Entrepreneurship | May 5, 2017

How accelerators are tapping the potential of growth-market entrepreneurs

The team at


Just 10 percent of private capital goes to emerging markets. A new report suggests that ventures and entrepreneurs in emerging markets are just as prepared as their high-income country peers to deploy capital and grow their businesses.

Accelerating Startups in Emerging Markets, which examines 2,400 early-stage venture applicants to 43 acceleration programs in emerging and high-income markets, found entrepreneurs in emerging markets who apply to accelerator programs have the same or higher levels of education and experience as their high-income country peers.

They report even higher revenues and more employees. After acceleration, startups in both geographic areas raised nearly identical sums of debt and equity funds.

What they lack is access to capital, according to the research from the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative, a partnership between the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

Says Emory’s Peter Roberts: “Many experts we interviewed expressed concern that cultural bias might be driving the perception of lower entrepreneurial skills compared with higher reported rates of experience.”