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Currently there are over 500 townships in the South Africa, whose combined land mass surpasses that of Johannesburg and Durban combined and which are home to an estimated 40% of South Africa’s urban population. While more is understood about the small and growing businesses (SGBs) in metropolitan areas, less is known about the entrepreneurial ecosystems in the townships and how to support the primarily micro, necessity-based businesses that operate there. This report focuses on identifying the key actors implementing programmes to support entrepreneurs and small businesses operating in townships in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, and Western Cape Provinces, the challenges the entrepreneurial support providers face, and the opportunities to strengthen this ecosystem.

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With the launch of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, "SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth" has become a rallying cry for practitioners aiming to boost entrepreneurship as a means of economic and social development. However, while the concept of decent work may seem straightforward, clearly defining a “quality job” has proven to be a complex endeavor. The report by ANDE first summarizes how job quality is defined and measured, then provides an overview of the current evidence on the quality of jobs within SMEs, and finally examines the effectiveness of interventions to improve job quality.

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The term talent management can be defined in various ways, but in general refers to a business’ processes to recruit, develop, and retain employees whose roles have the greatest potential to contribute to a firm’s competitive advantage. SMEs face certain constraints given their size and fragility and therefore need different approaches to find and retain a high-functioning workforce. This report summarizes the existing literature on talent management within SMEs, with a focus on developing economies where possible, and points to specific research gaps that should be prioritized moving forward.

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Entrepreneurial ecosystems comprise the set of cultural, political, and economic elements that allow entrepreneurs to start, sustain, and scale a new business. While the concept of an entrepreneurial ecosystem is well-established, the evidence base on how exactly ecosystems grow and whether interventions can accelerate this growth is still emerging. This report synthesizes the existing evidence on the complex process of building entrepreneurial ecosystems and offers key lessons from the literature.

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Business startup and growth is an important pathway to industry leadership and the
creation of personal wealth, as well as a key source of job creation, innovation and
economic growth. In this sense, women’s entrepreneurship can provide a means to
more rapidly advance gender equality in industries, communities and countries around
the world. The GEM 2020 Adult Population Survey ran from April through August
2020 and offered an important opportunity to examine pandemic impacts on women
entrepreneurs, in addition to an analysis of global trends. This year, we also invited GEM
researchers from around the world to contribute chapters on women’s entrepreneurship.
This year’s GEM Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Report has three main aims:
1. Identify key gender differences and similarities in business stages and
motivations. We identify countries and regions where gender gaps may be
significant and where they may be closing. All of these trends are considered across
countries, geographic regions and levels of national income.
2. Examine the structural and cultural factors that influence women’s
entrepreneurship. This analysis includes demographic characteristics (age,
education, household income), business characteristics and cultural factors,
such as cultural perceptions and high-growth activities that influence women’s
entrepreneurship in complex ways across regions, countries and levels of national
income.
3. Analyse how women entrepreneurs were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In doing this analysis of the pandemic’s impact, we allow comparisons across the
country and regional contexts, taking into account the level of income by country as
an important indicator of economic development.
Our findings offer insights to a diverse audience of researchers, policymakers, educators
and practitioners. Our ultimate goal is to highlight areas where there are still gaps,
challenges and opportunities, where women entrepreneurs have made significant
progress and where the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their business performance and
perceptions.

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SMEs form a dominant share of the private sector in developing countries, and account for more than 50
percent of jobs in their respective economies. Besides their positive employment effects, the growth and
vibrancy of these firms is also important for broader economic growth, diversification of economic base
and as a source of innovation that is exhibited by some of the start-ups. Women-owned SMEs are
emerging as one of the fast growing segments within the SME sector. Youth play an important role in the
creation of new firms and start up activities. Given this importance of SMEs for creation of more, better
and inclusive jobs, there is significant focus on understanding the constraints to growth of this sector and
implementing programs to address them in the World Bank Group and the other development
institutions. Among the several constraints that they face, access to finance is usually cited as the most
important and there are several instruments that can be applied to address this constraint. However, what
is the evidence of impact of these programs on the employment effects? This note brings together the
learnings and evidence from access to finance interventions on employment and provides some
recommendations for development practitioners who seek to maximize this objective from their access
to finance interventions.

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The purpose of this report is to provide delegates to the 104th Session of the International Labour Conference with up-to-date evidence on the relevance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for employment, the key constraints faced by SMEs and their workers, and the effectiveness of measures to support this enterprise segment. The report ultimately attempts to provide answers to crucial questions such as whether SMEs are living up to their promise of being a major contributor to job creation, whether these jobs are of adequate quality, and how effective the various policies for promoting SMEs are.

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This paper investigates to what extent and how micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries are adapting to climate risks. We use a questionnaire survey to collect data from 325 SMEs in the semi-arid regions of Kenya and Senegal and analyze this information to estimate the quality of current adaptation measures, distinguishing between sustainable and unsustainable adaptation. We then study the link between these current adaptation practices and adaptation planning for future climate change. We find that financial barriers are a key reason why firms resort to unsustainable adaptation, while general business support, access to information technology and adaptation assistance encourages sustainable adaptation responses. Engaging in adaptation today also increases the likelihood that a firm is preparing for future climate change. The finding lends support to the strategy of many development agencies who use adaptation to current climate variability as a way of building resilience to future climate change. There is a clear role for public policy in facilitating good adaptation. The ability of firms to respond to climate risks depends in no small measure on factors such as business environment that can be shaped through policy intervention.

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As investors with experience in gender lens investing (GLI), our peers often ask us for information on how to start 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 Learning Brief offers a clear justification for the role of development assistance organizations like USAID in catalyzing private finance for climate action. It synthesizes lessons learned from a broad set of donor experiences and offers
practical ‘how to’ descriptions of donor-supported activities that lead to additionality and positive climate and human impacts.This is one of three complementary resources that includes a set of case studies that examine various models of blended finance for climate action and a guidance note that provides a framework for understanding the potential for additionality and human impacts for blended finance from USAID’s perspective.

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