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Welcome to the Publications Library! Here you will find a searchable index of reports, toolkits, research papers, and other resources relevant to the Small and Growing Business Sector. Sort by clicking on the relevant tags, or by typing in key words in the box below.


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Transforming Impact Measurement with Lean Data

Posted By Administration, Friday, December 11, 2015

ANDE provided support to a new report co-authored by Acumen and Root Capital: Innovations in Impact Measurement. The report shares detailed case studies of how these organizations are using muobile surveys to gather customer insights. Here's a preview of what Acumen learned from applying Lean Data principles to Acumen investee SolarNow:


Although the company was receiving customer feedback through word of mouth mainly from their sales agents, they craved greater quality data about their customers and the social impact of owning a SolarNow system. Acumen helped SolarNow construct a short, non-intrusive survey and gathered data from over 200 customers through trained call center employees. Here’s what we learned:

95% reduction in kerosene usage
49% live below $2.50 per day
32% of customers reported service issues

Addressed product performance issues
Recruited a customer service team
Started quarterly Lean Data customer calls

Read the full report for more stories like this. 


Tags:  impact evaluation  Lean data  metrics  Metrics and Research  mobile  survey  surveys 

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GEM 2014 Women's Report

Posted By Administration, Friday, December 11, 2015
Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2015

This report offers an in-depth view of women who start and run businesses around the world. It provides a broadly global and comprehensively detailed foundation to guide future research, policy decision-making and the design of initiatives and programs to enhance awareness and participation in women’s entrepreneurship. The report facilitates understanding of women’s entrepreneurship by researchers, policy-makers, educators and practitioners. The ultimate aim is to foster an environment that: encourages women to see entrepreneurship as a viable career option; equips them with the tools to create the type and quality of business each wishes to build; and creates awareness among stakeholders who will support their efforts.

Read the full report here>>>

Tags:  Babson College  entrepreneurship  sector publication  women 

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Creating Climate Resilience Through Social Entrepreneurship

Posted By Administration, Friday, December 11, 2015
Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2015

As the average global temperature increases, the consequences of climate change are having the largest impact on the world’s poor. This is the population least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions driving global warming — and least able to cope with effects such as droughts, flooding, deforestation and other habitat loss, diminished agricultural crops, lack of access to potable water, diminished energy sources, and the spread of tropical diseases.

The effects of climate change are already being felt in poor and developing regions of the world. In particular, poor women are likely to be most vulnerable to the effects of climate change: Their livelihoods rely more on natural resources threatened by climate change, and their ability to cope with the changes are hampered by social, economic, and political challenges.

One promising response to the effects of climate change is to empower these populations to develop climate resilience. 

Read the full report here>>>

Tags:  climate  environment  resources  sector publication  women 

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Universal Energy Access: An Enterprise System Approach

Posted By Administration, Friday, December 11, 2015
Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2015

Lack of energy access afflicts approximately 2.6 billion people globally: one-third of the human

population of the planet. The problem affects individuals, households, communities, local institutions, and small and medium-sized businesses across the developing world.

Defining acceptable energy access has traditionally been expressed as an energy ladder, a hierarchy of energy uses ranging from basic lighting and cooking needs “up” to things like running a sewing machine or powering small tools. Rather than this linear progression, however, we prefer the more holistic Total Energy Access (TEA) standards developed by international non-governmental organization, Practical Action, which focus on “customers” of energy rather than “people without energy.”

Despite billions of development and charity dollars spent on energy access by government aid agencies, foundations, and corporations, we still lack a viable scenario for offering everyone the energy they need to survive and thrive.

Read the report here>>>

Tags:  climate  energy  sector publication 

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GSBI Methodology for Social Entrepreneurship

Posted By Administration, Friday, December 11, 2015
Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®), a pioneer in social enterprise capacity development, hascontinuously improved its methodology since its founding in 2003. The lessons GSBI has learned from working with 365 social enterprises are broadly applicable to capacity development efforts across sectors and geographies. This paper introduces GSBI and explains the GSBI methodology, with the goal of helping the global social enterprise movement create more exits from poverty. 

GSBI has become a leading, comprehensive program for social enterprise capacity development worldwide. Its suite of stage-specific programs for early and mid-stage social enterprises, along with its network of partners, collectively serve hundreds of impact organizations annually.

GSBI has developed a methodology that revolves around three dynamic, interactive aspects: social enterprise selection, stage-specific programs, and executive-level mentoring. GSBI invites applications from social enterprises that are “impact first,” meaning that their primary mission is to deliver goods and services to those in need.

