Theme
Capacity Development

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"This report presents the Rankings and Recognitions derived from the World Benchmark Study 2019-2020, sponsored by Qatar Development Bank. While traditional incubation and acceleration powerhouses in North America and Western Europe continue to be strongly represented, programs from around the world have captured top spots, underscoring the global importance of university, public, private and corporate incubators and accelerators for successfully nurturing the visionaries and changemakers of tomorrow."

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"Inspired by an efficacy debate, this paper aims to understand to what extent do entrepreneurs value business accelerators and what contributes to this value. And as entrepreneurs consider accelerators to be a viable alternative to traditional business incubators, the research seeks to compare these startup support options."

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"Timbali Technology Incubator in the Mpumalanga region of South Africa seeks to help rural farmers whose livelihood has been undercut by high-volume large farms. Supported by government financing and fee-based services, Timbali is largely based on a franchise model. Its clients supply cut flowers to Amablom,Timbali’s commercial arm. Individual clients can begin generating revenue almost immediately. Timbali helps clients both onsite and off, training them in business methods and helping them find loans to get started. It is helping clients expand intoother product lines and value-added food processing, and plans to export its model into other parts of South Africa."

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"The Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), a traditional incubator run by the government, has made a significant impact by locating value-added processing systems from its Kampala headquarters into farmer communities. While the model lacks the necessary innovation development, UIRI offers SME clients in these regions the opportunity to expand their personal income and their existing businesses through local market development and value-added food processing. At the same time, however, UIRI’straditional incubator has been challenged to graduate incubatees who do not have the financial resources to stand on their own."

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"Prior research hints at the accelerator as a new generation incubation model. Accelerators have become an umbrella term for any program providing a service structure of mentorship, networking opportunities and access to funding. The challenge, however, is to understand their distinctive characteristics and profiles geared towards reinforcing business start-ups. How do accelerators operate as a new generation incubation model and how do they differ from existing incubation mechanisms? This inductive study investigates 13 accelerators across Europe and adopts a design lens to identify the accelerator model's key design parameters. We identify five key building blocks and distinguish between three different types of accelerators, taking the primary design theme of the accelerator into account. We contribute to the incubation literature by extending recognition of the heterogeneity of incubation models, by delineating the accelerator as a distinctive incubation model and by introducing the design lens as a useful theoretical framework to investigate incubation models and their evolution."

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"Over the past six years, a new method of incubating technology startups has emerged, driven by investors and successful tech entrepreneurs: the accelerator programme. Despite growing interest in the model from the investment, business education and policy communities, there have been few attempts at formal analysis. This report is a first step towards a more informed critique of the phenomenon, as part of a broader effort among both public and private sectors to understand how to better support the growth of innovative startups."

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"This report is primarily written for business and its role in supporting education and the SDGs. It is also meant to support the education community and other organisations with a stake in advancing education and training for sustainable development. The report shares a selection of good practice examples and insights that are intended to help raise awareness, spark new ideas and inspire more opportunities for collaboration."

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"A randomized control trial with 432 small and medium enterprises in Mexico shows positive impact of access to 1 year of management consulting services on total factor productivity and return on assets. Owners also had an increase in "entrepreneurial spirit" (an index that measures entrepreneurial confidence and goal setting). Using Mexican social security data, we find a persistent large increase (about 50 percent) in the number of employees and total wage bill even 5 years after the program. We document large heterogeneity in the specific managerial practices that improved as a result of the consulting, with the most prominent being marketing, financial accounting, and long-term business planning."

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"We investigate the relationship between employees' and managers' training and firm performance using a policy intervention that randomly assigned training support to small- and medium-sized enterprises in the UK accommodation and food service sector. Because the number of firms self-selected into training exceeded available places, training was randomly assigned to some firms, resulting in a randomized natural experimental design that allowed us to identify the average effect of training on treated firms. Our empirical results suggest that employees' training had a stronger positive impact on firms' labour productivity and profitability than that of managers'."

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"This paper uses a randomized controlled experiment in Costa Rica to determine whether IB use by Banco Nacional de Desarrollo's micro and small enterprise (MSE) clients has an impact on their performance, measured in terms of productivity, increase in sales, and cost reduction. Results from the intervention group surveys indicate that Internet use is limited in MSEs' daily operations because of limited access to computers and the relatively low penetration of Internet services in employees' activities. In addition, firms have limited knowledge about the uses of the Internet as a business development tool. These results contrast with the reported benefits obtained by a small group of firms. Those benefits include reduced costs, higher sales, and better contact with customers."

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