"Salaried wage jobs are the distinguishing feature separating the middle class from the poor in
developing countries (Banerjee and Duflo 2008). Where do salaried wage jobs come from, and
how can small and medium-sized firms create more of them? We review the evidence on
constraints to growth of small and medium enterprises. We first examine evidence on
constraints to capital and skilled labor, firms’ primary inputs to production. We then consider
factors that affect the efficiency with which firms are able to transform inputs into outputs,
focusing on managerial talent. Finally, we look at the importance of linking firms to markets
and the role of demand in generating firm growth. We conclude with a proposal for a research
agenda built around important but unanswered questions. "
"Over the past several decades, U.S. venture capital (VC) firms have focused their attention and investment dollars in specialized regional hubs where high-tech entrepreneurship tends to flourish. As a result, "main street" businesses such as retail stores, consumer services, and other non-tech businesses typically find it incredibly difficult to secure equity funding. Yet, in recent years, crowdfunding (CF) has become a viable new source of funding for entrepreneurs. Using a longitudinal assessment of VC and CF at the national, regional, and sector levels in the USA, we demonstrate how the emergence of CF has unlocked new growth opportunities for main street entrepreneurs, particularly those located in underserviced funding regions. Likewise, we expose how CF augments national and regional funding patterns by re-allocating funding to industries that VCs typically do not fund. Lastly, we discuss the practical and theoretical implications of what appears to be a shifting venture funding regime, and shed light on CF's potential role in enhancing the resurgence of main street entrepreneurship across the USA."
"Job creation is one of the most important aspects of entrepreneurship, but we know relatively little about the hiring patterns and decisions of start-ups. This study investigates the determinants of taking the leap from a nonemployer to employer firm among start-ups. Using data from the largest random experiment providing entrepreneurship training in the United States ever conducted, we do not find evidence that entrepreneurship training increases the likelihood that nonemployers hire their first employee."
"There is growing consensus that a key difference between the U.S. and developing economies is that the latter exhibit slower employment growth over the life cycle of the average business. At the same time, the rapid post entry growth in the U.S. is driven by an "up or out dynamic". We track manufacturing establishments in Colombia vs. the US and find that slower average life cycle growth in Colombia is driven by a less enthusiastic contribution of extraordinary growth plants and less dynamic selection of young underperforming plants. As a consequence, the size distribution of nonmicro plants exhibits more concentration in small-old plants in Colombia, both in unweighted and employment-weighted bases. These findings point to a shortage of high-growth entrepreneurship and a relatively high likelihood of long-run survival for small, likely unproductive plants, as two key elements at the heart of the development problem. An extreme concentration of resources in micro plants is the other distinguishing feature of the Colombian manufacturing sector vis a vis the US."
"Using data on the entire population of businesses registered in the states of California and Massachusetts between 1995 and 2011, we decompose the well-established gender gap in entrepreneurship. We show that female- led ventures are 63 percentage points less likely than male-led ventures to obtain external funding (i.e., venture capital). The most significant portion of the gap (65 percent) stems from gender differences in initial startup orientation, with women being less likely to found ventures that signal growth potential to external investors. However, the residual gap is as much as 35 percent and much of this disparity likely reflects investors' gendered preferences. Consistent with theories of statistical discrimination, the residual gap diminishes significantly when stronger signals of growth are available to investors for comparable female- and male-led ventures or when focal investors appear to be more sophisticated. Finally, conditional on the reception of external funds (i.e., venture capital), women and men are equally likely to achieve exit outcomes, through IPOs or acquisitions."
"A social impact bond (SIB) is a new approach for scaling social programs. Currently being piloted in the United Kingdom and generating interest globally, a SIB is a multistakeholder partnership in which philanthropic funders and impact investors—not governments—take on the financial risk of expanding preventive programs that help poor and vulnerable people. Nonprofits deliver the program to more people who need it; the government pays only if the program succeeds. Because the concept of a SIB is so new (the first and only SIB is the UK pilot mentioned above), information about how—and how well—this approach could work is very limited. In this report, the most thoroughly researched study of SIBs to date, we explain how SIBs are structured, assess their potential in two specific program areas (homelessness and criminal justice), describe the various stakeholder groups involved, and present the results of a pro forma analysis of a hypothetical SIB."
"To identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of business incubator models and their potential use in worldwide. Methodology: We studied two international cases: (a) United States, (b) United Kingdom. Findings: The results highlight the similarities and differences between the countries. It adds knowledge for both academics and practitioners who are interested in business incubation. Value: This paper is the first to utilize the SWOT technique to analyze the business incubation field and provides recommendations to implement successful adoption of the incubator's strengths. The potential of Business Incubators who act as models in worldwide and their contribution to the economy, the active role they play in the local, regional and national economic development are discussed. Implications: Adaptation of a Business Incubator Model leads to (1) the support of diverse economies, (2) the commercialization of new technologies, (3) job creation and (4) increases in wealth, given that weaknesses can be overcome."
"Theories of market failures and targeting motivate the promotion of entrepreneurship training programs and generate testable predictions regarding heterogeneous treatment effects from such programs. Using a large randomized evaluation in the United States, we find no strong or lasting effects on those most likely to face credit or human capital constraints, or labor market discrimination. We do find a short-run effect on business ownership for those unemployed at baseline, but this dissipates at longer horizons. Treatment effects on the full sample are also short-term and limited in scope: we do not find effects on business sales, earnings, or employees."