"This report by the Tony Elumelu Foundation focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing young agricultural entrepreneurs. It contains a comprehensive analysis of Africa's entrepreneurial ecosystem and discusses challenges and opportunities that African start-ups face along the agricultural value chain."
"Over the past several decades, U.S. venture capital (VC) firms have focused their attention and investment dollars in specialized regional hubs where high-tech entrepreneurship tends to flourish. As a result, "main street" businesses such as retail stores, consumer services, and other non-tech businesses typically find it incredibly difficult to secure equity funding. Yet, in recent years, crowdfunding (CF) has become a viable new source of funding for entrepreneurs. Using a longitudinal assessment of VC and CF at the national, regional, and sector levels in the USA, we demonstrate how the emergence of CF has unlocked new growth opportunities for main street entrepreneurs, particularly those located in underserviced funding regions. Likewise, we expose how CF augments national and regional funding patterns by re-allocating funding to industries that VCs typically do not fund. Lastly, we discuss the practical and theoretical implications of what appears to be a shifting venture funding regime, and shed light on CF's potential role in enhancing the resurgence of main street entrepreneurship across the USA."
"Unlocking the Potential of Frontier Finance assesses key features of frontier finance impact investments and finds significant opportunity for making an impact in this sector. For impact investment in frontier finance to reach its full potential, investors require more clarity around the common features and performance of such transactions and strategies to address the challenges they face in the market. This research seeks to answer these questions by analyzing a database of 40 frontier finance transactions, 10 interviews, and a workshop discussion with 39 investors and other ecosystem players. Specifically, the report includes an overview of the frontier finance investment landscape, presents five in-depth case studies featuring frontier investment vehicles and transactions, and provides recommendations to build the market and overcome common challenges hindering the flow of additional capital into frontier markets."
"This paper provides a comprehensive assessment of the short-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses worldwide with a focus on developing countries. The results are based on a novel data set collected by the World Bank Group and several partner institutions in 51 countries covering more than 100,000 businesses. The paper provides several stylized facts. First, the COVID-19 shock has been severe and widespread across firms, with persistent negative impact on sales. Second, the employment adjustment has operated mostly along the intensive margin (that is leave of absence and reduction in hours), with a small share of firms laying off workers. Third, smaller firms are disproportionately facing greater financial constraints. Fourth, firms are increasingly relying on digital solutions as a response to the shock. Fifth, there is great uncertainty about the future, especially among firms that have experienced a larger drop in sales, which is associated with job losses. These findings provide a better understanding of the magnitude and distribution of the shock, the main channels affecting businesses, and how firms are adjusting. The paper concludes by discussing some avenues for future research."
"The study was set in rural markets in Kenya with the objective of testing how the GET Ahead programme affects the profitability, growth and survival of female-owned businesses, and to evaluate whether any gains in profitability come at the expense of other business owners. A year-and-a-half after the training had taken place, a mentoring intervention was randomly assigned among trained women to test whether additional group-based and in-person support strengthens the impacts of training on intended outcomes."
"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."
"This report sets out to evaluate the role that accelerators — organizations that provide capacity-building support to early-stage startups to help them scale their companies and attract investment — can play in addressing the gender financing gap. To determine this, we turned our attention to two primary questions, with a specific focus on startups in emerging markets: what is the gender financing gap pre- and post-acceleration, and what factors explain the gap? What strategies could accelerators employ to address the gender financing gap?"
"Opportunity-driven entrepreneurs generate much of Africa's employment, income and hope for a better future. But how are these companies progressing over time? This question is answered in the VC4Africa 2015 Venture Finance in Africa report.
This report captures the performance of ventures listed on the Venture Capital 4 Africa online platform and highlights the activity of investors' part of the network. As the community continues to grow, it is expected this yearly report will lend insights into what is happening across the larger startup space. The report breaks down insights across 5 indicators: employment, performance, investments, investors and ecosystem."
"This report stems from a point of view shared by Toniic and Shell Foundation: that venture philanthropists and impact investors actively collaborating can increase the amount of impact investment capital into early-stage impact enterprises. The objective of this report is to provide a practical and user-friendly guide primarily for impact investors to encourage them to deploy their investment capital directly or indirectly (via financial intermediaries and funds) into impact enterprises at an earlier stage. In particular, we have targeted individual investors and family offices."
"ANDE, the Center for Development Alternatives, Enterprise Uganda, and Koltai & Company released the Phase I findings of ANDE's Uganda Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Initiative on November 28. The Phase I report maps the entrepreneurial ecosystems of Kampala and Gulu—two key regions for Ugandan economic growth. It then outlines a strategic path forward for promoting entrepreneurship in these regions, recommending specific actions to overcome ecosystem constraints. The second phase of the initiative will use these findings to design and implement a multi-stakeholder, multi-million-euro program to develop Ugandan entrepreneurship, beginning in 2019. Read the full report."