Publications

    Microenterprise Industry in the U.S.
  Business Development Services   Microfinance
  Client Outcomes   Program Performance
  Credit Building & Financial Education for Entrepreneurs   Rural Entrepreneurship
  Funder Guide Series   Scaling Up Microenterprise Services
  The Informal Economy   Sustainability
  Institutional Models   Welfare to Work
  Management Information Systems   Women's Enterprise Development
Access to Markets
Connectors and Conduits: Reaching Competitive Markets from the Ground Up (2002) Download PDF
This 45-page report presents findings from the multi-year Access to Markets demonstration project, which explored innovative ways for microenterprise programs to help entrepreneurs place their products in more lucrative markets. The authors look across programs and highlight for readers the innovations adopted, the implementation challenges that emerged and the lessons learned.
Making the Connecton: People, Incorporated of Southwest Virginia/Appalmade (2001) Download PDF
This third and final publication in the Access to Markets Case Study Series explores the three marketing strategies used by Appalmade to promote products created by home-based crafters in the Appalachian region: a retail store, wholesale sales and church-based sales. Detailed are the experiences and challenges faced by Appalmade staff, along with the lessons they learned.
Making the Connection: Neighborhood Development Center (2001) Download PDF
This report, the second in the Access to Markets Case Study Series, documents the lessons learned by the marketing team at NDC as it explored three distinct strategies to help low-income entrepreneurs reach new markets: market-based clusters, one-on-one marketing consulting and promotion of a retail business incubator. NDC's approach, including achievements and challenges faced, are explored in detail.
Making the Connection: Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet) (2000) Download PDF
This is the first in a series of case studies featuring innovative marketing approaches emerging from the Access to Markets (ATM) national demonstration. This publication takes an in-depth look at how ACEnet is helping low-income entrepreneurs link their products to the rapidly growing specialty and natural food sectors.
Business Development Services
Funding Business Development Services Download PDF
This brief publication offers strategies and practices for mobilizing funding for microenterprise training services. It shares insights on how large-scale training organizations pursue resource mobilization and cost recovery to sustain delivery of services over the long term.
Benchmarking the Performance of Business Development Services Download PDF
This guide illustrates a step-by-step process that organizations providing business development services can use to generate benchmarking data related to these services on the microTracker site, and through consulting services with microTracker staff.
State of Business Development Services (May 2012) Download PDF
Documents the scale and scope of business development services work by U.S. MDOs as of 2010. It draws on data collected in both the 2010 and 2008 U.S. Microenterprise Censuses to describe the characteristics of this work and how it has changed over the last two years. It also examines the characteristics of large-scale programs and includes several case profiles.
Using a Brands Strategy for Scaling Business Development Services (September 2011) Download PDF
FIELD’s case study of a brands strategy employed on behalf of both producer and retailer entrepreneurs examines Southeastern Ohio’s ACEnet and its experience creating three brands in the food and arts sectors.
Distance Learning and the Changing Face of Business Development Services (September 2011) Download PDF
This paper looks at early practice in the area of distance-based business development services. Through a survey of practitioners and more in-depth conversations with early pioneers of this work, the paper provides lessons for those looking to embark or expand efforts in this area. A range of strategies are discussed—from phone and web-based webinar technology to podcasts and social networking.
Focused on Growth: Scaling Business Development Services in the United States (September 2010) Download PDF
This publication is the latest in a series based on the experiences of members of the Scale Academy for Microenterprise Development, an effort to support innovative, effective scale-up strategies. This document explores experiences and lessons from six Academy members around their efforts to increase capacity for and growth of their business development services.
Key Data on the Scale of Business Development Services (2010) Download PDF
Details data documenting the number, size, and services offered by microenterprise development organizations that provide a range of training and technical assistance services to clients. The data is drawn from a FIELD survey of the U.S. industry completed in the fall of 2009 that collected 2008 statistics.
FIELD Best Practice Guide: Vol. 6: Staying Connected: Building Entrepreneurial Networks (2004) Download PDF
Volume six of FIELD's Best Practice series explores the ways in which "networking" can be supported by microenterprise assistance programs. A buzzword conjuring images of young professionals at a Friday afternoon happy hour, or of "old boy" networks linking boardrooms to golf courses, networks can be invaluable to microentrepreneurs as well. Networking for microentrepreneurs is a concept that previously has been addressed in a haphazard fashion leading to varying degrees of success. This guide establishes a rationale for a conscious approach to networking by presenting several examples of successful networks and detailing the ways microentrepreneurial assistance organizations have been able to foster their clients' development of these networks. Included are seven tools that practitioner organizations have used in assisting their clients with the establishment of entrepreneurial networks.
FIELD Best Practice Guide: Vol. 5: Business First: Using Technology to Advance Microenterprise Development (2003) Download PDF
This fifth Best Practice Guide navigates the whirlwind of the technological revolution, introducing a framework by which microenterprise practitioners can use technology to enhance and expand their business, and offering practitioners guidance on assisting their clients with technology needs. From devising a technology plan, to automating office operations, to doing business on the Web, this module covers the whole spectrum of microenterprise technology needs. Included in the final section is a set of tools that will help both programs and their clients to assess and make better use of technology options.
FIELD Best Practice Guide: Vol. 4: Keeping It Personalized: Consulting, Coaching & Mentoring for Microentrepreneurs (2002) Download PDF
This module explores how business consulting, coaching and mentoring can enhance the mix of services offered to entrepreneurs. A set of lessons and findings based on these strategies is provided, along with case studies demonstrating interesting models for others to consider. A section of the module is devoted to tools that practitioners can adapt to their own organization.
FIELD Best Practice Guide: Vol. 3: Training for Microenterprise Development: A Guide to Curricula (2002) Download PDF
This Guide briefly addresses some of the issues microenterprise programs should consider when buying a new training curriculum, and offers detailed information about 13 curricula available commercially.
FIELD Best Practice Guide: Vol. 2: Building Skills for Self-Employment: Basic Training for Microentrepreneurs (2002) Download PDF
This publication focuses on best practices in core training and its implications for improving training services. It distills practitioners' experiences into relevant observations and recommendations that should inform both managers who develop and monitor training, as well as front-line trainers who deliver it. The module attempts to balance current thinking about best practice with illustrative, useful examples. Users also will find a helpful set of tools in the final section of the volume.
FIELD Best Practice Guide: Vol. 1: Entering the Relationship: Finding and Assessing Microenterprise Training Clients (2002) Download PDF
This training module explores how program practitioners can conduct market research, develop effective marking strategies and appropriately screen and assess incoming clients. Each of these topics is discussed in depth, along with lessons and findings based on research into best practices in use in the microenterprise industry today. Also included is a set of tools practitioners can use to adapt these best practices to their own institutions.
