Year
2015

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"Unitus Seed Fund has published a guide that has combined the methodology and approach the organization applied to designing to an impact measurement framework and consists of templates by sector for multiple types of businesses that can be downloaded for use."

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"Impact assessment is a key component of managing an impact investment portfolio, and many investors today are building methodologies that bring value
beyond simply reporting outcomes.

For many investors, the impact goal is the common thread across a portfolio of various sector, geography and instrument types and this diversification can make choosing an impact assessment methodology challenging. As such, the process for developing a methodology is often an iterative one, refined with experience and data over time.

To help inform that iterative process, this research presents sixty-eight case studies from twenty-one leading impact investors that share best practice and
debated viewpoints on impact assessment along the investment process."

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"This paper investigates the impact of investment in human capital (off-the-job training in short term) on productivity of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by using Propensity Score Matching (PSM) method with dynamic approach. The paper employs the data from two surveys on the SMEs in Vietnam in the year of 2009 and 2011 that provide detailed information about training and firm characteristics. The results found that training has significantly positive impact on the productivity of household business, but there is no evidence on the impact of training on productivity of the firms in formal sector in the short run; and there is no evidence on the impact of training activities on productivity in the medium run (one-or-two-year after training) for both household business and formal enterprises. Besides, qualitative approach shall be conducted to provide more description on training efficiencies in some specific cases."

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"The new study provides an objective, rigorous look at two of the most important aspects of impact investing: financial returns and long-term impact. Specifically, the study explores the widespread assumption that impact investing private equity funds cannot achieve market-rate financial performance. The report's findings suggest that - in certain market segments - investors might not need to expect lower returns as a tradeoff for social impact. Impact investing is an investment approach that intentionally seeks to generate measurable social or environmental impact alongside a positive financial return. According to the study's authors, certain market segments of funds in the sample yield returns close to those of public market indices."

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"This report identifies challenges and success factors for small, micro and medium businesses (SMME) in South Africa that use an inclusive business approach. It provides policy recommendations on how to support SMME spread their potential to tackle social and environmental problems in South Africa."

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"Gender equality and female empowerment play a key role in achieving effective and sustainable development outcomes. ACDI/VOCA's GenderFirst approach enables an organization's staff and partners to identify and prioritize program interventions with the most potential to reduce gender equality gaps in households, communities and markets. Through this framework, ACDI/VOCA focuses on reducing gender-based constraints, improving social dynamics, and creating environments in which all people can thrive, while ensuring that activities "do no harm" to participants. GenderFirst tools and resources can be adapted based on program objectives and customized to address the unique needs of communities, taking context-specific dynamics and realities into consideration."

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"Low female labor market participation is a problem many developed countries have to face. Beside activating inactive women, one possible solution is to support the re-integration of unemployed women. Due to female-specific labor market constraints (preferences for flexible working hours, discrimination), this is a difficult task, and the question arises whether active labor market policies (ALMP) are an appropriate tool to help. It has been shown that the effectiveness of traditional ALMPs – which focus on the integration in dependent (potentially inflexible) employment-is positive but limited. Starting their own business might give women more independence and flexibility to reconcile work and family and increase labor market participation. Based on long-term informative data, we find that start-up programs persistently integrate former unemployed women into the labor market, and the impact on fertility is less detrimental than for traditional ALMP programs."

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"Early-stage social entrepreneurship is creating grassroots change in communities across the world. It is a fundamental stage in the journey of every social venture and yet is under-resoourced and under-researched. In this report we reveal how support is currently provided to early-stage social entrepreneurs by diverse organisations, members of GSEN. It is the first step in our continuing efforts to empower the social entrepreneurship sector with knowledge,contributing to its growth and increased efficiency."

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"Training programmes are popular development interventions that aim to address problems of youth unemployment. This paper estimates the impact of a youth entrepreneurship programme in Tanzania on financial literacy and employment knowledge. Using primary data within a successive cohort design in a community-led programme, the authors employed propensity score matching and fixed-effect estimation methods to assess changes in knowledge, skills and attitudes of marginalised youth. They found strong positive effects of the programme on key intermediate employment outcomes: savings ability, employment confidence and personal finance. The positive impact of this programme supports youth entrepreneurship training programme and non-experimental evaluation methods."

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"The objective of this "Environmental Policy Toolkit for SME Greening" is to help governments in the European Union's Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) to design and implement key instruments to promote environmental compliance and green business practices among SMEs using the existing good practices in EU and other OECD countries.

The Toolkit focuses predominantly on environmental policy instruments to promote green behaviour of SMEs. It covers three categories of instruments: regulatory simplification and incentives, information-based tools (which comprise both providing advice and guidance to businesses and providing their customers and the public at large with information about their green practices), as well as financial and economic incentives."

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