"Over the last decade, the maturation of the business landscape has opened new opportunities in Africa, especially the entry of accelerator and incubator programs (AIPs). These AIPs are consistently adapting their models to respond to the ever-changing needs of the ventures they support, and there is a need for existing literature to keep abreast with this dynamism in order to strengthen programming and the ecosystems in which AIPs operate. This knowledge brief explores characteristics of AIPs in East Africa, focusing specifically on Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. It highlights existing practices and perceptions among AIPs to better establish a common understanding of the current AIP landscape, best practices, and key challenges."
"The question of if and how business support programmes – particularly accelerators and incubators – can play a role in entrepreneurial growth in South Africa is at top of mind for donors and government alike. And while there is some evidence that these programmes do have an impact on early-stage businesses, there is less clarity on how they can best serve the needs of often-overlooked women entrepreneurs. This brief provides a regional review of the intersection of gender and acceleration in South Africa, drawing on GALI’s global findings while highlighting primary analysis of entrepreneur data collected by Catalyst for Growth (C4G), a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) platform for programme monitoring, analytics, and reporting in South Africa."
"The Adaptation SME Accelerator Program (ASAP) aims to enhance the availability and uptake of climate adaptation solutions by identifying, engaging and empowering SMEs providing such solutions in developing countries."
"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."
"This guide is intended for entrepreneurs and investors new to the process of negotiating term sheets, one of the first steps to close successful transactions. It is not intended to provide legal advice; instead it is meant to show examples of some common provisions that are not always easy to understand."
"Our ANDE South Africa Impact Management Knowledge Brief provides a summary and resources from the 'Impact Management for the South African social and creative enterprises sectors' project, in partnership with Social Value UK and supported by the British Council's DICE Fund. The project aimed to further understand the Impact Measurement and Management (IMM) landscape in South Africa, with a focus on social and creative enterprises. In the efforts to drive inclusivity and development, the project supported entrepreneurial support organisations that wanted to learn how to better measure and manage their impact and, in turn, support their entrepreneurs when using data to improve their decisions and performance, regardless of their level of exposure to IMM practices."
"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."
"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."
"This report by the Tony Elumelu Foundation focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing young agricultural entrepreneurs. It contains a comprehensive analysis of Africa's entrepreneurial ecosystem and discusses challenges and opportunities that African start-ups face along the agricultural value chain."