Theme
Poverty/Inequality

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"Root Capital is excited to release our first multi-site impact study - Improving Rural Livelihoods: A Study of Four Guatemalan Coffee Cooperatives. As a complement to our ongoing social and environmental due diligence, this comprehensive study provides a more detailed picture of the impacts that our client enterprises have on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and the environment. We also sought to answer the question: Does Root Capital's financing and training enable our clients to increase their impacts, and if so, how and to what extent?"

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"The publication discusses the market potentials, constraints, and necessary policy instruments for an enabling environment for inclusive business. Included in the report are: a profile of inclusive business initiatives, the market size of the base of the pyramid, and an analysis of each inclusive business ecosystem in every Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economy. There is also a recommended a framework to guide future work on inclusive business under the APEC regional economic cooperation agenda."

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"The world's poorest people lack capital and skills and toil for others in occupations that others shun. Using a large-scale and long-term randomized control trial in Bangladesh this paper demonstrates that sizable transfers of assets and skills enable the poorest women to shift out of agricultural labor and into running small businesses. This shift, which persists and strengthens after assistance is withdrawn, leads to a 38% increase in earnings. Inculcating basic entrepreneurship, where severely disadvantaged women take on occupations which were the preserve of non-poor women, is shown to be a powerful means of transforming the economic lives of the poor."

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"This article examines the performance of a poverty alleviation policy in Thailand known as the Small and Micro Community Enterprises (SMCEs) programme. It investigates provincial determinants affecting the establishments of the SMCEs and assesses the effects of the programme on household income and out-migration by using panel data analysis and propensity score matching model. The research findings indicated that such enterprises have spread widely. Average household expenditure, the rate of poverty, and agricultural output were significant predictors of SMCE establishments. However, the research did not find any concrete evidence to support the claim that this policy helped reduce poverty or out-migration."

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"In this report we study the impacts of giving cash grants of approximately $150 and basic business skills training to the very poorest and most excluded women in a war-affected region, northern Uganda. The program was designed and implemented by an Italian non-governmental organization (NGO), AVSI Uganda, with decades of experience serving this population."

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"Working on myriad cases of inclusive business projects over the past five years, we have gathered deep insights to be able to create and test a robust tool that works in the context of Bangladesh. The goal of the publication is to inspire social ventures adequately serve the bottom of the pyramid by leveraging this robust framework, which allows for a detailed list of factors ensuring viability, sustainability and scalability.

Focus has invariably shifted towards building sustainable models where we work not in isolation, but hand in hand with entrepreneurs, investors and organizations to explore new markets, discover more customers, and, in the process, transform lives of the underserved 2.7 billion. The solution lies in bringing them as an integral part of the market economy, create employment and convert them into consumers; not keep them in fringes of the informal economy."

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"A large share of the poor in developing countries run small enterprises, often earning low incomes. This paper explores whether the poor performance of businesses can be explained by a lack of basic business skills. We randomized the offer of a free, 48-hour business skills course to female entrepreneurs in rural Mexico. We find that those assigned to treatment earn higher profits, have larger revenues, serve a greater number of clients, are more likely to use formal accounting techniques, and more likely to be registered with the government. Indirect treatment effects on those entrepreneurs randomized out of the program, yet living in treatment villages, are economically meaningful, yet imprecisely measured. We present a simple model of experience and learning that helps interpret our results, and consistent with the theoretical predictions, we find that "low-quality" entrepreneurs are the most likely to quit their business post-treatment, and that the positive impacts of the treatment are increasing in entrepreneurial quality."

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"Market Systems Development (MSD) is an approach to poverty reduction that aims to create long-lasting and large-scale change by stimulating more inclusive growth. To achieve a systemic change vision, market systems programmes often partner with the private sector to introduce new or improved business practices, products and services. Understanding the mechanics of these business models is at the heart of programme success. This paper presents a framework for assessing the efficacy of business models. To help future practice be grounded in reality, we have included detailed business model cases studies from market systems programmes in Afghanistan, Zambia, Kosovo and Nigeria. The paper ends by extracting five key lessons for implementers to improve the way in which they engage with the private sector in building 'win-win' models."

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"Inadequate sanitation negatively affects the lives of billions of people in the base of the pyramid (BoP) in the developing world, and has a particularly substantial impact on the well-being of millions of young children. Given the magnitude of the challenge and the limitations of existing approaches, enterprise-led approaches to providing public goods are generating growing interest. Emphasizing convergent innovation, enterprises targeting the BoP are presented as potentially sustainable and scalable interventions that generate positive poverty-alleviation effects. Yet our understanding of who is affected, and how, remains limited. To begin to address this gap, we apply a multidimensional framework to an urban-based, sanitation-oriented BoP enterprise, focusing on its poverty-alleviation effects on young children. Our analysis indicates that the enterprise's effects include changes in capability, economic, and relationship well-being and that these changes can be positive or negative. We also find that the impact varies depending on the role of the stakeholder in the business model and the age of the child. Our results contribute to a better understanding of how to assess the effectiveness of a sanitation intervention and how to evaluate the poverty-alleviation implications of an enterprise-led approach."

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"This report, the second in a collaboration between the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), outlines the latest trends in blended finance approaches in LDCs. It updates the previous 2018 report with the latest available data from the OECD, which now cover the six years from 2012 through 2017. It also features seven guest pieces by practitioners and experts working in the blended finance space, which showcase the opportunities and challenges of applying blended finance solutions in LDCs. The report concludes with a review of the next steps for the blended finance and development communities, and flags some emerging issues revealed in the report."

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