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Welcome to the Publications Library! Here you will find a searchable index of reports, toolkits, research papers, and other resources relevant to the Small and Growing Business Sector. Sort by clicking on the relevant tags, or by typing in key words in the box below.

 

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SME Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa: How do we achieve significant scale and reach?

Posted By Genevieve Edens, Aspen Institute, Friday, September 22, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017

SME FINANCE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: HOW DO WE ACHIEVE SIGNIFICANT SCALE AND REACH?

by Enclude, the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, and the Shell Foundation

Enclude, ANDE, and the Shell Foundation conducted this research in 2016 and 2017, with generous participation from leading providers of SME finance globally through roundtables, workshops, and interviews.  The study focuses on SMEs that are commercially viable with five to 250 employees and have significant potential and ambition for growth. Within this segment, our "Target Market" focus is on businesses in the “validate” and “prepare” stages seeking growth and working capital of between $250,000 and $1 million. 

State of the Market

 We estimate there are 9.4 million formal and informal SMEs in this Target Market with a financing gap upwards of $70 billion

Some financing models show solid commercial promise, but subsidy will be necessary for many years to come. Grant, sub-commercial, and quasi-commercial capital will all be required in greater proportions in order to leverage more commercial capital. DFIs will remain as the main investors, but will need to re-calibrate and re-frame their return expectations, and look to lead and be part of bridging solutions and systemic interventions. 

5 Promising Approaches to Move the Market

A material increase would require growth in the quantum of financing – targeting an additional $3 billion in financing by 2020-2022, led with funding from Development Finance Institutions, as well as donors, foundations, and corporations. Five of the most promising approaches to unlocking this capital, listed in order of absorptive capacity and investor appetite are: 

  •  Commercial Bank with an SME Unit 
  • Investment fund providing mezzanine financing
  • Asset-backed financing
  • Flexible debt instrument
  • Tailored private equity fund 

4 Calls to Action 

  • Build a robust data set that sharpens insights of size, distribution, trajectory, and returns
  • Go deep in one country to demonstrate the viability of the five most promising approaches
  • Unlock domestic capital markets, the only viable solution to foreign exchange issues 
  • Support local talent required to sustain reliable support for target SMEs

Download the executive summary and call to action here.

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Impact Review: Staffable

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Impact Review: Staffable

by Global Livingston Institute (GLI); Staffable Limited

This study sought to gauge the degree of social and economic impact Staffable is perpetuating through its current business model and vision. The results of the report highlighted the positive impact of Staffable’s efforts, as well as opportunities for further impact and expansion.

Download the report here.

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INSIGHTS FROM THE IMPACT PROGRAMME

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, August 8, 2017

INSIGHTS FROM THE IMPACT PROGRAMME: USING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO BUILD IMPACTFUL BUSINESSES

by The Impact Programme 

This paper draws on the experience of the Impact Programme’s two investment vehicles, the Impact Fund and Impact Accelerator, and the programme’s Technical Assistance (TA) Facility which provides support to pipeline and portfolio companies of the funds. The funds and the TA facility are managed by CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution. The programme is funded by UK Aid, and is managed by PwC’s Programme Coordination Unit. 

Download the report here.

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CSAF 2017 State of the Sector

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, August 8, 2017

CSAF 2017 State of the Sector

by Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance

The bulk of this report focuses on growth and risk trends across geographies, crops, and business types. In the final section, we draw upon our experience to make the case for smart subsidy in agriculture. We consider the ways in which subsidy can truly be “smart,” and we share a set of preliminary proposals that we will be developing in the coming months.

Download the report here.

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Walmart and USAID: The Evolution of a Global Cross-Sector Partnership

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Walmart and USAID: The Evolution of a Global Cross-Sector Partnership

by WDI Publishing

This case explores the evolution of the cross-sector relationship between Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Walmart Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2000-2015. It focuses on partnerships that sought to build the capacity of smallholder farmers in the developing world. The case explores the ways in which this collaboration came about, how it was supported by the partners, and the level of success achieved as measured by the Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Walmart Foundation, and USAID. The case dilemma is to identify learnings drawn from these partnerships and determine how they can be applied to a more ambitious approach to collaboration.

Download the report here.

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Shaping Inclusive Markets

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Shaping Inclusive Markets:
How Funders and Intermediaries can Help Markets Move toward Greater Economic Inclusion

by FSG

Truly inclusive markets lead to expanded opportunity for more broadly shared prosperity, especially for those facing the greatest barriers. With support from The Rockefeller Foundation, we analyzed historical cases where such inclusive transformations actually occurred in order to understand the ways in which they were achieved. Using these insights, we offer practical recommendations for funders and intermediaries seeking to enable more of these shifts in the future.

Download the report here.

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#ClosingTheGap Guinea: Key Challenges for the Missing Middle

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, August 8, 2017

#ClosingTheGap Guinea: Key Challenges for the Missing Middle

by Triple Jump

This report presents the results of a study conducted on behalf of the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF). The study was commissioned to get a better understanding of the ‘missing middle’ in francophone West Africa, of which Guinea is one of the focus countries. The report describes the main factors that hamper growth of SMEs in Guinea and limit their access to growth finance, and suggests possible actions to increase their access to funding.

Download the report here.

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Increasing Social Mobility through Innovation: A short study of the Mexican innovation Hub iLab

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Increasing Social Mobility through Innovation:
A short study of the Mexican innovation Hub iLab

by HUB iLab, Mexico

The aim of this work is to provide insight on the rise of social mobility in Mexico, based on a
case study of iLab. Considering a long-term study including the comparison with other
similar-vision organisations in Mexico however is inevitable to present a detailed and reliable
outcome on a wider perspective.

Download the report here.

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i2i Industry Insights Brief: E-Commerce

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 3, 2017
Updated: Thursday, July 6, 2017

i2i Industry Insights Brief:
E-Commerce

by Invest2Innovate

While much of Invest2Innovate’s work has been hands-on with local entrepreneurs in Pakistan, i2i has been working with a number of other stakeholders to make the Pakistani entrepreneurship ecosystem more robust and enabling to businesses and investors. This Industry Insights brief is our first attempt to provide an intensive deep-dive into Pakistan’s ecosystem – in this case the growing e-commerce industry. 

Download the report here.

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TAF Impact Report

Posted By Administration, Aspen Institute, Thursday, August 3, 2017
Updated: Thursday, July 6, 2017

TAF Impact Report:

by Technical Assistance Facility

As Technical Assistance Facility (TAF), implemented by TechnoServe, enters its fifth year, this report reflects on the progress of 42 projects implemented to date through technical assistance to 10 African Agriculture Fund (AAF) portfolio companies. The report presents case studies and thematic findings to guide investors and development partners who seek to build inclusive agri- businesses in Africa. 

Download the report here.

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