Marketlinks Webinar: Evidence Update on Small and Medium Enterprises

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Photo Credit: USAID/Georgia

In 2019, USAID conducted a review of rigorous, causal evidence organized around common theories of change for growing small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Since then, additional studies on these outcomes have emerged, adding to existing evidence on different modalities of consulting, and beginning to fill important gaps in equity finance and women-led SMEs. In this webinar, the authors of the updated review presented highlights from the latest version of research. World Bank experts also presented new directions for the USAID/Development, Democracy, and Innovation Bureau-funded Competitiveness Policy Evaluation Lab, and a deep dive into a recently completed study on e-commerce in Georgia.



Andrew Nelson

Andrew Nelson, Economist and Entrepreneurial Environment Team Lead, USAID/Center for Economics and Market Development

Andrew Nelson is an economist in USAID Washington’s Center for Economics and Market Development (EMD) Office.  He has degrees in economics from George Mason University, American University, and University of Arizona.  He has served a total of five overseas tours in South Africa, Nepal, and Kenya, each in the Program Office as a Mission Economist.  He's worked on issues including trade, fiscal transparency, agriculture, and earthquake relief and recovery.



Sarah Eissler

Sarah Eissler, Team Lead for Evidence Review Update, Integra LLC 

Sarah Eissler is an independent consultant. She is an evaluation specialist by training, with technical expertise in mixed method research design and analysis, women’s empowerment, gender, and small-scale agriculture and development. She has led and contributed to several evaluations under the Learning, Evaluation, and Analysis Project (LEAP) with Integra LLC, funded by USAID. She has also led and contributed to several evaluations and evidence reviews for other donors and partners, including the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Cultural Practice LLC, Helen Keller International, and others. She holds PhD and master’s degrees in Rural Sociology and International Agriculture and Development from The Pennsylvania State University.


Ana Goicoechea

Ana Goicoechea, Senior Economist, World Bank Group

Ana Goicoechea is a Senior Economist in the Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation Global Practice of the World Bank. She leads the Competitiveness Policy Evaluation Lab (ComPEL), aiming at conducting impact evaluations to inform development policies and programs related to private sector development. In over 19 years at the World Bank, her impact evaluation and operational work have focused on understanding barriers to firm innovation and growth, as well as mechanisms to improve regulations and accountability to benefit firms. She holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Maryland. 


Caio Piza

Caio Piza, Senior Economist, World Bank Group

Caio Piza is a Senior Economist on the Development Impact Evaluation unit at the World Bank, where he currently leads the impact evaluations in Trade and Competitiveness. As an applied microeconometrician his interests range from topics such as microfinance to education and labor economics. His main research now focuses on understanding the main barriers that prevent firms from adopting technologies that have private and social returns. Before joining the Bank, he worked for two years as a consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC, and about five years as an assistant professor at Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil. He holds a master degree in applied economics from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Brazil, a master's degree in Development Economics from the University of Sussex in United Kingdom, and a PhD in Economics from the same university.