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Ethiopia

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"Working with five Ethiopian firms, we randomized applicants to an industrial job offer, an "entrepreneurship" program of $300 plus business training, or control status. Industrial jobs offered more and steadier hours but low wages and risky conditions. The job offer doubled exposure to industrial work but, since most quit within months, had no impact on employment or income after a year. Applicants largely took industrial work to cope with adverse shocks. This exposure, meanwhile, significantly increased health problems. The entrepreneurship program raised earnings 33 percent and provided steadier hours. When barriers to self-employment were relieved, applicants preferred entrepreneurial to industrial labor."

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"The promotion of micro and small enterprises has been a centerpiece of the Ethiopian government's strategy to alleviate urban unemployment among the youth since 2004. Since this time, the government has adopted twin strategies of creating a business environment conducive to start and operate MSEs while at the same time actively triggering the establishment of new MSEs.

In this research, using a large dataset collected from 13 major cities in Ethiopia, we explore whether government-induced enterprises (cooperatives) differ from self-initiated enterprises (non-cooperatives) in various aspects of business productivity, business practices and performance."

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"This study estimates that social enterprises could create more than 1 million additional jobs by 2030 in the 12 focus countries that have been analyzed. Overall, this would result in a total of approximately 5.5 million direct jobs in social enterprises in 2030. These jobs would be created in existing markets, but also for new markets, thus creating new value chains and many more indirect income opportunities in these countries. The implementation of the interventions recommended in this report are thus an important action to prepare the African continent on future demographic dynamics. In addition, they can also be seen as an important contribution to preserve jobs that have been put at risk because of COVID-19."

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"As microenterprises are likely to resort to microfinance institutions to get access to financial services, Appui au Developpement Autonome (ADA) has coordinated a series of three studies relying on five Monetary Financing Institutions (MFIs) in Ethiopia, Kenya and Madagascar in order to identify a sample of SGB owners and interview them individually to get details about their paths.

This study is the synthesis of these three surveys and specifically aims at providing detailed information about entrepreneurs' profiles, about the main challenges and obstacles they faced through their growing process and about their current financial and non-financial needs. Based on such information, general recommendations are made to financial services providers and all kinds of organizations supporting MSMEs."

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"As low-income countries industrialize, workers choose between informal self-employment and low-skill manufacturing. What do workers trade off, and what are the long run impacts of this occupational choice? Self-employment is thought to be volatile and risky, but to provide autonomy and flexibility. Industrial firms are criticized for poor wages and working conditions, but they could offer steady hours among other advantages. We worked with five Ethiopian industrial firms to randomize entry-level applicants to one of three treatment arms: an industrial job offer; a control group; or an "entrepreneurship" program of $300 plus business training. We followed the sample over a year. Industrial jobs offered more hours than the control group's informal opportunities, but had little impact on incomes due to lower wages. Most applicants quit the sector quickly, finding industrial jobs unpleasant and risky. Indeed, serious health problems rose one percentage point for every month of industrial work. Applicants seem to understand the risks, but took the industrial work temporarily while searching for better work. Meanwhile, the entrepreneurship program stimulated self-employment, raised earnings by 33%, provided steady work hours, and halved the likelihood of taking an industrial job in future. Overall, when the barriers to self-employment were relieved, applicants appear to have preferred entrepreneurial to industrial labor."

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"We study two interventions for underemployed youth across five Ethiopian sites: a $300 grant to spur self-employment, and a job offer to an industrial firm. Despite significant impacts on occupational choice, income, and health in the first year, after five years we see nearly complete convergence across all groups and outcomes. Shortrun increases in productivity and earnings from the grant dissipate as recipients exit their micro-enterprises. Adverse effects of factory work on health found after one year also appear to be temporary. These results suggest that one-time and one-dimensional interventions may struggle to overcome barriers to wage- or self-employment."

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