News and Announcements

  • Another Facebook Co-Founder Gets Philanthropic

    According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy's Caroline Preston, "Some advice for nonprofits that want a piece of the Facebook fortune: Get yourself on GiveWell‘s list of effective charities."

    A new foundation called Good Ventures, started by Facebook Co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, is donating money to charities recommended by GiveWell. For those of you who have been following GiveWell's charity evaluation, they rated IPA as a top 8 "standout organization" for donations.

    Excerpt:

    [GiveWell board member Cari Tuna] wrote in a blog post last month that Good Ventures would donate $500,000 to the Against Malaria Foundation and $250,000 to the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, the No. 1 and No. 2 charities as ranked by GiveWell.

    Other nonprofits on GiveWell’s list of “standout” organizations—GiveDirectly, Innovations for Poverty Action, KIPP Houston, Nyaya Health, Pratham, and the Small Enterprise Foundation—would get money from Good Ventures in the coming months, Ms. Tuna wrote.

    [...]

    “One simple idea—that all donors should be at least as thoughtful about our philanthropic investments as we are about our financial investments—has transformed the way I think about giving,” she says.

    Check out the full article here.

  • SME Initiative Announces New RFP

    Jan 05/12 | From the newsroom | 

    The SME Initiative is pleased to announce a THIRD ROUND of funding for the SME Initiative’s Competition on Entrepreneurship and SME Growth. The goal of the grants is to fund innovative research that “build a systemic body of evidence on the contribution of SMEs and entrepreneurship to poverty alleviation and economic development.” We hope this competition will have a catalyzing effect to stimulate high quality research on the role of access to finance and human capital for SME growth and their contribution to development. 

    Complete proposals should be emailed to sme@poverty-action.org by 5:00pm EST on Friday, March 16, 2012.  If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Craig (scraig@poverty-action.org).

    See: SME Request for Proposal, Proposal Template, Budgeting Guidlines

  • 37 Million Children and Counting!

  • Merck Serono Donation to Eliminate Schistosomiasis in Africa

    Merck Serono has announced that it will be doubling its annual donation of praziquantel tablets, the drug used to treat schistosomiasis, from 25 million to 50 million tablets. The donations will continue indefinitely until schistosomiasis has...

  • Should Development Organizations be Hunting Gazelles?

    Dec 14/11 | From the newsroom | World Bank

    "Should development institutions and policymakers be directing fewer resources at microfirms and more at high-growth-potential enterprises or gazelles?"

  • Indian state implements record-breaking school health campaign for 17 million children

    Dec 08/11 | From the newsroom | The ONE Blog

    Worms are often a “silent problem,” rarely discussed even in places like the India state of Bihar where more than 50 percent of children suffer from the parasites. If untreated, however, severe worm infections can cause symptoms ranging from...

  • The SME Initiative and What We Don't Know

    "Last week, Innovations for Poverty Action’s SME Initiative brought together researchers and   practitioners to discuss recent research on SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), mostly in the developing world." A brief summary of the conference.

  • Spotlight: Innovations for Poverty Action SME Initiative Conference

    On November 30, 2011, MIF General Manager Nancy Lee delivered opening remarks at the Innovations for Poverty Action SME Initiative Conference, co-hosted by IPA and the MIF and held at the IDB Headquarters in Washington, D.C. This annual event brings together a broad stakeholder group of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss the latest research on entrepreneurship and SME development in emerging markets.

  • SME Initiative Hosts First Annual Conference

    Dec 08/11 | From the newsroom | 

    The SME Initiative hosted its First Annual Conference on Entrepreneurship and SME Development  on November 30, 2011.  Co-hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund, this event brought together over 130 researchers, practitioners and policymakers focused on entrepreneurship and SMEs in emerging markets.  Presentations on past and ongoing research studies covered a range of topics related to access to managerial human capital, access to finance, and job creation with evidence from a number of countries, including Ghana, India, Mexico, Peru and Sri Lanka.  Practitioner perspectives on each of these topical areas were also presented, to facilitate a dialogue between the worlds of research and policy.  The event concluded with a panel discussion on “Why should we care about the ‘Missing Middle’?”  Presentations from the event are available here.

  • Cautious capitalism

    Dec 07/11 | From the newsroom | The Economist

    IPA Research Affiliate Antoinette Schoar, who has conducted several studies in SMEs, was cited in an Economist article exploring whether the continuing economic recession has changed attitudes toward firm investment and financial decisions.

    Excerpt:

    Past research has shown that exogenous shocks, such as recessions, can modify firm-level behaviour. This view is at odds with traditional theories which posit that firms base their financing decisions on sound economic analysis. But a firm is not a rational actor. It is shaped by its managers whose beliefs are coloured by past and present events. For instance, managers who lived through the Great Depression were scarred by the collapse in capital markets and preferred to rely on internal financing even when it was cheaper to borrow externally.

    Interestingly, a firm’s aversion to capital markets can persist for decades after a recession. A recent paper by Antoinette Schoar and Luo Zuo, from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, concludes that managers who begin their career during a recession have a conservative management style when compared with their non-recession peers. The authors find that early career experiences are important and can influence firm-level decisions even decades later, when the “recession manager” becomes a CEO. The companies headed by these managers are reluctant to access public markets, have lower capital budgets and pay higher effective tax. If the pattern from previous downturns holds, then we can expect the next generation of business leaders to eschew capital markets in favour of self-sufficiency. Firms will invest less in capital-intensive projects and in research and development (R&D) to tightly control finances.

    Check out the full article here.

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