Top-down vs bottom-up approaches to remote business training

Recent meta-analyses have shown that business training can deliver improvements in business practices and business performance for small firms. However, one of the challenges is how to scale such programs in a cost-effective manner. We investigate the extent to which training can be remotely taught to small groups via Zoom sessions, with a sample of female microenterprise owners recruited from throughout Mexico and Guatemala. We test two approaches to delivering training content. The first is a standard top-down structure, where the training organization determines which topics should be taught and training is completely instructor-led. The second is a bottom-up approach, in which participants collectively help determine both the topics covered, and also share their own experiences along with the teaching of the instructor. A control group is offered online access to course material with no live instruction.