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 is working with five microenterprise programs to offer financial coaching and education, teamed with a secured credit card, as a means to help entrepreneurs to build their credit, thereby enhancing their ability to secure business financing and build their businesses.

Small Business Borrowers' Bill of Rights
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 (squared)
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.

Informal Economy
Working collaboratively with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED) Solutions, FIELD conducted research into the role of microenterprise in the informal economy in the United States. The work focused on three populations: Latinos, African Americans and rural Americans.

Leading Edge Webinars
Funded by Bank of America this is a Webinar series for practitioners, funders and other stakeholders that explores cutting edge issues and practices in the microenterprise industry.

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 U.S. Microenterprise Census and MicroTest to allow for comparisons and benchmarks using standard measures across the U.S. 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 U.S. microenterprise field.

PRIME microTracker
This Small Business Administration-funded program is designed to build the capacity of the microenterprise field in understanding and applying data analytics and benchmarking to improve performance.

Rural Entrepreneurship
FIELD has explored rural entrepreneurship in the U.S. through several projects, including research on the informal economy, and more recently by examining how Entrepreneurship Development Systems can help stimulate small business development in rural America.

Scale Academy
FIELD oversees the Scale Academy for Microenterprise Development, which was created in 2007 to provide training, technical assistance and financing to a set of high-performing microenterprise organizations that are attempting to scale up their operation to serve more clients. Lessons learned will be broadly shared to help the field achieve greater impact and sustainability.

Scaling Business Development Services
FIELD is developing research, collecting resources, and producing 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.

Funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, FIELD's TrendLines series analyzes critical issues and trends in the U.S. microenterprise industry, drawing on data from microTracker.org and other industry data. These analyses are presented through Webinars and Fact Sheets.