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Business Training

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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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"This paper provides a synthetic and systematic review on the effectiveness of various entrepreneurship programs in developing countries It adopts a meta-regression analysis using 37 impact evaluation studies that were in the public domain by March 2012, and draws out several lessons on the design of the programs The paper observes wide variation in program effectiveness across different interventions depending on outcomes, types of beneficiaries, and country context Over, entrepreneurship programs have a positive and large impact for youth and on business knowledge and practice, but no immediate translation into business set-up and expansion or increased income At a disaggregate level by outcome groups, providing a package of training and financing is more effective for labor activities. In addition, financing support appears more effective for women and business training for existing entrepreneurs than other interventions to improve business performance."

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"Entrepreneurship education has the potential to enable youth to gain skills and create their own jobs. In Tunisia, a curricular reform created an entrepreneurship track providing business training and coaching to help university students prepare a business plan. We rely on randomized assignment of the entrepreneurship track to identify impacts on students' labor market outcomes one year after graduation. The entrepreneurship track led to a small increase in self-employment, but overall employment rates remained unchanged. Although business skills improved, effects on personality and entrepreneurial traits were mixed. The program nevertheless increased graduates' aspirations toward the future."

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"The present "Effectiveness of Entrepreneurship Development interventions on Women Entrepreneurs" issue brief is the result of an in-depth review of six meta-evaluations and twenty three rigorous impact satudies undertaken during the past 10 years in women's entrepreneurship development initiatives around the world. It provides a synthesis of impact findings and identifies interventions which seem to have worked more effectively.

The brief corroborates for example that combining finance and business training -although more costly - seems to be more effective in supporting women's business start-up than either finance or business training alone. Also, training packages that combine business and gender knowledge are more likely to lead to women's empowerment. While more evidence is still needed, the brief concludes with a series of recommendations for future interventions and impact evaluations including providing more than access to skills and finance, by also addressing gender-based barriers and women's strategic needs, in order to ensure the business success and consolidation of women entrepreneurs."

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"Does growth training help entrepreneurs to scale-up new ventures? Our field experiment answering this question uses a sample of 181 startup founders from the population of Singapore-based entrepreneurs in 2017. The treatment consisted of classroom sessions conducted in workshop and lecture formats that provided content in growth-catalyst tools comprising of effective business model design, building effective venture management teams and leveraging personal networks, that help in entrepreneurial resource mobilization. Also, participants received individualized business coaching addressing their venture's issues and challenges in these domains. Our results show that entrepreneurs that received training in the three growth-catalyst tools achieved higher sales and employee growth for their ventures. In addition, entrepreneurs with higher educational attainment, higher prior work experience and higher growth goals benefited much more from the training intervention."

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"The authors conduct a randomized experiment among women in urban Sri Lanka to measure the impact of the most commonly used business training course in developing countries, the Start-and-Improve Your Business program. They work with two representative groups of women: a random sample of women operating subsistence enterprises and a random sample of women who are out of the labor force but interested in starting a business. They track the impacts of two treatments -- training only and training plus a cash grant -- over two years with four follow-up surveys and find that the short and medium-term impacts differ."

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"Business training is a widely used development tool, yet little is known about its impact. We study the effects of such a business training program held in Central America. To deal with endogenous selection into the training program, we use a regression discontinuity design, exploiting the fact that a fixed number of applicants are taken into the training program based on a pre-training score. Business training significantly increases the probability that an applicant to the workshop starts a business or expands an existing business. Results also suggest gender heterogeneity as well as the presence of financial constraints."

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"A large share of the poor in developing countries run small enterprises, often earning low incomes. This paper explores whether the poor performance of businesses can be explained by a lack of basic business skills. We randomized the offer of a free, 48-hour business skills course to female entrepreneurs in rural Mexico. We find that those assigned to treatment earn higher profits, have larger revenues, serve a greater number of clients, are more likely to use formal accounting techniques, and more likely to be registered with the government. Indirect treatment effects on those entrepreneurs randomized out of the program, yet living in treatment villages, are economically meaningful, yet imprecisely measured. We present a simple model of experience and learning that helps interpret our results, and consistent with the theoretical predictions, we find that "low-quality" entrepreneurs are the most likely to quit their business post-treatment, and that the positive impacts of the treatment are increasing in entrepreneurial quality."

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"Theories of market failures and targeting motivate the promotion of entrepreneurship training programs and generate testable predictions regarding heterogeneous treatment effects from such programs. Using a large randomized evaluation in the United States, we find no strong or lasting effects on those most likely to face credit or human capital constraints, or labor market discrimination. We do find a short-run effect on business ownership for those unemployed at baseline, but this dissipates at longer horizons. Treatment effects on the full sample are also short-term and limited in scope: we do not find effects on business sales, earnings, or employees."

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"Globally, women's involvement in clean cooking value chains has been minimal. This is partly because of the multiple challenges faced by women that impede their capacity to effectively engage in the energy sector. To better discern gender-specific differences in involvement in the energy sector, the authors conducted a randomized trial in Kenya to compare sales performance of newly trained male and female improved cookstove entrepreneurs and to test the effects of an agency-based empowerment training on business activity. A total of 257 entrepreneurs completed either a 4-day entrepreneurial training (control) or a 4-day empowerment training (intervention) and were followed for nearly 8 months documenting business activity and sales. The empowerment training led to more than doubling of sales for both genders. In addition, participants in the intervention group were significantly more likely to demonstrate business commitment over time and nearly three times more likely to be higher sellers (relative risk = 2.7, 95% CI [1.4, 5.4]), controlling for gender and rural/urban locale. Women outsold men by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 and were more likely to continue to pursue leads despite limited sales. Nonactive participants (those selling 1 improved cookstove or less) were a larger percentage of the control group (72%) than the intervention group (50%), and more men were nonactive participants (65% of men) compared with women (56% of women).These data show that women can serve as active improved cookstove entrepreneurs in both urban and rural settings and that targeted agency-based empowerment training can significantly increase women's capacity to engage effectively within the improved cookstove value chain."

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