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,...
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...
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.
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 Â how to design and target programs to more effectively address these barriers and promote entrepreneurship and SME growth.
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.
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
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.
A two-part blog post covering various studies aimed at measuring entrepreneurship in developing countries. Read Part I and Part II.
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...
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.
"Economic development efforts are best served by testing and refining assumptions about what works."
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...