Using a randomized experiment in Chile we study the impact role models have in the context of a training program for micro-entrepreneurs. We show that being in a group randomly chosen to be visited by a successful alumnus of the program increases household income one year after, mostly due to increased business participation and business income. We also randomized the provision of personalized “consulting sessions” vis-a-vis group sessions, and observe similar effects on income, with the role model intervention being significantly more cost effective and better suited for less experienced businesses.
Socioeconomic condition of participants' households, business situation, access to credit and banking, adoption of financial and management techniques
Participants receiving a motivational speech from a successful alumnus (versus not) and those receiving personalized (instead of group-level) business plan support increase income significantly, but the role model treatment costs one tenth of the comparison.