The Missing Middles: Segmenting Enterprises to Better Understand Their Financial Needs

A new framework to help stakeholders navigate the complex landscape of Small and Growing Businesses

Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) in emerging and frontier markets face a $930 billion financing gap that fundamentally challenges their ability to grow and sustain their businesses. While many efforts are underway to close this gap, one persistent challenge has been the inconsistency with which stakeholders define this category of business. Without a common language and understanding of what these terms mean, difficulties arise in advancing the conversations between financial service providers, enterprises, donors and limited partners (LPs), and field-building organizations.

This report has specific benefits for financial service providers, enterprises, donors and LPs, and field-building organizations. For financial service providers, it provides better language and descriptions of the segments of businesses that you are targeting as an investor. It provides a strategic framework that investors (and others) can use to begin focusing on the enterprise families that have the greatest needs for financing beyond traditional structures. Similarly, it aims to help enterprises better target appropriate investors and better understand the range of SGB financing solutions that exist. For donors and LPs, the report provides a strategic framework to use in channeling assistance, resources, and funding.

About this Publication

By Kusi Hornberger , Veronica Chau