Promoting entrepreneurship among forced migrants

Last registered on October 17, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Promoting entrepreneurship among forced migrants
Initial registration date
October 10, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
October 17, 2023, 1:17 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


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Primary Investigator

Grupo de Anlisis para el Desarrollo

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Northwestern University
PI Affiliation
Group for the Analysis of Development
PI Affiliation
Harvard Business School
PI Affiliation
Harvard Business School
PI Affiliation
Harvard University

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
The Venezuelan crisis has generated a great influx of forced migrants into Peru in the last five years, representing a significant challenge to the mostly informal and precarious labor markets. Due to this situation, IPA and Save the Children (StC) have teamed up to evaluate the impact of a cash transfer program aimed at helping start or improve the entrepreneurships of forced migrants. StC recruits vulnerable families of Venezuelan migrants and provides some initial emergency support, followed by help to increase their income-generating capacities. Our study focuses on those that are selected into and finish a business training program, mainly women, and randomly assign them to receive a cash transfer to fund the creation of a new firm or the expansion of an already established one.
The results of this study will provide information about how providing capital to immigrant entrepreneurs affects the profitability and sustainability of their businesses, with a focus on how exactly the money is spent and the perceived and realized resilience of the businesses to external volatility. They will also shed light on how entrepreneurship outcomes interact with the recipient’s household situation, by examining other sources of income, other members’ labor market situation, and household expenses across different categories.
Finally, it will provide useful insights that can be used by humanitarian and development organizations to better target entrepreneurship activities, transition households out of humanitarian aid, and enhance the sustainability of cash project outcomes. If the grant for entrepreneurs has a positive effect on migrants, especially after the cash assistance ends, it would be one of the very few livelihood interventions proven to work in humanitarian contexts.

External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Karlan, Dean et al. 2023. "Promoting entrepreneurship among forced migrants." AEA RCT Registry. October 17.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


1250 Venezuelan migrants, who have previously passed through an intensive entrepreneurial training program, are invited to apply a business plan for a potential cash transfer (USD 780). All these participants were grouped into 2 year cohorts (a first cohort enrolled in 2022 and the second one in 2023). A half of them (treatment) are granted with a 'seed capital' enough to start/strengthen their ventures while the other half (control) remains only with the entrepreneurial training.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1) Business outcomes (sales, cost levels, profits, etc.)
2) Household outcomes (income, expenses, household's member income, etc.)
3) Microfinancial outcomes (debts and savings)
4) Satisfaction and well-being (life satisfaction, mental health, etc.)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experimental design is as follows:

1. On a rolling basis, we receive an even weekly list of participants that have approved a business plan evaluated by our partner, Save the Children. These participants live in 5 regions in Peru, though a half of them were living in Lima, the largest region of Peru.
2. We randomize those lists of participants at the individual level, stratifying by region. Since all of the participants are Venezuelan migrants, economically vulnerable and potential entrepreneurs, the randomization process did not need any other level of stratification.
3. We send back this weekly list of participants with their correspondent treatment status to be notified by Save the Children. Our partner institution is responsible for information dissemination about the results in a posterior week.
4. Thus, we have balanced groups by region and in general in many features such as household and business outcomes.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in a office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual level
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1250 migrants
Sample size: planned number of observations
1250 migrants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
625 treatments and 625 controls
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number