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Capacity Development

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"The agribusiness incubator in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India is the result of a partnership between the Indian government and an international crop-research organization that is a member of CGIAR, a global partnership of organizations seeking a food-secure future. As the incubator has developed, it has become relatively independent of its founders, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Indian government’s Department of Science and Technology. From supporting small businesses that can bring new agricultural research and technology to market, ABI has become an incubator of incubators, and is now helping African incubators follow its model."

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"The purpose of this paper is to address the role of accelerators as authentic learning-based entrepreneurial training programs. Accelerators facilitate the development and assessment of entrepreneurial competencies in nascent entrepreneurs through the process of creating a start-up venture."

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"This guide provides useful insights and recommendations for any entrepreneur support provider committed to connecting entrepreneurs to knowledge, networks, expertise, and capital along all stages of venture development. Accelerators, incubators, mentorship networks, and other intermediaries supporting entrepreneurs from idea to scale will find useful insights and recommendations to make their programs more accessible to women entrepreneurs."

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"The first part of this guide, “Barriers to Female Entrepreneurship in Latin America”, provides a foundation by outlining the challenges that women entrepreneurs face in Latin America and how their attitudes, motivations, and entrepreneurial setup and outcomes differ from men.

The second part of the guide, “Gender Lens Acceleration”, explores the differences between women and men entrepreneurs in acceleration, and the challenges women entrepreneurs face in accessing acceleration support. A gender lens is then applied to the acceleration process, covering program set-up and design, promotion, scouting and application, selection of participants, and program delivery. Each phase of the process is broken down into an overview of how gender manifests, and recommendations and best practices that accelerators can apply to make their programs’ processes gender inclusive. The guide ends with gender lens measurement in acceleration."

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"Globally, women's involvement in clean cooking value chains has been minimal. This is partly because of the multiple challenges faced by women that impede their capacity to effectively engage in the energy sector. To better discern gender-specific differences in involvement in the energy sector, the authors conducted a randomized trial in Kenya to compare sales performance of newly trained male and female improved cookstove entrepreneurs and to test the effects of an agency-based empowerment training on business activity. A total of 257 entrepreneurs completed either a 4-day entrepreneurial training (control) or a 4-day empowerment training (intervention) and were followed for nearly 8 months documenting business activity and sales. The empowerment training led to more than doubling of sales for both genders. In addition, participants in the intervention group were significantly more likely to demonstrate business commitment over time and nearly three times more likely to be higher sellers (relative risk = 2.7, 95% CI [1.4, 5.4]), controlling for gender and rural/urban locale. Women outsold men by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 and were more likely to continue to pursue leads despite limited sales. Nonactive participants (those selling 1 improved cookstove or less) were a larger percentage of the control group (72%) than the intervention group (50%), and more men were nonactive participants (65% of men) compared with women (56% of women).These data show that women can serve as active improved cookstove entrepreneurs in both urban and rural settings and that targeted agency-based empowerment training can significantly increase women's capacity to engage effectively within the improved cookstove value chain."

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"The third major report from GALI examines the ability of accelerators to drive funds into participating ventures and explores which programmatic choices correspond with superior outcomes. The report shows that in a sample of 52 accelerators, the average flow of incremental funds into participating ventures is significantly greater than the average that flows into rejected ventures. In the majority (but not all) of these programs, this difference exceeds the reported cost of running the program. These superior funding outcomes are accomplished in different ways; many programs are most effective at stimulating revenue growth, while others are best at increasing the supply of outside equity investment. Given these differences in program efficacy and different paths to funding success, we then examine how specific program choices correspond with the ability to drive funds into participating ventures."

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"There is significant evidence that women entrepreneurs face unique challenges in starting and growing businesses, particularly in emerging markets. Acceleration programs represent one potential model for overcoming these challenges through support services and investment. Using GALI data on more than 14,000 ventures across 160 countries, this knowledge brief examines trends in the acceleration of women-led ventures."

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"The number of accelerators has increased considerably in various emerging market countries in the past decade, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. This includes Nigeria, the largest economy in West Africa. One important question then is: are these incubators and accelerators effective in providing support to enterprises in emerging markets, especially youth-led enterprises? This knowledge brief seeks to capture information from our study of incubators and accelerators in Nigeria in relation to their effectiveness in supporting youth-led enterprises."

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"Increasing attention - both in the scholarly literature and in the world of policy makers and practitioners - is being paid to the challenges facing female entrepreneurs. What was once assumed to be a merit-based system for encouraging and rewarding entrepreneurs is now understood to operate in gendered ways that in many cases disadvantage female founders. These effects occur across the entire pipeline, beginning with the dearth of women seeking to start high growth companies, to the lack of funding opportunities and mentorship. There are substantial differences in the number of startups led by women, their levels of relevant experience and the amount of funding - both debt and equity - they seek and receive. Some have argued that women tend to found lower potential startups. Yet, even controlling for quality, we see many implicit biases in how female founders are treated. One important approach to redressing inequalities might be through the use of accelerators. Entrepreneurship accelerators are proliferating in both developed and developing economies as different cities, regions and sectors seek to increase economic growth and employment. Accelerators are designed to give a boost to startups by providing in a concentrated way the mentorship, networks, training and financing required to be successful. The presence of accelerators could have the potential to solve some of the challenges female entrepreneurs face, however preliminary evidence suggests that they, for the most part, seem to be perpetuating the gendered dynamics that exist in the entrepreneurial system. On the other hand, there is no systematic research on how accelerators do or might address the gendered dynamics of entrepreneurship. Because accelerators are seen as such an important policy tool for increasing entrepreneurial success, it is imperative that we develop and analyze systematic data on accelerators and their effects, particularly on female founders. In this study, we will draw on what is known to date on female entrepreneurs and more broadly on the research on gender in organizations and the economy to understand the dynamics of acceleration in entrepreneurship. Using a longitudinal database of over 3,000 ventures in nearly 50 accelerators, we trace the effects of selection into the accelerator and the acceleration process on outcomes for women-only, women-led, and male-only venture teams. We couple survey data with interviews of accelerators to understand whether and when acceleration can be a tool for mitigating gender bias in female entrepreneurship."

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"The Global Accelerator Learning Initiative collects information from entrepreneurs when they apply to accelerator programs. This data summary includes information from 843 ventures operating in Brazil, contributed by 35 accelerator programs."

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