Accelerating Entrepreneurs: Insights from USAID's Support for Small and Growing Businesses

Speeches Shim

Entrepreneurs drive economic growth, job creation and innovation worldwide. However, many critical barriers limit them from reaching their full potential, including access to financing networks, market information, business development services and market infrastructure. These entrepreneurs find themselves in the “pioneer gap”—too big for seed funding, but too risky for traditional investment.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) aims to unlock the potential of entrepreneurs by taking a systems-change approach to closing these gaps. USAID works with  ntermediaries, investors and other donors to improve entrepreneurial ecosystems, while also supporting individual entrepreneurs and ecosystem-focused learning initiatives.

USAID’s Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) Initiative aims to catalyze private sector investment into early-stage enterprises and help entrepreneurs bridge the pioneer gap—thus unlocking the potential of thousands of promising enterprises around the world. To better understand how working with intermediaries supports entrepreneurs around the world, USAID conducted a mid-term strategic review of the PACE Initiative

This strategic review aims to inform the decisions of public funders, private investors and policymakers who are interested in working with intermediaries in entrepreneurial ecosystems. 

The executive summary provides three kinds of insights:

  • How different types of intermediaries contribute to the growth of the firms
  • How to assess the efficiency of investments into intermediaries
  • The extent to which intermediaries can realize financially sustainable business models 


Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 4:00pm