Media Coverage
April 15, 2013

Roughly two billion people in the world live on $2 a day or less. Of these a staggering 50 per cent are estimated to be micro entrepreneurs, running a small business to make ends meet but employing only a handful of people. If just a small proportion of these entrepreneurs were encouraged to grow and invest in their business, and hire more employees, it could transform the fortunes of the developing economies, and billions of people living in poverty. In this article, Stephen Anderson-Macdonald discusses the "Managerial Capital and Business Transformation in Emerging Markets" project,...

Announcement
February 26, 2013

The Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) Initiative is pleased to announce that it is now accepting a FIFTH ROUND of applications for it its Competitive Research Fund on Entrepreneurship and SME Growth. The goal of this fund is to support innovative research that is in line with the initiative's objective to build a systemic body of evidence on the contributions of SME growth to poverty alleviation and economic development. We hope that this competition will have a catalyzing effect to stimulate high quality research that can produce relevant evidence to innovate, implement and scale...

Gregory Fischer, Antoinette Schoar, Alejandro Drexler
November 29, 2012

  Editor’s note: Russell Toth is a Lecturer in Economics at The University of Sidney. In this guest post he talks about research he presented at our Impact and Policy Conference.   How do we move from “proof of concept” to implementable programs in policy R&D? At the recent, excellent IPA Impact and Policy Conference, I presented some research I’ve done on micro and small enterprise activity in Indonesia, including highlighting the remarkable lack of movement “upward” over time from the microenterprise sector to the SME sector. At the end of the session I fielded a question along the...
Media Coverage
October 23, 2012

Given that evaluations of business training programs targeting female subsistence entrepreneurs have shown mixed results, David McKenzie asks if training programs aimed at improving business skills are worth the cost if entrepreneurs are constrained by underlying production technology. He posits that the seemingly small impact of the programs might be improved by combining business training with interventions that address what women entrepreneurs produce and how they produce it.

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September 27, 2012

What are the main barriers to growth for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in low- and middle-income countries?  How can programs be designed and targeted to more effectively address these barriers and promote entrepreneurship and SME growth?  These were the driving questions of the first day of the Impact and Policy Conference in Bangkok, which was devoted to SME development.   The body of evidence on what works (and why) for supporting SME growth is small but growing, and throughout the day a number of leading researchers shared findings from evaluations of programs aimed at addressing...
Announcement
September 27, 2012

A summary of the main questions and presentations from the SME day of the IPA Policy and Impact Conference in Bangkok, including a short discussion of the main barriers to growth for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in low- and middle-income countries and  how to design and target programs to more effectively address these barriers and promote entrepreneurship and SME growth.

Media Coverage
September 14, 2012

Markus Goldstein summarizes a new literature review by David McKenzie and Christopher Woodruff that examines the evidence on business training programs, laying out the major findings of the evaluations, and provides insights into how to design evaluations around them. The paper can be found here.

Media Coverage
September 10, 2012

David McKenzie highlights work from the IPA Impact and Policy conference, including a presentation by Daniel Paravisini on his work on credit scoring, and makes the case that proof of concept studies are policy relevant. #ImpactandPolicyConf

Media Coverage
September 07, 2012

Lucia Sanchez discusses the main knowledge gaps when it comes to SMEs, as well as the role of the SME Initiative in addressing those gaps through supporting rigorous research and knowledge dissemination.

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September 07, 2012

  The Small and Medium Enterprise Finance Forum has an interview with our own Lucia Sanchez, director of IPA's Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Initiative. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) run by entrepreneurs have the power to grow developing economies, but often fail to achieve their economic potential. Lucia explains why IPA’s work in this area is important for overcoming obstacles to growth and opportunity:   A fundamental knowledge gap pertains to the barriers hindering SME development in low- and middle-income countries.  Slow SME growth is often attributed to a number of...
Media Coverage
June 20, 2012

A two-part blog post covering various studies aimed at measuring entrepreneurship in developing countries. Read Part I and Part II. 

Announcement
June 13, 2012

We are pleased to announce our FOURTH ROUND of Research Funding for Entrepreneurship and SME Growth. The goal of the fund is to support innovative research to 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, human capital, and markets for SME growth and their contribution to development. Please see the Competitive Fund page for more information. 

Complete proposals should be...

Media Coverage
May 30, 2012

A recent evaluation of Chile's supplier development program aimed at improving the linkages between small and medium enterprises and their larger customers showed that the program had positive impacts on the smaller firms, with firms increasing sales, employing more workers, and improving their survival capabilities, among other things.

Media Coverage
May 17, 2012

"Economic development efforts are best served by testing and refining assumptions about what works."

Media Coverage
May 16, 2012

The Christian Science Monitor profiles the work of our partner, J-PAL, as well as some IPA projects, as they point out that perhaps Americans and Europeans who are stressed at the prospects of job growth might have something to learn from the evaluations of what works for the poor around the world. An excerpt:

In both America and Europe, people are pessimistic about the ability of politicians to spur job growth. Traditional economic theories - either left or right - are failing as millions of people face years of being without work or underemployed. And as...

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