The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and Village Capital have produced a new report that examines social impact-focused incubators and accelerators, operating around the world.
We like this report, because it is another good example of organizations using "hard" assessment tools (in this case, quantitative analysis) to study what works--and what may not work as well--to drive economic development in emerging economies. Discovering the most effective ways to create mutual economic benefits throughout our value chain is at the heart of our PiA Metrics efforts. As ANDE and Village Capital note themselves:
In recent years, there has been a growing recognition that many promising small and growing businesses (SGBs) in emerging markets find it difficult to get off the ground, due to a lack of business training at the early stages of their growth. In the case of impact-oriented enterprises that have the potential to reduce poverty, this gap is even more evident, as noted in the recent study, “From Blueprint to Scale”.
Incubators and accelerators are playing an increasing role in filling this gap, by providing early stage entrepreneurs with access to business development services, connections to potential customers, and investment facilitation services. Over the past five years, the number of impact-focused accelerators has grown significantly (over 70% of accelerators surveyed were founded in 2008 or later). However, there is little research on accelerator activity in emerging markets, and even less on impact-focused accelerators.
ANDE and Village Capital are attempting to bride this gap with their evidence based approach, in the hope that the knowledge generated by their efforts will strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem.