Client name: UK Department for International Development (DFID), Nike Foundation, USAID

Duration: 2014-2022

Location: East Africa and South Asia

We’re evaluating a business accelerator program that aims to contribute to girls’ economic empowerment – impacting up to 200,000 girls in eight countries with access to products that could improve their quality of life. 


The SPRING initiative is a business accelerator providing support to innovative businesses whose products can contribute to adolescent girls’ economic empowerment. The program provides organisations with grants and extensive technical assistance to develop and market their products. The aim is to enhance the economic outcomes of up to 200,000 girls in eight countries by giving them access to products that improve their quality of life.

DFID contracted Coffey to undertake a thorough evaluation of the program and determine whether or not it contributes to girls’ economic empowerment.


Coffey is using a theory-based evaluation approach to monitor and evaluate components of the SPRING program:

  • an overall program evaluation assesses the effectiveness and delivery of the SPRING model compared to other incubators, accelerators, challenge funds or other interventions to improve girls’ economic outcomes.
  • business performance evaluations of grantee ventures provide a mechanism for learning lessons and understanding “what is happening and why” within grantees’ business operations and performance.
  • impact evaluations of a strategic selection of grantee ventures provide information on whether economic and social outcomes for girls improved as a result of receiving products and assets delivered by program grantees. These evaluations also assess whether grantees have stimulated new players and innovation in their markets to encourage investment in products that improve outcomes for girls. Finally, the evaluations determine whether the program delivers positive outcomes for girls through the delivery of direct assets compared to other economic empowerment programs targeted at girls.


The evidence and lessons generated from the evaluation will be disseminated to a wide range of stakeholders to influence their activities. This should lead to improvements in the SPRING program and in other policies and programs aimed at improving adolescent girls’ economic outcomes. Communicating evidence and lessons from successful grantee projects should also help attract new investors and ventures to the program.