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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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Top tags: sector publication  impact investing  Entrepreneurship  ANDE publication  Access to Finance  Global  2018  Social Entrepreneurship  women  Development  accelerators  Economic Growth  SGB  SME  Africa  impact evaluation  India  GALI  2016  latin america  Agriculture  ecosystem  finance  social enterprise  2017  environment  gender  private sector development  2019  Base of the Pyramid 

New Report: Are India's social entrepreneurs who lack basic financial management skills still seen as investment-worthy?

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Over the past four years, the team at Upaya Social Ventures has repeatedly heard from impact investors that the pipeline of investable social enterprises in India is frustratingly thin. While these investors regularly hear about interesting concepts, they lament the lack of entrepreneurs who have the business management skills needed to make a venture profitable. In fact, many leading investors have said that a social entrepreneur who does not have a sufficient command of fundamental business tools is not someone they can even really consider an entrepreneur.

Looking to turn these anecdotes into actionable information, Upaya has released the first of a series of spot surveys that dig deeper into investors’ impressions of the entrepreneurs they encounter.

Titled What They Really Think: Perceptions of India’s Early Stage Social Entrepreneurs Among Impact Investors, the series provides data and recommendations to the multitude of incubators, training programs and mentorship networks currently operating in India. The report captures investor opinions about the collective critical skills and competencies of entrepreneurs, and starts a substantive conversation on improving the ecosystem for early-stage social businesses.

In “Spot Survey #1: Financial Management Capabilities,” 18 of India’s 25 most active impact investors shared their impressions of the financial management competencies of entrepreneurs on whom they have conducted some level of due diligence. The report looks at entrepreneurs' skills with a variety of financial management tools for decision-making. It also looks at the quality of documentation investors receive from entrepreneurs, as well as the ability of those entrepreneurs to use valuation tools to communicate the financial health and long-term projections of their companies with investors.

 Attached Files:

Tags:  entrepreneurship  impact investing  India  Investors  sector publication  Social Entrepreneurship 

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Root Capital Study: Improving Rural Livelihoods: A Study of Four Guatemalan Coffee Cooperatives

Posted By Administration, Friday, March 6, 2015

Root Capital is excited to release our first multi-site impact study — Improving Rural Livelihoods: A Study of Four Guatemalan Coffee Cooperatives. As a complement to our ongoing social and environmental due diligence, this comprehensive study provides a more detailed picture of the impacts that our client enterprises have on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and the environment. We also sought to answer the question: Does Root Capital’s financing and training enable our clients to increase their impacts, and if so, how and to what extent?

In this impact study, we synthesize and share findings from four individual studies, and explore:

  • How enterprises that reliably offer services — such as credit, training, technical assistance and the provision of inputs — to farmers can help them earn higher and more stable incomes.
  • How cooperatives are helping members adopt more sustainable agricultural practices, although overall use of soil, water, and biodiversity conservation practices remains limited.
  • How cooperatives are helping to level the playing field between households represented by female and male cooperative members.
  • How Root Capital’s lending has allowed cooperatives to strengthen their relationships with farmers and pay them earlier in the harvest season.

We also highlight areas for further research and implications for practitioners, including guidance on how to share findings and feedback with clients participating in such impact studies.

The research was conducted in collaboration with the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA). The four cooperatives that participated reflected the range of our Guatemalan coffee portfolio in terms of geography, ethnicity, length of relationship with Root Capital, and diversity of sustainability certifications and buyer relationships.

Find more info and download here: 

Tags:  Agriculture  coffee  cooperatives  environment  guatemala  sector publication 

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Venture Finance in Africa: the progress of early-stage high-potential growth companies

Posted By Administration, Friday, January 2, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The VC4Africa 2015 report shows an increasing number of African businesses successfully growing their operations over time. They generate an increasing amount of revenue and add new jobs to the African market place. VC4Africa aims to be the world’s leading social network for entrepreneurs and investors in Africa. The VC4Africa community has over 17,000 members in 159 countries, including 600 investors. 2000 entrepreneurs in Africa present their companies on the platform: early stage ventures that require investments less than USD 1 million. Each venture is scalable, makes smart use of technology, or is disruptive in their application of a business model.

