Are Impact Accelerators/Incubators Targeting Emerging Markets Any Good?
Friday, December 19, 2014
Seems every time you turn around, there’s a new impact incubator or accelerator aimed at social enterprises in developing countries. But that doesn’t mean they’re any good.
I-DEV International, working with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and Agora Partnerships, recently released a report assessing just how effective entrepreneurs and investors think these programs are. Called Measuring Value by Impact Incubators & Accelerators, the authors spent 18 months surveying eight established impact incubators/accelerators, 54 enterprises that had participated in the programs, and 18 active impact investors.
Their findings: Early-stage enterprises derived more value than growth-stage companies. And, while everyone is somewhat disappointed by the money they raised from the programs, they got a lot out of the business plan and strategy development and peer mentoring, as well as the networking opportunities.
Also there’s a screaming need for programs to measure and track their participants and to do so in a consistent, standardized way.