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Capacity Development

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"Recent years have seen the emergence of a new institutional form in the entrepreneurial ecosystem: the seed accelerator. These fixed-term, cohort-based “boot camps” for start-ups offer educational and mentorship programs for start-up founders, exposing them to a wide variety of mentors, including former entrepreneurs, venture capitalists (VCs), angel investors, and corporate executives, and culminate in a public pitch event, or “demo day,” during which the graduating cohort of start-up companies pitch their businesses to a large group of potential investors. In practice, accelerator programs are a combination of previously distinct services or functions that were each individually costly for an entrepreneur to find and obtain. The accelerator approach has been widely adopted by private groups, public and government efforts, and by corporations. While proliferation of accelerators is clearly evident, with worldwide estimates of 3000+ programs in existence, research on the role and efficacy of these programs has been limited. In this article, I provide an introduction to the accelerator model and summarize recent evidence on its effects on the regional entrepreneurial environment."

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"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."

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"With growing interest in the confluence between effective entrepreneurship and genuine economic development, more and more accelerator programs are working to find, select and support promising entrepreneurs, especially those working in emerging markets. As these efforts accumulate, it is critical that we learn from them, so that future programs are better able to support promising emerging-market entrepreneurs.

This report focuses on an entrepreneur-support program run by TechnoServe in four Central American countries. In 2012, TechnoServe established the "Impulsa Tu Empresa" program to provide small and growing businesses (SGBs) in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua with the training, advice, market connections and access to capital they need to develop and implement promising business plans."

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"USAID's Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) initiative aims to catalyze private sector investment into early-stage enterprises and help entrepreneurs bridge the pioneer gap - thus unlocking the potential of thousands of promising enterprises around the world. Working in partnership with more than 40 incubators, accelerators, and seed-stage impact investors, USAID creates public-private partnerships dedicated to testing ways to help entrepreneurs overcome barriers to growth. These partnerships are expected to leverage $145 million1 in combined public and private investments over their lifetime."

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"In an effort to deepen understanding of the incubator and accelerator landscape in South Africa, ANDE hosted a series of breakfast roundtables in Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2017 and 2018. This document presents an overview of the key findings of the roundtables and provides recommendations for further research."

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"Accelerators constitute a new incubation model, which has developed into an umbrella term for any programme providing structured mentoring, networking opportunities and access to funding. The challenge is to understand the service profiles geared towards reinforcing business startups. How do accelerators assist their startup clientele and strategically position themselves?

This report is intended for programme managers, policymakers and investors with an interest in grasping the opportunities established by the newer incubation models. Its main objective is to extend our understanding of the emerging number of accelerator initiatives across Europe without conducting a comparative analysis of the regional ecosystems. This inductive study investigates a number of accelerators across Europe and explores their internal systems."

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