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ANDE’s research typically addresses one of three major questions about the small and growing businesses sector. 

  How much support, and what kind of support, is available to SGBs in emerging markets?

  What types of interventions are most effective in supporting SGBs?

  What impact do SGBs have on the lives of people they serve?  Are they effective in alleviating poverty?


The Global Accelerator Learning Initiative 

Since 2011, hundreds of accelerators have launched around the world. Investors, development agencies, and governments are excited by their potential to drive growth, spur innovation, and solve social challenges.

Despite this interest, rigorous research on the effectiveness of acceleration methods has not kept pace. We currently know little about their effectiveness or how differences across programs and models influence entrepreneur performance.

To address this gap, Emory University and ANDE launched the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI) in collaboration with a consortium of public and private funders. GALI builds on the work of the Entrepreneurship Database Program at Emory University, which works directly with accelerator programs around the world to collect and analyze data from entrepreneurs.

To read more and explore data on acceleration, visit 



The Small and Growing Business (SGB) Evidence Fund, a joint effort of the International Growth Centre (IGC) and the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), supports collaborations between researchers and practitioners to understand the most effective ways to support SGBs and the economic and social impact of SGB growth. 

In 2018, ANDE and IGC synthesized the academic research related to SGB growth and developed a research agenda that outlines the main gaps in the existing evidence. Now, with the generous support of the Argidius Foundation, this fund will support practitioner-researcher collaborations that rigorously tackle these gaps. The resulting evidence will help inform thinking and practice of practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and funders on the most effective ways to support SGBs.

Winners have been selected for the first round of proposals. The second round of the call for proposals closed on March 29, 2020 and proposals are now under review. See useful resources, including guidelines, templates, FAQs, and a recording of the informational webinar, here.


ANDE's urgent Issue briefs

This series of issue briefs published by ANDE in 2019 is designed to create a common knowledge base from which the Small and Growing Business (SGB) sector can work in the hopes of advancing towards selected development goals. Each brief highlights how SGBs can play a critical role in this progress. This series is meant to act as a starting point to drive the conversation forward and shape ANDE's strategy regarding each of these key issue areas, with the acknowledgement that this is not an exhaustive collection of the research/literature on these topics. 

Read the issue briefs here.


State of the Small and Growing Business Sector

Since 2009, ANDE has been tracking data on the SGB sector to assess its growth and impact on emerging market economies. These reports are published annually and provide analysis of the amount of investment capital available to SGBs, trends in capacity development services, and data on donor support for the sector. In addition, the reports highlight trends at ANDE’s regional chapter countries.

Read the 2019 report
Read the 
2018 report
Read the 2017 report
Read the 2016 report
Read the 2015 report
Read the 2014 report
Read the 2013 report


Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Maps

A first step to stimulating entrepreneurship is understanding which resources are currently available for entrepreneurs in a given market – and which are missing. This assessment of the entrepreneurial ecosystem allows for diagnosis of potential challenges and opportunities. To support mapping efforts, ANDE developed a toolkit  which provides methodological guidance on assessing the state of entrepreneurial ecosystems and offers a set of resources and tools that can be used by development practitioners.  

In addition, ANDE released a new data visualization tool to identify market gaps in emerging market economies: Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Snapshots. This new interactive site offers a visual display of the financial and nonfinancial support that organizations provide for entrepreneurs in emerging market economies.

fueling entrepreneurship in emerging marketS

This report analyzes how twenty different donors and development finance institutions (DFIs) engage with the entrepreneurship and small & growing business (SGB) sector in emerging markets. The goal of this study is to provide an overview of the main channels through which these institutions provide funding to entrepreneurs and small and growing businesses in emerging markets, reveal key statistics around this funding (such as investment size and horizon), highlight trends to look out for over the course of the next few years, and discuss implications for how ANDE should engage with each institution moving forward. Read the executive summary here, and ANDE members can access the full report here.


Impact Investing in Latin America

This report, published in partnership with LAVCA provides an overview on the growing landscape of impact investing in Latin AmericaRead the 2018 report here.  

This report is based off of two prior research studies. Read the 2016 regional report (with a particular emphasis on Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia) here, and the 2014 Brazil report here.

To access the impact investing deal input template, please click here

The Impact of Small and Growing Businesses

In 2012, ANDE conducted a literature review to better understand how SGBs engage low income or poor people, and whether these firms help lift these people out of poverty. We found the evidence for supporting SGBs as a mechanism for poverty alleviation is compelling, though not conclusive. While it is mainly small firms that currently employ or engage the poor, it is the growing firms that can help them out of poverty by providing them with higher, more stable wages.

In 2018, ANDE partnered with the International Growth Centre at the London School of Economics to update our understanding of the evidence base. The knowledge synthesis and practitioner summary summarize existing knowledge, identify gaps in the academic research, and propose a practitioner-oriented research agenda for the sector.

ANDE has also funded three impact evaluations that examined the impacts of SGBs on poverty alleviation. To learn more about the results of each evaluation click on the links below.

>What are the household-level impacts of SGBs that purchase goods from base of the pyramid suppliers, particularly when those SGBs have received impact investments?  Evaluating Household Level Impacts of Small & Growing Business Creation and Impact Investing in Peru  

>What are the household-level benefits of access to electricity from microgrids, solar home systems and the national grid? Impacts of Small-Scale Electricity Systems: A Study of Rural Communities in India and Nepal

>How do factory jobs, particularly in countries at the early stages of industrial sector development, affect the workers themselves and what do workers prefer? More Sweatshops for Africa? Firms, Factory Labor, and Poverty Alleviation in Ethiopia


For more information or questions on ANDE research projects, contact Matthew Guttentag