Bridges to Success: Promising Strategies for Microenterprise Growth in the United States (2005) Download PDF
This literature review summarizes what is known about the factors that influence business growth (both those that constrain and support it) and identifies successful strategies to support growth. Included is an extensive bibliography, useful to those who want to conduct further research.
Improving Microenterprise Training and Technical Assistance: Findings for Program Managers (2002) Download PDF
Describes the makings of effective training and technical assistance by examining the findings from research projects undertaken by five FIELD grantees. Provides a synthesis of key research findings and includes the executive summary of the research report written by each grantee.
Practitioner Manual - Assessment Tools for Microenterprise Training & Technical Assistance (2001) Download PDF
This manual features 13 easy-to-follow tools geared to practitioners who want to more systematically understand and assess the value of their training and technical assistance services. Included are tools designed by and used at five microenterprise organizations.
FIELD forum Issue 11 - Helping Make Entrepreneurs "Tech Savvy": The Experiences of Four FIELD Grantees (2002) Download PDF
Presents the experiences of four grantees offering technology services to clients. Describes grantees' technology programs and includes a guide to on-line resources that can help organizations develop technology programs.
FIELD forum Issue 4 - Follow-Up Services: Post-Loan and Post Training(2000)
Download PDF
Explains the challenge behind providing follow-up services and describes the five grantees participating in a two-year demonstration led by FIELD.
FIELD forum Issue 1 - Assessing the Effectiveness of Training and Technical Assistance (1999) Download PDF
Offers background on this important issue and describes the five grantees participating in a multi-site, two-year demonstration project.
Client Outcomes
Client Outcomes Highlights, 2012 . (August 2014) Download PDF
Each year FIELD’s Client Outcomes process works with microenterprise organizations to collect data on clients served. Almost 1,800 microenterprise clients reported on their businesses and households in 2012 indicating strong start and survival rates, increasing revenues and net new jobs. The report also includes a cost benefit analysis relating clients’ accomplishments to the program’s cost of assisting entrepreneurs.
Microbusinesses, Gainful Jobs (March 2014) Download PDF
This report shares findings on the quality of jobs created by microbusiness program clients, based on a set of in-depth interviews with workers from clients of Accion East. The report uses case studies to illustrate the extent to which the jobs provided key elements of a quality job, including good wages, benefits, stable schedules, opportunities to develop skills, and exposure to business ownership.
Increase your Client Outcomes IQ (March 2014) Download PDF
Do you want or need data on microenterprise client outcomes? This guide provides detailed guidance on how to use microTracker’s online Client Outcomes data to answer frequently asked questions such as: Do businesses assisted by microenterprise organizations grow, survive, and create jobs? Are business owners better off? The guide is designed as a useful tool for microenterprise practitioners who want to use client outcomes data to raise funds, improve program services, and set organizational goals.
Microenterprise Development as Job Creation (February 2013) Download PDF
This report, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of the “Big Ideas for Jobs” project, details the role that microbusinesses – firms that employ five of fewer workers – play in supporting jobs. Based on interviews with nearly 2000 microbusinesses that received assistance from community-based microenterprise development organizations, the report describes key findings including the numbers of jobs supported, wages paid to workers, and the income drawn by owners.
Income Patching among Microentrepreneurs. (January 2013) Download PDF
How are microentrepreneurs combining self- and wage employment in today’s economic context? This issue of our Trendlines series uses data from FIELD’s microTracker client outcomes survey to analyze how “income patching” has been used by microenterprise program clients in recent years. The brief publication discusses topics such as characteristics of patchers and their business outcomes, including hours worked, changes in revenues, and the creation of paid work for others.
Micro Jobs, Fast Facts. (October 2011) View PDF or Printable version
This Trendlines fact sheet graphically explores key questions about U.S. microenterprise jobs. Data on the number of jobs, wages, paid workers, and part-time/full-time job status are presented. The fact sheet summarizes the experience of entrepreneurs in 2009 surveyed by 21 microenterprise programs in 2010.
Job Creation in Microenterprise Development: 2009 Client Outcomes. (August 2010) Download PDF
This issue in the FIELD Trendlines series, using data collected by MicroTest members through the client outcomes survey process, explores employment generated by microenterprises, for both the owner as well as other paid workers. New job figures as well as net jobs figures are reported. And, the part-time/full-time work status of both owners and paid workers is examined, along with the wages paid to owners and paid workers.
At the Five Year Mark: Outcomes Reported by US Microenterprise Clients. (March 2010) Download PDF
This special report funded by the Citi Foundation explores outcomes reported by clients five years after engaging with a microenterprise program. Key questions are explored using MicroTest client outcomes survey data such as "what are business start and survival rates?" "How do business revenues and owner's draw change over time" and "what type of employment is being generated?" The report also includes a section on implications for practitioners.
Microenterprises and Employment: 2008 MicroTest Outcomes. (February 2010) Download PDF
Issue five in the MicroTest Outcomes fact sheet series delves into employment generated by microenterprises and is based on client outcomes surveys conducted by MicroTest members in 2008. This report examines employment generated for business owners as well as additional paid workers. New jobs as well as net jobs figures are reported, and factors affecting employment are explored, including business industry and part-time and full-time business operation.
Business Growth: 2008 MicroTest Outcomes. (January 2010) Download PDF
Issue four in the MicroTest Outcomes fact sheet series delves into the growth of business revenues based on client outcomes surveys conducted by MicroTest members in 2008. This report examines factors affecting business revenues, including business industry and part-time and full-time business operation.
Business Start and Survivability: 2008 MicroTest Outcomes. Download PDF
Issue three in the MicroTest Outcomes fact sheet series delves into business start and survival rates based on client outcomes surveys conducted by MicroTest members in 2008. This report examines factors affecting business start rates and explores the sectors, revenues and part-time and full-time status of surviving businesses.
Microentrepreneurs and their Businesses: 2008 MicroTest Outcomes. Download PDF
The second in a series of fact sheets drawn from client outcomes surveys, this 4-page report highlights key findings from client outcomes surveys conducted by MicroTest members in 2008. This report summarizes data such as business start and survivability, business growth, job creation and retention,business contribution to the household and health insurance. Future issues will explore each of these topics in-depth.
2007 MicroTest Outcomes: A Summary of Microentrepreneurs and their Businesses. Download PDF
The first in a series of fact sheets drawn from client outcomes surveys, this concise report highlights findings from client outcomes surveys conducted by MicroTest members in 2007. This issue explores key data such as business start and survivability, business growth, job creation and retention, business contribution to the household and health insurance.
Monitoring Client Outcomes: A Report from MicroTest's 2004 Data Collection Download PDF
This publication describes a variety of business and household outcomes for 813 clients who received a significant level of services from a microenterprise development program. Staff of the 17 programs involved in the project surveyed clients, at least one year after services were provided, in person or by phone using established protocols and a MicroTest Outcomes survey tool. Results were then analyzed and aggregated by MicroTest staff for this publication.
