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...
"The authors of this paper conducted a field experiment in Sri Lanka that provided incentives for informal firms to formalizeâ€¦Their focus is largely on the private costs and benefits of existing firms formalizing.â€
"IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, launched the SME Finance Forum [on April 19, 2012], a G-20 initiative designed to improve access to financial resources for small and medium enterprises and catalyze effective SME-financing tools...The forum is a knowledge-sharing platform for data, research, and experiences for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Access to finance remains one of the most significant challenges for the survival and advancement of small enterprises, which are important drivers of economic growth in developing countries. The forum will promote tools and approaches...
Today's NYTimes draws attention to how Zimbabweans are spending so much time waiting around for change -- not change of the political nature this time, the NYTimes notes, but change--small money--for any simple purchase. From bus rides, small purchases of fruit or vegetables, or even a weekly supermarket trip, vendors just don't have change.
But these days, Robson Madzumbara spends a lot of time quite literally waiting around for change. Pocket change, that is. He waits for it at supermarkets, on the bus, at the vegetable stall he runs and just about...
"This report outlines the need to provide capital to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries. It shows the impact of this capital on economic development, and the roleÂ for International Finance Institutions (IFIs) in the provision of this capital. Finally, it outlines recommendations for additional interventions and further research."
"The results of an experiment in Sri Lanka [by Christopher Woodruff and David McKenzie] show the impact of financing on small businesses in communities shattered by natural disasters."
"Christopher Woodruff talks to Viv Davies about his recent research in Sri Lanka that looks at the constraints to growth of micro-enterprises and how to generate job creation; he highlights the effects of wage subsidies, savings programmes, entrepreneurship training, firm registration and the transition from small informal firms to more dynamic enterprises."