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.
"Producer organizations (POs) provide benefits to smallholders by alleviating market access challenges. However, whether all farmers benefit from a PO is still a question. Limited evidence is available on whether POs are inclusive of poor farmers. Even if the poor join, do they participate in decision‐making? We conducted interviews with 595 smallholder dairy farmers in Kenya. We distinguish three groups; members of a bargaining PO, members of a processing PO and non‐members. We show that membership is related to the structural characteristics of the organization: processing POs favor membership of farmers that are wealthier, more educated and more innovative. As to participation in the decision‐making process: older, male and specialized farmers have a higher chance of being involved than poor farmers. Factors distinguishing farmer participation in decision‐making between bargaining and processing POs are highlighted. We find that a bargaining PO is more inclusive of all groups of farmers, while women and poor farmers are excluded from decision‐making in a processing PO. Our findings contribute to policymaking on inclusive development."
"The study was set in rural markets in Kenya with the objective of testing how the GET Ahead programme affects the profitability, growth and survival of female-owned businesses, and to evaluate whether any gains in profitability come at the expense of other business owners. A year-and-a-half after the training had taken place, a mentoring intervention was randomly assigned among trained women to test whether additional group-based and in-person support strengthens the impacts of training on intended outcomes."
"The purpose of the information presented in this report is to inventory different organizations in Kenya that could help build local capacity and catalyze and accelerate SME development and growth. The report includes a contextual overview of Kenya, which helps to shed light on some of the challenges and opportunities for SME development and poverty alleviation. This information puts into perspective some of the key sectors that have been the focus of enterprise development activities. The report also includes an overview of key donor programs, as they can often stimulate SME-related activities and also provide a sense of where large interventions in the SME landscape are occurring."
"A study from Zeppelin University and Siemens Stiftung provides for the first time data that evaluates the ability of social enterprises to satisfy the basic needs of poor populations. Focusing on Colombia, Mexico, Kenya and South Africa, the dynamics in the public, private, and third sectors were examined, and to what extent these influence the activities of social enterprises. The study includes concrete recommendations on how to increase the contribution of social enterprises to poverty alleviation."
"This paper attempts to assess the impacts of a management training program on the business performance of small enterprises in a metalworking cluster in Nairobi, Kenya. Based on the observed differences in management between successful and less successful enterprises, we designed a management training program featuring the basics of KAIZEN, an inexpensive, commonsense approach to management emphasizing the reduction of wasted work and materials, for the less successful enterprises.
This paper finds that business owners operating smaller enterprises tended to be self-selected into training participation. The training effects combined with the self-selection effect, which we estimate with panel data, were statistically significant and particularly stronger on profits than on sales revenues, while other training programs that did not teach KAIZEN had positive effects on sales revenues, not profits. As a result, the participants caught up with and overtook the non-participants in terms of average sales revenues and average profits, respectively."
"This report outlines the key characteristics, influencing environment and needs of women-owned businesses in order to support investors and technical assistance providers in Africa to adopt a gender lens within their current practices and policies. The paper summarizes the findings from primary field research conducted in three areas: technical and business support, financial support, and gender specific considerations. The report also includes considerations for investors and technical assistance or business service providers when adopting a gender lens with their current practices and policies within the three areas. "
"This document presents ENERGIA’s four-year journey to create and upscale womencentric energy enterprises that sell safe, reliable and affordable energy solutions to low-income consumers in underserved areas. ENERGIA works with partner organizations in seven countries in an effort to develop and test new, disruptive business models and approaches that promote women as energy entrepreneurs. This document is a self-reflection, undertaken collectively by the WEE programme coordinator, the partner organizations and the ENERGIA International Secretariat. As a learning document, it seeks to analyse the various strategies with which we have worked in different contexts. It draws out common features of the most promising ones, as well as lessons from efforts that did not go so well, or even failed completely. Since documentation on women’s energy entrepreneurship is only beginning to emerge, wherever relevant, we have crosschecked our lessons with those from women’s entrepreneurship in other sectors."
"This research is unique as it is one of few studies that looks at women entrepreneurs from a regional perspective, to assess similarities and differences in how women entrepreneurs are coping with financial and non-financial barriers to growth in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda respectively. The study also establishes how these women currently fund their businesses, explores attitudes to different types of financing to expand their enterprises and reveals the funding gaps and capacity building needs."
"In this guide, we endorse management and governance systems as a key ingredient for a successful and stable business. We encourage SMEs to establish appropriate systems and to avoid the common 'one-man show' approach among them. We show them the relative ease of achieving such a positive development just by making a few changes in how they manage their businesses. To help them, we present best practices and benefits of proper management and governance systems, along with business case studies about their fellow SMEs that have successfully applied them."