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Addressing capital and skills constraints to youth self-employment in Benin
Last registered on November 19, 2019


Trial Information
General Information
Addressing capital and skills constraints to youth self-employment in Benin
Initial registration date
July 14, 2017
Last updated
November 19, 2019 3:32 PM EST
Primary Investigator
World Bank
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
The World Bank
Additional Trial Information
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Youth employment is a burning issue in Africa. With low levels of formal education and a very narrow formal sector, promoting productive self-employment is critical. Several constraints hinder the creation and development of successful businesses, including the lack of management skills and the lack of startup capital. In Benin, the Government is investing 0.5% of GDP into a national Youth employment program aimed at addressing those constraints. The proposed evaluation will use an RCT to study the relative impacts of providing basic business training, providing start-up capital, or providing both, on employment outcomes for youth as measured 12 and 24 months after the program. Particular emphasis will be put on the analysis of gender-differentiated impacts, with adequate sample sizes and dedicated survey measures.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Bossuroy, Thomas and Julia Vaillant. 2019. "Addressing capital and skills constraints to youth self-employment in Benin." AEA RCT Registry. November 19. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2327-2.2.
Former Citation
Bossuroy, Thomas, Thomas Bossuroy and Julia Vaillant. 2019. "Addressing capital and skills constraints to youth self-employment in Benin." AEA RCT Registry. November 19. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2327/history/57292.
Experimental Details
The impact evaluation will focus on two components of the youth employment project: the provision of training and the provision of cash grants for business support.
The trainings will be delivered by private providers contracted by the National Employment Agency (ANPE) and will consist of basic business skills trainings using a customized version of the ILO-promoted Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) program. An additional life skills module will be developed and implemented as part of the project.
In addition to the business training, beneficiaries will receive assistance for preparing business plans, a requirement for applying to cash grants. This assistance will be available in particular to illiterate candidates, who will receive support to write-up a simple business plan. The provision of cash grants is primarily intended for beneficiaries who have successfully completed the relevant training modules and have prepared a business plan. They will consist in a one-off transfer of around 400 dollars per recipient.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Individual employment and welfare indicators: Employment status, Type of job (self-employment, wage employment, family help, unemployment), Sector of employment, Wage level, Number of hours worked, Income, Savings.
Enterprise level indicators: Business start-up, Business sales and profits, Enterprise survival, Investment, Capital stock, Hiring, Access to credit, Businesses practices.
Psychosocial outcomes: aspirations, decision-making, self-esteem, locus of control, sharing of house work.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The study consists of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) that targets young unemployed and underemployed beneficiaries of the Youth Employment Project. As the project implementation is done at the commune level, so will the selection process. In a first stage, eligible applicants will be randomly selected to benefit from the training or not. In a second stage, business plan applications will be examined to ensure they fulfill the minimal requirements. From among those meeting the minimal requirements, a group of candidates will be randomly selected to receive a cash grant framed as business start-up funding. Applicants who were not selected to receive the training and beneficiaries who could not complete the training will be invited to submit a business plan as well, and may receive the business plan preparation support. A subset of those with a business plan meeting the minimal requirements will be randomly selected to receive a cash grant. The second stage random selection is independent from the first stage selection and from the training compliance status, which ensures comparability between groups T1 and T3 described below. On this basis, participants in the impact evaluation will be allocated in the following treatment arms and control group:
- T1 are offered the full package of intervention, both the training and the cash grant. The difference in outcome between T1 and C estimates the total impact of the full program.
- T2 are offered the training but not the cash grant. The difference in outcome between T2 and C identifies the pure effect of the training. The difference in outcomes between T1 and T2 estimates the impact of cash grants among beneficiaries of training.
- T3 are offered the cash grant but not the training.
The difference in outcomes between T3 and T1 estimates the impact of training for all cash recipients. The outcome for T3 may compared with T2 to 12 compare the effect of receiving cash vs. receiving training, and may be useful in cost-benefit analyses.
The difference in outcomes between T3 and C estimates the pure impact of receiving a cash grant.
- C is the pure control group, in which individuals receive neither cash nor training (except for the business plan preparation support).
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization of youth for the training will be done in office by a computer but the randomization of youth for the cash transfer will be done by public lottery in 15 communes randomly selected.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
No clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
3444 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
861 per treatment arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Data Publication
Data Publication
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Program Files
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Reports, Papers & Other Materials
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