Credit Building and Financial Education for Entrepreneurs
Building a Sustainable Business Model (2014) Download PDF
The third and final publication from the Asset Building through Credit pilot explores how to sustain delivery of a secured credit card teamed with credit coaching. The paper provides an overview of the tool (The Lean Canvas) used to analyze a business model for the product and highlights insights from the analysis.

Client Gains in Credit Scores and Financial Capability (2014) Download PDF
The second publication in this series highlighting the findings from the Asset Building through Credit Pilot details the outcomes of 385 secured cardholders in terms of credit scores and financial behaviors. The paper and companion infographic offer practical lessons for practitioners, funders and others seeking to move the needle on financial capability.

Credit Scores and Financial Behavior (2014) Download Infographic
The one-page, companion infographic, Credit Scores and Financial Behavior, provides highlights to the publication on client outcomes from the Asset Building through Credit Pilot.

Asset Building through Credit (2013) Download PDF
This paper presents the first set of findings from the Asset Building through Credit Pilot program, a demonstration that explored the use of secured credit card, teamed with credit coaching, as a tool to help entrepreneurs to build their credit. The program was managed by FIELD, in partnership with Justine PETERSEN, with financial support provided by the Citi Foundation. The first publication focused on learnings on critical issues relating to the practice of delivering a secured card, including the ideal customer profile, card approval rates, the demographic and credit profiles of cardholders at the time of application and preliminary findings on credit score outcomes.
Building Businesses by Building Credit (August 2012) Download PDF
With the continued challenge of poor credit quality stemming from the financial crisis, many organizations have looked to new approaches to serve clients who want to grow or start a business but are hampered by poor or nonexistent credit. This case study of two Vermont organizations (The Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity and Central Vermont Community Action Council) explores early learning around their experience offering financial coaching with access to a secured card product.
Building Financial Skills for Business Success (August 2010) Download PDF
While microenterprise development organizations have long been active in the personal finance space, many have begun to expand their work in this area to include a focus on credit building. In this case study, FIELD highlights the work of DC-based Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC). LEDC has incorporated new elements of this work into its microenterprise programming and the case offers initial lessons drawn from its experience.
Financial Literacy and Credit-building Services among Microenterprise Development Organizations (July 2010) Download PDF
In the current economic context - in which many are struggling under the burden of heavy consumer debt or even bankruptcy -- credit scores have become exponentially more important in determining access to financial services. This white paper explores how microenterprise programs are revisiting or expanding their efforts in this realm. This "scan of practice" documents both the current body of work in the field and emerging and promising new directions taken by practitioners. The scan reviews literature on financial literacy, education and credit building, survey data from microenterprise organizations, and interviews and discussions with microenterprise practitioners.
Funder Guide Series
Asset Funders Network Funder Brief: Building Assets through Microbusiness (2014) Download PDF
This guide elevates the ways that microenterprise programs are currently helping individuals and families realize the promise of financial security and mobility, and outlines guidance for funders looking to leverage microenterprise as an asset-building strategy.
Issue 17: Is the Price Right? The Role of Pricing in Microenterprise Lending (2011) Explores the pricing of nonprofit microlenders, providing insight into the challenges and the dynamics influencing pricing schemes. This guide presents a current glimpse of pricing and sustainability levels of U.S. practitioners, and also provides recommendations for funders as they consider pricing as part of an investment. Download PDF.
Issue 16: Microenterprise Programs and Job Creation (2010) Summarizes recent research results indicating the success of microenterprises in creating jobs that provide income for owner and employees alike. It also suggests ways funders might support programs in their services that assist entrepreneurs to succeed and grow their businesses. (4 pages) Download PDF.
Issue 15: Scaling Microlending in a Changed Economy, presents lessons learned by a group of scaling microlenders that participate in the Scale Academy for Microenterprise Development. Both challenges and opportunities are discussed, along with ideas for how donors can support greater scale in U.S. microlending. (4 pages) Download PDF.
Issue 14: Microenterprise Programs as Credit Builders, explores the new roles that microenterprise programs are taking on to build the credit of entrepreneurs. Co-authored with the Credit Builders Alliance, the guide explores key challenges in building credit, describes new products being offered by microenterprise programs, and identifies opportunities for funders. (4 pages) Download PDF.
Issue 13: Encouraging Entrepreneurship: A Microenterprise Policy Agenda for a New Political Era, provides a summary of the policy agenda created by members of the Microenterprise Anti-Poverty Consortium in 2008, describes some of the philanthropic initiatives that support the underlying policy ideas, and outlines how funders can support policy development. (4 Pages) Download PDF.
Issue 12: Saving for Microenterprise Development explores Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), matched savings account that that some microenterprise programs are offering to clients to help them accumulate savings that can be used to purchase business assets. Examined are the accomplishments and challenges of IDA programs and ways funders can help improve and expand the use of this asset-development strategy. (4 pages) Download PDF
Issue 11: Social Enterprise and Microenterprise: Understanding the Connection, explores how the microenterprise industry is connecting with the emerging social enterprise field. It takes an in-depth look at a number of microenterprise programs that have started social enterprises, identifies the lessons learned from their experiences and pinpoints specific investment opportunities for donors. (4 pages) Download PDF
Issue 10: Microenterprise Programs as Asset Builders, details some of the strategies being used by microenterprise development programs to help low-income families improve their financial footing, acquire assets and build wealth. (4 pages) Download PDF
Issue 9: Making the Economic Development Connection, examines how microenterprise development programs and the enterprises they assist can further economic development strategies. (4 pages) Download PDF
Issue 8: The Emerging Immigrant Market and Microenterprise, looks at how microenterprise programs are assisting immigrant entrepreneurs and what funders can do to advance those efforts. (4 pages) Download PDF
Issue 7: Going Faster and Farther: Harnessing Technology for Microenterprise, explores innovative ways that technology can be used by both microenterprise development programs and microentrepreneurs. Included are profiles of programs that have invested in technology, and donors that have provided support. (4 pages) Download PDF
Issue 6: Scaling Up, Achieving More, explores the various factors that affect an organization’s ability to reach scale and offers recommendations for funders interested in this issue. (4 pages)
Download PDF
Issue 5: MicroenterpriseDevelopment Programs: The Entrepreneur Within, explores the need for programs to become more entrepreneurial in order to achieve greater sustainability and suggests ways donors can support such efforts. (4 pages) Download PDF
Issue 4: Performance Counts, describes what constitutes high performance within the microenterprise industry and explains how donors can support and provide incentives for high performance among microenterprise programs. (4 pages) Download PDF
Issue 3: Moving Forward: Industry Challenges, Funder Opportunities, examines the microenterprise industry's twin challenges of increasing scale and sustainability. (2 pages) Download PDF
Issue 2: Microenterprise: Making a Difference, explores the microenterprise industry's accomplishments in relationship to poverty alleviation, local economic development, asset development and ownership, and increased access to financial services. (4 pages) Download PDF
Issue 1: Fulfilling the Microenterprise Promise: Background for Funders, sets the context for today's interest in self-employment and describes how microenterprise development programs are responding. (2 pages) Download PDF
The Informal Economy
FIELD forum Issue 16 - EITC and Microentrepreneurs: One Program's Experience (2005) Download PDF
Explores how one microenterprise development organization (West Company in northern California) is helping low-income microentrepreneurs document their participation in the economy and take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
FIELD forum Issue 15 - Microenterprises in the U.S. Informal Economy: Summary Research Findings (2004)
Download PDF
Forum 15 is a summary publication from the Informal Economy study. It offers a synthesis of the findings published previously in three reports that emanated from this study and discusses the implications these findings have for policy. This forum also details the needs of informal entrepreneurs and suggests ways in which microenterprise practitioners can expand their services to include informal entrepreneurs.
