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.
The most commonly measured outcomes were labour-market income, profits and labour-market activities.
Population: Youth, those in higher education, and the urban population are more likely to experience a positive impact from entrepreneurship programmes, meanwhile microcredit clients experience fewer benefits than the general population. Women appear to benefit most from financing support, but do not significantly benefit from entrepreneurship programmes. Existing entrepreneurs benefit from business training by improving business knowledge, but this has not been shown to translate into better business performance. Intervention Delivery: Private-sector and NGO delivery is more likely to lead to programme success than those delivered by banks or microfinance institutions. Training programmes are associated with greater impact in the short-term, while financing programmes seem to work better in the long-term. Intervention Type: Among programmes with a training component, vocational training is most likely to lead to programme success, particularly when combined with either counselling or financing services. General business training, alone or in combination with mentoring/counselling, is more effective than financial training, which offers the least benefits. Adding financing support to business training does not seem to improve effectiveness. Among financing interventions, cash and in-kind transfer programmes with training components have greater impacts than microcredit. Adding training components to microfinance is not associated with greater impact. Financing alone can improve business performance, while training alone can improve business knowledge and practice. A combination of the two is most effective in promoting labour-market outcomes.