SGB Evidence Fund

The Autumn 2022 call for proposals is now closed.

The Autumn 2022 call for proposals is now closed. 

The SGB Evidence Fund invites proposals for grants up to £50,000 that address knowledge gaps in the small and growing business sector. We seek to commission high-quality research projects that yield insight into what works to stimulate the growth of SGBs through improvements in firm productivity and performance, as well as build evidence on the economic and social impacts of SGB growth.

Funded projects will be partnerships between practitioners and researchers that have the potential to generate both high-quality academic publications and learning relevant to increasing the effectiveness of practitioner-led programs supporting small and growing businesses. The SGB Evidence Fund supports work in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

We invite proposals for projects exploring interventions that aim to address constraints to capital, labour, and efficiency – the key factors determining productivity growth – and which aim to understand the impact productivity gains have on job creation, job quality, poverty alleviation, and climate adaptation and resilience. More information on potential research areas can be found in our synthesis paper and in this recent report from the Argidius Foundation, which outline the current state of knowledge across these areas.

In 2022, we are particularly interested in projects that focus on:

  • The role of SGBs in helping communities adapt and become more resilient to climate change;
  • the effectiveness of business accelerators and incubators;
  • the effects of peer learning, mentoring, and management training on SGB growth;
  • the effect of new models of finance on SGB growth, in particular the impact of different types of capital on different SGB segments (see this report for an example of a finance segmentation framework);
  • programmes that link SGBs to procurement by the public sector or large private firms;
  • the effectiveness of SGB support interventions to drive gender equality;
  • the economic and social impact of SGB growth, including job creation, poverty alleviation, and social benefits from access to beneficial products or services.

This call is supported by funding from Argidius Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The call for proposals’ timeline can be found below. Additional information can be found for researchers and practitioners, and FAQs can be found here.

Please submit all proposals through the online application form.

Proposal documents:


Timeline of current round of proposals:

  • 1 November 2022: Call for proposals opens
  • 6 January 2023: Call for proposal closes
  • 6 January 2023 to 1 March 2023: Proposal consideration
  • March 2023: Announcement of successful applicants