The Informal Economy: Making It In Rural America (2004) Download PDF
This FIELD publication, the third in a series, examines the experiences of 29 entrepreneurs living and working in several rural counties in Nebraska. The 81-page report shares the entrepreneurs' motivations, aspirations and struggles to operate viable businesses, and explores how policies and practices could be changed to encourage more growth among rural informal businesses.
The Informal Economy: Latino Enterprises at the Margins (2003) Download PDF
Based on research involving 38 informal, Latino businesspeople — both documented and undocumented — this 90-page report reflects on their experiences while also tackling such issues as: What are the barriers Latino entrepreneurs face as they operate their small businesses and how might they be helped to move from the informal to the "formal" economy.
The Informal Economy: Experiences of African Americans (2003) Download PDF or Order Printed Copy.
This publication, written by the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED) Solutions, explores the experiences of 55 African Americans who either operate their own informal businesses or are employed informally – working for companies that pay them in cash. The 71-page report looks at the pros and cons of participating in the informal economy and the implications for programs encouraging entrepreneurship.
FIELD forum Issue 14 - The Informal Economy and Microenterprise in the United States (2003) Download PDF
This forum defines and characterizes the informal economy in the United States. Along with a description of those who engage in informal work, the factors that motivate people to partake in informal work are addressed. The publication also illuminates the intersection between the informal economy and microenterprise, introducing the experiences of and key issues for microenterprise practitioners.
Informal Economy Literature Review (2002) Download PDF
Widespread economic restructuring in the United States over the past 20 years has led to a growing informal economy. This paper summarizes research done on the U.S. informal economy. It offers a comprehensive definition of the informal economy, defines its size, and describes several of the theories or perspectives that attempt to explain the existence of the informal economy in the United States and other industrialized countries. The review also characterizes the people who engage in informal work and discusses their motivations in undertaking informal work.
Institutional Models
Catching Fire: The University Microenterprise Movement in 2012 Download PDF
Over the last few years, university student-powered microenterprise organizations have emerged offering direct services (both training and financing) to low-income individuals and small businesses in their local communities. FIELD’s second study describes the state of this national movement and explores two case studies of student-powered groups in North Carolina (Community Empowerment Fund) and Rhode Island (Capital Good Fund). Read more about FIELD’s work in this area.
FIELD forum Issue 12 - Ten grantees offer final thoughts on: Microenterprise Programs in Different Institutional Settings (2002) Download PDF
Looks across three distinct institutional settings (Human Services Organizations, Community Development Corporation networks and multi-service Community Development Financial Institutions) and highlights the advantages and challenges of providing microenterprise services through each structure.
FIELD forum Issue 10 - Reflections On Operating Microenterprise Services from Within CDFIs (2001) Download PDF
Explores Community Development Financial Institutions as settings for microenterprise programs. Presents the advantages and challenges of providing microenterprise services through CDFIs, and concludes with recommendations for enhancing the strengths and overcoming the challenges of this institutional setting.
FIELD forum Issue 9 - A Close-Up Look at Microenterprise Programs in CDC Networks (2001) Download PDF
Examines Community Development Corporation networks as "hosts" for operating microenterprise programs. Includes observations about: the advantages and challenges of the CDC structure; advantages and challenges of CDC networks; and recommendations for building more effective networks.
FIELD forum Issue 8 - Microenterprise Programs in Human Services Organizations: Advantages and Challenges (2001) Download PDF
Examines the advantages and disadvantages of operating a microenterprise program from within a human services organization. Includes recommendations for enhancing the strengths, and confronting the challenges, of this type of institutional setting.
FIELD forum Issue 6 - Institutional Models for Microenterprise Development Programs (2000) Download PDF
Examines various institutional settings that commonly host microenterprise programs and describes the 10 programs in a two-year demonstration examining the strengths, weaknesses and costs associated with different settings.
Management Information Systems
Increase your Client Outcomes IQ (March 2014) Download PDF
Do you want or need data on microenterprise client outcomes? This guide provides detailed guidance on how to use microTracker’s online Client Outcomes data to answer frequently asked questions such as: Do businesses assisted by microenterprise organizations grow, survive, and create jobs? Are business owners better off? The guide is designed as a useful tool for microenterprise practitioners who want to use client outcomes data to raise funds, improve program services, and set organizational goals.
Benchmarking the Performance of Business Development Services Download PDF
This guide illustrates a step-by-step process that organizations providing business development services can use to generate benchmarking data related to these services on the microTracker site, and through consulting services with microTracker staff.
Leading the Pack, On Par, or Shaky? Benchmarking Loan Program Performance Download PDF
This guide illustrates a step-by-step process that organizations engaged in microlending can use to generate benchmarking data related to lending on the microTracker site.
Data That Works Download PDF
This guide by FIELD, in conjunction with the Campus Microfinance Alliance; outlines a step-by-step process for identifying, collecting, and analyzing key performance and client outcomes data.
MIS for Microenterprise: A Practical Approach to Managing Information Successfully (2002) Download PDF
by Charles Waterfield, for the Aspen Institute
This 190-page manual is a step-by-step guide to help microenterprise development practitioners develop an effective management information system. It provides practical guidance on understanding the parts of an MIS and their relation to each other, what organizational factors influence how an MIS should be designed and managed, how to define information needs and assess the appropriateness of available software to meet them, and how to implement and use an effective MIS.
2002 FIELD MIS Software Review Download PDF
This 65-page software review, a companion document to the MIS for Microenterprise manual, contains detailed reviews and comparisons of 11 major commercial software products designed for use in the microenterprise field. A $20 purchase, this publication would be a valuable tool to any practitioner interested in developing or enhancing an MIS system.
