"Differences in management quality are an important contributor to productivity differences across countries. A key question is how to best improve poor management in developing countries. This paper tests two different approaches to improving management in Colombian auto parts firms. The first uses intensive and expensive one-on-one consulting, while the second draws on agricultural extension approaches to provide consulting to small groups of firms at approximately one-third of the cost of the individual approach. Both approaches lead to improvements in management practices of a similar magnitude (8-10 percentage points), so that the new group-based approach dominates on a cost-benefit basis. Moreover, the paper finds some evidence that the group-based intervention led to increases in firm size over the next three years, while the impacts on firm outcomes are smaller and statistically insignificant for the individual consulting. The results point to the potential of group-based approaches as a pathway to scaling up management improvements."
"The objective of the study was to rigorously evaluate SME programs in four Latin American countries Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru to gain insights into whether SME programs work, which programs perform better than others, and why. This report should be of interest to country governments, policymakers with responsibilities for SMEs, local researchers and the private sector in the region, as well as World Bank staff and bilateral donors."
"This report aims to capture characteristics of the impact investing sector in Latin America over the past two years based on a sample of impact investors active in the region. Through institution-level and deal-level data shared by these investors, this report gives a snapshot of where and how capital is being allocated and identifies challenges that the ecosystem faces. The report focuses on the region widely while taking a deeper dive into three of the region's largest markets: Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico."
"Why is high-growth entrepreneurship scarce in developing countries? Does this scarcity reflect firm capabilities constraints? We explore these questions using as a laboratory an accelerator in Colombia that selects participants using scores from randomly assigned judges and offers them training, advice, and visibility but no cash. Exploiting exogenous differences in judges' scoring generosity, we show that alleviating constraints to firm capabilities unlocks innovative entrepreneurs' potential but does not transform subpar ideas into high-growth firms. The results demonstrate that some high-potential entrepreneurs in developing economies face firm capabilities constraints and accelerators can help identify these entrepreneurs and boost their growth."
"Through the efforts of the irene|see network, the researchers have contributed to both theoretical and empirical knowledge around social enterprise and social economic empowerment that is pluralistic in disciplines, as well as methodology. The multidisciplinary studies presented in this volume contribute to the effort to understand the diversity of social enterprise experiences at national and local levels, as well as the way third and private sector enterprises and organizations are embedded in their respective societies. This volume aims to presents some of the findings, results, and recommendations of the researchn conducted through the irene|see network."
"Grants for agricultural innovation are common but grant funds specifically targeted to smallholder farmers remain relatively rare. Nevertheless, they are receiving increasing recognition as a promising venue for agricultural innovation. They stimulate smallholders to experiment with improved practices, to become proactive and to engage with research and extension providers. The systematic review covered three modalities of disbursing these grants to smallholder farmers and their organisations: vouchers, competitive grants and farmer-led innovation support funds. The synthesis covers, among others, innovation grant systems in Malawi (Agricultural Input Subsidy Programme), Latin America (several Challenge Funds for Farmer Groups), Uganda (National Agricultural Advisory Services ), and Colombia (Local Agricultural Research Committees - CIAL)."