Resource Type
Research

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"While the world has made huge economic gains over the past 50 years, this progress has been highly uneven. This is particularly acute in the agriculture sector, with many of the 500 million smallholder farmers around the world living on meager incomes and facing high levels of economic insecurity.

Despite some recent innovations and advances in including smallholders as market players, there have been few cases where truly widespread, market-level, transformative change towards inclusion has been achieved.

In this report, we explore the role of different kinds of capital in bending the arc of agricultural market development towards inclusive growth. We pay particular attention to how impact-focused players deploying capital that is flexible in terms of risk-return expectations can best deploy it in order to catalyze large-scale transformations towards inclusion."

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"The express objective of Beyond Dialogue was to help corporations and social enterprises learn more about the ways they could partner with each other to achieve shared goals for sustainable and inclusive business, and to spark new collaborations...This report seeks to answer this desire of event participants by recording and reinforcing the most salient points and stories raised during Beyond Dialogue. It aims to distil useful insights and lessons mainly through a selection of case studies shared by event participants that will allow readers and practitioners to derive what is most relevant and suited to their context and sector. It will then analyse the key findings and lessons from the case studies before concluding on future opportunities for learning and collaboration. This report will hopefully lead to more proactive efforts to develop and expand partnerships that aim to improve the lives of people living in poverty, and to demonstrate how these partnerships can be designed to support both business and social impact goals."

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"In an effort to offer greater insight into the practice and utility of capacity building support, this report explores common forms of capacity-building support used by impact investors, many of which resemble forms of nonfinancial support historically leveraged by conventional investors. While both impact and conventional investors use capacity-building support to strengthen the underlying businesses of investee companies, impact investors also use it to enhance and extend their impact. This report outlines various needs that impact investors address through capacity-building support, the ways they structure and deliver such support, and funding strategies used for deploying such support."

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"The objective of this research report is to help practitioners understand what systems change means in the context of social entrepreneurship, how it is distinct from direct service or “business-in-a-box” models and, most importantly, what it looks like in practice – not as lofty exhortations and abstract concepts, but as a set of concrete activities, processes, and leadership lessons. Our intent is to move beyond systems theories – which, while useful, can be difficult to apply in a practical context – and instead tell the stories of how these theories can be applied across a range of circumstances. These stories follow six for-profit and non-profit social entrepreneurs in the Schwab Foundation network, working in education, health, consumer rights, land rights, rural development and the informal economy, as their strategies evolved beyond organizational scale – growing the reach of a prescriptive, organizationally designed solution to a problem – to systemic scale, with the goal of shifting the rules, norms and values that make up social systems."

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"The purpose of the Beyond the Binary project is to understand and articulate why corporate venturing should matter to corporations and how they might deploy their underutilized capital in pursuit of both profit and purpose. This will involve a deeper understanding of why some companies are holding this cash while others are spending it. It also involves telling the stories of those businesses who are successfully unlocking cash reserves by sharing first-hand accounts, through video interviews with the CV practitioners themselves. Ultimately, this project aims to create long-term impact by inspiring more corporations to allocate more of their capital towards corporate venturing activities which align with the SDGs."

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"Investors and capacity development organizations have an opportunity to support women-led small and growing businesses, but they lack information. The purpose of this collaborative research project is to provide information to capacity developers and investors who want to better understand and address the barriers to growth for women-led small and growing businesses (WSGBs)."

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"This report, the second in a collaboration between the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), outlines the latest trends in blended finance approaches in LDCs. It updates the previous 2018 report with the latest available data from the OECD, which now cover the six years from 2012 through 2017. It also features seven guest pieces by practitioners and experts working in the blended finance space, which showcase the opportunities and challenges of applying blended finance solutions in LDCs. The report concludes with a review of the next steps for the blended finance and development communities, and flags some emerging issues revealed in the report."

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"This research was commissioned as a result of growing interest in the topic of youth-centred Agripreneurship and had the objective to identify the key actors particularly within Academia, Non-Government Organisations and the non-profit sector to help young unemployed, or underemployed, graduates in Africa, or other developing economies, to enter into entrepreneurship in agriculture or agribusiness."

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"The purpose of this paper is to estimate the impact of one productive development program (PROPYME) in a developing nation like Costa Rica. This program seeks to increase the capacity of small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) to innovate. Impacts have been estimated assuming that beneficiary firms are trying to maximize their profits and that PROPYME aims to increase these firms productivity. The impacts were measured in terms of three result variables real average wages employment demand and the probability of exporting. A combination of fixed effects and propensity score matching techniques was used in estimations to correct for any selection bias. The authors worked with panel data companies treated and untreated for the period 2001-2011. PROPYME's beneficiaries performed better than other firms in terms of labor demand and their probability of exporting. In addition, the dose and the duration of the effects of the treatment (timing effects) are important."

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"The CE concept is fast becoming a new model for resilient growth in both developed and developing economies. In particular, it offers a viable alternative strategy for industrial development and job creation compared with the traditional manufacturing-led growth pathway for developing countries. Political and economic conditions in developing countries will necessitate different pathways to the CE from those employed to date in developed countries, but the CE opens up many new economic opportunities which developing countries are well positioned to harness.

Below we outline a series of priority steps through which national policymakers, international policy and financial institutions, and the ecosystem of stakeholders supporting the UN’s 2030 Agenda can support the deployment and scaling up of the CE in developing countries."

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