Publication: World Bank Group Support for Innovation and Entrepreneurship : An Independent Evaluation

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Independent Evaluation Group
World Bank Group management welcomes Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) review of innovation and entrepreneurship. The global financial crisis required developing economies to actively seek new sources of economic growth. Natural resource-intensive economies are pursuing new ways to diversify their productive capacity to build resilience to commodity cycles. Middle-income countries (MICs) are looking for ways to escape the middle-income trap. A number of developmental challenges, from climate adaptation to food security and health, require new, efficient technological solutions adapted to developing countries' needs. In such context, innovation and entrepreneurship are increasingly seen as essential ingredients for economic and social prosperity. The report notes there are limited mechanisms in place to share learning about innovation and entrepreneurship and few formal efforts to improve coordination. However, important initiatives are already under way to foster learning, cross fertilization, and codification of knowledge to support innovation policy. The innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship (ITE) global practice, for example, brings together innovation and entrepreneurship specialists across the Bank Group in knowledge exchange forums and other learning activities. The innovation policy platform (IPP), under advanced development, will provide a repository of knowledge on the "how to" of innovation policy and a collaborative space for users to exchange knowledge. The report recognizes that venture capital investments typically have high rates of failure in which only one or two investments earn high returns for every ten investments made. It states further that market practice assesses a fund's performance on a portfolio basis against its peers of the same vintage, not on a stand-alone basis. The positive effects on private sector development of International Finance Corporation (IFC) investments in venture capital funds confirm that this type of financing can be an important mechanism for fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and growth of private enterprises. The report states that Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) support helped jump-start private sector foreign direct investment in post conflict situations in Mozambique and Nicaragua. The report concludes that the effectiveness of MIGA's interventions to support innovation and entrepreneurship will be enhanced with improvements in the quality of its front-end work in assessment, underwriting, and monitoring. This report is organized as follows: chapter one presents evaluation context; chapter two gives strategies to support innovation and entrepreneurship; and chapter three deals with supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in World Bank Group projects; chapter four presents portfolio performance of World Bank Group support for innovation and entrepreneurship; chapter five gives learning from World Bank Group interventions; and chapter six gives conclusions and recommendations.
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Independent Evaluation Group. 2013. World Bank Group Support for Innovation and Entrepreneurship : An Independent Evaluation. © World Bank Group, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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