From Learning to Earning : Impacts of an Innovative Entrepreneurship Training

October 17, 2016

© Stephan Gladieu/World Bank

  • The World Bank Africa Gender Innovation Lab conducted an experiment in Ethiopia to identify the effect of an innovative entrepreneurship training program
  • Early findings show that the entrepreneurship training offered by the Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) had a significant positive impact on profits
  • Training with a focus on non-cognitive skills, such as DOT training, appears to be a promising pathway for women entrepreneurs in Ethiopia to increase their earnings

MEKELLE, October 17, 2016 –– An entrepreneurship training program implemented in Ethiopia had positive effects on confidence and motivation, and led to increased profits, according to a new impact evaluation.

Using the innovative Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Entrepreneurship Training in Mekelle, the Africa Gender Innovation Lab conducted an experiment to identify the effect of business training on women-owned firms. The evaluation aimed to provide evidence on the effectiveness of training programs that have become popular interventions intended to boost the profits of small businesses around the world.

The study finds that the entrepreneurship training offered by DOT to women entrepreneurs in Ethiopia had a significant, positive impact on profits. Entrepreneurs who were offered the training recorded 30% higher profits than the control group. However, the channels through which this training impacts profits remains elusive.

The preliminary results from this study confirm that a more innovative (non-cognitive skills based) type of business training can more effectively support women’s businesses.  Further research will be necessary to examine the longer run impacts of the program and to attempt to uncover how entrepreneurs translate business training into business success.

© Stephan Gladieu/World Bank