Theme
Capacity Development

This content is also available in: Español, Português

"The mobilization of social resources for addressing urgent societal needs under market assumptions is a major component of the strategy for development. Social enterprises as an alternative source of public goods and services attract the attention of academics, practitioners and policy-makers to the efficient use of entrepreneurial resources. Initially this study aims to provide a more systematic understanding about the factors that affect the probabilities of success of socially oriented undertakings and contributes to the literature by answering the call for more empirical research about such effects over their performance. Using a logistic regression model on data from a sample of socially oriented ventures in 148 countries participating in the 2013-2016 Entrepreneurship Database Program at Emory University, the positive effects of such factors were first validated. At a later stage, this quest attempted to find differential behaviors of these effects by comparing operations in OECD and developing countries. No conclusive evidence for dissimilarities between groups was found. This result could be partially attributed to the accelerator´s selection processes favoring companies with a proven record. Important global policy implications are drawn in support of harmonized social-entrepreneurship promotion programs and the adoption of standardized impact measurement criteria. This argument raises ample academic and practical possibilities for investigating the impact of socio-economic and cultural influences on the efficacy of social enterprise´s interventions. After controlling for the efficient use of entrepreneurial resources, teams made-up of civil society organizations, businesses and government institutions can allocate their attention to those country-specific situations affecting the efficacy of development programs such as the problems to be solved, the particularity of the eco-systems and the adequacy of the organizational arrays adopted."

READ MORE

"This report outlines the key characteristics, influencing environment and needs of women-owned businesses in order to support investors and technical assistance providers in Africa to adopt a gender lens within their current practices and policies. The paper summarizes the findings from primary field research conducted in three areas: technical and business support, financial support, and gender specific considerations. The report also includes considerations for investors and technical assistance or business service providers when adopting a gender lens with their current practices and policies within the three areas. "

READ MORE

"Recent field experiments demonstrate that advice, mentorship, and feedback from randomly assigned peers improve entrepreneurial performance. These results raise a natural question: what is preventing entrepreneurs and managers from forming these peer connections themselves? We argue that entrepreneurs may be under-networked because they lack the necessary social skills- the ability to communicate effectively and interact collaboratively with new acquaintances-that allow them to match efficiently with knowledgeable peers. We use a field experiment in the context of a business training program to test if a short social skills training module improves who the participants choose to learn from within the program. We find that entrepreneurs who were exposed to the social skills training formed 50% more relationships with peers. These relationships exhibited more matching based on managerial skill and were more ethnically diverse. Finally, the training also substantially increased entrepreneurs' business performance. Our findings suggest that social skills help entrepreneurs build relationships that create value for both themselves and their peers."

READ MORE

"The aim of this study is to explore how an accelerator could succeed. We found that fundamental preconditions for success might be the access to relevant business competences and the ability to transfer it to a startup. On the other hand, the dynamics of acceleration organisation might be a restricting factor for business knowledge use and action. The success of an accelerator is a multidimensional topic. Generally, accelerators should construct great value proposition that facilitates the generation of long-term attraction for different stakeholders. However, the access to knowledge and funding can be viewed as the prerequisites of the existence of an accelerator but a prevailing startup ecosystem and service providers can also have a significant influence on new venture creation. Generally, the success of an accelerator can improve a local startup ecosystem and might have an influence on the economic development of a region."

READ MORE

"This report addresses the question: 'How do support programmes fulfil different roles for startups within startup ecosystems?' To put it another way, terms used for programmes supporting startups include: accelerators, coworking spaces, incubators, active seed investors, courses, competitions. But what is the difference?
In trying to answer this, this study interviewed over 30 practitioners, and undertook site visits to startup programmes operating in cities in high-income countries in Europe (Berlin, London, Munich, Cambridge), with the addition of Israel as a close neighbour."

READ MORE

"Identifying the determinants of entrepreneurship is an important research and policy goal, especially in emerging market economies where lack of capital and supporting infrastructure often impose stringent constraints on business growth. This paper studies the impact of a comprehensive business and financial literacy programme on firm outcomes of young entrepreneurs in an emerging post-conflict economy, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The authors conduct a randomised control trial and find that, while the training programme did not influence business survival, it significantly improved business practices, investments and loan terms for surviving businesses. Female-run businesses further exhibited some improvements in business performance and sales."

READ MORE

"Despite the popularity of business training among policy makers, the use of business training has faced increasing skepticism. This is, in part, fueled by the fact that most of the first wave of randomized experiments in developing countries could not detect statistically significant impacts of training on firms' profits or sales. This paper revisits and reassesses the evidence for whether small business training works, incorporating the results of more recent studies. A meta-analysis of these estimates suggests that training increases profits and sales on average by 5 to 10 percent. The author argues that this is in line with what is optimistic to expect given the relatively short length of most training programs, and the expected return on investment from the cost of such training. However, impacts of this magnitude are too small for most experiments to detect statistically. Emerging evidence is provided on five approaches for improving the effectiveness of traditional training by incorporating gender, kaizen methods, localization and mentoring, heuristics, and psychology. Training programs that incorporate these elements appear to deliver improvements over traditional training programs on average, although with considerable variation. Given that training delivers some benefits for firms, the challenge is then how to deliver a quality program on a cost-effective basis at a much larger scale. Three possible approaches to scaling up training are discussed: using the market, using technology, or targeting and funneling firms."

READ MORE

"Humanitarian aid is insufficient to support the unprecedented numbers of fellow human beings who are struggling as refugees, migrants, or modern-day slaves. In this Social Entrepreneurship at the Margins report, Miller Center illustrates the clear and urgent need for bottom-up, enterprise level approaches, and highlights organizations that are already addressing the needs of these groups in innovative ways. This report highlights the efforts of Refugee Investment Network (RIN) and other innovators to bridge these gaps and invites other stakeholders to collaboratively build sustainable solutions for the growing global challenges facing refugees, migrants, and human trafficking survivors."

READ MORE

"How do different sources of social influence impact the likelihood of entrepreneurship? We examine this question in the setting of an entrepreneurship class in which students were randomly assigned to receive mentorship from either an entrepreneur or a non-entrepreneur. Using a longitudinal field experiment with a pre-test/post-test design, we find that randomization to an entrepreneur mentor increases the likelihood of entrepreneurial careers, particularly for students whose parents were not entrepreneurs. Additional analysis shows the mentor influences the decision to join an early-stage venture, but not to become a founder. Performance data suggests that entrepreneurial influence is not encouraging "worse" entrepreneurship and may have helped students in joining or founding better-performing ventures. We contribute to the literature on social influence in entrepreneurship by examining the interaction between multiple sources of social influence and by using a randomized field experiment to overcome the endogenous process of tie formation."

READ MORE

"Identifying the determinants of entrepreneurship is an important research and policy goal, especially in emerging market economies where lack of capital and supporting infrastructure often imposes stringent constraints on business growth. This paper studies the impact of a comprehensive business and financial literacy program on firm outcomes of young entrepreneurs in an emerging post-conflict economy, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The authors conduct a randomized control trial and find that while the training program did not influence business survival, it significantly improved business practices, investments, and loan terms for surviving businesses. Entrepreneurs with higher ex-ante financial literacy further exhibited some improvements in business performance and sales."

READ MORE