I wanted to alert our readers to a new competition for ideas of how to best foster Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) growth. Typically with impact evaluation we end up evaluating a program that others have designed, or working with the occasional bank or NGO that is willing to try a new idea, but usually with firms that are very small in size. What is missing is a space where people with innovative ideas can get them into the hands of governments designing SME programs. I am working with the new Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice at the World Bank to try to do something new here, to give researchers and operational staff with ideas the chance to get them to a stage where they can become part of World Bank projects, and thereby have the potential to be implemented at much larger scale on lots of SMEs.
Unlike existing research grants which require you to have an implementation partner and country identified, the goal here is identify promising ideas, and support the process of matching these ideas with World Bank operational staff and governments looking to implement innovative and potentially high impact initiatives. The first stage in this process is preparing a simple 2-page concept brief, which is described in the following call which also provides more details on what we are looking for, and the process we are following.
The template for this 2-pager is contained on the website above, and is due December 5th. The call is open to both World Bank staff (researchers and operational staff) and to external researchers.
This is a new endeavor we are trying. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions about the concept or process, and hopefully some of our readers may have great ideas to put forward.