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Youth

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"We study the medium-term impacts of the Skills for Effective Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) program, an innovative in-residence 3-week mini-MBA program for high school students modeled after western business school curricula and adapted to the Ugandan context. The program featured two separate treatments: the hard-skills MBA features a mix of approximately 75% hard skills and 25% soft skills; the soft skills curriculum has the reverse mix. Using data on 4400 youth from a nationally representative sample in a 3-arm field experiment in Uganda, the 3.5 year follow-up demonstrated that training was effective in improving both hard and soft skills, but only soft skills were directly linked to improvements in self-efficacy, persuasion, and negotiation. The skill upgrade was rewarded in substantially higher earnings; 32.1% and 29.8% increases in earnings for those who attended hard- and soft-training, respectively, most of which, was generated through self-employment. Furthermore, youth in both groups were more likely to start enterprises and more successful in ensuring their businesses' survival. The program led to significantly larger profits (24.2% and 27.2% for hard- and soft- treatment arms respectively) and larger business capital investments (38.4% and 32.6% for SEED hard and SEED soft, respectively). Both SEED curricula were very cost-effective; two months worth of the extra earnings caused by the training alone would exceed the cost of the program. These benefits abstract from the job- and business-creation benefits of the program, which were substantial: relative to the control group, SEED entrepreneurs created 985 additional jobs and 550 new businesses."

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"Building on Youth Business International's policy recommendations to date, this report compiles a series of case studies that each illustrate how the finance gap can be closed for young and other underserved entrepreneurs through providing non-financial support, such as training and mentoring. This integrated approach reduces the risk of lending to youth and other underserved demographics, and the value of the non-financial support substitutes for collateral and other types of guarantee."

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"Esta publicação tem como objetivo relatar as experiências, os desafios e os casos de sucesso do Piloto Juventude Empreendedora, iniciativa do CIEDS, em parceria com a Fundação Itaú Social, que desenvolveu uma metodologia de educação empreendedora para estudantes de escolas públicas, de 14 a 21 anos, residentes em favelas da região metropolitana do Rio de Janeiro, ao longo do ano de 2017."

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"This report by the Tony Elumelu Foundation focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing young agricultural entrepreneurs. It contains a comprehensive analysis of Africa's entrepreneurial ecosystem and discusses challenges and opportunities that African start-ups face along the agricultural value chain."

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"The aim of this study is to analyze the effectiveness of early entrepreneurship education. To this end, we conduct a randomized field experiment to evaluate a leading entrepreneurship education program that is taught worldwide in the final grade of primary school. We focus on pupils' development of entrepreneurship knowledge and a set of non-cognitive skills relevant for entrepreneurial activity. The results indicate that knowledge is unaffected by the program. However, the program has a robust positive effect on non-cognitive entrepreneurial skills. This is surprising since previous evaluations found zero or negative effects. Because these earlier studies all pertain to entrepreneurship education for adolescents, our result tentatively suggests that non-cognitive entrepreneurial skills are best developed at an early age. As the entrepreneurship program has various features besides its entrepreneurship content, we must leave it to future research to determine which specific element has the greatest impact on the development of non-cognitive entrepreneurial skills."

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"Can television be used to teach and foster entrepreneurship among youth in developing countries? We report from a randomized control field experiment of an edutainment show on entrepreneurship broadcasted over almost three months on national television in Tanzania. The field experiment involved more than 2,000 secondary school students, where the treatment group was incentivized to watch the edutainment show. We find some suggestive evidence of the edutainment show making the viewers more interested in entrepreneurship and business, particularly among females. However, our main finding is a negative effect: the edutainment show discouraged investment in schooling without convincingly replacing it with some other valuable activity. Administrative data show a strong negative treatment effect on school performance, and long-term survey data show that fewer treated students continue schooling, but we do not find much evidence of the edutainment show causing an increase in business ownership. The fact that an edutainment show for entrepreneurship caused the students to invest less in education carries a general lesson to the field experimental literature by showing the importance of taking a broad view of possible implications of a field intervention."

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"Identifying the determinants of entrepreneurship is an important research and policy goal, especially in emerging market economies where lack of capital and supporting infrastructure often impose stringent constraints on business growth. This paper studies the impact of a comprehensive business and financial literacy programme on firm outcomes of young entrepreneurs in an emerging post-conflict economy, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The authors conduct a randomised control trial and find that, while the training programme did not influence business survival, it significantly improved business practices, investments and loan terms for surviving businesses. Female-run businesses further exhibited some improvements in business performance and sales."

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"How do different sources of social influence impact the likelihood of entrepreneurship? We examine this question in the setting of an entrepreneurship class in which students were randomly assigned to receive mentorship from either an entrepreneur or a non-entrepreneur. Using a longitudinal field experiment with a pre-test/post-test design, we find that randomization to an entrepreneur mentor increases the likelihood of entrepreneurial careers, particularly for students whose parents were not entrepreneurs. Additional analysis shows the mentor influences the decision to join an early-stage venture, but not to become a founder. Performance data suggests that entrepreneurial influence is not encouraging "worse" entrepreneurship and may have helped students in joining or founding better-performing ventures. We contribute to the literature on social influence in entrepreneurship by examining the interaction between multiple sources of social influence and by using a randomized field experiment to overcome the endogenous process of tie formation."

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"Identifying the determinants of entrepreneurship is an important research and policy goal, especially in emerging market economies where lack of capital and supporting infrastructure often imposes stringent constraints on business growth. This paper studies the impact of a comprehensive business and financial literacy program on firm outcomes of young entrepreneurs in an emerging post-conflict economy, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The authors conduct a randomized control trial and find that while the training program did not influence business survival, it significantly improved business practices, investments, and loan terms for surviving businesses. Entrepreneurs with higher ex-ante financial literacy further exhibited some improvements in business performance and sales."

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"What is the effect of exposing motivated youth to firm management in practice? To answer this question, we place young professionals for one month in established firms to shadow middle managers. Using random assignment into program participation, we find positive average effects on wage employment, but no average effect on the likelihood of self-employment. Within the treatment group, we match individuals and firms in batches using a deferred-acceptance algorithm. We show how this allows us to identify heterogeneous treatment effects by firm and intern. We find striking heterogeneity in self-employment effects, but almost no heterogeneity in wage employment. Estimates of marginal treatment effects (MTE) are then used to simulate counterfactual mechanism design. We find that some assignment mechanisms substantially outperform random matching in generating employment and income effects. These results demonstrate the importance of treatment heterogeneity for the design of field experiments and the role of matching algorithms in intervention design."

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