Expansion of e-commerce presents new opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to enter broader market at lower costs, but the SMEs face barriers to growth after entry. To facilitate new entrants to overcome these barriers, this paper explores implementing a training program as a randomized controlled experiment with over two million new sellers on a large e-commerce platform.
IGL Trials Database
IGL curates a database with randomised controlled trials in the field of innovation, entrepreneurship and growth. Browse our list of topics, see it as a map, or use the search function below.
This study investigates 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.
This trial proposes to evaluate a model for scaling up affordable access to effective STEM education through national online education platforms.
This trial investigates the best way to help agents perform better, as firms providing products and services to low income Base of the Pyramid (BOP) customers are increasingly utilizing independent contractor agents rather than employees in their distribution models.
Identifying the most promising business ideas is key to the introduction of novel firms, but predicting their success can be difficult. It is argued that if entrepreneurs adopt a scientific approach by formulating problems clearly, developing theories about the implications of their actions, and testing these theories, they make better decisions.
This paper investigates the impact of management training programs on garment clusters in Vietnam and Tanzania.
In this study, we empirically examine the effect of sharing information with close or distant competitors as part of an incubation program. There is recent evidence of substantial heterogeneity in acceleration programs, with qualitative research highlighting that the main benefit for participants to these programs is the increased exposure to information and the feedback they obtain. Such exposure helps balance the bounded rationality of founders.
We assess whether imperfect knowledge of labor regulation hinders job creation at small and medium-sized firms. We partner with a labor law expert in South Africa that provides information to local firms about major topics regarding labor regulation via newsletters and access to a specialized website. We randomly assign 1800 firms to receive free access to this information service for a 21-week period. Three-quarters of the firms offered the service took it up.
This study is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) on the effects of mentoring on SMEs in Norway. We aim to get a better understanding of firm development and dynamics in the presence of public interventions. Does mentoring affect firm performance and firm-survival? Does it matter what type of state aid a firm is granted; mentoring versus the financial equivalent of the service?
A classical approach to collecting and elaborating information to make entrepreneurial decisions combines search heuristics such as trial and error, effectuation, and confirmatory search. This paper develops a framework for exploring the implications of a more scientific approach to entrepreneurial decision making. The panel sample of our randomized control trial includes 116 Italian startups and 16 data points over a period of about one year.
Does growth training help entrepreneurs to scale-up new ventures? This field experiment answers this question using a sample of 181 startup founders from the population of Singapore based entrepreneurs in 2017.
This paper analyses the impact of a large scale randomized experiment that targets firm labor demand by supporting its recruitment practices.
This paper explores whether skills training in business performance and customer practices was a promising way to increase business outcomes among self-employed workers who operate small businesses in developing countries.
Unlike many other studies, this trial is an impact assessment of training programs that covered quality control and production management as the training topics in addition to entrepreneurship, marketing, and record keeping.
This study conducted two randomized controlled trials to evaluate the effect of mindset-oriented business trainings on the performance of women-owned micro and small enterprises in Ethiopia.
Research confirms that business coaching is core to most incubation and acceleration programmes. Business coaching combines aspects of teaching, training, mentoring, and consulting and creates a general support approach for early-stage technology ventures. It has been identified as a key attribute to the impact of an early-stage venture team’s performance.
This field experiment involved more than 2,000 secondary school students, where the treatment group was incentivised to watch an edutainment show.
We use a randomized controlled trial to demonstrate that inexperienced female microenterprise owners in a Kenyan slum benefit from mentorship by an experienced entrepreneur in the same community. Mentorship increases profits by 20 percent on average with initially large effects that fade as matches dissolve. We conduct a formal business education intervention, which has no effect on profits despite changes in business practice.
This paper studies whether small-scale businesses can learn and adopt protable practices of their successful peers. We identify such practices through a detailed business survey in urban Indonesia and disseminate the information to a randomly selected sample of small retailers through a professionally developed handbook. An orthogonal subgroup is provided additional support through business role models, and another through individualized business counseling. We find a significant increase in the adoption of profitable practices in all sub-groups of retailers.
This paper examines the impact of improvements in marketing skills relative to finance skills among small-scale entrepreneurs. It addresses three important questions: (1) What is the impact of marketing or finance skills on business profits? (2) How do improvements in marketing and finance skills respectively affect different business outcomes? (3) When are increases in marketing relative to finance skills more beneficial?
We investigate the impact of a program providing asset transfers and business training to low income individuals in Chile, and asked whether a larger asset transfer would magnify the program's impact. We randomly assigned participation in a large scale, publicly run micro-entrepreneurship program and evaluated its effects over 45 months. The program improved business practices, employment, and labor income. In the short run, self-employment increased by 14.8/25.2 percentage points for a small/large asset transfer.
Examines a program in Benin that drastically reduces costs to formalize a business, while also offering tax mediation and training. Results forthcoming.
Using a randomized control trial, we evaluated the effect of a financial literacy program on the level of debt and on formal access to credit in Chile. We use a sample of beneficiaries of a publicly run micro-entrepreneurship program. We evaluated the program using administrative data with information on the debt level, interest rates, and new loans provided by the formal sector. The program tends to decreased debt level in the short run while increasing the probability of having formal debt.
Financial models assume startups learn from feedback, but it is hard to test it empirically. First, because demand and supply of information are endogenous. Second, because business education and acceleration bundle feedback with confounding treatments. This paper is the first randomized experiment testing how unsolicited written feedback impacts fundraising of high-stakes entrepreneurs. All 88 teams entered a global accelerator and received $40,000. A random half of them additionally received feedback to business-plans.
We present novel evidence from the results of a randomized controlled trial on the role that information plays in the perceptions of the benefits and costs of exporting. We first present results from a baseline survey of approximately 1,000 UK manufacturing firms to show that non-exporters hold substantially more negative beliefs about the costs and benefits of exporting relative to exporters.
A 5-day enterprise training programme for women in Kenya. Results forthcoming.
Almost all firms in developing countries have fewer than ten workers, with a modal size of one. Are there potential high-growth entrepreneurs, and can public policy help identify them and facilitate their growth? A large-scale national business plan competition in Nigeria provides evidence on these questions. Random assignment of US$34 million in grants provided each winner with approximately US$50,000.
For young firms, the effect of business training on hiring a first employee remains ambiguous, and more research is needed to understand the relationships behind job creation by entrepreneurs.
Standard business training programs aim to boost the incomes of the millions of self-employed business owners in developing countries by teaching basic financial and marketing practices, yet the impacts of such programs are mixed
This trial evaluates the impact of a business training for female clients of a microfinance institution in northern Vietnam, and considers the impact on business knowledge, practices, and outcomes, as well as firm entry and exit decisions.