Year
2021

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"For the past five years, GALI has been collecting data on accelerators around the world and the entrepreneurs who seek their support, with a particular focus on accelerators operating in developing economies. By analyzing these data and interviewing dozens of individuals about their experiences with acceleration, the project has been able to release over 30 publications on acceleration and early-stage entrepreneurship. This report serves as a synthesis of the most salient findings from this research, with actionable insights for accelerator program managers, entrepreneurs, funders, investors, and other stakeholders who support and engage accelerators around the world."

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"El presente documento es una guía que contiene la mayoría de los recursos disponibles para consulta en temas de medición de impacto. Con esta guía, pretendemos facilitar el proceso de consulta e investigación de las organizaciones intermediarias y los emprendedores del sector."

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"This report was commissioned as a product of the working partnership between Root Capital and Value for Women, with the support of the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs and the International Development Research Center. The main objective of this partnership is to build evidence around innovations for gender inclusion within small- and medium-sized agricultural enterprises globally."

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"Si bien la literatura existente ha encontrado que los programas de aceleración tienen un efecto positivo en el crecimiento de nuevas empresas, investigaciones recientes han mostrado que aún hay una demanda significativa de capital financiero, particularmente en economías en desarrollo. Existen pocos estudios enfocados a cómo las aceleradoras (especialmente las que no invierten directamente en sus empresas) conectan con proveedores de financiamiento y qué tan efectivos resultan estos esfuerzos. La Iniciativa Global de Aprendizaje en Aceleración (GALI, por sus siglas en inglés), una colaboración entre la Red Aspen de Emprendedores para el Desarrollo (ANDE por sus siglas en inglés) y la Universidad Emory, fue creada para explorar preguntas como ésta. Entre 2013 y 2020, GALI ha colaborado con docenas de programas de aceleración para recolectar información detallada de las y los emprendedores que solicitaron ingreso a sus respectivos programas. Posteriormente, estos(as) emprendedores(as) (incluyendo quienes no fueron seleccionados para un programa de aceleración) fueron encuestados cada año para obtener datos valiosos sobre el desarrollo de sus negocios a lo largo de tiempo. Este informe explora y presenta la información de GALI para emprendimientos centroamericanos"

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"While studies have found that acceleration does, in the aggregate, have a positive effect on new venture growth, further investigation has shown that there is significant unmet need for financial capital, particularly in developing economies. Little investigation has been done on how accelerators (particularly those that do not invest in their ventures directly) make connections with finance providers and whether these efforts are effective. The Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI), a partnership between the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and Emory University, was created to explore questions such as these. Between 2013 – 2020, GALI partnered with dozens of accelerator programs to collect detailed data from entrepreneurs who applied to their respective application processes. These entrepreneurs, including those not selected into a program, were then resurveyed annually to gather valuable follow-up data about the status of their ventures over time. This knowledge brief explores GALI data from Central American startups, as well as qualitative insights from accelerators and finance providers."

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"Why do more small firms in developing countries not use the market for professional business services like accounting, marketing, and human resource specialists? Two key reasons maybe that firms lack information about the availability of these services, and that they struggle to distinguish the quality of good versus bad providers. A brand recognition exercise finds that most small firms are unaware of most providers in this market, and a survey of service providers reveals that they largely rely on word-of-mouth and informal reputation mechanisms for acquiring customers. This study set up a business services marketplace that contains information about the different providers present in the market and used mystery shopper visits to develop a quality ratings system. A randomized experiment with more than 1,000 firms provided access to this marketplace to the treatment group and randomized whether firms received just information or also quality ratings. The provision of quality ratings information shifts small firms’ preferences over which provider they would like to use, increasing the average quality rating of their preferred providers by 0.2 to 0.4 ratings points out of 5. However, neither the provision of information nor these quality ratings had any significant impact on the likelihood that small firms go on to hire a business service provider over the subsequent six months. The results suggest that alleviating information frictions alone is insufficient to increase usage of professional business services."

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"Entrepreneurial ecosystems have become a prominent concept, yet in its current state, the concept itself represents a paradox. While it draws on a rich intellectual history and provides an opportunity to synthesize different strands of research, it is also under-theorized and the mechanisms that govern ecosystem evolution are not well understood. This paper takes stock of recent advancements in ecosystem scholarship and synthesizes the empirical reality of the causal mechanisms. We use these dynamics to position ecosystems in a broader context, within and beyond the domain of entrepreneurship research, and propose a transdisciplinary research program for ecosystem research and practice."

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"A large portion of economic activity in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is driven by (micro)entrepreneurs, who face significant challenges in starting and running profitable businesses. More than half of workers in low- and lower middle-income countries run their own business, against around 10 percent in high-income countries (ILO, 2019). Around a third of these entrepreneurs are driven by necessity (e.g., running their own business as a means of providing a subsistence income), rather than opportunity (e.g., hoping to build a business that grows beyond the scope of subsistence needs). Well-documented barriers facing LMIC entrepreneurs include weak education systems that hamper human capital development, limited access to finance, poor infrastructure and information access, and weak institutions. Policy interventions have sought to respond to these challenges with often inconclusive or underwhelming results.

Insights from behavioral science can help us better understand how the complexities of the human decision-making process impact LMIC entrepreneurs and the policies aimed at supporting them. Behavioral science recognizes that people’s behavior does not only depend on internal drivers (personality, preferences) and external drivers (information, incentives, regulations), but also on the decision-making process itself, which is influenced by available mental resources, automatic thinking, social norms and relationships, and mental models. While these influences impact everyone, their importance is exacerbated by challenging living conditions, making them potentially more influential for individuals living in LMICs. The majority of entrepreneurship research and programming continues to focus on building capital and business skills, but adding a systematic focus on behavioral influences shows a broad range of potential barriers that might interfere with an entrepreneur’s decision-making process (Figure A). A deeper understanding of entrepreneurs’ decision-making context can help practitioners improve both their diagnosis of the obstacles facing entrepreneurs and the design of entrepreneurship-related policies and interventions."

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"As investors with experience in gender lens investing (GLI), our peers often ask us for information on how to kickstart their GLI journey. Many useful resources are available to do this. However, this brief addresses a gap in information on the tools and approaches used to design and implement gender-smart technical assistance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to improve their social and financial performance. We also share our reflections from our collective experience to date."

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"This document is a strategic guidebook developed by Argidius Foundation and Dalberg Advisors to support business development services (BDS) providers to successfully adopt digital practices and tools. It explores current practices and opportunities across the landscape to guide BDS providers in using digital technologies to provide services to entrepreneurs in an effective and inclusive way."

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