"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."
"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."
"The Landscape for Impact Investing in West Africa is a state of the market analysis of the impact investing industry in the region. The report includes regional findings from 15 countries, as well as dedicated chapters covering the most active markets: Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal. Across the region, investors highlight opportunities for impact and financial return, particularly in the key sectors of energy, financial technologies, and agriculture.
The landscape study is based on thorough analysis of relevant literature, large volumes of transaction data, and extensive interviews with key industry stakeholders. Detailed country chapters include information on the supply of capital by investor type, investment opportunities by sector, and regulatory considerations and hurdles for impact investors and investees."
"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 study estimates that social enterprises could create more than 1 million additional jobs by 2030 in the 12 focus countries that have been analyzed. Overall, this would result in a total of approximately 5.5 million direct jobs in social enterprises in 2030. These jobs would be created in existing markets, but also for new markets, thus creating new value chains and many more indirect income opportunities in these countries. The implementation of the interventions recommended in this report are thus an important action to prepare the African continent on future demographic dynamics. In addition, they can also be seen as an important contribution to preserve jobs that have been put at risk because of COVID-19."
"In cooperation with various financing partners, Make-IT publishes guides to investment in Kenya and Nigeria explaining funding instruments, investor types and the different stages of raising capital. In addition, they give a brief overview of the specific investment scene. The guides also contain of a detailed investor directory giving detailed information on more than 60 investors and financing partners."
"This whitepaper presents Endeavor's "house view" on proactive ideas and measures that the government, policymakers and business community, who understand the importance of protecting the essential high-growth innovation sector of the Nigerian economy, should consider as we work collectively to minimise the impact of the coronavirus and protect Nigeria's economic future."
"The extensive and ever-increasing penetration of mobile phones in developing and emerging markets presents a significant opportunity to women entrepreneurs who want to develop their micro businesses into flourishing small and growing enterprises. The objective of this study was to identify the most useful mobile value added services (VAS) solutions which would enable women entrepreneurs to advance their businesses in selected geographies. As a result of this identification exercise, this report serves as a valuable reminder that investment in mobile VAS presents promising and beneficial outcomes for commercial stakeholders, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), governments and women entrepreneurs alike."
"Impact investment is a strategy to align the power of private markets to the social and environmental development needs of society at-large. From 2012-13, the Rockefeller Foundation, through its Impact Investing initiative, funded research in five Sub-Saharan African countries with the aim of understanding the barriers for impact investing across Africa, as well as recommending national policies to encourage the growth of the industry. This report synthesises the findings of that work, presents three frameworks, and examines the potential of impact investing as a 'strategy of choice' for African policymakers."
"This knowledge brief aims to provide an overview of the IMM landscape in Nigeria and draws lessons from organizations who have IMM experience in West Africa. The knowledge brief focuses on providing an understanding of how impact is defined by some organizations, what elements they take into consideration when designing an IMM strategy, why they measure impact, the upsides and downsides of standardization, challenges they face in measuring and managing impact, and how they utilize data to drive impact. The knowledge brief also shares the IMM journey of three organizations: Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) Foundation, LEAP Africa and MBC Africa, and provides recommendations on implementing IMM."