Highlights

25 February 2014

infoDev Annual Report 2012-2013

infoDev’s latest Annual Report highlights all the projects and activities implemented to support the high-growth oriented entrepreneur and the innovative enterprise. These are the ones who can scale up, create jobs, and positively impact their communities. Thanks to generous donor contributions and effective collaboration with the World Bank Group, over the past two years, infoDev has seen a tremendous expansion in operations, into more than 100 countries.

28 January 2014

Caribbean Climate Innovation Center launches in Trinidad

The business hub is now accepting applications for grants of up to $50,000

The Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC)—a hub designed to help clean technology ventures transform the region to a low-carbon economy and create green jobs—launched yesterday in Freeport, Trinidad & Tobago.

12 December 2013

Diaspora Investing: The Business and Investment Interests of the Caribbean Diaspora

A new report by infoDev finds that the Caribbean diaspora is a sizeable, well-educated, and affluent demographic whose large majority is interested in investing in its countries of origin.  Supported by the right incentives and policies, diaspora members could play an even larger role in contributing to the region’s development.

Resources

A new report by infoDev finds that the Caribbean diaspora is a sizeable, well-educated, and affluent demographic whose large majority is interested in investing in its countries of origin.  Supported by the right incentives and policies, diaspora members could play an even larger role in contributing to the region’s development.

A new report commissioned by infoDev studies the promise and the risks of crowdfunding as a tool to finance innovation and growth in developing countries. It also provides an in-depth case study of crowdfunding’s potential in funding clean energy and climate technologies.

Executive Summary

Access to finance is generally regarded as a major impediment to the development of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the East African region. The problem is perceived to be particularly severe in the case of innovative firms. The purpose of this study is to shed light on the magnitude and severity of the financing gap faced by innovative MSMEs and to formulate recommendations for operational measures that could alleviate the constraints identified. The study covers four countries: Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It focuses on innovative ventures active in three lines of business (sectors): (i) information and communication technologies (ICT), including IT-enabled services such as business process outsourcing; (ii) climate technology (off-grid power systems, biofuels, etc.); and (iii) innovative agribusiness activities (producers and distributors of agricultural input, agricultural processors, etc.)

infoDev has developed a three-year program to improve employment, competitiveness, and sustainable, inclusive growth for these innovative, technology-enabled ventures. The program takes a localized approach to support growth oriented entrepreneurs in developing countries, influences the global innovation and entrepreneurship agenda, implements scalable activities for mobile, climate and agribusiness enterprises, and promotes inclusiveness of marginalized groups.

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About

infoDev Access to Finance Program

In the developing world, finding financing for a small business can be challenging. An entrepreneur may plunge personal savings into a startup, or ask family and friends for contributions—but then what? Banks are often wary of loaning to new ventures, and investors often overlook smaller-scale companies.

Many startups and small ventures in developing countries get caught in the so-called “Valley of Death”—the financing gap between an entrepreneur’s immediate resources and the investment floor of many venture capitalists and banks. Unfortunately, it dooms these fledgling companies in their early stages. A startup in the developing world may need only $100,000 to get running, but investors (to the extent they exist) often consider only proposed investments of $1 million or more.

To bridge this gap, our Access to Finance Program, supported initially by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland under the Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy Program designs and pilots early-stage financing facilities where entrepreneurs can get both the business coaching they need to thrive —and also to attract investments from nontraditional sources, such as angel investors, crowdfunders, and accelerators. Currently, Access to Finance activities are also implemented under the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean, financed by the government of Canada. Our program also carries out original research on new opportunities and challenges facing entrepreneurs, so that we and other organizations can be responsive to local needs.

For a deeper look at our Access to Finance Program, check out its chapter in our Work Program.