Building the capacity of organisations who support entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa
Partner: Village Capital
The Impact Programme has provided support for Village Capital’s work to build the capacity of entrepreneur support organisations (ESOs) in Sub-Saharan Africa. This initiative, VilCap Communities, focuses on ESOs which have the highest potential to support investment-ready, early stage impact enterprises who are looking to solve problems faced by those in poverty. Ultimately, it aims to catalyse impact investment in the region.
The VilCap Communities initiative, launched last year with 26 pilot communities across the world, has representation from the United States, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. This pilot programme was designed to share best practice and increase the investment readiness of early stage impact enterprises by answering the question: what works in entrepreneur support?
Scope of work
This programme is aimed at expanding the VilCap Communities work within Sub-Saharan Africa.
The selected accelerators, incubators, seed funds and other entrepreneur support organisations from Sub-Saharan Africa will receive a curriculum and training to yield better outcomes for entrepreneurs and the customers they serve. Village Capital will equip intermediaries with curriculum and content to facilitate their own programmes for enterprises in their ecosystem to become attractive to investors. Programme resources such as the curriculum and content will be delivered in a comprehensive “one stop shop” on how to run effective accelerator programmes to make early stage companies investment ready.
The intended impact is that 15 ESOs in the region are equipped to deliver effective training and development for their community of entrepreneurs to become investment ready. The programme focuses on specific lessons for ESOs to find, train and invest in entrepreneurs.
Completion: December 2018.
Research on scaling out successful impact investing models
The Impact Programme part-funded an FSG study which aimed to develop a robust foundation of understanding the need and opportunity for impact investment and represent models that could be replicated in different markets and sectors. The focus of the study will be on impact investing and impact enterprises in low- and lower-middle-income parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The intention is also to work and demonstrate relevance across a range of different vertical enterprise sectors, such as food, housing, energy, water, sanitation, health, education, financial services (beyond microfinance) and improved livelihoods for the poor.
Scope of work
The study aimed to identify and synthesise learning and best practice by looking into models and markets that represent opportunities for scaling out. It looks into ways in which the different approaches of scaling out could be effectively operationalised by addressing different questions that respond to the extent of which the original pioneer is an important success factor in scaling out the ecosystem barriers resourcing needs (i.e. entities, team, capital).
The study intends to drive greater experimentation, learning and improvement around two key areas of intentional practice. This includes company building and diffusion of knowledge, as well as influencing wider sectoral evolution in impact investing by leveraging this greater momentum, insight and evidence.
Completion: 30th July 2017.
Overcoming information gaps in the impact investing sector
Partner: Endeva and ANDE
The Impact Programme is working with Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and Endeva to help address the lack of market information for deal making in the impact investing sector. Together, ANDE and Endeva (in cooperation with GIZ’s Inclusive Business Action Network (IBAN) and the Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business) aim to address the lack of connections between investors, capacity development providers and investees that hinders the effectiveness of the impact investing sector.
They will do this by creating a searchable, online database for inclusive business entrepreneurs. This database will provide information about the financial support and/or technical assistance that is available to them. They will also produce ecosystem maps detailing the strength and weaknesses of certain markets in six of DFID’s target regions in Africa for entrepreneurs looking for insight in to the existing ecosystem.
Armed with better information, entrepreneurs, intermediaries and investors – whether they support inclusive businesses or small and growing businesses (SGBs) – can work together to address gaps hindering the growth of impact investing in emerging markets.
A major challenge that inclusive business entrepreneurs face while trying to scale their businesses at the Base of the Pyramid is the difficulty in accessing crucial financial and technical support. The development of an easy-to-use and comprehensive, online database of organisations providing such support will help to reduce the amount of time and resource entrepreneurs spend identifying opportunities for support.
At the same time, organisations providing business support services or investment in SGBs often do not have clear insight into who is providing complimentary services or investment in a given country. To provide greater market intelligence for these intermediaries, ANDE will develop six visual snapshots of entrepreneurial ecosystems which will serve as visual maps for stakeholders to see where there are gaps and opportunities. As a result, they can be used as a discussion tool for stakeholders to identify ways to work more collaboratively to support local entrepreneurs.