infoDev's latest Annual Report references how, thanks to growing donor support, it was able to take a more holistic approach for the program, focusing on innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. The program maintained its strong ties with its grassroots network of entrepreneurs and business incubators. That network has supported 400 incubators in 107 countries, has catalyzed 25,000 firms, and has helped to create 250,000 jobs.
Over the past years, infoDev has initiated two specialized, industry-specific incubation networks: it now support two Mobile Application Laboratories (mLabs)—with three more on the way—and it is in the process of launching six Climate Innovation Centers (CICs) that will focus on clean technologies.
infoDev established the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC)—a $20 million program over seven years—which will expand the Caribbean network of business incubators as these small island economies are faced with specific challenges in terms scaling up and diversifying economic activities.
In FY11, infoDev began work on a new form of targeted incubation: Agribusiness Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centers, or AIECs. These centers would help farmers and small agricultural producers in developing economies to innovatively add value throughout the agricultural supply chain.
Each of the infoDev projects was completed with partners and clients working together with the infoDev team. For example, in the past two years, the team has met with 200 stakeholders in Kenya and India to develop a model for Climate Innovation Centers; the team cooperated with regulators in Africa and Asia to change the policy environment for broadband development; and it brought together several hundred entrepreneurs, policymakers, and financiers at the 4th Global Forum in Helsinki, Finland.
The past period also marked the organizational move within the World Bank, to the Financial and Private Sector Development Vice Presidency, as it fits best with infoDev's renewed mission of supporting technology and innovation for early-stage, innovative entrepreneurs in order to create sustainable jobs.
In 2010 - 2011, infoDev’s donor base broadened, with valued contributions coming from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Brazil, South Africa, Korea and the United Kingdom, in addition to the World Bank Group. Disbursements will increase more than threefold between FY 09 and FY 12, while the percentage of resources required for administrative costs has gone down.
For more information about the Annual Report 2010 - 2011, please contact Angela Bekkers, email: Abekkers@worldbank.org, tel: (+1) 202 458 8831.