Evaluation: ANDE-Argidius Talent Competition

Finding talented managers is a critical challenge for entrepreneurs everywhere, but it is especially difficult in emerging markets. To help overcome this hurdle, the Argidius Foundation and the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) launched a talent challenge to help identify, attract and retain middle- and senior-level managers prepared to guide these dynamic firms. Five organizations were selected to test their prototype solutions to help in either the recruitment, development or retention of management talent (or a combination of all three). These organizations are Amani Institute, Creative Metier, Open Capital Advisors, Shortlist, and Village Capital. Each organization received 200K euro against an agreed set of KPIs that were monitored over 30 month period; and, a final evaluation was completed by Enabling Outcomes.

Key findings:

  • Outsourcing talent solutions to high-quality organizations saves time and delivers results
  • Charging for services from the very start of a program helps identify the right Small and Growing Business (SGB) segment, focuses attention on creating customer value, and creates a path to sustainability
  • Established businesses and business leaders may get stuck in their ways. Evolving contexts, competitors threaten their businesses. They may need succession planning or have a desire to grow but don’t know how. Established businesses need to change, but they need help to do so.
  • Can addressing talent as a solution stand on its own? Or does it become sidelined as an issue when strategy and finance seem to be the pressing issues? Linking talent to strategy and finance is the way to convince SGBs of the importance and value of investing in talent solutions.

Each of these findings is the subject of one-page case study which can be found below. A blog first published on the Inclusive Business Action Network summarizing the lessons learned can be found here. The Executive Summary of the evaluation is also below.