Knowledge development and sharing

The deployment of the DGGF generates a wealth of knowledge, findings, lessons learnt and best practices. The objective is to systematise this knowledge to accelerate sector wide learning. Practice-oriented studies will be conducted and knowledge sharing events will be organised, where and when possible in close cooperation with relevant partners.

Events

The DGGF is setting up a series of local events to bring together relevant stakeholders to better understand the key constraints that the missing middle faces, specifically woman and young entrepreneurs as well as entrepreneurs in fragile states.

Read more about our first event in Nairobi, co-hosted with the Netherlands Embassy in Nairobi, ANDE and EAVCA:

Learn more about the #ClosingTheGap event co-hosted with the Netherlands Embassy in Dakar – the first in the series of the francophone West Africa study:

Learn more about the #ClosingTheGap event co-hosted with the APIP in Conakry – the second in the series of the francophone West Africa study:

Learn more about the #ClosingTheGap event hosted in Cotonou - the third in the series of the francophone West Africa study:

Learn more about the #ClosingTheGap event hosted in Lomé - the fourth in the series of the francophone West Africa study:

Learn more about the #ClosingTheGap event hosted in Bamako – the fifth in the series of the francophone West Africa study:

Learn more about the #ClosingTheGap event hosted in Abidjan - the last one in the series of the francophone West Africa study:

For its third edition, #ClosingTheGap brings you to the Mekong region. The first stakeholder workshop was hosted in cooperation with Emerging Markets Consulting and Cambodian Women Entrepreneurs Association, in Phnom Penh. The outcomes of the event are captured in the article below:

Learn more about the #ClosingTheGap events hosted in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam is the second country studied as part of the series of the Mekong study:

Learn more about the #ClosingTheGap event hosted in Yangon - the third in the series of the Mekong study.  

The last Mekong local stakeholder workshop was hosted in Laos – find out the outcomes in the article below.

#ClosingTheGap is venturing into the MENA region.

To get a sneak peek of the Moroccan “missing middle” and solutions put forward by local stakeholders towards #ClosingTheGap in the country, read the 2-page article below:

Interested in learning more about the “missing middle” in Tunisia and what the local stakeholders believe is still needed for #ClosingTheGap in Tunisia, read through the 2-page article below:

Studies

Scaling acces to finance for early-stage Enterprises in Emerging Markets: Lessons from the Field

Many SMEs in developing countries have difficulty securing the financial backing they need to grow – and are often referred as the ‘missing middle’: they have outgrown microfinance but do not yet have access to regular financial services. While challenges are abundant for all missing middle segments, early-stage enterprises face even bigger hurdles, and the lack of financing is a major constraint to their growth.

The report seeks to explore how to improve the scalability and viability of early-stage finance provision, thereby reducing the need for philanthropic capital and subsidies to the local providers of finance and support to early-stage enterprises. The landscape exercise was used to define and prioritize “archetypes of early-stage finance provision” as the focus of the report.

Business accelerators, business angel networks and venture capital funds were selected as three key equity-based archetypical models to be studied in more detail, together with the broader category of supplemental “non-traditional” debt options. The report provides a set of actionable recommendations as to what could done to strengthen the sustainability and scalability of early-stage enterprise finance provision in emerging markets.

DGGF supported the release of Phase I findings from the UEEI by ANDE

The report provides mapping of the ecosystem and recommendations for overcoming growth constraints for entrepreneurs in Kampala and Gulu

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), together with the Centre for Development Alternatives, Enterprise Uganda, and Koltai & Company, released the findings of Phase I of the Uganda Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Initiative (UEEI). The initiative aims to bolster entrepreneurship in Uganda—the most entrepreneurial country in the world according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor—but also one with a host of challenges for small business owners.  DGGF has supported the Uganda Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Initiative, together with Argidius Foundation and Small Foundation.

Study on enterprise segmentation

Small and growing businesses (SGBs) contribute to significant positive impact in emerging economies, but they struggle to access the capital they need to reach their full potential. In order to move the needle on addressing the “missing middle” SGB financing gap, there is a need to better understand and dissect this huge and diverse market – and identify the financing solutions that can be scaled up to address the distinct financing needs of different types of SGBs.

