Programs targeting micro businesses have become increasingly common in developing countries, particularly because micro enterprises employ a substantial fraction of individuals in these economies (about 47 percent in Mexico) and because the majority of these micro enterprises tend to stay small and have low productivity Many programs aimed at fostering the growth of micro and small businesses have focused on providing credits or offering business and financial training, since access to credit and lack of managerial skills are believed to limit the success of this type of businesses (Bruhn e
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Creajeunes offers support to young people from poorer neighbourhoods to get them involved in entrepreneurship. Results forthcoming.
Youth entrepreneurship training programme in France. Results forthcoming.
We conducted a field experiment to identify the causal effects of extrinsic incentive cues on the sorting and performance of nascent social entrepreneurs. The experiment, carried out with one of the United Kingdom’s largest support agencies for social entrepreneurs, encouraged 431 nascent social entrepreneurs to submit a full application for a grant competition that provides cash and in-kind mentorship support through a onetime mailing sent by the agency.
The Paris School of Economics proposed a project to the Haut-Commissariat aux Solidarités Actives (French Minister for Active Solidarity against Poverty) to evaluate the impact of one of Adie’s programs, CréaJeunes. The “Association pour le droit à l’initiative économique” (Adie), is an NGO that aids people in creating their own business. The program is designed to encourage and support young people employment and entrepreneurship, particularly in poorer neighborhoods.
In the context of a lab experiment replicating the job/hiring market, this study reveals that prior to affirmative action, women, including high-performing women, fail to enter the competition, thus the actual performance costs of affirmitive action are negligible. This implies that the long-term effects are positive, as increasing the representation of "minorities" may improve mentoring possibilities, and change the perception of "minorities'" ability to hold a high-ranking position.
Does limited access to formal savings services impede business growth in poor countries? To shed light on this question, we randomized access to noninterest-bearing bank accounts among two types of self-employed individuals in rural Kenya: market vendors (who are mostly women) and men working as bicycle taxi drivers. Despite large withdrawal fees, a substantial share of market women used the accounts, were able to save more, and increased their productive investment and private expenditures. We see no impact for bicycle taxi drivers.
In the context urban Sri Lanka the challenge in getting female-owned, subsistence-level microenterprises to grow may lie outside the realm of capital and skills. Results of the training and capital access intervention are somewhat more encouraging in terms of helping women who are outside the labour force to start enterprises more quickly.
Most academic and development policy discussions about microentrepreneurs focus on credit constraints and assume that subject to those constraints, the entrepreneurs manage their business optimally. Yet the self-employed poor rarely have any formal training in business skills. A growing number of microfinance organizations are attempting to build the human capital of microentrepreneurs in order to improve the livelihood of their clients and help further their mission of poverty alleviation.
This experiment, replicating the selection environment of competitive jobs, suggests that the gender gap could be due in part to men's overconfidence, and men's preferences for performing in competition. Further implications include that a surplus of low-performing men may too often self-select into these jobs while too many high-performing women do not.