Media Coverage
March 22, 2012

"After a comprehensive review of existing studies, with particular focus on recent randomized control trials, David Roodman released a new book arguing that "the average impact of microcredit on poverty reduction of clients is zero.” How should the SME movement learn from the research on microfinance?

Dean Karlan, Christopher Udry, Miriam Bruhn, Antoinette Schoar
February 28, 2012

At Academy Award parties on Sunday across the country, people filled out sample ballots to guess the Oscar winners before they were announced. Now we’re doing the same thing. We’ve got a new challenge for all you blog readers out there: predict the results of our studies.

IPA recently conducted two studies about whether consulting services and/or cash infusions could help small businesses generate more profit or other positive measures of business success. One study was in Ghana with tailors and seamstresses with only one employee, if any; the other was in Mexico with businesses in...

January 05, 2012

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-...

Media Coverage
December 14, 2011

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

Antoinette Schoar, Dean Karlan
December 13, 2011

I’m a new staff member at IPA, and on Wednesday, November 30th, I had the privilege to attend the annual conference of IPA’s Small and Medium Enterprise Initiative (SME Initiative). A group of leading thinkers on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) gathered to discuss the current state of research on how to support and encourage small and medium enterprises, particularly in the developing world.

IPA and others, including our host, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), are interested in SMEs because when businesses thrive and create jobs, people have access to income and wealth...

Media Coverage
December 08, 2011

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.

Media Coverage
December 08, 2011

"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.

Media Coverage
September 16, 2011

Nicholas Kristof writes for the New York Times: 

"Careful research by Professor Esther Duflo of M.I.T. and other economists suggests that microfinance can chip away at poverty but is not a panacea."

Media Coverage
June 03, 2011

"In recent years, a number of private foundations and organizations have launched ambitious initiatives to support promising entrepreneurs in developing countries, on both a for-profit and not-for-profit basis."

Media Coverage
June 01, 2011

"This book is a gem. Anyone serious about aid, philanthropy, or impact investing should read it, maybe a couple of times."

Media Coverage
May 16, 2011

Politicians are ignorant about trials, and they're weird about evidence. It doesn't need to be this way. In international development work, resources are tight and people know that good intentions aren't enough: in fact, good intentions can sometimes do harm. We need to know what works.

Media Coverage
February 24, 2011

"Policymakers are desperate to promote enterprise." The new Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index could help.

Media Coverage
October 13, 2010

"A new study demonstrates just how important bureaucracy and paperwork really are."

September 28, 2010

On September 17th and 18th, Innovations for Poverty Action hosted the kick-off meeting for the new Small & Medium Enterprise Initiative.  The meeting provided an opportunity for researchers, practitioners, and other stakeholders to come together and discuss the key issues relating to SME policy and development with a specific focus on access to finance, access to markets, and access to human capital.  

Over the two day meeting, the participants explored the many open questions about the constraints to SMEs across the different focus areas, and the potential research questions...

September 16, 2010

"Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) make up an estimated 90 percent of businesses and over 50 percent of employment worldwide" (IFC). A key issue then for development and cutting poverty is figuring out ways for these small firms to increase their profits and grow.  

This weekend IPA is kicking off a new research initiative with a conference at Yale University, looking at some of the challenges facing Small and medium enterprises in developing countries, and how these challenges might be addressed.

Participants ranging...