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 Attached Files:

Tags:  access to finance  Africa  Entrepreneurship  impact investing  metrics and research  Sector publication 

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SPARK's "Opportunities and Challenges to SME Development in Conflict Affected States"

Posted By Susannah Eastham, Aspen Institute, Thursday, August 14, 2014

The SPARK tracer survey on ‘Opportunities and Challenges to SME Development in Conflict Affected States’ was conducted in the summer of 2013 among 900 entrepreneurs in 9 countries. The survey was conducted in order to learn more about the effectiveness of SPARK’s small and medium enterprise interventions.

Two main findings of the survey show that existing businesses are better at creating jobs than start-ups and that young people create fewer jobs on average than other businesses. The survey also identifies 5 important business barriers experienced by the participating entrepreneurs.

Please read the attached survey for further details

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Tags:  conflict affected states  entrepreneurship  job creation  Sector publication  SMEs  youth 

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Micro-Markets Analysis of Clean Energy Access in India

Posted By Susannah Eastham, Aspen Institute, Thursday, July 31, 2014
Please find the attached report for further details on this analysis from Regain Paradiso

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Tags:  energy  India  sector publication 

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Latin American Entrepreneurs: Many Firms but Little Innovation

Posted By Alexander Pan, Aspen Institute, Thursday, December 19, 2013

This report, published by the Word Bank, details the current state of entrepreneurship in Latin America and identifies salient trends and challenges in the field. The report outlines what needs to happen in order to create an enabling environment for innovative entrepreneurs in Latin America

The World Bank
December 2013

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Tags:  entrepreneurship  latin america  Sector publication  SGBs 

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MSME: The opportunity knocks

Posted By Alexander Pan, Aspen Institute, Thursday, December 19, 2013

Varhad Capital's research team has worked for more than six months to understand the Government of India’s new Public Procurement Policy and its likely impact on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise sector

The Varhad Group
December 2013

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Tags:  entrepreneurship  India  Sector Publication  SGB  SME 

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Banking on Growth: U.S. Support for Small and Medium Enterprises in Least- Developed Countries

Posted By Alexander Pan, Aspen Institute, Thursday, December 19, 2013
This policy memo from the Council on Foreign Relations outlines policy recommendations on how the US can better support Small and Medium Enterprises in least developed countries. 

Council on Foreign Relations
December 2013

 Attached Files:

Tags:  development  Sector publication  SGB  SME 

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Catalyst for Growth Initiative in South Africa

Posted By Alexander Pan, Aspen Institute, Thursday, November 21, 2013
In February 2012, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation launched the SME Catalyst for Growth (C4G) programme in South Africa to support the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)in collaboration with three core partners: Dalberg Global Development Advisors (Dalberg), Aurik and Raizcorp. Only one year into the C4G initiative, businesses in the programme have experienced dramatic growth in revenue and number of employees This report provides a one year update of J.P. Morgan’s C4G pilot initiative. Click here to read the full report

Tags:  Sector publication  SGB  SME  South Africa 

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Creating the Environment for Entrepreneurial Success

Posted By Alexander Pan, Aspen Institute, Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This special report from the Center for International Private Enterprise, Creating the Environment for Entrepreneurial Success, highlights the crucial environmental dimension of entrepreneurship ecosystems. Improving the conditions for entrepreneurship and leveling the playing field goes beyond the effort to help promising entrepreneurs. It expands the pool of potential entrepreneurs, builds incentives for entrepreneurship, eases the costs of doing business, and generates healthy competition. Policy and regulatory reforms should be integrated with comprehensive services to educate, finance, advise, and encourage entrepreneurs. Read more here

Center for International Private Enterprise

November 2013

Tags:  entrepreneurship  entrepreneurship ecosystems  environment  Sector Publication 

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