Experimental Design Details
To be included in the study, firms undertake the following steps:
Step One: apply online through the BIG platform in response to advertising campaign. McKenzie (2017) notes that requiring online application already screens on firms which are more sophisticated and likely to be plausible candidates for high-growth. Moreover, by applying for the program firms indicate their interest in developing their skills.
Step Two: pass an initial screening based on having complete data on the application, operating in one of the 5 GEM sectors, being 18 and older, and having more than one and fewer than 100 workers.
Step Three: attend an induction workshop in Lagos or Abuja, and answer baseline survey at this workshop. This screens further on motivation and effort.
Step Four: have a score of between 5 and 8 out of 10 for business practices based on this screen, have between 2 and 15 workers, and not be already outsourcing or insourcing both marketing and finance functions. This generates a group of potential high-growth firms who are determined to grow, and have made it past the barrier of hiring other paid workers apart from the owner.
Firms are then randomized by induction group (enrolment batch) - for example, the batch of firms that attended the Lagos induction workshop on a particular date. Firms are randomly assigned in equal proportions to the four treatment groups and to a control group.
A second sample outside of Lagos and Abuja are randomly assigned to consulting, training, and control only.