Whose problems do investors see as worth solving? I experimentally study how investors evaluate a startup idea based on the socioeconomic background of the founder, the target customer, and the (in)congruence between the two. I am also interested in how the socioeconomic background of investors themselves affect these evaluations. I aim to contribute to the research on diversity and inequality in entrepreneurial funding in which socioeconomic backgrounds have been relatively understudied.
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.
Early-stage researchers (ESRs - PhDs and Post-docs) are repeatedly touted as an untapped source of high-potential entrepreneurship. However, most entrepreneurship initiatives have either focused on undergraduate students or on consolidated scientists (PIs and professors). We argue that attempts to translate these initiatives to engage early-stage researchers (ESRs) are missing the positive impact of entrepreneurship beyond the direct commercialization of scientific outputs.
Although entrepreneurship training programs are designed to help necessity entrepreneurs acquire skills and capabilities to take entrepreneurial action, participants in these programs often fail to do so. In partnership with a local government agency, we conducted a randomized field experiment involving 165 entrepreneurs in rural Tanzania where in addition to providing technical-skills training, approximately half of the participants also received “growth mindset” psychological training.
Women are underrepresented in patenting and the gap is not closing quickly. One major roadblock to progress is a dearth of causal evidence on the potential effectiveness of policies to reduce the gender gap in patenting. Analyzing a randomized control trial at the United States Patent and Trademark Office that was designed to provide additional help to applicants who do not have legal representation, we find heterogeneous causal impacts across gender and technologies on the probability of obtaining patent rights.
This project is a collaboration with Corner to Corner to study the impact of their entrepreneurship training course on financial stability. Corner to Corner, a Nashville-based nonprofit, is focused on their mission of helping their neighbors to flourish and addressing the racial wealth gap. One of their primary programs is The Academy, a 10-week entrepreneurship training course that teaches students the fundamentals of starting and operating their own business.
This trial measures the impact of an edutainment program specifically designed to promote entrepreneurship among young adult viewers in Egypt.
We experimentally study the impact of substantially larger enterprise loans, in collaboration with an Egyptian lender. Larger loans generate small average impacts, but machine learning using psychometric data reveals dramatic heterogeneity. Top-performers (i.e., those with the highest predicted treatment effects) substantially increase profits, whereas profits for poor-performers drop. The magnitude of this difference implies that an individual lender’s credit allocation choices matter for aggregate income.
This randomised experiment tested the impact of exogenously inducing higher financial aspirations among poor entrepreneurs.
This experiment tests the impact of a program with the main goal of helping firms to attract new customers, expand markets, adapt their business model, and bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic by boosting demand for their products.
This paper studies the role of diversity and performance in the entrepreneurial teams.
This project evaluated the impact of a program aiming to improve the workplace climate in corporations.
This paper studies the medium-term impacts of the Skills for Effective Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) program, an innovative in-residence 3-week mini-MBA program for high school students modeled after western business school curricula and adapted to the Ugandan context.
This study assesses, via a field experiment, how a comprehensive teacher training program affects the delivery of a major entrepreneurship curriculum reform in Rwanda. The reform introduced interactive pedagogy and a focus on business skills in the country’s required upper secondary entrepreneurship course. Both groups received the government’s standard training. In addition, the treatment group was assigned intensive training organized by an NGO for two years.
A randomised controlled trial has been performed in which 580 randomly selected pupils (aged 14-15) have been randomly assigned to participate in online programmes that focus either on entrepreneurship or on environmental issues. . The short-term results show that the programme focusing on entrepreneurship had a significantly positive influence on the participants’ entrepreneurial intentions, venture creation self-efficacy, entrepreneurial attitudes and perceived knowledge about entrepreneurship
This paper hypothesizes that many productive firms in poor countries stagnate due to informational barriers to winning wholesale contracts.
In this paper, a randomised experiment measures the effects of workers at an automobile manufacturing firm evaluating their managers on worker and firm outcomes.
This paper tests the role of three behavioral biases: present bias, limited memory, and overconfidence about memory.
Despite the widespread popularity of entrepreneurship education, there is thin evidence on its effectiveness in improving employment outcomes over the medium to long-term. A potential time lag between entrepreneurial intentions and actions is sometimes presented as a reason why employment impacts are rarely observed. Based on a randomized control trial among university students in Tunisia, this paper studies the medium-term impacts of entrepreneurship education four years after students’ graduation.
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.
This paper compares how two common incentive schemes affect innovative performance in a field experiment run in partnership with a large life sciences company.
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.
Entrepreneurial motivation is important to the process of economic growth. However, evidence on the motivations of innovative entrepreneurs, and how those motivations differ across fundamental characteristics, remains scant. We conduct three interrelated field experiments with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Inclusive Innovation Challenge to study how innovative entrepreneurs respond to messages of money and social impact and how this varies across gender and culture.
This study builds on the assumption that the common experiential design of entrepreneurship education stimulates entrepreneurial learning via social interaction with peers. The analysis focuses on gendered peer effects at the pre-nascent stage of the entrepreneurial process and on the role of team emotional intelligence in the context of entrepreneurship education.
This paper discusses the development of a model contract to make self-liquidating, quasi-equity investments in microenterprises.
Organizations constantly strive to unleash their entrepreneurial potential to keep up with market and technology changes. To this end, they engage employees in practices like corporate crowdsourcing, incubators, accelerators or hackathons. These organizational practices emulate independent “green-field” entrepreneurship by relinquishing hierarchical control and granting employees autonomy in the choices of how to conduct work.
Lack of secular economic opportunity is believed to be related to social unrest, engagement in terrorism, and association with radical groups. In conflict areas, difficulties accessing economic opportunity and employment are often exacerbated by movement restrictions and investor concerns about safety of physical plant and other capital investments that might enhance employment opportunities. Recent advances in cloud-computing and software-driven services present the promise of a solution through cloud-based entrepreneurial activity.
The engagement with industry actors is a key element in the transition towards an entrepreneurial university model. The purpose of this paper is to explore the university–industry collaboration (UIC) drivers from the industry side. It analyses how, and to what extent, policy interventions could increase the engagement of industry actors in UICs.
Despite mounting interest in growth mindset interventions, this approach has yet to be applied to the domain of entrepreneurship. In the present research, we developed and tested if a growth mindset intervention could be leveraged to promote students’ entrepreneurial self-efficacy and if this, in turn, predicted career development (i.e., academic interest, career interest, task persistence, and academic performance). We report on our findings, from an Open Science Framework (OSF) preregistered study, that is a randomized controlled trial implementing a growth mindset intervention.
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 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.