This report focuses on the state of the global SGB sector, and also dives into regional trends. First, we provide an overview on intermediaries in 2014, including data on capacity development services, direct investments into SGBs, and donor funding. Next, we highlight trends and activities at ANDE’s five most established regional chapters: Brazil, Central America/Mexico, East Africa, India, and South Africa. We also expose current challenges for the sector to address, such as how to recruit and retain talent, improve entrepreneurial acceleration, and increase donor support to fulfill global development goals.
Since ANDE’s founding in 2009, we have seen much progress made by the SGB sector, composed of those organizations that support entrepreneurs in emerging markets. In 2014, more than 200 members were operating in more than 150 countries, and had collectively supported nearly 350,000 entrepreneurs.
Nonfinancial support has increased.
We have identified over 600 accelerator programs operating globally, including at least 200 based in emerging market countries. This model shows promise: preliminary research results show revenue and employee growth for accelerated enterprises was three times faster than growth for nonaccelerated enterprises.
The pace of investing has picked up.
We estimate that in the past five years, investment vehicles that do deals $2 million and below in emerging markets have raised $10 billion to invest in SGBs. The number of private equity deals below $2 million tripled in 2014 compared to 2010. And encouragingly, investors are increasingly willing to make earlier stage deals—lowering their median minimum target deal size in the past five years to $250,000.
But, there is still work to be done.
Despite the growing recognition that SGBs are a powerful mechanism to achieve economic and social change, investments from the international donor community have decreased to one percent of total development assistance. We believe that if donors increase support directly to small and growing businesses, and more importantly invest in initiatives that strengthen the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem, they can have a catalytic effect on market-based approaches that will solve critical global challenges.
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