Resource Type
Research

This content is also available in: Español, Português

"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."

READ MORE

"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."

READ MORE

"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."

READ MORE

"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'."

READ MORE

"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."

READ MORE

"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."

READ MORE

"A randomized control trial with 945 entrepreneurs in Jamaica shows positive short-term impacts of soft-skills training on business outcomes. The effects are
concentrated among men, and disappear twelve months after the training. We argue that the main channel is increased adoption of recommended business practices, exclusively observed in the short run. We see persistent effects on an incentivized behavioral measure of perseverance after setbacks, a focus of this training. We compare a course focused only on soft-skills to one that combines soft-skills training with traditional business training. The effects of the combined training are never statistically significant."

READ MORE

"Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are thought to be important drivers of growth in developing economies, but entrepreneurs in these countries face many barriers, including poor access to training, finance, and business networks. In Colombia, Fundación Bavaria's "Destapa Futuro" (Open the Future) program identifies promising enterprises and provides them with a suite of financial, technical, business, and training resources. Researchers found that the trainings did not affect key business outcomes, such as sales and profits, but helped entrepreneurs to expand their business networks."

READ MORE

"We investigate the effects that the experience level of accelerator management teams has on the performance of the accelerators they manage. In particular, we examine how the collective business experience of the accelerator managers influences the survival and growth of tenant firms within the accelerator. The experience of accelerator managers is assessed from two perspectives: their own direct knowledge from operating entrepreneurial startups, and their ability to access the knowledge of others from their professional networks. The survival and growth of tenant firms is assessed as the hazard rates for successful exits (acquisitions) and unsuccessful exits (firm failures). We find evidence to suggest that increased knowledge of accelerator managers reduces the risk of firm failures and that this reduction can be attributed more to differences in the amount of direct experience the accelerator management team has as founders in startups, than to differences in connectedness to the ecosystem."

READ MORE

"Large amounts of funding are going towards programmes to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in low- and middle-income countries in order to increase revenue and profits, generate employment, and, so, create economic growth and reduce poverty. The Campbell review summarizes evidence of the impact of these programmes on measures of SME performance including revenues, profits, and productivity, as well as the firms’ ability to generate employment and increase their labour productivity Included studies examine interventions targeted at SMEs (up to 250 employees) involving tax simplification, exports and access to external markets; support for innovation policies; support to local production systems; training and technical assistance, and SME financing and credit guarantee programmes. Findings from 40 studies are summarised in the review. These studies present evidence from 18 low- and middle-income countries, with 26 studies analysing programmes in Latin America, six from Asia and five from Africa."

READ MORE