PEDL 2023 Workshop on Finance & Entrepreneurship

The Finance & Entrepreneurship Theme of the Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) programme, in partnership with J-PAL Africa, invites submissions for a workshop to be held in person on November 27-29 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa.
While there has been significant attention in the economics and finance literature paid to credit markets in developing countries, it has been much harder to study equity investments. Moving beyond debt financing is important for encouraging the entry and growth of more innovative firms with larger start-up costs and riskier early-stage cash flows. Most high-growth, innovative startups around the world rely on venture capitalists (VC) as a source of high-risk, high-reward investment. Similarly, more established firms can rely on private equity (PE) investors to grow. The empirical evidence in advanced economies shows for the most part positive impacts of VC and PE capital on firm productivity and innovation, because of a combination of the capital, knowledge, and networks they bring.
The goal of this workshop is to encourage new research on VC and PE markets in Africa by providing early career scholars with an opportunity to learn about the institutional features of that ecosystem up close.
The event is aimed at fostering collaborations between young scholars from Africa and from other countries. In addition to research discussions, the schedule will feature several in-depth meetings and panels with leading practitioners (both entrepreneurs and investors) in the high-growth entrepreneurship and venture capital ecosystem in Africa. Participants are encouraged to work together to develop research designs and will have the opportunity to receive feedback from the group.
The workshop will provide lodging in Cape Town and will reimburse a large share of the cost of flights to South Africa. The workshop will fully cover the transportation expenses for scholars based in Africa (within CEPR’s expense guidelines). 

The deadline for submissions is 11.59pm EST on Sunday, September 17 2023.

Click here for the application link.  We look forward to seeing you there!



●    Must commit to arriving Sunday 26 Nov and staying through the lunch session on Wednesday 29 Nov.
●   PhD in Economics or Finance (or related fields, e.g., Business and Entrepreneurship, Public Policy, …).
●    Priority given to untenured scholars, preferably within 5 years of PhD.
●   Must have interest in conducting research related to financing innovative firms in Africa (see section on Finance & Entrepreneurship theme in PEDL's new research strategy).

Tentative Agenda

Online programme (pre-workshop)

-    Kick-off Zoom meeting [Friday Nov 17 10am EST] 
-    Intro meeting EC/EB on current status of research, new PEDL focus, what Cape Town event will be about, and quick intros of participants
-    Speed-dating for mutual research interests

Cape Town programme 

Sunday November 26: Participants arrive (informal dinner for those arriving in time).
Monday November 27:
-    8-8.30: Breakfast
-    8.30-9.15: Intros and plan for the event
-    9.15-12: Session with VCs
-    12-1.30: Working lunch (rotating brainstorming chats) 
-    1.30-3: Session with VCs
-    3-5.30: Visit startups in small groups 
-    5.30-6.30: Break
-    6.30-9: Working dinner / tentative working groups
Tuesday November 28:
-    8-9: Breakfast
-    9-12: Visit accelerators & incubators
-    12-2: Working lunch in groups / prepare slides
-    2-5: Present early ideas proposals / receive feedback
-    5-6: Panel session on VC/startups data in Africa
-    6-7.30: Social happy hour 
-    7.30-9.30: Dinner w/ JPAL 
Wednesday November 29:
-    8-8.30: Breakfast
-    8.30-11.30: Visit startups & investors in groups
-    11.30-1.30: Working lunch / finalize proposals
-    1.30-6: Social event: trip to wineries
-    6- End of programme
Thursday / Friday November 30-December 1 (optional, fees not covered)
-    AESIS conference of investors/entrepreneurs