Are there too many incubators?

I was at the final ceremony of the Entrepreneurship for Society ceremony in the Hague when the head of the minor announced the creation of a new incubator at Leiden University to continue supporting  new ideas, a very exciting endeavor ..but then I thought to myself ” aren’t there are more people writing about, interviewing, thinking on and/or supporting entrepreneurs than entrepreneurs themselves? How do we know whether they are really helping?”. In short, are …

More impact, more return? (Or how to monetize impact)

I picked up this topic for my first post this year because I have been encountering this question a lot, since my recent work on Development Impact Bonds. By the way,  I plan to be a little more regular on this blog than last year, especially with the number of questions, issues and idea that pile up in my “to write about” list. I also have a friend who will be monitoring the publication flow, …

How campaigning (with Afek) from The Hague looked like, and some thoughts before the results

Today is election day in Tunisia, and in few hours the counting will start! I wanted to quickly share my experience before the results and before everyone starts bashing one party or another for whatever the results will be. Now, the hope for a government without Nahdha (or at least without Nahdha as a leader) is still on. This post will have more  pictures and videos than usual as it is also for me a …

Development Impact Bonds: a trend or a complete change of mindset?

I have been looking at Social Impact Bonds for few months already, and their version for developing countries, the Development Impact Bonds. It is a sort of a “pay for success” scheme that also involve investors, who take the risk to advance/invest the money upfront. Total or partial return of their principal and earnings would depend on the actual social (and measurable) outcome achieved. This is in a nutshell what it is, although I am …

Financial Inclusion in Tunisia

For those wondering about the status of access to finance in Tunisia, I am combining below few resources about the topic. Overall, the Microfinance market in Tunisia is under-developed compared to other markets in the region, namely Morocco, Egypt, Jordan. For now, lending that is close to micro-credit is done through BTS – Banque Tunisienne de Solidarite – a state-owned that is not performing very well, and Enda Interarabe, quite successful, with very credible partners, …

Microfinance Holdings: effective market building players or unsustainable schemes?

(Sorry for those who will find this post too technical, it needs to be sometimes…) CGAP recently posted a well documented and timely report on the performance of greenfield MFIs in Sub-Saharan Africa. I will not qualify it as the most unbiased assessment as it is financed and written by IFC folks, who supported many of those, but it definitely provide us with helpful insights. However I missed the following topics: –       The performance of the …

By supporting the private sector growth, are we going down the “fausse route”?

I recently finished reading Why Nations Fails, and although the authors seem to state the obvious – that nations’ success is mainly due to the existence of inclusive institutions – I do not see this factored in many of the development related discussions and plans, by international organization and development banks. And I guess the most disturbing part was the questioning of the very premise of any development finance institution out there:  by financing and developing the …

This blog in 2014…

…will keep going! It is hard to see the direct benefit, but other bloggers will tell you the same: it is not like Facebook, it is your platform, your territory, it is your space where you can take the time to reflect and write something a little more substantial and meaningful than a 10 word status.  Beyond being a great channel to convey your ideas, to get feedback and to engage with “visitors”, it is …