We focus on improving the effectiveness and reach of small enterprise capacity development, and do this in three ways:
- We help build effective ecosystems in our core geographies
- We develop strategic partnerships with globally significant SME capacity builders that are innovative and have the potential to execute scalable, high-impact work
- We rigorously evaluate what works, and what does not, in the programmes we support, and share our learnings with others
In a world of significant social and environmental challenges, SMEs need to consider how to incorporate sustainability into their core business models. We are exploring ways in which they can do this more effectively, and continue to support SMEs that are mindful of their wider social and environmental obligations through appropriate interventions.
We have a comprehensive process of structuring our grant proposals and reviewing our projects’ outcomes. We aim to increase our impact by making the best possible decisions, based on continuous learning from our own experience and external sources.
We use the Return of Total Investment (ROTI) measurement tool as a proxy indicator. It allows us to compare across partners, countries, regions and themes, and thus informs investment decisions and on-going grant management.
We continually review our measurement tools and support our grantees to build their own robust and effective systems of monitoring, evaluation and learning.
The Argidius Foundation funds projects and organisations that:
- support business and revenue growth;
- are cost effective;
- involve innovation and reasonable risk;
- are scalable or replicable;
- reflect capable management and a sound approach;
- have social and/or environmental benefits;
- have a potential for poverty reduction;
- include robust partnerships beneficial for project implementation;
- have a sound exit strategy;
- have a potential to leverage Argidius’ funding;
- have the potential to become sustainable over time;
- are located in East Africa or Central America.
Our due diligence process includes a safeguarding assessment to protect the safety of children and vulnerable adults. We request all our partners to have relevant safeguarding measures – including safe recruitment, staff training and reporting procedures – in place.
Given the high amount of requests we receive, we will only contact you if an internal review shows that your project meets our funding criteria.
All major grants are subject to an external evaluation, and we also fund external research. The reports are published here on an on-going basis.
Research: Global Accelerator Learning Initiative
The Argidius supported GALI has built a database of more than 8,500 enterprises and more than 100 acceleration programs across the world. This longitudinal dataset follows up with both accelerated and rejected ventures, which creates a comparison group to assess the effectiveness of startup acceleration. Two major publications have been released, in addition to six shorter reports and data summaries, all of which are available in GALI’s publication database.
Evaluation: Lessons Learned from TechnoServe’s Work with Small and Growing Businesses in Central America
The Argidius supported Impulsa Tu Emprese (‘’Boost Your Business”) is an accelerator program run by TechnoServe which supported more than 1,000 businesses in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Burkina Faso. These businesses increased their sales by > $35 million, created >1,100 new jobs and mobilized > $5 million in capital since 2012. The following findings are based on Emory University’s analysis of the performance after 1 year of 432 businesses across Central America. Please see the document Accelerating Impact for Entrepreneurs.
Report: Networking Works: Peer-to-peer business networks help Small and Growing Businesses grow revenues and create jobs
Two peer-to-peer business networks which Argidius have supported have consistently delivered impact: member businesses have experienced high annual revenue growth for 3+ years, and jobs have been created cost-effectively. Both networks embody six key success factors, common among the Foundation’s highest performers.