Microenterprise Industry in the U.S
U.S. Microenterprise Census Highlights, FY2012. (August 2014) Download PDF
FIELD's annual U.S. Microenterprise Census highlights the latest industry trends. Results of the 2013 Census, reported by more than 200 microenterprise organizations, reveal that in 2012 microlending activity increased even while the number of assisted individuals declined. Trends in program budgets may explain these seemingly contradictory developments. Operating income and expenses have increased more for lending-focused programs than training focused programs, constraining training programs' growth.
Microbusinesses, Gainful Jobs (March 2014) Download PDF
This report shares findings on the quality of jobs created by microbusiness program clients, based on a set of in-depth interviews with workers from clients of Accion East. The report uses case studies to illustrate the extent to which the jobs provided key elements of a quality job, including good wages, benefits, stable schedules, opportunities to develop skills, and exposure to business ownership.
U.S. Microenterprise Census Highlights, FY2011. (July 2013) Download PDF
FIELD's U.S. Microenterprise Census is an annual survey of microenterprise development organizations across the country. Results of the 2012 Census reveal that in 2011 the industry continued to grow, that program costs were reasonable, and that microloan portfolios performed strongly in an economy that was still in recovery.
2011 US Microenterprise Census Highlights: FY2010 Data. (March 2012) Download PDF
Since the "great recession" started in 2008, U.S. microenterprise programs have been challenged to step up their game- expanding services to business owners newly closed out of mainstream capital markets, assisting traditionally disadvantaged microentrepreneurs survive downswings in demand, and helping the unemployed explore self-employment. Results of the most recent microenterprise industry survey explore how microenterprise programs have grown, added products and services, and remained focused on their target markets.
2011 U.S. Microenterprise Census Fast Facts. (February 2012) Download PDF
Access key data and extrapolations on the U.S. microenterprise industry in this concise 2 page fact sheet.
Micro Jobs, Fast Facts. (October 2011) View PDF or Printable version
This Trendlines fact sheet graphically explores key questions about U.S. microenterprise jobs. Data on the number of jobs, wages, paid workers, and part-time/full-time job status are presented. The fact sheet summarizes the experience of entrepreneurs in 2009 surveyed by 21 microenterprise programs in 2010.
Data highlights from our recent U.S. Microenterprise Census Download PDF
A seven-page brief provides updated quantitative information on the scope, scale and evolution of the industry. Clear text and simple graphics help answer the most frequently-asked questions about the U.S. microenterprise industry.
Moving the Microenterprise Field Forward: Priorities, Strategies and Roles (2009) Download PDF
This "white paper" summarizes discussions by microenterprise leaders who met in early 2009 to explore ways to strengthen and expand the industry, in light of the opportunities presented by the advent of new presidential and congressional leadership and by a changing economy. In addition to pinpointing a set of priority strategies needed to respond to today's environment, participants also identified - and committed to - specific action steps to advance the field's progress. Those strategies and actions are detailed in the paper. In addition to attending the meeting, participants used a wiki to share ideas and comments that are summarized in a supplemental document.
Opening Opportunities, Building Ownership: Fulfilling the Promise of Microenterprise in the United States (2005)
Download Executive Summary or Download Full Publication
This publication takes a comprehensive look at the now 20-year-old microenterprise field — its accomplishments, weaknesses and future potential. It describes the current economic context for self employment; explores the development and performance of the industry; examines the value of microenterprise to low-income Americans; and concludes by recommending eight directions that can help transform the industry and position it for long-term growth and sustainability. To order Printed Copy or bulk orders contact fieldus@aspeninst.org
Fulfilling the Promise: An Action Planning Kit for Practitioners Download kit
Designed to stimulate discussion about the ideas contained in Opening Opportunities, Building Ownership: Fulfilling the Promise of Microenterprise in the United States, this kit provides tools to help a microenterprise organization's staff and board reflect on the challenges they face, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and begin charting a course of action that will lead to a more vibrant future.
2002 Directory of Microenterprise Programs
In addition to documenting the current scope, characteristics and growth of the microenterprise field in the United States, this 393-page directory lists 554 practitioner programs and 119 practitioner support agencies.
Microenterprise Fact Sheet Series, Issues 1 - 6
Concise, easy-to-read publications featuring different topics fundamental to microenterprise.
Microenterprise and the Poor: Findings from the Self-Employment Learning Project Five Year Survey of Microentrepreneurs (1999) Download Executive Summary
Documents the experiences of 133 individuals who attempted to escape poverty through entrepreneurship. Results from the Self-Employment Learning Project are presented describing the outcomes of poor entrepreneurs and their businesses over a five-year period.
SELP Longitudinal Survey of Microentrepreneurs: Major Findings Change Over Time (1998) Download PDF
Provides information in bullet format on key findings from the SELP five-year longitudinal survey of entrepreneurs.
Microenterprise Assistance: What are we learning about results? Key Findings from The Aspen Institute's Self-Employment Learning Project (1997) Download PDF
Provides information in bullet format on key findings in microenterprise including statistics from SELP on clients, businesses and change over time (three years).
The Practice of Microenterprise in the U.S.: Strategies, Costs, and Effectiveness (1996) Download Executive Summary
Documents the experiences of seven senior microenterprise programs in delivering credit, training and technical assistance to low- and moderate-income clients in the U.S. Using case materials gathered between 1992-1994, analyzes strategies, costs and effectiveness.
Enabling Entrepreneurship: Microenterprise Development in the U.S. (1995) Download PDF
In-depth information on the first year of the longitudinal SELP study. Includes demographics, types, size and performance of microbusineses.
Assisting the Smallest Businesses: Assessing Microenterprise Development as a Strategy for Boosting Poor Communities (1993) Download PDF
This report analyzes information generated from interviews with 302 microentrepreneurs about their microbusinesses. Characteristics of the microentrepreneurs and their businesses are presented together with information on the programs that serve them. The microenterprise assistance approach is assessed in relation to its ability to create businesses, create and stabilize jobs, and boost poor communities.
Self-Employment Learning Project Assessment Framework (1991) Download PDF
This report describes the design of the SELP Assessment, which is a participatory learning evaluation. This report is useful for programs that are designing evaluations.
Microfinance
Leading the Pack, On Par, or Shaky? Benchmarking Loan Program Performance Download PDF
This guide illustrates a step-by-step process that organizations engaged in microlending can use to generate benchmarking data related to lending on the microTracker site.
A Newly Crowded Marketplace: How For-profit Lenders are Serving Microentrepreneurs (2011) Download PDF
White paper begins to describe the landscape of for-profit microlenders in the U.S. It looks at several emerging for-profit companies that have grown their portfolios significantly during the recession.
Key Data on the Scale of Microlending in the U.S. (2011) Download PDF
Drawn from data collected during the 2009 U.S. Microenterprise Census that collected fy2008 data, this report seeks to better understand lending institutions and the financial products that they offer. The report then compares the largest lenders to smaller lenders to draw out additional trends and information.
