SEED (Scaling Entrepreneurship for Economic Development)

The scaling of micro-enterprises represents a decisive opportunity for local economic development. However, scaling micro-enterprises requires a favorable entrepreneurial ecosystem, in which local promoters have the capacity to assist micro-entrepreneurs in their growth efforts. Although international promoters have been working for years to develop the capacity of local promoters, the results of these efforts to help scale micro-enterprises are generally limited to the duration of collaboration on a specific project.

The goal of the SEED research project is to create a network of international and local promoters of entrepreneurship programs, as well as international and local researchers with expertise in entrepreneurial scaling. This cross-sector partnership will lead and mobilize research using field experiments and business cases to create a validated methodology to develop the capacities of local promoters in addressing scaling barriers of micro-enterprises. This methodology will be shared with local promoters in different contexts in order to multiply the impact.

More specifically, the SEED Network will pursue two objectives. The first is to understand the scaling of businesses in different entrepreneurial ecosystems. SEED partners will work collaboratively with Développement international Desjardins (DID) on projects in Haiti, Tunisia, and Colombia to better understand the conditions for effective micro-enterprise scaling practices. The second objective is to create a knowledge transfer program. Our partnership aims to disseminate the knowledge learned to local promoters who work in contexts with different levels of development. This transfer program will take the form of “training of trainers” on ways to better support scaling efforts in entrepreneurial ecosystems.

A collaboration between two categories of actors

1. A multidisciplinary consortium of researchers from academic institutions:
  • Luciano Barin Cruz – Full Professor, HEC Montréal
  • Charlene Zietsma – Associate Professor, Penn State University
  • Desirée Pacheco – Associate Professor, IESE
  • Angelique Slade Shantz – Assistant Professor, University of Alberta
  • Kylie Heales – PhD student, University of Alberta
  • Celeste Diaz Ferraro – Ph.D. Student, Penn State University
  • Katherine Picone – Master’s student, HEC Montréal
2. International promoters (Développement international Desjardins (DID)) and local promoters involved in business scaling.

Click here for the activity report of Haïti

Click here to learn more on the partnership in Sri Lanka

Click here to discover the testimonies of women entrepreneurs in Tunisia

For more information, contact Katherine Picone

Project partners

Logo - Desjardins développement international
Logo - University of Alberta
Logo - PennState
Logo IESE Business School University of Navarra