Theme
Capacity Development

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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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"In Mexico, microenterprises and SMEs make up 99 percent of firms, employ about 64 percent of the workforce, and account for more than 40 percent of GDP. Given the importance of SMEs in the economy, governments in Mexico over the past twenty years have established a wide variety of SME support programs. How effective these SME programs have been in achieving their objectives is unclear.

This paper evaluates SME support programs in Mexico using a panel of firm-level data for two groups of firms-a treatment group that participated in SME programs and a control group that did not. The panel data have been created by linking SME program participation information to a large panel of annual industrial surveys (1994-2005) maintained by Mexico's National Institute of Statistics and Geography."

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"The GALI team consistently hears questions from accelerators and others in the field about financial sustainability. In this brief, we ask: How do accelerators fund their programs, and how do different funding profiles relate to different accelerator offerings?"

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"In this brief, we respond to a question from the Argidius Foundation about the return on investment for accelerators: At the Argidius Foundation, we assess the return on total investment (ROTI) of the capacity development programs that we support. What can your data tell us about the return on investment for accelerator programs?"

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"In this data brief, we explore financing for ventures working in different regions and sectors around the world using data from the Entrepreneurship Database Program. In this report, we respond to a question from the Global Innovation Fund about startup financing by sector and geography: At the Global Innovation Fund, we are focused on supporting entrepreneurs and innovators in markets where individuals earn less than $5 per day. What sectors/verticals and what geographies are typically getting funding in the data that you're seeing?"

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"In this brief, we use data from the Entrepreneurship Acceleration Research Initiative in order to respond to the following question by Steve Cumming of the MasterCard Foundation about Youth Entrepreneurship: At The MasterCard Foundation, we have a portfolio of youth entrepreneurship projects that we support in Sub Saharan Africa. We're always looking for data to better understand the space and to inform our programming. I'm wondering if you could share any data by ages 18-24 and 25-30, and by African country or region if possible. Do you see anything interesting under these parameters?"

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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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"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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"This article presents an innovative method of engaging MBA students in a capstone course by offering a customizable project with businesses that are currently progressing through a regional, independent incubator, or accelerator program. We include various project options but focus on customizable capstone project alternatives to traditional business strategy simulations and case study methods. Namely, our innovative learning solution is a mock consulting project which drives innovation and fosters strategic collaboration between small business owners, university faculty, and MBA students while providing business strategy experience and generating positive exposure for both the university and the small businesses involved. Our method includes pairing MBA students with participating startup businesses and allowing the soon-to-be MBAs an opportunity to garner consulting experience while simultaneously serving the needs of the businesses in the accelerator. Accordingly, MBA students act as consultants to business owners and prepare detailed weekly briefings to inform stakeholders within the university and the constituent businesses. By breaching the typical capstone project parameters, the mock consulting option provides for experiential and applied learning experiences for MBA students and develops higher order strategic thinking by challenging them to work hand-in-hand with real startups."

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"Current women's economic empowerment interventions are not enough to overcome all obstacles facing female entrepreneurs. The emerging evidence from psychology and experimental economics on agency; mindset, and leadership show that for successful interventions to be transformative, they need to move beyond basic access to financial and human capital and also tackle central psychological, social, and skills constraints on women entrepreneurs.

Emerging evidence from recent studies on different capital-based, training-based, and gender based interventions, using randomized control trials, present promising interventions to support women entrepreneurs. An experimental study in Uganda found that Providing financial capital (i.e., subsidized microcredit coupled with Start and Improve Your Business training module), while effective for men, does not have any impact on female owned enterprise profits. Similarly, a randomized control trial on Tanzania's Business Women Connect program found that while the mobile savings program substantially increased savings, it did not have an effect on female-owned enterprise profits or sales even when combined with hard business skills, such as business management, basic profitability concepts, and record-keeping. Both studies, however, show that loans paired with business trainings as well as improved access to mobile savings accounts paired with business trainings had a positive impact on male-owned microenterprise profits or sales. Thus, a successful women's economic empowerment intervention needs more than only access to financial capital and hard business skills."

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