The Impact of Soft-Skills Training for microentrepreneurs in Jamaica.
Last registered on March 20, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The Impact of Soft-Skills Training for microentrepreneurs in Jamaica.
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001208
Initial registration date
March 17, 2017
Last updated
March 20, 2017 11:16 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
BOCCONI UNIVERSITY
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Leuphana University of Luneburg and NUS Business School
PI Affiliation
Leuphana University of Luneburg
PI Affiliation
FOMIN, Multilateral Investment Fund
PI Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank Group
PI Affiliation
Country Department Caribbean (CCB), Inter-American Development Bank
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2016-08-01
End date
2018-03-15
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The goal of this project is to estimate the effect of soft-skills training on business outcomes for microentrepreneurs in Jamaica. We conduct an RCT with two treatment groups and a control group, the first treatment group is offered to take a 40-hour course focused only on non-cognitive skills (in particular, on personal initiative and persistence), while the second treatment group is offered to take a 40-hour course combining both soft-skills training (with focus on personal initiative, but not on persistence) and standard business practices.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Arraiz, Irani et al. 2017. "The Impact of Soft-Skills Training for microentrepreneurs in Jamaica.." AEA RCT Registry. March 20. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1208/history/15199
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We offer two 10-week, 40-hour business training courses.

The first 5 classes of each course focus on soft skills. In particular, on fostering personal initiative, a psychological intervention aimed at making business owners more proactive with respect to new ideas (Frese and Gielnik, 2014). The approach was hands-on with many examples from the local context and exercises related to the entrepreneur’s business.

The second 5 classes differ across treatment arms. In the “soft-skills only” treatment arm, the second part of the course focuses on being persistent (learning from errors, anticipating barriers, dealing with setbacks, maintaining effort). While in the other treatment arm, the additional five classes cover material that is usually included in traditional business training courses (strategic management, stocking, financial management, record keeping, costing, customer care and writing a business plan).
Intervention Start Date
2016-10-15
Intervention End Date
2016-12-15
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Business outcomes, soft skills, and business practices
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We will account for multiple hypothesis testing by adjusting the p-values using the “sharpened q-value approach” (Anderson, 2008). Moreover, for each table, we will also create indexes for each family of outcomes (Kling et al., 2007).
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We conduct an RCT with two treatment groups and a control group, the first treatment group is offered to take a 40-hour course focused only on non-cognitive skills (in particular, on personal initiative and persistence), while the second treatment group is offered to take a 40-hour course combining both soft-skills training (with focus on personal initiative, but not on persistence) and standard business practices. The control group is not offered to take the training.

Randomization is at the individual level, stratified on gender, selected location of the training, education and having at least one employee in the firm.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization privately done by a computer, using STATA.
Randomization Unit
Individual.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
945 microentrepreneurs
Sample size: planned number of observations
945 microentrepreneurs
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
315 microentrepreneurs
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Ethics Committee of Universita Commerciale "Luigi Bocconi"
IRB Approval Date
2016-02-17
IRB Approval Number
No number