Publication: Do mLabs Make a Difference? : A Holistic Outcome Assessment of infoDev's Mobile Entrepreneurship Enablers

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World Bank
This report is an assessment of the overall effects of infoDevapos;s mobile application labs (mLabs). mLabs are specialized mobile business incubation and acceleration facilities offering physical workspace, mentoring and coaching, devices for mobile application testing, training, and startup competitions. mLabs were designed as pilot projects under the Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy (CSBKE) program and have since become part of infoDevapos;s Mobile Innovation Program. The Outcome Assessment compares mLabs results against the original program objectives. At the outset, the goal for mLabs was to derive and test new approaches that would quot;1) increase the competitiveness of innovative enterprises in the mobile industry, and 2) ensure that locally relevant applications are created to meet growing developing country user demands.quot; Within the three-year project implementation period, the pilots were expected to quot;generate 8-10 mobile applications; increase the commercialization rate of applications that have the potential for significant development impact; and increase the scale and competitiveness of innovative mobile applications enterprises leading to greater reach to disadvantaged populations.quot; The design and testing of mLabs started in 2010. In accordance to the original objectives, the assessment examines mLabsapos; effects on startup creation and development (as the best available proxy measures of increased competitiveness in mobile application enterprises) and the development impact generated through the use of applications developed by mLab-supported developers and entrepreneurs, including the number of relevant applications. The assessment also includes an analysis of mLabsapos; effects on entrepreneurial ecosystems, since anecdotal evidence previous to the assessment pointed towards potentially substantial effects that were not originally envisioned under the CSBKE;BRgt;
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World Bank. 2014. Do mLabs Make a Difference? : A Holistic Outcome Assessment of infoDev's Mobile Entrepreneurship Enablers. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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