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BRIEF August 27, 2019

Training the Owner and Linking Firms to Business Services in Nigeria



Medical supply vendor. Nigeria. 


Photo: Arne Hoel / World Bank

Policy Issue:

Many small firms lack the finance and marketing skills needed for firm growth. The standard approach in many World Bank-supported programs has been to attempt to train the owner to develop these skills, through business training sessions or personalized consulting services. However, an alternative is to link firms to these skills in the market through insourcing workers with these skills or outsourcing these skills to professionals specializing in these services.

This study compares which approach works best to grow small firms through a randomized experiment in the context of the Growth and Employment Project in Nigeria. Impacts on firm sales and employment growth will then be measured. This will be the first test of this market-based approach to skill-development in firms.


Design Brief

Detailed Methodology Note


Stephen J. Anderson, Assistant Professor, Stanford University

Johanne Buba, Senior Economist, the World Bank

David McKenzie, Lead Economist, the World Bank

Funding Partners:

World Bank Competitive Policy Evaluation Lab

Competitive Industries and Innovation Program (CIIP)

Stanford University