GSBI evaluates candidates in two phases. GSBI staff filter for general program fit, then score candidates according to criteria that predict each enterprise’s potential for short-term success in GSBI as well as long-term growth. Priority is given to social enterprises with earned income business models, because this approach lends itself to scaling. To match a social enterprise with the curriculum most appropriate to help it grow, GSBI developed a Social Enterprise Stage Assessment Tool.

Read the report here >>>

Tags:  business models  capacity development  sector publication  social enterprise 

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The Landscape for Impact Investing in West Africa

Posted By Administration, Monday, December 7, 2015

The Global Impact Investing Network, in partnership with Dalberg Global Development Advisors, published The Landscape for Impact Investing in West Africa, a state of the market analysis of the impact investing industry in the region. The report includes regional findings from 15 countries, as well as dedicated chapters covering the most active markets: Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal. Across the region, investors highlight opportunities for impact and financial return, particularly in the key sectors of energy, financial technologies, and agriculture. 

The landscape study is based on thorough analysis of relevant literature, large volumes of transaction data, and extensive interviews with key industry stakeholders. Detailed country chapters include information on the supply of capital by investor type, investment opportunities by sector, and regulatory considerations and hurdles for impact investors and investees.

Read the full report here >>> 

Tags:  impact investing 

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Paths to Prosperity: Promoting Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century

Posted By Lauren Farello, Aspen Institute, Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Updated: Monday, November 23, 2015

Entrepreneurship is one of the driving forces of the modern global economy. It is a primary source of job creation, prosperity, and economic competitiveness. But although the effects of entrepreneurship on economic progress are widely recognized, there is little understanding of how best to promote it. In this Monitor Group paper, the authors' key findings are:

  • Although most research on entrepreneurship policy occurs at the national level, entrepreneurship is in critical ways a local phenomenon.
  • Surveys of entrepreneurs around the world indicate that much conventional wisdom about these policy areas is misleading or simply wrong.
  • The authors then leverage those findings to prescribe a series of key activities and policies that leaders can leverage to promote entrepreneurship, enhance prosperity, and create job growth.

    Click here to download the report.

     Attached Files:

    Tags:  economics  Entrepreneurship  job creation  sector publication 

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    Enterprise Solutions to 2030

    Posted By Administration, Monday, November 16, 2015

    The Shell Foundation has launched a new report that offers the most complete analysis of their work, evaluating whether market forces can eradicate any of the immense development challenges many people around the world face. This report looks at the impact resulting from $207m investment into social enterprises and market-enablers, the common features of success and failure and the lessons from the emergence of promising “inclusive” markets that inform our strategy today.

    Enterprise Solutions for 2030 aggregates the learning from more than 200 partnerships with public and private social investors over the last 15 years, exploring different ways in which resources can be deployed to eradicate obstacles to energy access, sustainable urban mobility and job creation.

    Download the report from the Shell Foundation now

    Tags:  ecosystem  Entrepreneurship  entrepreneurship ecosystems 

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    Interwoven : How the Better Work Program Improves Job and Life Quality in the Apparel Sector

    Posted By Stephanie Buck, Aspen Institute, Tuesday, October 27, 2015

    From the World Bank

    The garment industry provides a vital first step out of poverty for tens of millions of mostly female workers globally—and an alternative to low-skilled agriculture and service work. But it has long been associated with low wages, long hours, discrimination, abuse, and other conditions that put workers’ health and safety at risk.

    "Women globally and particularly in developing and emerging economies need more good jobs. This is vital to tackling persistent gender gaps—a development imperative if we are to achieve our goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared growth," WBG Senior Director for Gender Caren Grown said.

    "This report highlights important links between better work and better lives for women and men, and better, more inclusive growth."

    The Better Work Program trains local monitors to make unannounced inspections and bring factories into compliance with national laws and international standards through auditing, advisory, and training services.

    As of 2014, according to Better Work, the program had helped improve working conditions for some 1 million workers in more than 1,000 factories across eight countries—Bangladesh, Cambodia, Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Lesotho, Nicaragua, and Vietnam.

    Over the last century, many countries have expanded labor-intensive apparel production as a means out of poverty. The sector broadly has a reputation for low-quality jobs with low wages, long hours, high temperatures, excessive noise, poor air quality, unsanitary environments, and verbal and physical abuse. For millions of women in developing countries, however, the garment industry provides unique economic opportunities.

    Field research in four countries—Cambodia, Kenya, Lesotho, and Vietnam—found similarities in how workers in each country defined "job quality": To them, a “good job” meant fair pay and benefits, collegial relations with managers and supervisors, and work-life balance, facilitated by reasonable work hours.

