"We study the medium-term impacts of the Skills for Effective Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) program, an innovative in-residence 3-week mini-MBA program for high school students modeled after western business school curricula and adapted to the Ugandan context. The program featured two separate treatments: the hard-skills MBA features a mix of approximately 75% hard skills and 25% soft skills; the soft skills curriculum has the reverse mix. Using data on 4400 youth from a nationally representative sample in a 3-arm field experiment in Uganda, the 3.5 year follow-up demonstrated that training was effective in improving both hard and soft skills, but only soft skills were directly linked to improvements in self-efficacy, persuasion, and negotiation. The skill upgrade was rewarded in substantially higher earnings; 32.1% and 29.8% increases in earnings for those who attended hard- and soft-training, respectively, most of which, was generated through self-employment. Furthermore, youth in both groups were more likely to start enterprises and more successful in ensuring their businesses' survival. The program led to significantly larger profits (24.2% and 27.2% for hard- and soft- treatment arms respectively) and larger business capital investments (38.4% and 32.6% for SEED hard and SEED soft, respectively). Both SEED curricula were very cost-effective; two months worth of the extra earnings caused by the training alone would exceed the cost of the program. These benefits abstract from the job- and business-creation benefits of the program, which were substantial: relative to the control group, SEED entrepreneurs created 985 additional jobs and 550 new businesses."
"O estudo aproxima o conceito usado pela ANDE de “Pequenas Empresas em Crescimento” ou “Small and Growing Businesses” dos conceitos praticados aqui no Brasil pelo BNDES, IBGE, Receita Federal e Sebrae no setor de empreendedorismo. Além disso, apresenta exemplos de SGBs alinhadas às áreas foco da ANDE, bem como de organizações de apoio ao empreendedorismo no Norte e Nordeste e com foco em periferias, para ilustrar o rico universo deste campo empresarial em regiões onde a ANDE tem interesse específico."
"Why do more small firms in developing countries not use the market for professional business services like accounting, marketing, and human resource specialists? Two key reasons maybe that firms lack information about the availability of these services, and that they struggle to distinguish the quality of good versus bad providers. A brand recognition exercise finds that most small firms are unaware of most providers in this market, and a survey of service providers reveals that they largely rely on word-of-mouth and informal reputation mechanisms for acquiring customers. This study set up a business services marketplace that contains information about the different providers present in the market and used mystery shopper visits to develop a quality ratings system. A randomized experiment with more than 1,000 firms provided access to this marketplace to the treatment group and randomized whether firms received just information or also quality ratings. The provision of quality ratings information shifts small firms’ preferences over which provider they would like to use, increasing the average quality rating of their preferred providers by 0.2 to 0.4 ratings points out of 5. However, neither the provision of information nor these quality ratings had any significant impact on the likelihood that small firms go on to hire a business service provider over the subsequent six months. The results suggest that alleviating information frictions alone is insufficient to increase usage of professional business services."
"Many small firms lack the finance and marketing skills needed for firm growth. The standard approach in many business support programs is to attempt to train the entrepreneur to develop these skills, through classroom-based training or personalized consulting. However, rather than requiring the entrepreneur to be a jack-of-all-trades, an alternative is to move beyond the boundary of the entrepreneur and link firms to these skills in a marketplace through insourcing workers with functional expertise or outsourcing tasks to professional specialists. A randomized experiment in Nigeria tests the relative effectiveness of these four different approaches to improving business practices. Insourcing and outsourcing both dominate business training; and do at least as well as business consulting at one-half of the cost. Moving beyond the entrepreneurial boundary enables firms to use higher quality digital marketing practices, innovate more, and achieve greater sales and profits growth over a two-year horizon."
"Aid agencies and governments spend more than a billion US$ on entrepreneurship training annually. What have we learned about the effectiveness of training? We review research on entrepreneurship training. Classroom-based training remains the most popular method of training owners and managers of small firms. A meta-analysis shows that the standard training model has modestly positive effects, on average, though the effects imply reasonably high returns on investments in training, given low costs per participant. Innovation on this basic training model has increased in recent years, particularly with regard to content. Both personal initiative and rule-of-thumb training show promise for subsistencelevel enterprises. Individual consulting has shown significant positive effects for larger enterprises, but the model is expensive and markets for consulting do not appear to work well. Selection is important, particularly in matching the type of training with the type of enterprise. There are several seemingly promising approaches to training where definitive evidence is lacking. For example, Kaizen approaches and Incubators and accelerators both appear to have positive effects, though the evidence is limited and, in the case of accelerators, it is unclear as yet whether the effects come primarily from selection or from the content of the programmes themselves."
"Building on Youth Business International's policy recommendations to date, this report compiles a series of case studies that each illustrate how the finance gap can be closed for young and other underserved entrepreneurs through providing non-financial support, such as training and mentoring. This integrated approach reduces the risk of lending to youth and other underserved demographics, and the value of the non-financial support substitutes for collateral and other types of guarantee."
"We evaluate a technology entrepreneurship training program by comparing career decisions among applicants accepted into the program with unaccepted applicants who are program finalists. We find that program participation is associated with an increased likelihood of subsequent entrepreneurship but that this is not uniform across participants; the estimated relationship between program participation and subsequent entrepreneurial activity is disproportionately lower for applicants with ex-ante resources and capabilities in entrepreneurship, measured by prior entrepreneurship experience. Moreover, we only observe this reduced impact of the program on subsequent entrepreneurial activity for participants that have prior experience in founding a technology company as opposed to other forms of entrepreneurial activity. This suggests the program is more effective for individuals that have otherwise limited access to technology entrepreneurship opportunities."
"Using survey data on Macedonian firms that participated in USAID programs providing technical and financial assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and on firms that did not, we estimate the effectiveness of such assistance in increasing the growth of employment in the assisted firms. We control for selection bias in program participation and use both kernel and caliper propensity score matching to estimate the excess growth of employment in assisted firms. We find that assistance programs raised employment growth by 16-20 percentage points in the first year after assistance and by 26-30 points by the third year."
"The review aims primarily to synthesize the evidence on the effects of vocational and business training programmes that aim to improve women's labour market outcomes. It also seeks to improve understanding of the barriers to and facilitators of vocational and business training effectiveness for women. This systematic review by Chinen and colleagues examined the effects on employment, income, sales, and profits. They find that vocational and business training, on average, leads to minor improvements in women's economic well-being. Differences in the programmes' effectiveness suggest that having a gender focus leads to larger impacts on women. The authors conclude that skill-building programmes may be effective when carefully designed with local gender norms in mind."
"Business training programs are a popular policy option to improve the performance of enterprises around the world, and the number of rigorous impact evaluations of these programs is growing. A critical review reveals that many evaluations suffer from small sample sizes, measure impacts only within a year of training, and experience problems with survey attrition and measurement that limit the conclusions one can draw. Over these short time horizons, there are relatively modest effects of training on the survivorship of existing firms. However, there is stronger evidence that training programs help prospective owners launch new businesses more quickly. Most studies find that existing firm owners implement some of the practices taught in training, but the magnitudes of the improvement to practices is often modest. Few studies find significant impacts on profits or sales, although some studies with greater statistical power have done so. There is little evidence to guide policymakers regarding whether any identified effects are due to trained firms drawing sales from competing businesses rather than through productivity improvements or to guide the development of the provision of training at market prices. We conclude by summarizing some directions and key questions for future studies."