"This new resource by CSR Asia provides guidance and toolkits to help companies improve their gender diversity performance and design strategic community investment programmes aimed at empowering women economically. It intends to help companies see the value in investing in the economic empowerment of women in their workplaces and communities."
"We design a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the adoption of credit scoring with a bank that uses soft information in small businesses lending. We find that credit scores improve the productivity of credit committees, reduce managerial involvement in the loan approval process, and increase the profitability of lending.
Credit committee members' effort and output also increase when they anticipate the score becoming available, indicating that scores improve incentives to use existing information. Our results imply that credit scores improve the efficiency and decentralize decision-making in loan production, which has implications for the optimal organization of banks."
"This report presents a detailed analysis of impact investing activity in East Africa, examining the supply of global impact investment capital as well as the demand for investment resources from small and medium enterprises (SMEs), social enterprises, and others who aim to drive social and environmental impact through the private sector. The report covers five “focus countries” in depth: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Rwanda; and six additional countries in the region in less depth: Burundi, Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Somalia."
"The purpose of the information presented in this report is to inventory different organizations in Kenya that could help build local capacity and catalyze and accelerate SME development and growth. The report includes a contextual overview of Kenya, which helps to shed light on some of the challenges and opportunities for SME development and poverty alleviation. This information puts into perspective some of the key sectors that have been the focus of enterprise development activities. The report also includes an overview of key donor programs, as they can often stimulate SME-related activities and also provide a sense of where large interventions in the SME landscape are occurring."
"We document the presence of multiple and varied constraints to small and medium firm growth. This presents both a practical problem for business training programs and a challenge to academic economists trying to identify mechanisms through which these programs may affect outcomes. External validity needs theory. This pushes researchers to narrowly defined and highly selected sample frames, which limits the potential for clear, generalizable policy prescriptions. Ultimately, larger samples, multi-arm evaluations, process documentation, and narrowly-focused, theory-supported empirical work are all needed, but the complexity of the problem limits what we learn from any single study."
"This paper explores the effectiveness of goal setting and accountability within group-based entrepreneurship initiatives in creating human capital. The study uses a randomized cluster trial to compare the experimental and control groups of entrepreneurs. The results suggest that frequent goal setting and accountability in group settings provides a greater number of learning experiences and human capital development opportunities available to entrepreneurs than those that did not engage in the same level of goal setting."
"Donor agencies, philanthropists, and social innovators are much enamored of financial inclusion these days. This report explores current limitations of financial inclusion and makes the case for why financing SMEs (or the missing middle) is so difficult, and so important."
"A study from Zeppelin University and Siemens Stiftung provides for the first time data that evaluates the ability of social enterprises to satisfy the basic needs of poor populations. Focusing on Colombia, Mexico, Kenya and South Africa, the dynamics in the public, private, and third sectors were examined, and to what extent these influence the activities of social enterprises. The study includes concrete recommendations on how to increase the contribution of social enterprises to poverty alleviation."
"This study highlights the importance of strengthening social entrepreneurship to support both economic growth and individual prosperity in Indonesia. The mission of social entrepreneurship is to make solicing social issues a part of business. By involving the private sector in solving social and economic issues, social entrepreneurship has great potential to improve Indonesians' livelihoods in a lasting way."
"How do established companies respond to the entry of hybrid social ventures in their industries? Hybrid social ventures-new companies that combine business and social missions-use sustainability-oriented strategies to compete with established companies for some of their most desirable customers and employees. Yet hybrid social ventures also benefit when established companies advance their own sustainability strategies. This unusual competitive dynamic creates opportunities for collaboration. This article presents a framework for established companies responding to hybrid social ventures based on analysis of eight established consumer-facing companies. Our findings suggest that the responses of established companies differ based on opportunities they perceive for sustainability-oriented value creation with their own customers and employees."