This is the fourth installment of a five-part blog series on scaling environmental entrepreneurship in emerging markets. In this series, experts in the field provide insights on how business accelerators, technical assistance providers, investors, and the philanthropic community can work with developing market entrepreneurs to increase their economic, environmental, and social impacts. Read the rest of the series.
What do development banks, impact investment funds, foundations, and business accelerators have in common? Each of these organizations plays a significant role in supporting entrepreneurs in developing countries, including those who are trying to solve environmental problems through commercial enterprises.
But in most cases, these groups have traditionally occupied distinct niches in the support they provide. Development banks specialize in providing businesses with grants, loans, and technical assistance; impact investors provide debt or equity at market or near-market rates; foundations channel their philanthropy to create change; and business accelerators help entrepreneurs hone their business skills and attract investors.
What would happen if these groups worked more closely together? As we discussed at a recent WRI event, if organizations were able to combine their respective strengths, entrepreneurs could capture greater benefits than if groups work alone.