Firms start up when donors address market failures

This page outlines the evidence that interventions to address market failures, using approaches such as business, value chain or market systems development, have on the start-up or registration of firms.  At present, the available evidence focuses on the impact of business training programmes.

Impact of business training programmes on business start-up or registration

There is some evidence that well designed training can lead to modest increases in business start-ups but little robust evidence is available:

  • A review of impact evaluations of business training by McKenzie and Woodruff (2012) note that few statistically sound studies exist. In addition, the majority of studies only track participants for one year following business training. It is therefore unclear whether training programmes may only speed up the process of individuals setting up a new firm, rather than determining whether or not they do so.
  • One of the most rigorous studies reviewed, Klinger and Schuendeln (2011), analyses the results of a business training programme that the NGO TechnoServe ran in Nicaragua and El Salvador between 2002 and 2005. Support in the formulation of a business plan is found to lead to a 4-9% higher probability of business start-ups for trainees who did not own a business before. Training on the implementation and formulation of a business plan also has a far stronger effect than support only focused on plan formulation.
  • Training in financial and business literacy, however, did not help young entrepreneurs in Bosnia and Herzegovina to start-up new firms according to the findings of Bruhn and Zia (2013).