Year
2019

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"Over the course of twelve months in 2018, we worked on the ground with 15 entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs), interviewed more than 80 ESOs, and engaged more than 1,000 stakeholders, from entrepreneurs to investors to government leaders. We learned that the entrepreneur support sector in Africa has an opportunity for better communication and collaboration. ESOs are growing businesses - much like the startups they serve. We need to focus on resourcing and strengthening existing hubs, rather than creating new ones."

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"Unlocking the Potential of Frontier Finance assesses key features of frontier finance impact investments and finds significant opportunity for making an impact in this sector. For impact investment in frontier finance to reach its full potential, investors require more clarity around the common features and performance of such transactions and strategies to address the challenges they face in the market. This research seeks to answer these questions by analyzing a database of 40 frontier finance transactions, 10 interviews, and a workshop discussion with 39 investors and other ecosystem players. Specifically, the report includes an overview of the frontier finance investment landscape, presents five in-depth case studies featuring frontier investment vehicles and transactions, and provides recommendations to build the market and overcome common challenges hindering the flow of additional capital into frontier markets."

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"The study was set in rural markets in Kenya with the objective of testing how the GET Ahead programme affects the profitability, growth and survival of female-owned businesses, and to evaluate whether any gains in profitability come at the expense of other business owners. A year-and-a-half after the training had taken place, a mentoring intervention was randomly assigned among trained women to test whether additional group-based and in-person support strengthens the impacts of training on intended outcomes."

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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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"We propose that using simulation experiments with random assignment of players to roles presents a useful way to test and expand organization theory and elucidate the interplay between micro-processes and macro phenomena. In this paper, we discuss the advantages of using these simulations to conduct organizational experiments at scale and illustrate the usefulness of these experiments by looking at theorized causes of entrepreneurial gender bias using The Startup Game, a role-playing simulation of capital raising in Silicon Valley. In this game, we randomly assigned 27,082 players in 259 organizations to founder and investor roles involving fictional companies. We thereby generated multiple "worlds" with different features, which enabled us to look at how player role assignment influenced organizational outcomes. We found that assigning identical startups to female (vs. male) founders systematically resulted in 11 percent lower valuations from investors. We looked at variation across game runs using data from multi-founder teams to understand why. We found that assigning one percent more female players to the investor role resulted in lowering the gender gap in startup funding by 272 percent. These results suggest that equalizing the investor pool potentially holds the key to reducing entrepreneurial gender bias. We discuss the implications of our findings for the value of using simulated experiences to design more equitable organizations and markets."

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"Este estudo explora como o setor de SGB pode contribuir para o alcance do ODS 8 e como as organizações de apoio às SGBs podem ajudá-las a contribuírem com esse mesmo objetivo."

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"A randomized control trial with 945 entrepreneurs in Jamaica shows positive short-term impacts of soft-skills training on business outcomes. The effects are
concentrated among men, and disappear twelve months after the training. We argue that the main channel is increased adoption of recommended business practices, exclusively observed in the short run. We see persistent effects on an incentivized behavioral measure of perseverance after setbacks, a focus of this training. We compare a course focused only on soft-skills to one that combines soft-skills training with traditional business training. The effects of the combined training are never statistically significant."

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"Donor agencies and foundations use grants to stimulate entrepreneurial growth in developing countries. However, some practitioners have asked whether these grants tend to flow to expatriate entrepreneurs with ties to developed countries (where most grants originate), rather than to local entrepreneurs. This article tackles this question using a data set of 3,434 nascent ventures from 92 developing countries. The authors find that ventures with ties to a developed country are significantly more likely to raise grant financing and in more substantial amounts. Ventures with a founder born in a developed country are the most likely to receive grants, with a weaker effect when considering prior work experience in a developed country. This “expat gap” cannot be explained by differences in education level, prior experience, or ties to other developing countries. Donors seeking to support local entrepreneurs in developing countries should consider ways to make their recruitment and selection processes more equitable."

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"Accelerator programs are an increasingly important part of entrepreneurial ecosystems. While accelerators have core defining features—fixed-term, cohort-based educational and mentorship programs for startups— there is also significant variation amongst them. In this paper, we relate key variation in the antecedents, organizational design and operation of these programs to theories of firm-level entrepreneurial performance. We then document descriptive correlations between these design elements and the performance of the startups that attend these programs. In doing so, we probe the connections between design and performance in ways that integrate previously disparate research on accelerators and expand our understanding of startup intermediaries. Our findings delineate the building blocks as well as an agenda for future researchers to build upon not only our understanding of accelerators, but also our understanding of what new ventures need to survive and flourish."

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"The Core Characteristics of Impact Investing define the baseline expectations of what it means to practice impact investing. Providing this level of clarity to the market will help investors understand what constitutes credible impact investing and the Core Characteristics serve as a reference point for investors to identify practical actions they can take to scale their practice with integrity."

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