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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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Top tags: sector publication  impact investing  Entrepreneurship  access to finance  ANDE publication  Global  Social entrepreneurship  Women  Development  Economic Growth  Impact Evaluation  SGB  SME  accelerators  africa  2016  India  ecosystem  Latin America  social enterprise  finance  private sector development  Agriculture  Base of the Pyramid  BoP  environment  poverty  2017  GALI  Acceleration 

20 years... and beyond

Posted By Liza Curcio, Aspen Institute, Monday, October 30, 2017

20 YEARS... AND BEYOND

By LifeCo UnLtd SA

On this the 20th anniversary of LifeCo UnLtd SA we remember the path to get here and we look ahead to the challenges before us.

We are because you are. We are a community of business people, partners and governors who care about building a nation of champions in South Africa. Our responsibility is to contribute to achieving socio-economic justice for all and to preserve the planet that sustains life as we know it. These ideals guide everything we do. LifeCo UnLtd exists for this reason, and is part of a growing, global community of high-impact social enterprises that serve people and planet. 

Download the report here.

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Economic Sustainability at the Bottom of The Pyramid

Posted By Liza Curcio, Aspen Institute, Friday, October 27, 2017

Economic Sustainability at the Bottom of The Pyramid

By Monitor Deloitte


Enterprises seeking to achieve both impact and financial returns have worked hard for many years to deliver critical goods and services to those living at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP). While these efforts have clearly had tremendous impact helping large numbers of very poor people, it remains unclear how deeply down into the BOP we as a field are reaching.

Are these enterprises consistently reaching people living on $8 a day? How about $4, or $2, or less? Given the lack of good data, we really do not know. And yet we need to. In order to understand how to reach deeply down the pyramid, we need to understand who is successfully doing so. In order to know when we should subsidize for-profit enterprises to get them to reach lower, we need a better understanding of the “natural” limits to their current reach.

This report was developed jointly by Monitor Deloitte, the MacArthur Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and the Rockefeller Foundation to help provide transparency and guidance to advance the broader field of funding for businesses serving the deep BOP.

 
 

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West Africa Ecosystem Maps

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 24, 2017

As part of a series of ecosystem maps, with the support of the Citi Foundation, our West Africa Regional Chapter recently released three snapshots, providing insight into the Abuja, Accra, and Lagos entrepreneurial ecosystems. These snapshots were produced through a review of existing literature, a series of surveys and interviews, as well as stakeholder meetings. Click on the images below to access the snapshots.       

Nigeria Ecosystem Maps 

 

Ghana Ecosystem Maps

     

Tags:  2017  ANDE publication  West Africa 

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BEYOND INVESTMENT: THE POWER OF CAPACITY-BUILDING SUPPORT

Posted By Liza Curcio, Aspen Institute, Friday, October 20, 2017

Beyond Investment: The power of capacity building support

By the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)

Impact investors seek to achieve meaningful positive change through their investments, including greatly improving the quality of life of underserved people around the world, and ensuring a sustainable and healthy planet. These investors often work in challenging environments with untested business models. Capacity-building support, also known as technical assistance, is a vital tool used by many investors to complement their investments and expand and deepen their impact.

I am pleased to share our report, Beyond Investment: The Power of Capacity-Building Support, which illuminates current capacity-building practice and invites a discussion about how to elevate future practice. This report documents how capacity-building support can contribute to the impact that investors are able to achieve, and surfaces three key insights about the current state of such support in impact investing: 

Download the report here.

Tags:  capacity development  impact investing  SGBs 

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Impact Report: Global Expansion

Posted By Liza Curcio, Aspen Institute, Monday, October 16, 2017

Impact Report: Global expansion

By Street Business School 

Three years ago, we set out to test whether the incredible business training program we developed for women making beads could create transformation far beyond the borders of Uganda. The idea was simple. Let's share our proven model with other organizations, who are already experts on the needs of their local communities, and help them maximize their impact rather than reinventing the wheel. We started in January 2014 and completed phase I of this journey on June 30 of this year.

Check out our Milestones to celebrate, as what we have accomplished has far outstripped our expectations. As you read this, Street Business School is being taught in ve countries across East Africa with the potential of two more in the near future. The 19 partner groups we have trained will help more than 6,000 women and almost 37,000 children out of poverty. Forever. 

Download the report here.

Tags:  East Africa  impact evaluation  poverty  social enterprise  women 

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The Power of Purpose

Posted By Liza Curcio, Aspen Institute, Monday, October 9, 2017

The Power of Purpose: Jesuits for Social Entrepreneurship

By Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship 

 

Soon after their founding in 1540, the Jesuits established an expansive network of educational institutions around the world, embodying what we now call social entrepreneurship.

In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis calls “the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development.” Social entrepreneurship is a transformative response to this call.

The Jesuit-in-Residence experience is customized to the vocation of the individual Jesuit. The program’s pioneer, Fr. Phil Cooke, SJ, organized GSBI Boost accelerator programs in Nicaragua and the Philippines. Under the leadership of Fr. Bossou Constant, SJ, we created a Jesuit Network for Social Entrepreneurship, including four provinces in Africa, one in the United States, and one in China, with 18 affiliated Jesuits.

Miller Center imagines that this network will leverage Jesuit social and educational ministries to amplify the global impact of social entrepreneurship. The vocations of the Jesuits in this booklet illustrate the power of purpose in their approach. 

Download the report here.

Tags:  accelerators  Africa  Asia  Social entrepreneurship 

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Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship 2017 Annual Report

Posted By Liza Curcio, Aspen Institute, Monday, October 9, 2017

Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship 2017 Annual Report

By Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship 

 

At Miller Center, we believe that social entrepreneurship effects profound change, disrupts unjust social equilibria, and has the potential to be a driving force in attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. When social entrepreneurs thrive in our Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®), when our Global Social Benefit Fellows engage in action research with these entrepreneurs, and when GSBI Mentors emerge with new insights, the results are transformative.

 

On our journey, we’ve discovered that everyone who accompanies us can be transformed. Through service to others, we  and purpose. Miller Center unites the world’s most entrepreneurial ecosystem with the Jesuit tradition of serving the poor and protecting the planet.

 

Download the report here.

Tags:  Africa  SDGs  Social entrepreneurship 

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Investing for Impact

Posted By Lauren Farello, Aspen Institute, Friday, October 6, 2017

INVESTING FOR IMPACT: 27 INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES TO CHANGE THE WORLD

By Agora Partnerships

 

Investing for Impact: 27 Investment Opportunities to Change the World outlines opportunities to support and invest in entrepreneurs across Latin America and the Caribbean who are solving the Sustainable Development Goals and building a more just, equitable society. These outstanding companies have gone through Agora’s Accelerator program and many are fully investment ready and looking for immediate capital. Every company in this book needs support - whether investment, advice, connections or access to markets - and every entrepreneur has been selected based on demonstration of the values of empathy, agency, curiosity and perseverance and their ability to create lasting, sustainable change.

 

Download the report here.

Tags:  accelerators  impact investing  Latin America  SDGs 

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SME Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa

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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