Global study into impact of accelerator programmes announced


The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and Emory University’s Social Enterprise @ Goizueta have announced they are to conduct a study into the impact of accelerator programmes across the world.

ANDE and Social Enterprise @ Goizueta announced the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI) at the recent Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Nairobi, Kenya, saying it would represent a first-time comprehensive market assessment and analysis of accelerators.

The partnership was created by the US Global Development Lab at the US Agency for International Development, Omidyar Network, the Lemelson Foundation and the Argidius Foundation, and will analyse the efficacy of accelerator programmes. The partners said though there are hundreds of accelerators around the world, little research has been undertaken in order to understand early-stage acceleration and its effect on startups.

GALI will build upon the work done thus far by The Entrepreneurship Database programme at Emory University, which has collected information on more than 3,500 enterprises and partnered with more than 60 accelerator programmes to date. The public-private partnership has committed US$2.3 million over three years to scale the programme by collecting data on more than 10,000 firms globally.

“We’re delighted leaders from the academic, international development, and philanthropy worlds are coming together to take action and further strengthen business communities by ensuring careful investigation of and innovation for accelerator programmes worldwide,” said Randall Kempner, executive director of ANDE.

The study will seek to discover whether accelerators actually accelerate growth of early ventures, attract more investments or increase revenue for companies, and identify what types of accelerators have the biggest impact on entrepreneurial success.

“Hundreds of these support programmes for entrepreneurs have emerged over the past few years, and little is known about what’s working and what isn’t. This expansion of our research could help these programmes more effectively grow the ventures they support – this could mean more jobs, a larger economic impact, and faster market penetration,” said Sean Peters, programme director of the Entrepreneurship Database programme at Emory University.

GALI will look to provide accelerator programmes with statistical data and market insight to better inform their decision-making. The data will also be made available to researchers and practitioners, with GALI hoping it will provide greater understanding to all involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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