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"Using survey data on Macedonian firms that participated in USAID programs providing technical and financial assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and on firms that did not, we estimate the effectiveness of such assistance in increasing the growth of employment in the assisted firms. We control for selection bias in program participation and use both kernel and caliper propensity score matching to estimate the excess growth of employment in assisted firms. We find that assistance programs raised employment growth by 16-20 percentage points in the first year after assistance and by 26-30 points by the third year."

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"For this study of Acumen's investments, an initial scan of 22 of Acumen's portfolio companies was conducted, and six of these companies, as well as one non-Acumen company, were selected for in-depth case studies. The case studies span multiple industries and geographies, and explore how these social enterprises are integrating gender into their management systems, operations, and most importantly, how they are engaging women as consumers, and where this engagement has helped improve business and social performance. The report also contains a new framework that outlines the ways in which gender can influence key business decisions. This framework has the potential to be applied broadly as a diagnostic tool to uncover short-, medium-, and long-term opportunities to more effectively integrate gender in ways that will support the business and social goals of these companies."

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"Are women less likely to ask for help financing their businesses? This study investigates whether gender is a factor that impacts the propensity to ask for financing among nascent entrepreneurs. We also investigate if start-up helpers, who do not have an ownership share, have an impact on the likelihood of asking for financing, specifically between men and women. Our findings suggest that being female significantly decreases the probability of asking for financing and the presence of start-up helpers significantly increases the incidence of asking for financing in the nascent stage. In addition, among those who created new firms or were still in the start-up process, the number of start-up helpers exponentially increased the incidence of asking for financing among female founders. We use the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics II data, the largest, nationally representative, and longitudinal database on nascent entrepreneurs for the United States."

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"This report unpacks why women's entrepreneurship is good for business and is essential for economic growth. Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a key driver of economic growth, and women-owned enterprises account for approximately 30-37 percent (8-10 million) of all SMEs in emerging markets. As such, women are the fastest-growing market segment, they start businesses at a higher rate than men, and it is expected that they will create approximately 50 percent of new small business jobs by 2018. In developing economies, SMEs are increasingly important, as they contribute to nearly half of the labor force."

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"Global evidence of a strong business case for investing in women and leveraging their potential as entrepreneurs is emerging. The 'Women Investing in Women' movement can play a significant role in addressing the systemic access to finance challenges that women entrepreneurs contend with. The report takes stock of the access to finance challenges experienced by women entrepreneurs in India and the resulting financing gap. It explores the potential of the 'Women Investing in Women' movement to address those challenges and enhance access to finance for women-led start-ups and small businesses. The core objective of the report is to identify a strategic roadmap for strengthening this movement in India to further the adoption of gender lens investing. This report will be a valuable resource for a range of ecosystem stakeholders including regulatory agencies and government policymakers, development agencies, foundations, private sector companies who aim to strengthen the women entrepreneurship ecosystem in India. It is expected to inform policy formulation and intervention design targeted at strengthening gender lens investing in India."

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"Women, Business and the Law 2020 is the sixth in a series of studies that analyze laws and regulations affecting women's economic opportunity in 190 economies. Eight indicators-structured around women's interactions with the law as they begin, progress through, and end their careers-align with the economic decisions women make at various stages of their lives. The indicators are Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension."

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"The UN Global Compact and BSR have been working steadily with companies to inform their approaches and drive progress for gender equality and women’s empowerment. BSR and the UN Global Compact are committed to continuing to support businesses with the tools and insights needed to navigate the coming decade and move from commitment to action on gender equality. Business as usual is no longer working for women or men, but innovative solutions designed with and for women can move us beyond the status quo toward a gender-equal workplace. The WEPs Gender Gap Analysis Tool is composed of 18 multiple choice questions across four areas: leadership, workplace, marketplace, and community. The tool also covers four management stages—commitment, implementation, measurement, and transparency—to ensure commitments are coupled with substantive action to implement the WEPs."

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"This paper investigates the contribution of small firms to employment, job creation, and growth in developing countries. While small firms (< 20 employees) have the smallest share of aggregate employment, the small and medium enterprise sector's (< 100 employees) contribution is comparable to that of large firms. Small firms have the largest shares of job creation, and highest sales growth and employment growth, even after controlling for firm age. Large firms, however, have higher productivity growth. Conditional on size, young firms are the fastest growing and large mature firms have the largest employment shares but small young firms have higher job creation rates."

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"Villgro is a business incubator with a unique rural orientation. It concerns itself not only with the launch of new businesses but more generally with the transfer of new products, knowledge and services into rural space. Faced with the challenge of finding technologies that match rural requirements, Villgro has linked marketable product/service concepts from diverse sources with entrepreneurs who have start-up experience—so-called serial entrepreneurs. Other incubators may have difficulty imitating Villgro’s business model. The conditions for its development are unique, its management approaches are relatively untested and the values of its management team are deeply intertwined with perceptions of how the rural business system operates in India. However, other startup incubators can learn from Villgro the importance of getting management basics right before attempting to transform an entire agricultural sector. Good governance, transparency, accountability, building teams around highly capable employees and continuously enhancing their management skills are important no matter the strategic orientation of the emerging incubator."

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"Peer networks are seen as important for stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship, but little is known about how the structure and composition of networks affect innovation performance. Researchers compared the effects of face-to-face and virtual peer interaction on the submission and quality of business proposals by individuals from 49 African countries enrolled in an online entrepreneurship course. They found that face-to-face networks and the virtual interaction of groups of entrepreneurs of the same nationality increased the submission of business proposals to a funding competition, but that virtual interaction had no effect when groups were formed with entrepreneurs of different nationalities. Virtual interaction among entrepreneurs of the same nationality was also found to increase the quality of submitted business proposals."

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