Surviving the Recession: How Microlenders are Coping with Changing Demand, Risk and Funding. (July 2010)
Download PDF
This fact sheet probes recent as well as historical data on microlending to track the evolution of demand for microloans, changes in risk to microloan portfolios and trends in capital and budget adequacy. This issue of FIELD's Trendlines series uses data from MicroTest and the Opportunity Finance Network's market conditions survey to explore how the twin forces of recession and financial crises affect microlenders in the U.S.
Dollars for Dreams: Scaling Microlending in the United States (2010) Download PDF
FIELD's latest publication discusses the experiences of five leading microfinance organizations, which participate in the Scale Academy for Microenterprise Development. It summarizes various strategies and tactics used by these lenders - including, among others, market research and marketing, new loan product development, structure and staffing, and identifying recession-ready strategies - to increase their microlending, even in the face of recent financial crises.
Providing Capital, Building Communities, Creating Impact: FY2008 Data, Eighth Edition
Download complete report
The latest report from the CDFI Data Project, documents the work of 495 community development finance institutions (CDFIs) investing $5.53 billion in new financing activity in Fiscal Year 2008, an investment linked to 35,624 jobs and 60,205 units of affordable housing. The report, based upon the most recent data set of CDFI activity, combines text, numerous charts and tables, and case studies profiling the successes of borrowers. A supplemental section, authored by FIELD, presents data on 100 CDFIs that engage in microenterprise lending. Download supplemental insert
Credit Scoring for Microlenders. (January 2007) Download PDF
This white paper examines ways credit scoring can help U.S. microlenders increase efficiency, improve risk management and achieve greater scale. Provided are case studies on credit-scoring projects undertaken by ACCION New Mexico and ACCION USA. Also included are recommended steps other microlenders can take to move toward greater use of credit scoring in their own operations.
FIELD forum Issue 18 - Understanding National Trends and Local Markets: The Role of Market Research (2006) Download PDF
This forum presents the lessons learned from five market research projects conducted by microlenders that explored how national trends in private-sector microenterprise lending were affecting their local markets. To conduct their research, the five organizations used a range of techniques, including: customer surveys, focus groups with bankers and customers, Web-based research and interviews with local bankers.
Supply-Side Scan of Microenterprise Financing: Findings and Recommendations. (October 2005) Download PDF
This study examines trends in lending to microenterprises by for-profit lenders, including banks, finance companies and credit card companies. The findings reveal that for-profit lenders are increasingly using tools, such as credit scoring and credit cards, to reach "down market" toward clients traditionally served by nonprofit microenterprise lenders. It also suggests directions that the nonprofit microcredit industry can consider in order to respond strategically to these trends.
Credit Evaluation Grids for Microlenders: A Tool for Enhancing Scale and Efficiency (2002) Download PDF
This publication details the use of credit evaluation grids, a tool that can dramatically streamline and standardize the process of underwriting microenterprise loans. Developed by ACCION USA with funding from FIELD, the grids were designed to create greater efficiencies in the lending process. This 24-page publication would be particularly useful to any microenterprise organization seeking to achieve greater consistency in its underwriting and scale in microlending by integrating grids into its lending processes.
Practitioner Training Kit - Developing a Micro-Equity Product: The Coastal Enterprises, Inc. Experience (Spring 2001) Currently out of print
This new training kit is designed for practitioners interested in learning how micro-equity products can provide small infusions of capital into certain kinds of businesses. Each kit contains: a one-hour audio taped discussion about micro-equity, including a Q & A session; a printed guide to the presentation; and a set of micro-equity tools.
FIELD forum Issue 2 - Business Financing Products for the Poor (1999) Download PDF
Examines this critical issue and describes the five organizations participating in a multi-site, two-year demonstration project.
Providing Capital, Building Communities, Creating Impact: FY2007 Data, Seventh Edition
Download complete report
This publication, a product of the CDFI Data Project, documents the work of 508 community development finance institutions (CDFIs) investing $5.3 billion in new financing activity in Fiscal Year 2007, an investment linked to 34,276 jobs and 57,274 units of affordable housing. The report, based upon the most recent data set of CDFI activity, combines text, numerous charts and tables, and case studies profiling the successes of borrowers. A supplemental section, authored by FIELD, presents data on 115 CDFIs that engage in microenterprise lending. Download supplemental insert
Providing Capital, Building Communities, Creating Impact: FY2006 Data, Sixth Edition
Download complete report
This publication, a product of the CDFI Data Project, documents the work of 505 community development finance institutions (CDFIs) investing $4.7 billion in new financing activity in Fiscal Year 2006, an investment linked to 35,609 jobs and 69,893 units of affordable housing. The report, based upon the most recent data set of CDFI activity, combines text, numerous charts and tables, and case studies profiling the successes of borrowers. A supplemental section, authored by FIELD, presents data on 122 CDFIs that engage in microenterprise lending. Download supplemental insert
Providing Capital, Building Communities, Creating Impact: FY2005 Data, Fifth Edition
Download complete report
This publication, a product of the CDFI Data Project, documents the work of 496 community development finance institutions (CDFIs) investing $4.3 billion in Fiscal Year 2005, an investment linked to 39,151 jobs and 55,242 units of affordable housing. The report, based upon the most recent data set of CDFI activity, combines text, numerous charts and tables, and case studies profiling the successes of borrowers. A supplemental section, authored by FIELD, presents data on 106 CDFIs that engage in microenterprise lending. Download supplemental insert
Providing Capital, Building Communities, Creating Impact
Download complete report
This publication, a product of the CDFI Data Project, documents the work of 517 community development finance institutions (CDFIs) investing $3.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2004, an investment linked to 28,000 jobs and 43,000 units of affordable housing. The report, based upon the largest data set of CDFI activity, combines text, numerous charts and tables, and case studies profiling the successes of borrowers. A supplemental section, authored by FIELD, presents data on 113 CDFIs that engage in microenterprise lending. Download supplemental insert
Providing Capital, Building Communities, Creating Impact Download PDF
This report, a product of the CDFI Data Project (CDP), presents fiscal year 2002 data collected from 442 CDFIs. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the entire CDFI industry; an in-depth discussion of its four institutional types—community development banks, community development credit unions, community development loan funds and community development venture capital funds; a section on microenterprise financing, and a discussion of some of the opportunities and challenges the industry faces.
CDFI paper Download PDF
This report, a product of the CDFI Data Project (CDP), presents fiscal year 2001 data collected from 512 CDFIs. Intended as a snapshot of a diverse, dynamic sector, the report presents an overview of the CDFI industry; outlines the specific services CDFIs offer; explains the impact they can have on a community; and touches on the key trends, opportunities and challenges facing CDFIs on the road ahead. The goal of the CDP is to provide data that will help build the CDFI field.
