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Teaching Entrepreneurship: Impact of Business Training on Microfinance Clients and Institutions

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  • Martin Valdivia

    ()
    (Grupo de Analisis para el Dessarrollo)

  • Dean Karlan

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

Abstract

Can one teach entrepreneurship, or is it a fixed personal characteristic? Most academic and policy discussion on microentrepreneurs in developing countries focuses on their access to credit, and assumes their human capital to be fixed. However, a growing number of microfinance organizations are attempting to build the human capital of micro-entrepreneurs in order to improve the livelihood of their clients and help further their mission of poverty alleviation. Using a randomized control trial, we measure the marginal impact of adding business training to a Peruvian village banking program for female microentrepreneurs. Treatment groups received thirty to sixty minute entrepreneurship training sessions during their normal weekly or monthly banking meeting over a period of one to two years. Control groups remained as they were before, meeting at the same frequency but solely for making loan and savings payments. We find that the treatment led to improved business knowledge, practices and revenues. The microfinance institution also had direct benefits through higher repayment and client retention rates. Larger effects found for those that expressed less interest in training in a baseline survey have important implications for implementing similar market-based interventions with a goal of recovering costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 941.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:941

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Keywords: entrepreneurship; microfinance; business training; business skills; adult education;

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  1. Signe-Mary McKernan, 2002. "The Impact Of Microcredit Programs On Self-Employment Profits: Do Noncredit Program Aspects Matter?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 93-115, February.
  2. Eric V. Edmonds, 2003. "Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?," NBER Working Papers 10134, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Copestake, James, 2002. "Unfinished Business: The Need for More Effective Microfinance Exit Monitoring," Working Papers 23752, University of Sussex, Imp-Act: Improving the Impact of Microfinance on Poverty: Action Research Program.
  4. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Paulson, Anna L. & Townsend, Robert, 2004. "Entrepreneurship and financial constraints in Thailand," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 229-262, March.
  6. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Is Child Labor Inefficient?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 663-679, August.
  7. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  8. Edmonds, Eric V., 2006. "Child labor and schooling responses to anticipated income in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 386-414, December.
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