Business Training Plus for Female Entrepreneurship? Short and Medium-Term Experimental Evidence from Peru

With millions of women around the developing world thrown into self-employment but with low productivity, increasing the profitability of their businesses is highly relevant for poverty reduction and gender equity. This study evaluates the impacts of a BDS programserving female microentrepreneurs in Lima using an experimental design, that included two treatment groups: One received only general training (GT), albeit more time-intense than previous studies, and delivered by experts, while the other received in addition technical assistance (TA). Results show the existence of room for efficiency gains and growth, as all treated showed increased sales revenues and self-reported adoption of recommended business practices. Those that received only GT showed positive but not significant effects early on, but the two treatment groups showed indistinguishable growth, above 15%, two years after the end of the treatment. Low take up of the training may suggest some space to improve recruitment and delivery of treatments

Policy implications 
By itself, an intensive training programme delivered by experts can unblock the managerial capacities of micro-entrepreneurs and help them to grow their firms. The training component provides a good return on investment. The cost is compensated for in just three months by the extra sales generated by the training. Given that sales effects converge for those that do and don’t receive the consulting sessions, the extra costs associated with this component don’t prove to be cost-effective, on average. The consulting complement might be particularly fitted for entrepreneurs with higher education and entrepreneurial traits. They are the ones who benefit the most from it in terms of improved business performance.
Valdivia, M., 2015. Business training plus for female entrepreneurship? Short and medium-term experimental evidence from Peru. Journal of Development Economics, 113, 33-51.