Microenterprise Projects & Collaborations

Through the years, FIELD has undertaken a wide range of projects, including management of demonstrations designed to uncover best practices; exploring issues of critical importance to the microenterprise field; developing and honing performance management tools; analyzing data on the microenterprise industry, and more. Major projects are listed below:

Asset Building Through Credit Pilot Program
FIELD has worked with five microenterprise programs to offer financial coaching and education, as well as a secured credit card, to entrepreneurs. These services can help entrepreneurs build their credit, enhancing their ability to secure business financing and build their businesses. Learn more about the credit-building outcomes of this work, lessons regarding how to deliver a secured credit card, and the business models for sustaining credit-building programs.

Small Business Borrowers' Bill of Rights (BBOR)
Designed to foster greater transparency and accountability across the small business lending sector, the BBOR represents the first-ever consensus on responsible small business practices.

Emerging Leaders in Microbusiness (ELM²)
FIELD is partnering with Capital One to create a new leadership institute for emerging leaders (under the age of 45) in the microbusiness development field.

Microbusiness Job Quality
FIELD recently conducted an in-depth qualitative study exploring the quality of jobs supported by microenterprise development organizations. The study resulted in the creation of GainfulJobs.org and the publication of “Microbusinesses, Gainful Jobs.”

Microfinance Impact Collaborative
In our Microfinance Impact Collaborative, FIELD is partnering with six leading microlenders to inform, strengthen and accelerate their efforts to significantly increase the impact of their work.

MicroTracker helps microenterprise programs, donors, and investors track the performance and client outcomes of microenterprise organizations nationwide. MicroTracker builds on FIELD’s 20-year history collecting data, through the US Microenterprise Census and MicroTest, to allow for comparisons using standard measures and benchmarks across the US microenterprise industry.

Platforms to Drive Scale in the Microenterprise Field

FIELD is currently conducting a research and learning process focused on building knowledge about the role of platforms in driving greater scale and effectiveness in the US microenterprise field.

Scale Academy
For seven years, FIELD led the Scale Academy for Microenterprise Development, which provided training, technical assistance, and financing to a set of high-performing microenterprise organizations that were working to scale their operations to serve significantly more clients. Learn more about the results of this work, and access the publications documenting the experiences and lessons learned.

Scaling Business Development Services
FIELD developed research, collected resources, and produced webinars to assist microenterprise development organizations scale up their training and technical assistance services to reach increasing numbers of disadvantaged entrepreneurs.

Student-led Microenterprise
FIELD has closely followed the development of university student-powered microenterprise organizations by releasing two studies exploring the evolution of the movement, and by creating resources for student groups looking to build capacity to serve microentrepreneurs.