DGGF has partnered with the Collaborative for Frontier Finance, Omidyar Network, and Dalberg Advisors to develop a segmentation framework with the aim of helping investors, intermediaries, and entrepreneurs better navigate the complex landscape of SGB investment in frontier and emerging markets. By segmenting the SGB market into multiple “missing middles,” the study aims to help more effectively diagnose the distinct financing needs and gaps faced by different types of enterprises, and in turn better focus on scaling the financing solutions that are most needed to empower enterprises of all types to meaningfully contribute to inclusive economic growth.

Study on small cap SME mezzanine finance

In search for new models to provide risk capital, mezzanine finance, which blends elements from traditional Private Equity (PE) and debt financing into a unique product, provides an additional offer in the SME finance ecosystem for missing middle entrepreneurs.

As a relatively young and rather complex segment in the impact investing space, the commissioned study 'Publication of new perspectives on financing small cap SMEs in emerging markets: the case for mezzanine finance' provides an understanding of the specificities, diversity (and complexities) of it, critical to spur innovative thinking on both the fund managers and investors sides so products may be improved and models may be more scalable. This study is the first of its kind and represents a first step into building small cap SME mezzanine finance as an asset class on its own.

#ClosingTheGap reports

The DGGF is launching a series of reports called #ClosingTheGap that aim to assess the entrepreneurial ecosystems of countries covered by the DGGF mandate.

Learn more about the Kenyan enterprise landscape and specific challenges and needs faced by the different segments of the Kenyan SME sector, particularly the “missing middle” in the pilot study:

In case you have only limited time available, you can get an update on key challenges for the “missing middle” in Kenya by reading this short article:

Discover the Guinean entrepreneurial ecosystem and understand better the challenges faced but also the opportunities awaiting “missing middle” enterprises in Guinea. This is the first report of the regional study covering francophone West Africa:

Get a better understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Togo. This is the second report of the regional study covering francophone West Africa:

In which environment do local entrepreneurs operate in Mali? Get more acquainted with the realities of doing business for small and medium sized enterprises in Mali by reading the third report of the regional study covering francophone West Africa:

What does the SME landscape look like in Benin? What are the challenges faced by the different types of local enterprises and what financial and non-financial services exist to address those?  Get a better understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Benin by reading the 4th report of the regional study covering francophone West Africa:

Dive into the state-of-the-art entrepreneurial ecosystem study covering Senegal by reading the 5th report of the regional study covering francophone West Africa:

Ivory Coast is the focus of the 6th and last country report part of the regional study covering francophone West Africa:

To get a regional overview of the SME landscapes and the specific needs and challenges of the “missing middle(s)” in francophone West Africa, dive into the #ClosingTheGap regional report:

#ClosingTheGap in the Mekong

Get more acquainted with the Cambodian business environment and dive into the local offer of financial and non-financial services available to the “missing middle”. Recommendations towards #ClosingTheGap for local businesses are put forward in the report below:

The executive summary is available in English and in the local language below:

 
Interested in learning more about the “missing middle” in Lao and what the local stakeholders believe is still needed for #ClosingTheGap in the country? Recommended strategies are included in the report below:

The executive summary is available in English and in the local language below:

Curious about the solutions put forward to improve the local business environment, notably facilitating access to credit and supporting local businesses other than tech startups in Myanmar? Opportunities towards #ClosingTheGap in the country are outlined in the report below:

The executive summary is available in English and in the local language below:

Seeking new perspectives on the Vietnamese aspirations to become an innovation-driven economy and the local businesses that could contribute to it? Solutions for #ClosingTheGap in the country are captured in the report below:

The executive summary is available in English and in the local language below:

 
To get an overview of the “missing middle” operating in the Mekong region and what can be done to #ClosingTheGap in the region, read the regional report available below:

Also available in local languages:

Enterprise Surveys

The DGGF is partnering with the World Bankto undertake enterprise surveys, i.e. a firm-level survey of a representative sample of an economy’s private sector. A vibrant and productive private sector is vital for growth and job creation. To ensure maximal contribution of private firms towards overall economic growth a careful analysis of private firms is required - their structure, performance, the business environment that they operate in, the problems they face in conducting business, the extent of innovation activity they conduct, etc. The possibility of conducting rigorous analysis on the private sector is often severely hampered by lack of high-quality, reliable and comparable data. The World Bank Group Enterprise Analysis Unit (DECEA) has taken the lead in collecting cross-country and over-time comparable data on establishments in the formal sectors.  

Bidding opportunities

For several of the studies and events to be organized under the SC&BD Knowledge component we will use a tendering procedure. Below you can view and download the current tenders and their documentation.