized natural experimental design that allowed us to identify the average effect of training on treated firms. Our empirical results suggest that employees' training had a stronger positive impact on firms' labour productivity and profitability than that of managers'."
"This paper uses a randomized controlled experiment in Costa Rica to determine whether IB use by Banco Nacional de Desarrollo's micro and small enterprise (MSE) clients has an impact on their performance, measured in terms of productivity, increase in sales, and cost reduction. Results from the intervention group surveys indicate that Internet use is limited in MSEs' daily operations because of limited access to computers and the relatively low penetration of Internet services in employees' activities. In addition, firms have limited knowledge about the uses of the Internet as a business development tool. These results contrast with the reported benefits obtained by a small group of firms. Those benefits include reduced costs, higher sales, and better contact with customers."
"The Government of Nicaragua and the US foreign assistance agency, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, launched a rural business services program designed to boost the income of the small farm sector. Relying on a randomized rollout strategy, this paper reports the results of a multi-year impact evaluation that spanned the 5-year life of the program. We argue that impacts of a program of this sort are unlikely to be fully revealed by standard binary treatment estimators and show that temporal pattern of impact indeed evolves in important ways over time. Income in the activities targeted by the program steadily rose, plateauing at a 30% increase over baseline after two years in the program. The program also appears to have provoked signicant increases in both mobile and perhaps xed farm capital. However, on average there have been no signicant impacts on household living standards to date. Finally, conditional quantile regressions give evidence of quite substantial heterogeneity in program impact."