The Impact of Soft-Skills Training for Entrepreneurs in Jamaica

A randomized control trial with 945 entrepreneurs in Jamaica shows positive shortterm impacts of soft-skills training on business outcomes. The effects are concentrated among men, and disappear twelve months after the training.  It is argued that the main channel is increased adoption of recommended business practices, exclusively observed in the short run.  There are persistent effects on an incentivized behavioral measure of perseverance after setbacks, a focus of this training. A comparison is drawn with a course focused only on soft-skills to one that combines soft-skills training with traditional business training. The effects of the combined training are never statistically significant.

Policy implications 
A psychology-based soft-skills training can help develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Soft-skills training outperform hard and soft skills combined training on triggering the adoption of good business practices, but none have persistent effects on business outcomes.
Ubfal, D., Arraiz, I., Beuermann, D.W., Frese, M., Maffioli, A. and Verch, D., 2022. The impact of soft-skills training for entrepreneurs in Jamaica. World Development, 152, p.105787.