GrowthAfrica focuses on providing business acceleration services, strategic advice and access to investments to early-stage enterprises (ESEs) in Africa. It seeks to provide ESEs with the necessary tools, skills, and access to individuals and organisations which will help them remove obstacles for growth and achieve moderate-to-significant scale over a 42-month period.
The support is delivered in two phases – a six-month intensive cohort-based workshop delivery phase followed by a 36-month period of ongoing tailored support. The cohort model is based on a belief that additional value is delivered through the formation of a group identity, building a common language and shared understanding of entrepreneurship and business operations.
Itad was appointed to conduct an evaluation to assess the results of GrowthAfrica’s support to ESEs in 2016-2017 supported by the Argidius Foundation. The evaluation covers GrowthAfrica acceleration programme activities in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia focusing particularly on GrowthAfrica’s delivery model; its relevance to enterprises; the combined package of acceleration services offered to enterprises; and GrowthAfrica’s contribution to short and longer-term outcomes; and understanding the factors that have influenced outcomes.
Itad proposed a theory-based evaluation design that seeks to articulate the theories and hypotheses behind the GrowthAfrica programme, collect and synthesise triangulated quantitative and qualitative data from a range of sources, including benchmarking with enterprise data collected by the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI), and use this information to answer the key evaluation questions. These questions address the appropriateness and effectiveness of GrowthAfrica’s delivery model and GrowthAfrica’s learning processes and contribution to sector learning.
We are now in the implementation phase of this assignment and have collected and analysed data to assess the contribution of GrowthAfrica to successful outcomes and the key factors influencing results. Our evaluation report will present these findings and provide a set of recommendations towards enhancing GrowthAfrica’s services and contributing to the sector-wide evidence base on what works in acceleration support and business development services for small growth businesses.
Image: Downtown Nairobi. Credit: James H (CC BY-ND 2.0)