Entrepreneurs who lead innovative companies and spearhead transformative solutions are needed to address some of the world’s most pressing issues. Endeavor Insight offers in-depth research on innovation and entrepreneurship across agriculture, healthcare, and clean energy sectors, made possible with support from the Lemelson Foundation, and additional funding for agriculture-specific research by Small Foundation.
These studies evaluate the challenges and opportunities for founders creating positive impact in emerging markets, specifically sub-Saharan Africa and India. Based on data from more than 500 innovative companies and interviews with over 130 entrepreneurs, the research draws lessons from high-performing companies, identifies how they are addressing urgent needs, and analyzes the role of ecosystem actors such as support organizations in enabling their success.
"Swisscontact and Startup Heatmap Europe have joined forces to develop a self-serving toolkit that empowers startup hubs all around the world to measure the health of their ecosystems. The toolkit supports managers of startup programs, university incubators, research transfer organizations, ecosystem builders and policy makers to track the progress of their ecosystem build-up. End-users are empowered to use the toolkit to source data in their home ecosystems, enter them in an interactive dashboard and based on the outcomes, and identify recommended fields of action."
"Taking advantage of China’s 2017 free trade zone (FTZ) program introduced in 15 cities, we adopt the difference-in-difference techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of FTZ policies in encouraging entrepreneurship. Our econometric analysis suggests that they have moderately motivated start-up businesses, evidenced by higher growth of company registrations. The impact was only seen in 2017
but not in any subsequent years. Moreover, the policies haven’t had a clear positive impact on individual firms’ business sizes. The Chinese government hasn’t released any estimation for the costs of FTZ programs, but we expect their economic return to be meager. Therefore, we would suggest not expanding the program further; instead, the government should address the pressing issues that
suppress business activities."
"In 2021, ACT Foundation Research Team set out to capture the landscape of technology adoption for African non-profits. We surveyed over 400 social impact professionals to understand the current state of technology adoption within their organizations and to assess their digital readiness. In this report, we explored the digital investment landscape and investigated the barriers to greater technology adoption. We also attempted to identify areas of support needs across the sector."
"Emissions reporting is the first, and arguably one of the most important steps you can take to reduce your company’s footprint. This will help you identify where you need to take action to reduce your emissions. Once you know what the problem is and where the most intense
areas of emissions are, you can create a strategy to cut your greenhouse gas emissions and potentially save money for your business."
"A significant proportion of the world’s businesses are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Globally, micro-enterprises (SMEs with fewer than ten employees) alone account for 70% to 90% of all firms. As such, SMEs play an important role in reducing global emissions and bringing innovative climate solutions to the market. It is crucial that they are equipped with the tools and resources needed to measure their emissions, set greenhouse gas reduction targets grounded in science, take bold actions, report on their progress and ultimately reduce their emissions. This framework provides guidelines for SMEs on doing exactly that. It is open for anyone to use and can be used directly by SMEs to guide their reporting of climate impacts and strategies to multiple stakeholders. It can also be used by SME support organizations (such as consultancies) and data collectors to guide SMEs in climate disclosure."
"This study demonstrates how investors can begin comparing investments based on impact, not only highlighting impact performance across this sample of investments but also exploring investors’ contribution to that impact in terms of the progress so far in tackling climate change. Fundamentally, this research is intended to cultivate the suite of impact analytic tools to come, such as impact performance benchmarks, ratings, and indices. Its specific findings highlight the tremendous need for further research to enhance the industry’s insights into impact performance and its drivers, enabling evidence-based decision-making. Ultimately, through this research and related efforts, the GIIN seeks to enable investors to optimize for impact at each stage of the investment process, accelerating progress toward global goals."
"In 2018, the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), with the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), launched the Gender Lens Impact Measurement (GLIM) Fund to enhance the awareness, rigor, and quality of impact measurement for organizations supporting entrepreneurs with a gender lens approach. Each grant from the fund went to a partnership between small and growing business (SGB) support organizations in Latin America and researchers to use measurement for driving improved gender-inclusive strategies. This synthesis report summarises the tools and lessons from these grants on using measurement to increase gender inclusion for SGB support organizations."
"The toolkit is provided for all intermediaries and enterprise support organizations – regardless of size, geography or sector – who want proactively to support SGBs within their portfolio to integrate OHS and employment minimum practices. The toolkit aims at equipping intermediaries with the necessary tools, knowledge and resources to broach the safe working environment and fair employee treatment subject, and enables the intermediaries to assess, design and structure possible solutions for their SGB clients."
"Endeavor Insight partnered with the Lemelson Foundation and Small Foundation to understand how entrepreneurial agriculture companies can maximize their impact in developing countries. The purpose of the study is to provide a data-backed assessment of the challenges and opportunities for supporting entrepreneurs. Endeavor Insight’s approach used several lenses, including a special focus on the types of innovation the founders have created, as well as an analysis of the dynamics within selected agricultural value chains. The results offer guidance for decision makers who support entrepreneurs as they address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially in raising the incomes of smallholder farmers and alleviating poverty, creating transformative solutions that can address global food security, and generating quality jobs. This study builds on recent research in the international development and social investment communities, and takes into account the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis."