Throughout Africa – business analytics toolkit for tech hubs: lessons learned from infoDev’s mLabs and mHubs.



About infoDev:  infoDev is a multi-donor program in the World Bank Group that supports entrepreneurs in developing economies. We oversee a global network of business incubators and innovation hubs for climate technology, agribusiness, and digital entrepreneurs. We also publish educational resources on topics like crowdfunding, angel investing, and business incubator management.

Business analytics toolkit

The toolkit is especially useful for current and future mLab and mHub managers. mLabs and mHubs are tech hubs established through grants administered by the infoDev Digital Entrepreneurship Program infoDev is committed to supporting the analytical capacities of mLabs and mHubs. This toolkit is part of that agenda. It will help grantees to improve local implementation while setting a common framework on how to collaborate with infoDev on business analytics and performance measurements.

The third target audience is mobile innovation specialists at other World Bank units and other development organizations, who design impact and measurement frameworks for tech hubs. Given the recent rise in numbers of tech hubs, international development organizations are exploring if and how they can be employed to achieve socio-economic development impact goals. In particular, tech hubs’ flexibility and diverse potential effects have sparked interest but have also caused problems for specific and concrete analysis and projection of hubs’ effects and impact. This toolkit addresses this complication. All elements of the toolkit that speak of infoDev’s role in facilitating and coordinating with mLabs or mHubs on business analytics processes can be seen as use cases with potential for replication and adaptation by practitioners and decision makers of other development organizations, including relevant units of the World Bank.

What led infoDev to develop this Toolkit?

Tech hub numbers are burgeoning in developing countries, helping information and communication technology (ICT) developers and entrepreneurs to network, innovate, and start businesses. Set foot into a top-tier hub and you will be struck by the buzz and excitement that have infused local entrepreneurial communities within just a few years.

infoDev was at the forefront of the movement when, in 2011, it launched two different kinds of tech hubs to enable entrepreneurship in local mobile application and software markets: mobile application labs (mLabs) and mobile social networking hubs (mHubs). mLabs and mHubs were pilot mobile innovation support programs. The immediate goal was to help infoDev learn from experimentation how the innovation pioneer gap could be bridged through tech hubs. infoDev has since made great strides learning lessons, making evaluations and publishing knowledge products. Each mLab and mHub operated on different business models tailored to the needs of local markets, which increased the number of real-world experiments that infoDev could learn from.

This Business Analytics Toolkit will help you:

1)      Understand how to conduct performance measurement for an mLab or mHub, or other tech hubs

2)      Improve your planning, lesson learning, and delivery over time

3)      Collect data needed to communicate to potential investors and partners.

The Toolkit:

  • Is oriented towards tech hub managers but is also useful for others interested in the design of tech hubs
  • Provides a brief description of what led infoDev to put together this toolkit
  • Makes the case for the relevance of rigorous business analytics
  • Categorizes tech hub business models and outlines the consequences of business model selection for business analytics strategies
  • Highlights important considerations for tech hubs that are funded by governments and donors, including international development organizations such as infoDev
  • Gives detailed guidance on how a good business analytics approach can be developed and indicators selected in a performance measurement system
  • Provides instructions on how tech hubs can use business analytics and performance measurement in a continuous process
  • Briefly outlines how mLabs and mHubs can engage with infoDev once they have a sound business analytics approach in place

This is version 1.0 of this toolkit, and you are encouraged to help improve future versions by submitting your feedback to infoDev.






Lone Eagle Consulting’s “People Ready” Broadband Entrepreneurship and Digital Literacy Curriculum

One size does not fit all and Lone Eagle Consulting helps provide online training for rural remote, at-risk, and indigenous learners. We especially liked this focus on indigenous learners and wanted to share the following:

The Self-directed Digital Literacy Training and Resource Guide for All Learners

Lone Eagle Online Courses

Community Training Resources

Social Media Training Resources

For additional information, please visit:

The Broadband Commission’s Online Sharehouse

In response to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s directive to encourage the UN to meet the millennium Development Goals, The International Telecommunication Union and UNESCO set up the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.  The Commission’s mission is to advocate for the inclusion of broadband on the international policy agendas and is working to increase broadband access internationally.

One tool that the Broadband Commission has developed is a user-driven database of best practices ranging from case studies to policy recommendations.  This database, the Sharehouse, has over 200 searchable initiatives from reputable organizations such as the Brookings Institution and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.  Each submission is categorized by themes on which the submission touches upon, such as Infrastructure or Policy and Regulation, includes information about the project’s geographical coverage or area reported upon, and other classifying details such as time scale, partners, and points of contact.

The Broadband Commission’s Sharehouse is an outstanding example of how the international community can learn from each other through the stewardship and guidance of the United Nations and other international organizations.  Visit the site at: