Theme
Business Training

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"This paper investigates the impact of investment in human capital (off-the-job training in short term) on productivity of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by using Propensity Score Matching (PSM) method with dynamic approach. The paper employs the data from two surveys on the SMEs in Vietnam in the year of 2009 and 2011 that provide detailed information about training and firm characteristics. The results found that training has significantly positive impact on the productivity of household business, but there is no evidence on the impact of training on productivity of the firms in formal sector in the short run; and there is no evidence on the impact of training activities on productivity in the medium run (one-or-two-year after training) for both household business and formal enterprises. Besides, qualitative approach shall be conducted to provide more description on training efficiencies in some specific cases."

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"The vast majority of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in developing countries are located in industrial clusters, and the majority of such clusters have yet to see their growth take off. The performance of MSE clusters is especially low in Sub-Saharan Africa. While existing studies often attribute the poor performance to factors outside firms, problems within firms are seldom scrutinized. In fact, entrepreneurs in these clusters are unfamiliar with standard business practices. Based on a randomized experiment in Ghana, this study demonstrates that basic-level management training improves business practices and performance."

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"A common concern with efforts to directly help some small businesses to grow is that their growth comes at the expense of their unassisted competitors. This study tests this possibility using a two-stage randomized experiment in Kenya. The experiment randomizes business training at the market level, and then within markets to selected businesses. Three years after training, the treated businesses are selling more, earn higher profits, and their owners have higher well-being.
There is no evidence of negative spillovers on the competing businesses, and the markets as a whole appear to have grown in terms of number of customers and sales volumes. This market growth appears to come from enhanced customer service and new product introduction, generating more customers and more sales from existing customers. As a result, business growth in underdeveloped markets is possible without taking sales away from non-treated businesses."

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"We combine a Randomized Control Trial and a lab-in-the-field experiment to explore how participating in an 'entrepreneurship and gender' training affects the intra-household bargaining position of women. While male preferences dominate household decisions, the training attenuates the bargaining gap considerably. Inviting husbands to participate in the training does not further improve outcomes."

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"Does the lack of peers contribute to the observed gender gap in entrepreneurial success? A random sample of customers of India's largest women's bank was offered two days of business counseling, and a random subsample was invited to attend with a friend. The intervention significantly increased participants' business activity, but only if they were trained with a friend. Those trained with a friend were more likely to have taken out business loans, were less likely to be housewives, and reported increased business activity and higher household income, with stronger impacts among women subject to social norms that restrict female mobility."

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"Training programmes are popular development interventions that aim to address problems of youth unemployment. This paper estimates the impact of a youth entrepreneurship programme in Tanzania on financial literacy and employment knowledge. Using primary data within a successive cohort design in a community-led programme, the authors employed propensity score matching and fixed-effect estimation methods to assess changes in knowledge, skills and attitudes of marginalised youth. They found strong positive effects of the programme on key intermediate employment outcomes: savings ability, employment confidence and personal finance. The positive impact of this programme supports youth entrepreneurship training programme and non-experimental evaluation methods."

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"We organise a field experiment with smallholder farmers in Rwanda to measure the impact of financial literacy training on financial knowledge and behaviour. The training increased financial literacy of participants, changed their savings and borrowing behaviour and had a positive effect on the new business start-up. However, it failed to have a significant (short-term) impact on income. Using a two-stage regression framework, we identify enhanced financial literacy as one of the important factors explaining behavioural changes. We also test whether financial knowledge spillovers from trained farmers to their peers in local village banks but find no evidence for that."

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"The objective of this edition is to: 1) Educate agribusiness entrepreneurs on the various available lending options for growth financing; 2) Demystify private equity financing options and how Sahel Capital has effectively created significant value for agribusinesses; and 3) Opportunities and challenges in the agriculture sector, government policies and sustainability in the sector."

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"In economies characterized by low labor demand and high rates of youth unemployment, entrepreneurship training has the potential to enable youth to gain skills and create their own jobs. This paper presents experimental evidence on a new entrepreneurship track that provides business training and personalized coaching to university students in Tunisia."

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"We estimate the demand for business training among entrepreneurs in Jamaica. We use either a re-framed version of the Becker-DeGroot-Marschak (BDM) mechanism or take-it-or-leave-it (TIOLI) offers to elicit willingness to pay for business training. We find that the majority of entrepreneurs have a positive willingness to pay for training, which suggests some scope for providers to help partially recover the costs of offering training. Our results indicate that charging a higher price for the course screens out a large share of entrepreneurs, in particular those entrepreneurs with fewer assets, who are more risk-averse business owners, and those who do not expect to benefit as much from the training. Providing a credit option does not affect take-up of the course. We find that higher willingness to pay is correlated with higher attendance, and conditionally on paying a positive price, those who are offered higher prices are more likely to attend, pointing to psychological or sunk-cost effects. However, this does not fully compensate for the reduction in participation in training due to the extensive margin effect of charging higher prices. Finally, we find some evidence that business training encourages higher adoption of business practices and improves business knowledge.

Our follow-up survey suffered from high attrition, which limits our ability to detect impacts on sales and profits. We do not see that effects are stronger for entrepreneurs paying higher prices or with higher willingness to pay, but a lack of statistical power also means that we cannot rule out the possibility that those
who pay higher prices do benefit more. We conclude that the optimal price for governments to charge may therefore lie somewhere in between free or nominal cost and market price, and depend on how governments trade-off equity and efficiency."

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