International Development

Closing the Gap in Early- Stage Financing for Entrepreneurs – Business Fights Poverty

December 5, 2014  • Genevieve Edens

Picture your favorite startup company operating in the developing world. It might be selling solar lanterns to off-grid communities, providing transportation services for agricultural commodities, or perhaps operating a chain of grocery stores. Regardless of its sector or location, like any startup it probably did not follow a direct path to scale and success. It takes typically several years for startups to refine their business model, grow their customer base, and reach the break-even point (if they make it).  For companies that operate in developing countries, however, this growth trajectory becomes even more challenging. The context in which they operate—where banks do not lend, talent is hard to recruit and retain, infrastructure is poor, and business regulations are cumbersome—slows down that growth trajectory even further.
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