"This study conducts a comparative analysis of social enterprise intermediaries in China and India to better understand how they legitimize social enterprises in new settings. To address theoretical weakness in this sphere, it combines several institutional theories to capture disruptions created by institutional innovation and also legitimizing processes. Drawing on data collected from surveys, interviews, and websites in each country, it finds that intermediaries mitigate negative and leverage positive influences of external institutions though their strategies vary due to country differences in institutional pressures. This information is key to building intermediaries' capacity to institutionalize social enterprises as new institutional actors."

READ MORE

"Impact-oriented accelerators, a relatively new type of entrepreneur support program, are proliferating as practitioners, philanthropic funders, and investors work to unlock the full potential of entrepreneurship-led economic development. These accelerators aspire to support entrepreneurs, in large part by driving investment into promising ventures that work in marginalized sectors and regions around the world. Given the opportunity costs of the human, organizational, and financial resources required to run accelerators, it is important to determine whether they are having this intended impact. To assess the effect of acceleration on outside equity investment, we analyze application and follow-up data from a matched sample of 1647 entrepreneurs who applied to 77 impact-oriented accelerators. Our main finding is promising. In the first follow-up year, accelerator program participants attract significantly more outside equity than their rejected counterparts. Further analysis suggests that this positive equity bump is not due to cherry picking obviously promising ventures during selection processes. Moreover, the effect is tied to the number of accelerated months in the follow-up year. Despite these promising observations, we find that the equity investment effect does not extend to ventures working in emerging markets, or to those with women on their founding teams. Thus, the benefits of accelerators for entrepreneurship-led development are not yet reaching the places and people that have the hardest time attracting capital on their own. We conclude the paper by outlining the challenges associated with extending the positive effects of acceleration into entrepreneurial domains that are most challenging from an economic development perspective."

READ MORE

"Although early-stage finance is critical to the growth of most ventures, it is even more important for social ventures as they face the challenges of balancing their social and commercial objectives. Drawing on institutional logics and signaling theory, this study uses a panel data set of 3,401 nascent social ventures to investigate the important role philanthropic grant funding plays in the organizational and financial development of social ventures. We find mixed results, with positive effects on employment and subsequent access to debt finance, but no effects on revenues and access to equity. Our findings connect these theories by suggesting philanthropic grants provide social ventures with flexibility to invest in human capital without pushing them to pursue short-term financial objectives, and that receiving a philanthropic grant provides a signal that is interpreted differently by debt and equity financiers. These findings are especially relevant as funders increasingly use grants to support social entrepreneurship."

READ MORE

"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."

READ MORE

"This book summarizes five years of learning from data collected as part of the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative. The authors present data describing impact-oriented ventures and accelerators that operate in both high-income countries and in emerging markets. Blending survey data with insights from sector experts, their various analyses shed light on the basic structure of accelerators, showing where they are having their most promising results.

Unlike previous studies, this book does not focus on a few high-profile accelerators (like TechStars and Y Combinator) and startups (like AirBnB and Uber). Instead, it compares a range of accelerator programs that target specific impact areas, challenging regions, and marginalized entrepreneurs. Therefore, it serves as a valuable tool for scholars, policymakers, and practitioners interested in the effectiveness of accelerator programs as tools that unleash the economic potential currently trapped in entrepreneurial dead spaces."

READ MORE

"The third major report from GALI examines the ability of accelerators to drive funds into participating ventures and explores which programmatic choices correspond with superior outcomes. The report shows that in a sample of 52 accelerators, the average flow of incremental funds into participating ventures is significantly greater than the average that flows into rejected ventures. In the majority (but not all) of these programs, this difference exceeds the reported cost of running the program. These superior funding outcomes are accomplished in different ways; many programs are most effective at stimulating revenue growth, while others are best at increasing the supply of outside equity investment. Given these differences in program efficacy and different paths to funding success, we then examine how specific program choices correspond with the ability to drive funds into participating ventures."

READ MORE

"The report describes the profile of acceleration and incubation programs, highlights accelerators with an impact focus, and compares accelerators in Brazil with the rest of the world. The results show that there may be a mismatch between the sectors that are of most interest to impact-oriented accelerators and to impact investors. Accelerators and investors should also think collaboratively about how to address the challenge of funding for early-stage ventures."

READ MORE

"Village Capital – a seed-stage accelerator that runs programs for entrepreneurs in impact-oriented sectors – was the first to work with the Entrepreneurship Database Program, starting in 2013. Application and follow-up data have now been collected from fifteen different Village Capital programs. These data provide a unique opportunity to examine the performance of ventures accelerated by these different Village Capital programs compared to those that applied but were not selected. This report is divided into two parts: The first section reveals differences in venture performance among accelerated versus non-accelerated ventures based on one-year changes in revenue, employees, and investment. This information is then used to identify the highest and lowest performing Village Capital programs and presented to a panel of experts who suggest potential reasons for these differences. The second section tests these predictions using qualitative and quantitative research methods, revealing several key insights for Village Capital and other early-stage venture accelerator programs."

READ MORE

"This report reviews the state of measurement as of 2014 in two types of organizations that directly support small and growing businesses (SGBs) - impact investors and capacity development providers. Using a mixed-methods approach, ANDE collected data and interviewed over 30 organizations across these two categories, and analyzed key trends in measurement practice."

READ MORE

"According to our findings, the number of accelerators serving impact enterpriseshas grown rapidly over the last five years (over 70 percent of the accelerators surveyed were founded in 2008 or later). Despite this strong growth, there is only lim-ited research and data-driven analysis of accelerators’ role in the impact invesment ecosystem. This report aims to generate a greater understanding of accelera-tors in that sector and is part of a broader strategy to analyze, evaluate, benchmark,and strengthen accelerators. It is not intended to be a comprehensive evaluation ofimpact accelerators but an initial assessment of the landscape of these organizations."

READ MORE