The distributional impacts of innovation support programs for small and medium enterprises in Benin and Senegal
Like other countries in Africa, Benin and Senegal have introduced innovation support programs that provide training, incubation and financial incentives to create new enterprises and help existing ones grow. However, the evidence on whether such programs work, for whom and why is generally lacking. This project addresses this gap through an in-depth investigation of two innovation support programs to determine how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are supported to develop and grow.
Particular attention will be devoted to understanding their equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) dimensions, because both programs seek to benefit women, rural-based enterprises, entrepreneurs from families of low social status and people with limited digital skills. The extent of their participation and how they benefit will be examined with a view to improving the design of these programs.
This project will carry out an impact assessment of these programs on SME performance and on strengthening EDI, identify success factors of supported SMEs, and produce an evidence-based roadmap to inform the improvement of these interventions through an EDI lens in both countries. Two main results are expected: improved knowledge among public and private decision-makers on how these innovation support policies stimulate the expansion and growth of SMEs, and how their design and implementation might advance EDI goals.