"This paper studies the impact on well-being and business outcomes from teaching stress-management practices to small firm owners in Bangladesh. Female owners were randomly assigned either to a treatment group that received a 10-week Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) course featuring priority-setting and relaxation techniques, or to a control group exposed to Empathic Listening. CBT leads to large initial reductions in owner stress, but no initial increase in firm profits. Six months after receiving CBT, owners in sectors with a low concentration of women show large and significant effects on stress, and their firms show increased profits. By contrast, owners in female-dominated sectors experience a short-lived reduction in stress, and firms show no changes in profits. The large post-treatment differences in well-being and profits between industries suggest that the ability to manage stress is malleable, and that industry choice proxies for traits that are strongly correlated with returns to training."
"Recent field experiments demonstrate that advice, mentorship, and feedback from randomly assigned peers improve entrepreneurial performance. These results raise a natural question: what is preventing entrepreneurs and managers from forming these peer connections themselves? We argue that entrepreneurs may be under-networked because they lack the necessary social skills- the ability to communicate effectively and interact collaboratively with new acquaintances-that allow them to match efficiently with knowledgeable peers. We use a field experiment in the context of a business training program to test if a short social skills training module improves who the participants choose to learn from within the program. We find that entrepreneurs who were exposed to the social skills training formed 50% more relationships with peers. These relationships exhibited more matching based on managerial skill and were more ethnically diverse. Finally, the training also substantially increased entrepreneurs' business performance. Our findings suggest that social skills help entrepreneurs build relationships that create value for both themselves and their peers."
"The World Economic Forum is pleased to release Leveraging Entrepreneurial Ambition and Innovation: A Global Perspective on Entrepreneurship, Competitiveness and Development, which examines the relationship of entrepreneurship and competitiveness from a fresh perspective. The report builds on and advances our extensive previous work on this issue. The study described in this report combines two unique data sets, the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index data, which ranks the economic competitiveness of 144 economies, and Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s assessment of entrepreneurial activity across 70 economies."
"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."
"As part of an effort to increase the evidence related to youth entrepreneurship in the Arab world, the ILO has joined with regional partners to create the Taqeem initiative. Taqeem provides support for the rigorous evaluation of youth interventions and disseminates findings and recommendations on “what works” in youth employment. As part of the Taqeem initiative, a global research team was assembled to evaluate the impact of an innovative youth entrepreneurship reality TV show in Egypt called El Mashrou3, produced and directed by the international NGO Bamyan Media. Bamyan defines the primary objective of the show as: to use the power of mass media to inspire a new generation of youth entrepreneurs. This is achieved through broadcasting messages about entrepreneurship skills and good business practices. In addition to producing the show, Bamyan Media carried out support activities to create a bridge between El Mashrou3 and the real world. A website was created so that viewers could access online courses, educational videos and mentoring services. Public viewing parties and networking events were also organized.
This report has several purposes. The first is to set out clearly for the study team and for interested parties all the details involved in selecting the study population, including details of the random selection process used. The second is to summarize information from the baseline survey to give a picture of the types of young people involved in the study. Finally, the report provides background information about the TV show itself, the contestants and the content of the episodes. It should be noted that only minimal data are presented from the baseline survey, as data continue to be collected, improved and analysed."
"A classical approach to collecting and elaborating information to make entrepreneurial decisions combines search heuristics, such as trial and error, effectuation, and confirmatory search. This paper develops a framework for exploring the implications of a more scientific approach to entrepreneurial decision making. The panel sample of our randomized control trial includes 116 Italian startups and 16 data points over a period of about one year. Both the treatment and control groups receive 10 sessions of general training on how to obtain feedback from the market and gauge the feasibility of their idea. We teach the treated startups to develop frameworks for predicting the performance of their idea and conduct rigorous tests of their hypotheses, very much as scientists do in their research. We let the firms in the control group instead follow their intuitions about how to assess their idea, which has typically produced fairly standard search heuristics. We find that entrepreneurs who behave like scientists perform better, are more likely to pivot to a different idea, and are not more likely to drop out than the control group in the early stages of the startup. These results are consistent with the main prediction of our theory: a scientific approach improves precision—it reduces the odds of pursuing projects with false positive returns and increases the odds of pursuing projects with false negative returns."
"Despite mounting interest in growth mindset interventions, this approach has yet to be applied to the domain of entrepreneurship. In the present research, we developed and tested if a growth mindset intervention could be leveraged to promote students' entrepreneurial self-efficacy and if this, in turn, predicted career development (i.e., academic interest, career interest, task persistence, and academic performance). We report on our findings, from an Open Science Framework (OSF) preregistered study, that is a randomized controlled trial implementing a growth mindset intervention. We randomly assigned undergraduate students (N = 238) in an introduction to entrepreneurship class to either the growth mindset intervention or to a knowledge-based attention-matched control. Students in the growth mindset intervention, relative to the control, reported greater entrepreneurial self-efficacy and task persistence on their main class project. The intervention also indirectly improved academic and career interest via entrepreneurial self-efficacy. However, the intervention failed to directly or indirectly impact performance on a classroom assignment. Additionally, and somewhat surprisingly, gender and past experience in the field failed to moderate any effects of the intervention on outcomes. Theoretical implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed."