After finding that gifts of capital had no impact on the growth of female-owned subsistence firms in Sri Lanka and Ghana, in a recent paper (with Chris Woodruff and Suresh de Mel) I test whether business training can help poor women in Sri Lanka start and grow their businesses. A new 2-page impact note summarizes the results of the full paper. The even shorter version is that the ILO’s Start and Improve Your Business Training:
- has no significant impact on the survival or growth of existing subsistence enterprises run by women in either the short or the medium run.
- Speeds up entry into business of women out of the labor force who would like to start businesses, although the control group catches up after a year.
- Leads to less analytically skilled women starting new businesses.
- Makes the new businesses started by women more profitable