Microenterprise Support within Community Development Financial Institutions
by Charles Waterfield and Jeremy Black. Download PDF
This free report describes the scale and significance of microenterprise lending within the CDFI industry. Key findings include that microenterprise lending is a small portion of CDFI industry activity; that only 20% of the participating CDFIs have more than 10% of their loans to the microenterprise sector; and that microenterprise lending tends to be done predominately by specialist organizations structured as non-profit loan funds. This report is the first from FIELD to systematically document microenterprise support in the CDFI industry, based on data collected under the national CDFI Data Project.
Program Performance
U.S. Microenterprise Census Highlights, FY2011. (July 2013) Download PDF
FIELD's U.S. Microenterprise Census is an annual survey of microenterprise development organizations across the country. Results of the 2012 Census reveal that in 2011 the industry continued to grow, that program costs were reasonable, and that microloan portfolios performed strongly in an economy that was still in recovery.
A Measure of the Microenterprise Industry (2003) Download PDF
This report from MicroTest draws on three years of performance data to offer a succinct description of trends in the microenterprise industry. The publication highlights what top performance looks like among industry leaders in such areas as scale, program quality, sustainability, etc. for practitioners who want to compare their performance with top-performing programs.
For Good Measure: Performance of the Microenterprise Industry (2002) Download PDF
This report provides: an in-depth look at the performance of the microenterprise development field; insight into what "best" performance looks like; a sense of trends in the field drawing on multi-year MicroTest program data; and data programs can use to compare their microenterprise program's performance to their peers. Also included are extensive data tables of multi-year MicroTest data.
Performance Counts Vol. 1 Issue 1 Fall 1997 Download PDF
Vol. 2 Issue 1 Winter 1998 & Vol. 3. Issue 1 Spring 1999 Order back issues
An occasional newsletter published by FIELD's MicroTest project. Contains information about performance measures being tested, data collection tools and definitions. Feature articles describe practitioner experiences and guest authors contribute to discussions about measuring performance in the microenterprise field.
Rural Entrepreneurship
Revitalizing Rural Economies Through Entrepreneurship Development Systems (December 2008) Download PDF
This publication summarizes the findings from a three-year, W. K. Kellogg-funded demonstration involving partnerships at six sites that created Entrepreneurial Development Systems (EDSs) aimed at stimulating entrepreneurship and encouraging economic revitalization in their community. The publication explains the theory behind an EDS; examines the effects the funded EDSs had on entrepreneurs, their local economies and the policy environment surrounding them; and explores some of the challenges encountered and lessons learned through the demonstration.
The Informal Economy: Making It In Rural America (2004) Download PDF or Order Printed Copy
This FIELD publication, the third in a series, examines the experiences of 29 entrepreneurs living and working in several rural counties in Nebraska. The 81-page report shares the entrepreneurs' motivations, aspirations and struggles to operate viable businesses, and explores how policies and practices could be changed to encourage more growth among rural informal businesses.
Scaling Up Microenterprise Services
Scaling through Distance Learning. (September 2013) Download PDF
Compelled by the drive to serve larger numbers of aspiring entrepreneurs in a tightening funding environment, many organizations are looking more closely at distance learning — but challenges abound. This case study profiles the experiences and lessons WESST has learned from its experience developing distance learning services to serve entrepreneurs across New Mexico.
Innovating to Scale. (2011) Download PDF
This short publication summarizes large and small innovations adopted by members of the Scale Academy for Microenterprise Development to scale their services and reach more clients. It describes changes in core processes, products and services, partnerships and other practices and includes links to other resources.
Focused on Growth: Scaling Business Development Services in the United States (September 2010) Download PDF
This publication is the latest in a series based on the experiences of members of the Scale Academy for Microenterprise Development, an effort to support innovative, effective scale-up strategies. This document explores experiences and lessons from six Academy members around their efforts to increase capacity for and growth of their business development services.
Dollars for Dreams: Scaling Microlending in the United States (2010) Download PDF
FIELD's latest publication discusses the experiences of five leading microfinance organizations, which participate in the Scale Academy for Microenterprise Development. It summarizes various strategies and tactics used by these lenders - including, among others, market research and marketing, new loan product development, structure and staffing, and identifying recession-ready strategies - to increase their microlending, even in the face of recent financial crises.
Findings from the Scale Academy - Forging Ahead: Early Lessons (2009) Download PDF
This publication is the first in a series based on the experiences of grantees in the Scale Academy for Microenterprise Development, a four-year effort to uncover innovative, effective scale-up strategies. Now midway through the project, this edition, Forging Ahead: Early Lessons, examines a range of strategies employed by the seven programs in the academy, and describes some of the successes, challenges and pitfalls they have experienced.
FIELD forum Issue 18 - Understanding National Trends and Local Markets: The Role of Market Research (2006) Download PDF
This forum presents the lessons learned from five market research projects conducted by microlenders that explored how national trends in private-sector microenterprise lending were affecting their local markets. To conduct their research, the five organizations used a range of techniques, including: customer surveys, focus groups with bankers and customers, Web-based research and interviews with local bankers.
FIELD forum Issue 17 - Strategic Restructuring as a Scale-up Tool: The Case of MicroBusiness Development Corporation (2006) Download PDF
Describes how one microenterprise organization – MicroBusiness Development Corporation (MBD) of Denver, Colo. – used both merger and acquisition as tools to increase scale.
Scaling up Microenterprise Services (2002) Download PDF or Order Printed Copy
This 125-page volume summarizes the experience of eight organizations that spent two-years exploring ways to expand the scale of their services and their client base. Detailed articles by the grantees document their experiences and include descriptions of the tools and models they used and the valuable lessons learned along the way.
FIELD forum Issue 13 - Marketing Strategies for Scale-Up: FIELD's Grantees Share Their Experiences (2002)
Download PDF
Explores the market research and marketing strategies employed by FIELD grantees seeking to expand their reach and serve increasing numbers of emerging entrepreneurs with business development and financial services.
FIELD forum Issue 5 - New grant cluster focuses on: Achieving Scale (2000) Download PDF
Takes an in-depth look at the issue of scale and describes the eight organizations participating in FIELD's two-year demonstration to identify strategies that increase outreach and expand client base.
Sustainability
FIELD forum Issue 23 - The Organizational Foundations of Sustainability (2009) Download PDF
This forum, the fifth in FIELD's sustainability series, highlights efforts by ACCION New Mexico.Arizona.Colorado to systematically build a corporate culture, as well as capacity, that supports security, quality and growth for the long term. The publication describes how the organization built on what was working well and changed what was not, while also instituting innovations in both operations and capitalization - all with an eye toward achieving greater sustainability. Important lessons learned are highlighted in the conclusion.