    Key findings include:

    • Improved working conditions can boost factory performance: With better communications, workers and managers are better able to resolve disputes, and staff turnover and absenteeism decrease;
    • Relations between workers and managers are a crucial aspect of working conditions and improvement in this area does not incur significant cost;
    • Better Work Program participation is associated with significant increases in apparel exports;
    • Better Work advisory services helped create Performance Improvement Consultative Committees in factories. Data from Cambodia, Lesotho, and Vietnam suggest these are especially valuable in improving communication between workers and managers;
    • Better Work factory employees are applying their new experience and training to their jobs but also elsewhere: Workers from Cambodia, Vietnam, and Lesotho all said improved communication at home and decreased stress at work was boosting satisfaction with their family lives; in Vietnam and Cambodia, men and women alike said household chores and decision-making were now shared equally.

    Click here for the full report. 

    This post has not been tagged.

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    Special Reports on Social Enterprise in Emerging Markets

    Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 21, 2015

    Social enterprise can be a powerful tool that provides marginalized communities the skills, accessibility and technology needed to overcome social barriers and break the cycle of poverty. NESsT develops sustainable social enterprises that solve critical social problems in emerging market economies.They've recently launched four publications that are definitely worth checking out: 

    Social Enterprise in Emerging Market Countries: No Free Ride

    Drawing on NESsT’s unique methodology for identifying and building the capacity of early-stage social enterprises, as well as on surveys of relevant stakeholders, this book provides a clear picture of where social enterprises are and where they need to go, and identifies key players in the social enterprise field and how they can take the bold steps needed to facilitate the growth and impact of these models. Nicole Etchart and Loïc Comollï (NESsT’s Co-CEOs) focus on NESsT’s research in Latin America and Central Europe, the two regions where it has operated for over 15 years, particularly in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru, with some cases from other countries in Latin America. For the purpose of illustrating important models and innovative programs and policies, this book also highlights cases and experiences from Central Europe.


    Shared Value: Doing business with social enterprises

    This publication is intended to raise awareness of the impact of social enterprise supply chains on society and the benefits for companies that do business with them in Peru. These pages contain many examples of companies that work with social enterprises to meet their corporate and social responsibility objectives, as well as a directory of Peruvian social enterprises that are potential suppliers for major businesses around the country. With this guide we hope to inspire the representatives of Peruvian companies and give them the courage to explore new business models that meet their operational needs while generating a positive and lasting social and environmental impact.



    Positioning Social Enterprises in the Policy Agenda: Road to Travel

    Thanks to public policies promoted by governments, social enterprises have been able to develop more strongly in Europe, where it is estimated that the entire social economy involves over 11 million people, about 6% of the active labor force. It represents USD 92 billion of the UK economy, with more than 2 million jobs, while in the U.S. it is estimated that the sector represents 3.5 % of GDP and 10 million jobs.

    Latin America is lagging behind in this respect, where there is still no legal or regulatory framework for social enterprise or recognition of the potential of these businesses to address critical social issues. At the same time, there is growing evidence that the State can play an important role in helping this sector to grow and have the impact that it has demonstrated in other countries.

    Positioning Social Enterprises in the Public Agenda: Road to Travel, grew from both this concern as well as this opportunity. The authors set out to document, understand and disseminate good practices in policies for social enterprises, and ultimately to contribute to the development of the sector in Latin America and globally. The book introduces a model of how to position the issue on the public agenda in a way that responds to the most urgent social needs of the country and the sector, building on existing local policies as well as those from other countries, and involving stakeholders in permanent dialogue. The Road to Travel, aimed at public policymakers and key sector players, includes 34 cases of best practices in public policy and a strategy to move faster to address our most intractable problems through a new economy.

    Diving Deep for Higher Returns

    What is social enterprise and philanthropic capital?  How does it differ from traditional charities and donations?

    Why should philanthropists engage in social enterprise development?  What are the opportunities to grow social enterprises and their impact? 

    How can philanthropists learn more about the sector? How can they conduct due diligence on social enterprises and intermediaries?  What groups or individuals are successfully growing social enterprises?

    NESsT and the Charities Aid Foundation, two organizations with extensive experience and leadership in the field, have produced a guide for philanthropists and social investors interested in learning more about how philanthropic capital —funding from philanthropic sources used in an entrepreneurial and sustainable manner— strengthens and expands social enterprises.


    Tags:  Social Entrepreneurship 

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