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Capacity Development

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"Business incubation is a growing area attracting substantial interest both from governments and the private sector. Unfortunately, it is difficult for "would-be-entrepreneurs" to operate an informed choice given the large variety in nomenclature, programmes, services offered, underpinning business models, and the frequent lack of availability of performance data, or a common set of metrics that could be used to compute (and provide) widely acceptable KPI useful to facilitate the choice. Additionally, the role of the Information Management System has been under investigated. The present paper presents the research being conducted for the design and implementation of a modular information management system expressly designed to adapt to the needs of business incubators irrespective of the business model and approach adopted. The design is informed of the most relevant different business models presently adopted, the set of services and programmes offered, and the guidelines proposed by the European Union and the CSI federation. Best practices adopted in the UK and Europe have also been considered along with Cabral-Dahab principles. Finally, we identified a set of metrics that can be easily collected and used to generate valuable KPI able to support both the business incubation management as well as the applicants."

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"Over the past 15 years, accelerators emerged as a popular and distinct new form of intermediary organization, playing a key role in supporting entrepreneurial and innovation activities. To date, despite significant growth in accelerators research, there is still little understanding of how different forms of accelerators operate, and what outcomes they produce across different contexts. This paper reviews the existing scholarly research on accelerators using the Context-Intervention-Mechanism-Outcome framework and is based on the analysis of 98 research papers on accelerators published in the last 15 years. The analysis identifies four mechanisms which explain how accelerators operate and the role they play in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation: the validation of ideas and products; the provision of product development and models learning; the provision of support to increase startups' market access and growth; and the provision of support for innovation. The paper identifies the methodological and theoretical gaps in current research and provides avenues to support future research and industry practice."

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"Accelerators are a type of incubation program that are concerned with attracting, supporting and developing new ventures. Although there is significant enthusiasm for accelerators and their potential benefits, there is limited research on how their core capabilities can vary. In response, we develop a typology of accelerator capabilities taking into account their strategy, governance, business model, operations and finance. To develop the typology we carried out a benchmark analysis of six clean energy commercialization accelerators (CECAs). From this we verified and illustrated the dimensions of our typology and identified four types of accelerator capabilities: R&D focused, technology enabled, market enabled, and network enabled. We then use a seventh accelerator case to illustrate how our typology can be used to describe, understand and prescribe appropriate capabilities for a CECA. We conclude our paper by explaining the research and practice implications of our research."

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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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