Adapting to Survive: New Study Reveals the Importance of Digital Payments to Small and Micro Businesses in Mexico
An estimated 95% of businesses around the world are micro, small and medium enterprises, and they've been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 crisis. Devin Olmack and Ashley Speyer at 60 Decibels discuss a new study of 750+ small and micro businesses owners in Mexico, which illustrates how digital payments can help these businesses grow and weather unpredictable storms like the pandemic. They share personal stories of small business owners who have benefited from digital payment systems, and detail some remaining obstacles and opportunities for growth.
Building Inclusion Into the Investment Process: Four Steps for Addressing Bias Against Women Startup Founders
While overall global funding for startups grew in 2020, women founders received 27% less investment than the previous year. The problem is particularly troubling in emerging markets, where only 11% of seed funding went to companies with a woman on their founding team in 2019. Akansha Kasera and Malika Anand at BFA's Catalyst Fund discussed the issue with two female venture capitalists, Lexi Novitske from Acuity Ventures and Lelemba Phiri from Enygma Ventures: They share four steps the investment industry should take to boost gender equity and reduce bias against women startup founders.
COVID-19 Is Showing Small Businesses the Benefits of Digital Financial Services: Here Are Three Ways Providers Can Use Data to Better Serve Them
Digital access to financial services has been growing in recent years, but COVID-19 has made it all the more necessary. BancoSol, a commercial bank serving 1.5 million Bolivian microentrepreneurs, saw its digital transactions rising over the last year and wanted to extend this trend beyond the pandemic — but it wasn't sure how. Kathleen Yaworsky at Accion and Aaron Lewin at Mastercard discuss how their organizations are supporting BancoSol through data-driven insights, and share three steps microfinance institutions can take to better serve the needs of their micro and small business customers.
Elbow to Elbow: Convening Donors and Practitioners to Optimize Blended Finance for African Agriculture
Official development assistance isn't enough to bridge the SDG financing gap, or to unlock the growth and impact potential of African agricultural enterprises. Blended finance is often cited as a solution, but according to Brian Milder of Aceli Africa, it's falling short both in terms of impact and private capital mobilized. He explains the reasons for these limitations, and examines the perspectives of both donors and lenders to show how catalytic capital can be leveraged more effectively.
Resolving Legal Disputes in Emerging Markets: What Social Entrepreneurs Should Know About International Arbitration
Though most social entrepreneurs would rather focus on growing their business than litigating a legal dispute, these issues can sometimes arise – especially when complex cross-border commerce is involved. Patrick Miller from P Miller Legal Services explains why international arbitration can be the best option in these situations. He explores the advantages of using this approach for dispute resolution, and discusses how it differs from standard business litigation – and why it can be particularly beneficial for social enterprises operating in emerging markets.