A 40-hour training programme delivered mostly by teachers without entrepreneurial experience doesn’t succeed in building entrepreneurial skills or boosting better business performance.
A 40-hour training programme covering either personal initiative content or traditional business skills is offered for free to women-led microbusinesses. The training is delivered by college teachers with no entrepreneurial experience.
- To build hard and soft entrepreneurship skills
- To increase the adoption of good business practices
- To boost firm performance
Technical and vocational education training colleges
This intervention was tested as part of the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurship Development Project (WEDP), which provides loans and entrepreneurship training to growth-oriented female entrepreneurs.
Urban and growth-oriented women entrepreneurs. The average age of participants is 36, and about 86 per cent of them have completed secondary or tertiary education.
The average age of the businesses they run is six years. The average number of employees is about four. The main sectors that businesses operate in are retail (50 per cent), food and drink services (20 per cent) and beauty salons (7 per cent).
A 40-hour training programme consisting of 10 four-hour sessions offered to participants for free. The training is delivered by technical and vocational education training college teachers, most of whom don’t have entrepreneurial experience themselves.
Firms are offered two options:
- Personal initiative training: Entrepreneurs are trained in how to actively approach their environment, think about longer-term horizons, overcome barriers and deal with failure. It includes the presentation of action-ready principles, practical exercises and feedback from the trainer and peers. At the end of the training, participants develop a personal project that facilitates the transfer of the mindset and skills developed during the training to their own business.
- Traditional business training: Holistic training that predominantly teaches traditional business skills like financial literacy, marketing, production and workplace management, purchasing and bookkeeping, business plan development, and legal rights and regulations. It also uses psychological elements to develop a creative mindset and a module on gender-related challenges faced by women entrepreneurs that teaches coping mechanisms.
A third group is not offered any training.
- One and a half years after the training, none of the training schemes led to higher business knowledge or a more proactive mindset among trainees compared to those that didn’t receive any training.
- None of the training had an impact on the adoption of recommended business practices or on business performance in terms of business survival, number of employees, revenues or profits.
- Offering a 40-hour training programme delivered mostly by teachers without entrepreneurial experience doesn’t lead to better performance for the participating businesses.