Resource Type
Research

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"This report assesses the progress made over the past four years in building the global impact investing industry. It is divided into three parts: first, context, which introduces the structure of and key actors in the impact investing fi eld; next, an examination of the recent achievements and challenges in building the impact investing marketplace; and fi nally, presentation of a set of recommendations for accelerating the rate of growth of the field."

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"This report provides accelerators, researchers, and funders with a qualitative understanding of "what works" and "what is promising" in accelerating impact enterprises. It highlights the key challenges that must be addressed by all stakeholders in order for the field to continue to grow."

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"Combining longitudinal venture-level data with qualitative insights from entrepreneurs, program managers, and investors, this report investigates similarities and differences between accelerator programs run in emerging markets compared to those run in high-income countries. Overall, we find that the two country contexts may not be as different as many people believe. When trying to stimulate the growth of promising ventures, the emerging market accelerator programs in our sample attract similar entrepreneurs and ventures and produce similar outcomes – accelerated revenue and employee growth and accelerated equity and debt investments. However, there are a few subtle but important differences."

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"We examine and discuss the seed accelerator phenomenon which has recently received much attention both in the US and across the globe. While accelerators appear to be proliferating quickly, little is known regarding the value of these programs; how to define accelerator programs; the differences between accelerators, incubators, angel investors and co-working environments; and the importance of the various aspects of these programs to the ultimate success of their graduates, the local entrepreneurship ecosystems and the broader U.S. economy."

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"Hundreds, if not thousands, of programs exist to help drive business growth in emerging markets. But what does the evidence actually tell us about whether these programs help businesses grow? And what can practitioners learn from this evidence to design more effective interventions? This knowledge synthesis summarizes the current evidence, identifies gaps in the academic research, and proposes a practitioner-oriented research agenda for the sector."

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"Business incubation is a growing area attracting substantial interest both from governments and the private sector. Unfortunately, it is difficult for "would-be-entrepreneurs" to operate an informed choice given the large variety in nomenclature, programmes, services offered, underpinning business models, and the frequent lack of availability of performance data, or a common set of metrics that could be used to compute (and provide) widely acceptable KPI useful to facilitate the choice. Additionally, the role of the Information Management System has been under investigated. The present paper presents the research being conducted for the design and implementation of a modular information management system expressly designed to adapt to the needs of business incubators irrespective of the business model and approach adopted. The design is informed of the most relevant different business models presently adopted, the set of services and programmes offered, and the guidelines proposed by the European Union and the CSI federation. Best practices adopted in the UK and Europe have also been considered along with Cabral-Dahab principles. Finally, we identified a set of metrics that can be easily collected and used to generate valuable KPI able to support both the business incubation management as well as the applicants."

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"In recent years, there has been growing interest and funding dedicated to technical assistance (TA) designed to strengthen the commercial and development impact of businesses in developing markets. However, relatively little is known about the nature and effectiveness of these initiatives. To help address that knowledge gap, this paper focuses on efforts by development finance institutions (DFIs) to provide technical assistance to agribusinesses, which—while comprising only a small share of overall DFI investment portfolios—receive 30% of all TA."

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"What keeps social entrepreneurs in developing countries from growing their ventures? Around the world social entrepreneurs are creating innovative businesses that reduce poverty and improve the lives of their customers. These pioneers often encounter many hurdles along the way that make growing a social business a significant challenge. With insights from more than 120 interviews with early-stage social entrepreneurs in developing countries, we explore the common financial and non-financial obstacles they face. The survey showed that access to financing is still a major issue for most of the entrepreneurs: loans are expensive, require significant personal collateral and traditional financing providers don’t take the social mission of the business into account. Besides access to capital, especially in the missing middle, social entrepreneurs also have challenges finding new customers for their products and services, managing their operations and technical excellence, as well as recruiting and retaining high quality staff. Based on our findings we distilled specific conclusions and recommendations for entrepreneurs, investors and intermediaries."

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"This Roadmap for the Small and Growing Business (SGB) Sector outlines the expected transformations in the sector over the next ten years, and the challenges and opportunities inherent to such change. It includes a set of 13 recommendations that, if adopted, can help sector support organizations focus resources, initiate momentum-building, "catalytic" actions, and mitigate inherent challenges from both within and outside the sector."

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"A classical approach to collecting and elaborating information to make entrepreneurial decisions combines search heuristics, such as trial and error, effectuation, and confirmatory search. This paper develops a framework for exploring the implications of a more scientific approach to entrepreneurial decision making. The panel sample of our randomized control trial includes 116 Italian startups and 16 data points over a period of about one year. Both the treatment and control groups receive 10 sessions of general training on how to obtain feedback from the market and gauge the feasibility of their idea. We teach the treated startups to develop frameworks for predicting the performance of their idea and conduct rigorous tests of their hypotheses, very much as scientists do in their research. We let the firms in the control group instead follow their intuitions about how to assess their idea, which has typically produced fairly standard search heuristics. We find that entrepreneurs who behave like scientists perform better, are more likely to pivot to a different idea, and are not more likely to drop out than the control group in the early stages of the startup. These results are consistent with the main prediction of our theory: a scientific approach improves precision—it reduces the odds of pursuing projects with false positive returns and increases the odds of pursuing projects with false negative returns."

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