"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."
"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."
"Training programmes are popular development interventions that aim to address problems of youth unemployment. This paper estimates the impact of a youth entrepreneurship programme in Tanzania on financial literacy and employment knowledge. Using primary data within a successive cohort design in a community-led programme, the authors employed propensity score matching and fixed-effect estimation methods to assess changes in knowledge, skills and attitudes of marginalised youth. They found strong positive effects of the programme on key intermediate employment outcomes: savings ability, employment confidence and personal finance. The positive impact of this programme supports youth entrepreneurship training programme and non-experimental evaluation methods."
"Current women's economic empowerment interventions are not enough to overcome all obstacles facing female entrepreneurs. The emerging evidence from psychology and experimental economics on agency; mindset, and leadership show that for successful interventions to be transformative, they need to move beyond basic access to financial and human capital and also tackle central psychological, social, and skills constraints on women entrepreneurs.
Emerging evidence from recent studies on different capital-based, training-based, and gender based interventions, using randomized control trials, present promising interventions to support women entrepreneurs. An experimental study in Uganda found that Providing financial capital (i.e., subsidized microcredit coupled with Start and Improve Your Business training module), while effective for men, does not have any impact on female owned enterprise profits. Similarly, a randomized control trial on Tanzania's Business Women Connect program found that while the mobile savings program substantially increased savings, it did not have an effect on female-owned enterprise profits or sales even when combined with hard business skills, such as business management, basic profitability concepts, and record-keeping. Both studies, however, show that loans paired with business trainings as well as improved access to mobile savings accounts paired with business trainings had a positive impact on male-owned microenterprise profits or sales. Thus, a successful women's economic empowerment intervention needs more than only access to financial capital and hard business skills."
"This legal guide provides an overview of legal issues and requirements for impact investors and social entrepreneurs who are entering into business in East Africa. Without a better understanding of the regional context, the legal process can often be poorly suited for specific markets and take months and incur substantial expenses for investors and businesses. Understanding the local legal environment streamlines the due diligence process and improves the ongoing viability, sustainability, and growth potential of investments."
"Rabobank Foundation, AgriProFocus and ICCO Cooperation offer support to agri-food SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa in overcoming some of the most important hurdles to growth and development...The study increases our understanding of the challenges faced by agri-food SMEs as well as those faced by investors and capital funds operating in Sub-Saharan Africa. We trust that this report challenges regulators, donors and potential investors to come up with novel approaches for making critical capital available to agri-food SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa."
"Mercy Corps’ AgriFin Accelerate Program (AFA) is a $25 million, six-year initiative funded by the MasterCard Foundation to support private sector actors to develop, prototype and scale digitally-enabled services for smallholder farmers across Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. AFA is intended to help partner banks, mobile network operators, agribusinesses and technology companies scale high impact services for at least one million farmers, driving 50% increases in smallholder income and productivity, while working to support all market actors to expand services to farmers through shared learning...In June 2018, AFA contracted the Dalberg Group to assess learnings across these engagements and conduct supplementary research on these youth pathways. The goal of this exercise was to support the development of AFA partners and to inform wider ecosystem growth through public learning."
"To gain understanding of the state of entrepreneurship in Africa, Omidyar Network launched the Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa Initiative in 2012. To execute this multiphase research project, we partnered with Monitor Deloitte South Africa (formerly Monitor Group). We set out together to identify the challenges facing African entrepreneurs and to pinpoint the most trenchant barriers inhibiting high-impact entrepreneurship...This article presents the findings of the entrepreneur survey, the outcomes of the workshops in Accra, and the conclusions of the third and final phase of the initiative: the recommended actions needed to accelerate entrepreneurship on the continent. Self finance and family loans are the main sources of funding."