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"Do mLabs Still Make a Difference?" Second Assessment is now available

Download/View the MLabs Report

This assessment was produced by Sonjara, Inc. and commissioned by infoDev, a global partnership program with the World Bank as the second assessment of the holistic effects of mobile application labs (mLabs), which were implemented under the Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy (CSBKE) program, funded by the government of Finland in partnership with Nokia.

Executive Summary:

The infoDev Mobile Application Laboratory (mLab) program seeks to harness the dynamism of digital technology sectors by equipping the next generation of entrepreneurs to help address development goals. By combining the benefits of digital technology with the strategic benefits of a development-oriented innovative entrepreneurial environment, economic growth and other development objectives can be supported and achieved.

This report is a second assessment of the mLabs program following the 2014 assessment Do mLabs Make a Difference? This second assessment focuses on essentially the same three questions as the first assessment.
In September 2016 the infoDev mLab program engaged Sonjara, Inc. to perform this rapid assessment in Armenia (mLab Eastern Europe, South Caucasus, and Central Asia), Kenya (m:lab East Africa), Senegal (CTIC/mLab West Africa), and South Africa (mLab Southern Africa).

This second assessment is based on an examination and visits to each mLab, with more than 160 field interviews and facilitated focus group discussions. The team analyzed more than 70 mLab-supported companies, conducting indepth interviews with 59 mLabs start-ups as well as with mLab staff, investors, comparable start-ups, customers, and others in the ecosystem. The team also performed a review
of documents, data, and materials provided by the mLabs and companies, as well as collecting leading practices and background research from industry and stakeholder sources.

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