Read the latest blogs from the IGL network.

Gathering evidence from the future: using scenarios to explore the current and emerging roles of innovation agencies

By Alex Glennie and Nyangala Zolho on Monday, 9 May 2022.

Innovation agencies deal with the ‘here and now’ of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. But they must also be prepared to respond to the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. How might they be able to learn from a future that is not yet written, and use this to inform their strategic planning?

Demonstrating the impact of a policy to support SMEs in designing more competitive products and services

By Davide Azzolini & Nicola Doppio on Wednesday, 2 March 2022.

This blog examines the 200SMEchallenge project, which involved carrying out a UX Challenge and using a randomised controlled trial to evaluate its effects on SMEs’ readiness to implement user-centred design methods. This project was one of 13 funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme, INNOSUP-06-2018.

Big Loans to Small Businesses: How Can We Predict Winners and Losers in Lending?

By Gharad Bryan, Dean Karlan & Adam Osman on Wednesday, 26 January 2022.

While the academic literature has considered the impact of providing small loans to microenterprises there has been limited work that considers the impacts of providing big loans to small businesses. This IGL funded trial explores if these loans riskier for the lender than standard loans.

Lessons on designing tech RCTs with SMEs

By Capucine Riom, Anna Valero and Juliana Oliveira-Cunha on Wednesday, 12 January 2022.

How can we help small and medium-sized businesses improve their productivity? New technologies based on artificial intelligence - such as chatbots and marketing automation - seem to offer clear benefits but are not yet widely adopted by SMEs. Alongside the Greater London Authority, Capital Enterprise and CognitionX, we designed a randomised trial to investigate how to encourage SMEs in London's retail and hospitality sectors to adopt the use of these technologies.

Image of a green plant in the palm of a hand

We need experimental innovation policies to transition to a greener economy that works for people and planet

By Nyangala Zolho on Friday, 22 October 2021.

With the budget for R&D in many OECD countries having significantly increased to support mission-driven innovation agendas, our call for more experimental innovation policy that is evidence based is paramount to ensure effective transitions towards an inclusive green economy.

Managerial or entrepreneurial capital? Untangling constraints of innovative entrepreneurs

By Juanita Gonzalez-Uribe, Michael Leatherbee, Santiago Reyes Ortega, Gustavo Rios on Friday, 10 September 2021.

Entrepreneurial support programs have been implemented over the last few decades to foster innovative entrepreneurs in developed and developing countries. Usually, these programs are carried out by local business accelerators that provides cash and support services in terms of training, mentorship, access to contacts and more. While there is some evidence that these type of interventions can foster innovative entrepreneurs, it is still unknown what are the mechanisms that drive the ventures’ growth.

Entrepreneurship and business support: What are the knowledge gaps?

By Anna Segura Lladó & Lou-Davina Stouffs on Tuesday, 10 August 2021.

As part of an IGL project, supported by the Kauffman Foundation, we aim to create a series of evidence summaries that make it easier for policymakers and business support providers to access and act on the most rigorous evidence to support entrepreneurs and businesses. This blog explores our findings so far, as well as launching an open call for inputs from any organisation in the business support ecosystem to contribute to shaping this project.