Call for proposals

The Autumn 2021 call for proposals is now closed. Successful applicants will be announced in February 2022.

The SGB Evidence Fund aims to address knowledge gaps in the small and growing business sector by commissioning high-quality, practitioner-researcher co-generated 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.

We will commission research projects that explore 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, and poverty alleviation. More information on potential research areas can be found in our synthesis paper, which outlines the current state of knowledge across these areas.

In 2021, we are particularly interested in projects that focus on:

  • the effectiveness of business accelerators and incubators;
  • the effects of peer learning, mentoring, and other information sharing mechanisms among firms;
  • 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 role of management training in improving productivity and SGB growth;
  • 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 in part by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Aligned with its mandate, IDRC funding will be directed to support projects that involve researchers affiliated with institutions in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, IDRC funding will be directed to proposals that examine gender equity considerations within the topics listed above. *Note that these are not requirements for all proposals, but proposals that meet these guidelines will be given preference.

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 to:

Proposal documents:

Call for Proposals Overview and Q&A:

Timeline of current round of proposals:

  • 6 September 2021: Call for proposals opens
  • 10 October 2021: Online application form is live
  • 1 November 2021: Call for proposals closes
  • 2 November 2021 – 14 February 2022: Proposal consideration
  • 15 February 2022: Announcement of successful applicants