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"The year 2020 has been incredibly challenging for the global community. The spread of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has led to an unparalleled health crisis in countries across the world. The crisis has had unprecedented and serious impacts on all aspects of how people communicate, work, produce, trade, consume and live. The economic ramifications of the pandemic quickly became apparent, and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have been on the front lines. With workers and customers staying indoors, and supply chains tested by shutdowns, the small companies that provide 70% of jobs in countries around the world and about half of economic activity have been put under stress."

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"While studies have found that acceleration does, in the aggregate, have a positive effect on new venture growth, further investigation has shown that there is significant unmet need for financial capital, particularly in developing economies. Little investigation has been done on how accelerators (particularly those that do not invest in their ventures directly) make connections with finance providers and whether these efforts are effective. The Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI), a partnership between the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and Emory University, was created to explore questions such as these. Between 2013 – 2020, GALI partnered with dozens of accelerator programs to collect detailed data from entrepreneurs who applied to their respective application processes. These entrepreneurs, including those not selected into a program, were then resurveyed annually to gather valuable follow-up data about the status of their ventures over time. This knowledge brief explores GALI data from Central American startups, as well as qualitative insights from accelerators and finance providers."

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"Why do more small firms in developing countries not use the market for professional business services like accounting, marketing, and human resource specialists? Two key reasons maybe that firms lack information about the availability of these services, and that they struggle to distinguish the quality of good versus bad providers. A brand recognition exercise finds that most small firms are unaware of most providers in this market, and a survey of service providers reveals that they largely rely on word-of-mouth and informal reputation mechanisms for acquiring customers. This study set up a business services marketplace that contains information about the different providers present in the market and used mystery shopper visits to develop a quality ratings system. A randomized experiment with more than 1,000 firms provided access to this marketplace to the treatment group and randomized whether firms received just information or also quality ratings. The provision of quality ratings information shifts small firms’ preferences over which provider they would like to use, increasing the average quality rating of their preferred providers by 0.2 to 0.4 ratings points out of 5. However, neither the provision of information nor these quality ratings had any significant impact on the likelihood that small firms go on to hire a business service provider over the subsequent six months. The results suggest that alleviating information frictions alone is insufficient to increase usage of professional business services."

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"Many small firms lack the finance and marketing skills needed for firm growth. The standard approach in many business support programs is to attempt to train the entrepreneur to develop these skills, through classroom-based training or personalized consulting. However, rather than requiring the entrepreneur to be a jack-of-all-trades, an alternative is to move beyond the boundary of the entrepreneur and link firms to these skills in a marketplace through insourcing workers with functional expertise or outsourcing tasks to professional specialists. A randomized experiment in Nigeria tests the relative effectiveness of these four different approaches to improving business practices. Insourcing and outsourcing both dominate business training; and do at least as well as business consulting at one-half of the cost. Moving beyond the entrepreneurial boundary enables firms to use higher quality digital marketing practices, innovate more, and achieve greater sales and profits growth over a two-year horizon."

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"There is no silver bullet to ending poverty, but ANDE members represent important pieces of larger solutions, and we’re excited to keep growing. We now have over 280 organizations in our network. In 2017, we launched a new chapter in East and Southeast Asia. Since then, we’ve launched an Andean chapter and a new Central America office in Guatemala. We are excited to support more direct growth in the countries where our members work. I’m happy to share that our newest report explores global trends at a regional level to reflect this increasing breadth and depth of our chapters."

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"In 2016, the ANDE network expanded to a total of 260 member organizations who provide critical financial, educational, and business-support services to SGBs. Of the roughly 50 members who joined the network in 2016, half are headquartered in emerging markets. We are excited to see more homegrown organizations joining the global network, as it is evidence of maturing entrepreneurial support service market. More than ever, the development of more entrepreneurial support organizations offers the opportunity for a coordinated approach to cultivate local entrepreneurial ecosystems.

This report presents a bird’s-eye view of the SGB sector, and the organizations working to support entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Documenting the growth and dynamics of the SGB sector in the seven years since ANDE’s launch in 2009 is key to demonstrating what ANDE members fundamentally believe to be true: Entrepreneurship has the power to lift countries out of poverty."

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"This report focuses on the state of the global SGB sector and also dives into regional trends. First, we provide an overview on intermediaries in 2014, including data on capacity development services, direct investments into SGBs, and donor funding. Next, we highlight trends and activities at ANDE’s five most established regional chapters: Brazil, Central America/Mexico, East Africa, India, and South Africa."

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"In April 2014, ANDE reached its five-year anniversary. In the past half-decade we have grown from 34 to more than 200 members and reached more than 2,000 individuals through our networking and training events for the small and growing business (SGB) sector. Collectively, our members have supported hundreds of thousands of SGBs in emerging markets. Since 2009, we have seen significant advancements in coordination among the diverse actors in the SGB ecosystem. We are encouraged by the growing momentum and increasingly sophisticated conversations about the most effective ways to support small and growing businesses.

This report highlights the state of the SGB sector and also ANDE’s vision for our future. You may notice differences from previous years’ publications. This year, we have designed a report that we hope will be a reference for organizations who already are involved in the sector. Rather than making the case for SGBs, this report focuses on the progress and challenges that we have seen over the past five years."

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"I am pleased to present the fourth annual Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) Impact Report. ANDE members are united in the belief that supporting small and growing businesses in emerging markets can create lasting, positive change. By the end of 2012, more than 170 ANDE members had collectively supported tens of thousands of small business entrepreneurs in more than 150 countries. ANDE exists to strengthen this work and to promote entrepreneurship as a mechanism for prosperity creation in developing countries.

Throughout this report we have highlighted examples of the work that our members have done in the past year. These stories of collaboration represent a small fraction of the exciting initiatives that ANDE members undertook in 2012. We are pleased to have seen the growth in our sector, with an ever increasing number of actors joining the movement to support small and growing businesses. We are confident that this trend will continue as ANDE enters its fifth year."

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"The mission of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is to increase the amount and effectiveness of capital and capacity development assistance for small business entrepreneurs in developing countries. With the right support, we believe that small and growing businesses (SGBs) can generate jobs and address major social and environmental problems. Ultimately, our goal is to significantly reduce poverty in the developing world."

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