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.
Business Ownership: Business ownership, business entry and exit dynamics. Business Scale: Business sales and number of employees, business structure. Earnings: Wage/salary from work or business ownership, other income payments (bonuses, profit distributions, etc), business revenues and employment. Work Satisfaction. Heterogenous Treatment Effects: On those with credit/liquidity restraints; on minorities and females; on those lacking the main human capital factors associated with business success (education, previous managerial experience, previous experience working in a family business); on the unemployed.
Business Ownership: In the short run (6 months) the average impact of the training was large and significant (13,4% higher than control group). At 18 months, although the treatment effect was still positive, the difference was smaller and no longer statistically significant. At 60 months after treatment, both groups have similar levels of business ownership. Conditional on not owning a business at baseline, treatment members were far more likely to start a business 6 months later. However, these effects disappears over time. Conditional on owning a business at baseline, there was no statistically significant difference in exit rates (although percentages estimates are large and negative). Business Scale No significant effects of treatment on business sales, hiring employees or business structures at any horizon. Earnings No significant effects of training on household income at any horizon. Negative but non-significant point estimates of treatment on business performance. Work Satisfaction No evidence of significant effects of training on work satisfaction. Heterogenous Treatment Effects No evidence that training has positive effects on individuals with credit-constraints, also no effects on investment, debt or loan applications overall. No statistically significant effects of the training on minorities or women. No evidence found that training has lasting or strong effects on those with less education, less previous managerial experience, less experience working in a family business or less prior experience owning a business. Unemployed individuals were more likely to own a business at the 6 month follow-up but there are no effects found in the long-run.