FIELD forum Issue 22 - Increasing Sustainability through Improved Efficiency (2009) Download PDF
The fourth forum FIELD's sustainability series explores how Opportunity Fund (OF) in California is seeking to increase sustainability by emphasizing efficiency as part of a scale-up strategy. Over the past several years, OF has instituted a number of efficiency initiatives - including upgrading its management information system, adding and revising staff functions, streamlining its loan application process and improving the organization's technology infrastructure. All of these strategies have come with certain costs and benefits. These are discussed in detail in the forum, along with the challenges OF faced and the lessons learned.
FIELD forum Issue 21 - Building Sustainability by Increasing Earned Revenue (2008) Download PDF
The third forum in FIELD's sustainability series explores how ACEnet (the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks) is using earned income as a strategy to achieve greater sustainability. ACEnet has long earned income from its business incubation activities. This forum describes how, after the organization experienced the loss of a long-term source of grant funding, it added other earned-income streams - including regional brands and consulting services - in an effort to achieve more stable and sustainable sources of revenue. The publication also notes that building these revenue streams requires thoughtful investment of organizational capital and staff resources.
FIELD forum Issue 20 - Capital Structure - Getting It Right to Increase Sustainability (2008) Download PDF
This forum, the second in FIELD's sustainability series, examines how Justine Petersen, an organization in St. Louis, Mo., is pursuing equity capital as part of a scale-up and sustainability strategy. The publication explains how sustainability is a balancing act that involves keeping mission, organizational capacity and capitalization in line. It also describes how Justine Petersen has effectively captured earned revenue and performance-based grants, but still needs both to secure "smarter subsidy" in the form of less restrictive capital, and to begin using its assets to grow the organization and attract new supporters. Justine Petersen's multipronged approach to accomplishing those goals is detailed in the publication.
FIELD forum Issue 19 - Blazing a Trail to Sustainability through Social Enterprise: A Case Example (2008) Download PDF
This forum focuses on social enterprises as a way for microenterprise programs to increase their sustainability. The experience of one program - Mountain BizWorks which created a artisans' gallery in 2002 - is used as a case study. The publication details how and why the enterprise was launched, identifies some of the challenges encountered, and explains some of the critical lessons learned through the experience.
Pursuing Sustainability in the Microenterprise Field: Findings from a Literature Review by FIELD. (March 2007) Download PDF
This exploration of current research and writing on the issue of sustainability in the microenterprise field covers such factors as: increasing earned income, achieving efficiency, building an appropriate capital structure, fund-raising and managing leadership transitions. The review attempts to capture and organize sustainability lessons to help practitioners and funders use the information to create a more sustainable microenterprise industry.
Welfare to Work
Research Report No. 3 - Microenterprise as a Welfare to Work Strategy: Two-Year Findings (2003)
Download PDF or Order Printed Copy
This third and final report on FIELD's longitudinal study of 590 TANF recipients pursuing self-employment describes outcomes experienced two years after enrolling in microenterprise programs. Examined are such outcomes as: changes in household income and poverty status; engagement in self- and wage employment; types and growth of businesses operated; household and business assets and net worth; and quality of jobs held by those working in wage employment. The publication also presents issues for consideration by welfare agencies interested in supporting self-employment for TANF recipients, and by microenterprise programs that provide services to welfare recipients.
Research Report No. 2 - Microenterprise as a Welfare to Work Strategy: One-Year Findings (2002) Download PDF
This second report from FIELD's longitudinal study of 590 TANF recipients who have sought self-employment takes an in-depth look at findings from the Wave 2 survey of participants one year after enrolling in microenterprise programs. The 67-page publication details outcomes such as: the survival and growth of businesses owned by participants, their assets and net worth, and changes in poverty status. These outcomes are compared with findings from the Wave 1 survey taken at program enrollment. The report also offers a detailed overview of the study and description of the survey methodology.
Research Brief No. 2 - Improving the Climate for Self-Employment: Recommendations for TANF Reauthorization (2002) Download PDF
This 8-page brief presents the most recent findings from FIELD's evaluation of the Mott Foundation's 10-site demonstration project. Also presented is a set of policy recommendations that could help TANF recipients use self-employment to transition off assistance and toward economic self-sufficiency. These recommendations are based on findings from FIELD's work as well as a set of case studies and site visits conducted by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).
Research Brief No. 1 - Microenterprise as a Welfare to Work Strategy: Client Characteristics (2001) Download PDF
This 6-page report is a summary of Research Report No. 1. In addition to summarizing findings about client characteristics (drawn from the first wave of a longitudinal survey), the publication also compares those findings with other national data sources and earlier studies of low-income entrepreneurs.
Research Report No. 1 - Microenterprise as a Welfare to Work Strategy: Client Characteristics (2001) Download PDF
This 22-page publication takes a thorough look at the findings from the first wave of a longitudinal survey of clients participating in a 10-site demonstration project exploring ways that self-employment can become an alternative to employment for TANF recipients. Described in some detail are the survey methodology and various client characteristics. In addition, findings are compared to two national TANF data sources, as well as to two previous studies of low-income entrepreneurs.
FIELD forum Issue 7 - Recruiting, Assessing and Screening TANF Recipients (2000) Download PDF
Explores the challenges of recruiting TANF recipients to microenterprise programs and describes the assessment and screening components used to help clients determine whether self-employment is a sound option given the current time-limited welfare system.
FIELD forum Issue 3 - Designing Microenterprise Programs for Welfare Recipients (2000) Download PDF
Profiles the projects participating in the Welfare to Work grant cluster and describes some of the challenges posed by welfare reform laws.
Women's Enterprise Development
A Final Report on the Ms. Foundation for Women's Collaborative Fund for Women's Economic Development: The fourth round of the Women's Collaborative Fund focused on helping both microenterprise organizations and entrepreneurs become more sustainable and grow. The results from nine grantees during a two-year period are examined around the topics of entrepreneur motivation, and business as well as microenterprise program sustainability and growth. Download PDF
Enhancing Economic Opportunity through Entrepreneurship: Lessons learned from the third round of the Collaborative Fund for Women's Economic Development
Download PDF

Enhancing Opportunities for Entrepreneurship: 2003 findings from the third round of the Collaborative Fund for Women's Economic Development
Download PDF

Enhancing Employment Opportunities for Women: 2003 findings from the third round of the Collaborative Fund for Women's Economic Development
Download PDF

Enhancing Employment Opportunities for Women: 2003 findings from the third round of the Collaborative Fund for Women's Economic Development
Download PDF


Get Acrobat Reader

Many documents on this page are available in the Portable Document Format (PDF) and require the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

If you do not already have Acrobat installed, you can download it directly from the Adobe Web Site. Acrobat allows you to view and print documents as they appear in their original form. Click on the button below to download Acrobat.