Small & growing businesses are engines of prosperity: ANDE

The 4th annual Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs Impact Report looks at the role of small & growing businesses as engines of prosperity, and once again we like the group's focus on promoting business ownership as a way to create long-term sustainable economic development.

An overview of the role small and growing businesses play in economic growth is below, and the full report is available on our site, here.


Small & growing businesses as engines of prosperity: Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs report 

ANDE has just released its 2012 annual report, and once again we like the group's focus on empowering people to build and grow businesses as a way to create long-term, sustainable economic development.

A graphic overview of how small businesses are beneficial is below, and the full report is available here on this site.


Aspen Network and Village Capital Assess the "Pioneer Gap"

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.


Grameen Foundation On The Savings Patterns of India's Poorest

We believe that economic and social development solutions will improve by understanding the practical realities of those at the bottom of the economic diamond, and by testing the outcomes of programs designed to assist them.  The Grameen Foundation has been at the forefront of the movement to promote savings and entrepreneurship through microfinance for many years.

This Grameen Foundation white paper, (also found in our countries section on India) Solutions for the Poorest: Insights on Savings Behaviors of Clients, explores the savings behavior of the ultra-poor in India. It is based on the results of the Livelihood Pathways for the Poorest project – a collaboration between the Grameen Foundation and the Livelihood School (part of the BASIX Group), with support from The Rockefeller Foundation.


The Price of Marriage in China

China’s transition to a market economy has swept away many restrictions in people’s lives. But of all the new freedoms the Chinese enjoy today — making money, owning a house, choosing a career — there is one that has become an unexpected burden: seeking a spouse.  Over the last year, this reporter tracked the progress of two matchmaking efforts at the opposite extremes of wealth. Together, they help illuminate the forces reshaping marriage in China. Find the story here.