"The current global crisis of economic exclusion and inequity has millions of people in poverty with limited opportunities to escape. The questions of how markets work, and who they work for, have never been more pressing.
Truly inclusive markets lead to expanded opportunity for more broadly shared prosperity, especially for those facing the greatest barriers. With support from The Rockefeller Foundation, we analyzed historical cases where such inclusive transformations actually occurred in order to understand the ways in which they were achieved. Using these insights, we offer practical recommendations for funders and intermediaries seeking to enable more of these shifts in the future."
"This report highlights the potential of small, micro and medium enterprises (SMME) in the process of moving towards a green economy in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also describes challenges that SMME with inclusive business models face and provides policy recommendations on how to support them."
"Despite regulatory efforts designed to make it easier for firms to formalize, informality remains extremely high among firms in Sub-Saharan Africa. In most of the region, business registration in a national registry is separate from tax registration. This paper provides initial results from an experiment in Malawi that randomly allocated firms into a control group and three treatment groups: a) a group offered assistance for costless business registration; b) a group offered assistance with costless business registration and (separate) tax registration; and c) a group offered assistance for costless business registration along with an information session at a bank that ended with the offer of business bank accounts. The study finds that all three treatments had extremely large impacts on business registration, with 75 percent of those offered assistance receiving a business registration certificate. The findings offer a cost-effective way of getting firms to formalize in this dimension. However, in common with other studies, information and assistance has a limited impact on tax registration. The paper measures the short-term impacts of formalization on financial access and usage. Business registration alone has no impact for either men or women on bank account usage, savings, or credit. However, the combination of formalization assistance and the bank information session results in significant impacts on having a business bank account, financial practices, savings, and use of complementary financial products."
"Identifying the determinants of entrepreneurship is an important research and policy goal, especially in emerging market economies where lack of capital and supporting infrastructure often imposes stringent constraints on business growth. This paper studies the impact of a comprehensive business and financial literacy program on firm outcomes of young entrepreneurs in an emerging post-conflict economy, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The authors conduct a randomized control trial and find that while the training program did not influence business survival, it significantly improved business practices, investments, and loan terms for surviving businesses. Entrepreneurs with higher ex-ante financial literacy further exhibited some improvements in business performance and sales."
"This whitepaper presents the first rigorous analysis and estimate of the size of the impact investing market. It estimates that over 1,340 organizations currently manage USD 502 billion in impact investing assets worldwide. This research also underscores the diversity of the market.
Overall, this research indicates that a significant amount of capital is at work to address the world's social and environmental challenges. And the market continues to grow rapidly, with new investors entering to establish impact investing practices and to allocate additional capital to positive impact."
"As microenterprises are likely to resort to microfinance institutions to get access to financial services, Appui au Developpement Autonome (ADA) has coordinated a series of three studies relying on five Monetary Financing Institutions (MFIs) in Ethiopia, Kenya and Madagascar in order to identify a sample of SGB owners and interview them individually to get details about their paths.
This study is the synthesis of these three surveys and specifically aims at providing detailed information about entrepreneurs' profiles, about the main challenges and obstacles they faced through their growing process and about their current financial and non-financial needs. Based on such information, general recommendations are made to financial services providers and all kinds of organizations supporting MSMEs."
"This report was commissioned by Oxfam to analyze the effectiveness of development programs in addressing challenges faced by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the agriculture sector in Asia, and to dissect whether these interventions would be relevant for Social Enterprises (SEs) in the agriculture sector. The purpose of this report is to inform the decision-making of development programs that aim to catalyze the growth of SEs in agriculture and attract impact investment capital to fuel the growth of the food and agriculture sector in Asia."
"This study assesses the state of a significant, albeit underserved, segment of the SME market, known as the "Missing Middle" to better understand their needs and the challenges they face. It addresses how governments and other stakeholders can help them reach their potential for growth and job creation to positively impact the MENA region. Missing Middle SMEs are formally registered firms that have passed the initial start-up stage. These SMEs typically have modest revenues of US$100,000-$5 million, employ an average of 6-150 employees and require between US$50,000 and $2 million in flexible growth finance, along with business development assistance, to survive and grow. This study shows that although there are a number of existing SME support programs in the region, they need to go beyond the provision of limited subsidized loans and pre-investment training to adequately support the Missing Middle SMEs throughout their business lifecycle."
"This report explores evidence and insights from five case studies that have made significant recent progress in addressing the challenge of insuring poor smallholder farmers and pastoralists in the developing world. Evidence from these case studies can inform the ongoing debate about the viability of scaling up index-based insurance for vulnerable smallholder farmers in the developing world. The rapid progress observed in recent years suggests that index insurance has the potential to benefit smallholder farmers at a meaningful scale, and suggests the need to reassess arguments that lack of demand and practical implementation challenges prevent index-based insurance from being a useful tool to reduce rural poverty."
"Our research shows that successful scale-ups in the region generate on average 3.4 times more revenues and 8 times more jobs than other SMEs.
Several countries have recognized the economic value of scale-ups and are developing tailored policies and programs for them. Similar initiatives in the MENA region could have a significant impact. By studying the importance of scale-ups in the context of their local markets, we identified priorities for policymakers to improve their local scale-ups ecosystems across four growth pillars: business fundamentals, business propellers, demand creators, and country readiness. Within these pillars, we have recognized several priority areas, including access to financing, talent, foreign markets, large customers, and regulatory relief. Success also depends on mobilizing an ecosystem of private and public players to orchestrate growth initiatives."