"Impact investments are investments intended to create positive impact alongside financial return. Over the past few years, traditional investors have been increasingly interested by the nascent impact investment market and in 2010, the Global Impact Investing Network ("GIIN"), the Rockefeller Foundation and J.P. Morgan collaborated on a piece of research titled "Impact Investments: An Emerging Asset Class", which examined the market landscape, the characteristics of investments, and the size of potential investment opportunities.
This year, the GIIN and J.P. Morgan have partnered on an expanded survey, capturing data on over 2,200 private transactions totaling over USD 4bn of investment. In complement to this investment survey, we also surveyed investor views on investment philosophy and the overall development of the sector. The 2011 survey returned data from a broader and more geographically diverse pool of respondents. The questions explore returns, risk and impact measurement practices in more depth and also gauge general market perceptions."
"This paper evaluates the impact of the Chilean Supplier Development Program, aimed at improving and stabilizing the commercial linkages between small and medium-sized suppliers and their large firm customers, during the period 2003-2008. Applying propensity score matching and difference-in-differences, we find that both groups of firms benefited from the coordination efforts. The program increased sales, employment, and the sustainability of small and medium-sized suppliers. It also increased the sales of large firms and raised their ability of becoming exporters. We also find that the timing of the effect is different for suppliers and large firms. While the effect on suppliers appeared one year after the firms enrolled in the program, the effect on large firms took two years to appear."
"The objective of the study was to rigorously evaluate SME programs in four Latin American countries Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru to gain insights into whether SME programs work, which programs perform better than others, and why. This report should be of interest to country governments, policymakers with responsibilities for SMEs, local researchers and the private sector in the region, as well as World Bank staff and bilateral donors."
"Impact Investing: A Framework for Policy Design and Analysis represents a framework for thinking about the role government policy can play in creating an enabling environment for impact investing. The report answers the question, "How can policymakers, investors, and civil society better develop and analyze impact investing policies?"
This report presents three tools in order to lay the groundwork for future research: a model for locating the role of government in impact investing markets; a set of criteria that offer a practical starting point for the design and evaluation of policy; and sixteen case studies that provide detailed insight into a range of policies around the world."
"Firm productivity is low in African countries, prompting governments to try a number of active policies to improve it. Yet despite the millions of dollars spent on these policies, we are far from a situation where we know whether many of them are yielding the desired payoffs. This paper establishes some basic facts about the number and heterogeneity of firms in different sub-Saharan African countries and discusses their implications for experimental and structural approaches towards trying to estimate firm policy impacts. It shows that the typical firm program such as a matching grant scheme or business training program involves only 100 to 300 firms, which are often very heterogeneous in terms of employment and sales levels. As a result, standard experimental designs will lack any power to detect reasonable sized treatment impacts, while structural models which assume common production technologies and few missing markets will be ill-suited to capture the key constraints firms face. Nevertheless, the author suggests a way forward which involves focusing on a more homogeneous sub-sample of firms and collecting a lot more data on them than is typically collected."
"The vast majority of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in developing countries are located in industrial clusters, and the majority of such clusters have yet to see their growth take off. The performance of MSE clusters is especially low in Sub-Saharan Africa. While existing studies often attribute the poor performance to factors outside firms, problems within firms are seldom scrutinized. In fact, entrepreneurs in these clusters are unfamiliar with standard business practices. Based on a randomized experiment in Ghana, this study demonstrates that basic-level management training improves business practices and performance."
"We estimate the effect on business start-ups of a program that significantly speeds up firm registration procedures. The program was implemented in Mexico in different municipalities at different dates. Our estimates suggest that new start-ups increased by about 5% per month in eligible industries, and we present evidence supporting robustness and a causal effect interpretation. Most of the effect is temporary, concentrated in the first 15 months after implementation. The estimated effect is much smaller than World Bank and Mexican authorities claim it is, which suggests attention in business deregulation may be over emphasized."
"Business training is a widely used development tool, yet little is known about its impact. We study the effects of such a business training program held in Central America. To deal with endogenous selection into the training program, we use a regression discontinuity design, exploiting the fact that a fixed number of applicants are taken into the training program based on a pre-training score. Business training significantly increases the probability that an applicant to the workshop starts a business or expands an existing business. Results also suggest gender heterogeneity as well as the presence of financial constraints."
"SMEs are positioning themselves as a strategic branch of banking operations in the region, while banks are increasingly pushing for more active policies when it comes to the financing of SMEs. This is one of the highlighted conclusions from a 2011 joint survey conducted by the Inter-American Development Bank Group's entities dealing with the private sector: the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN), the beyond Banking program of the department of Corporate and Structured Financing (SCF), and the Inter-American Investment Corporation, along with the Latin American Banking Federation (FELABAN).
This report introduces the general results obtained during the fourth survey encompassing the views and opinions of directors, managers and deputies of the SME division of 109 banks scattered across 22 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. It also includes an itemized analysis of the answers divided by the banks size and location, as well as their interrelations with other trends in that sector."