Leading to Grow: Using the Small Business Charter to promote productivity growth in micro-businesses by catalysing digital technology adoption

Last registered on December 13, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

Leading to Grow: Using the Small Business Charter to promote productivity growth in micro-businesses by catalysing digital technology adoption
Initial registration date
January 31, 2020

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
February 07, 2020, 3:53 PM EST

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

Last updated
December 13, 2020, 2:22 PM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.


Primary Investigator

ALM Analytics & Consultancy Limited

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Chatered Association of Buiness Schools
PI Affiliation
University of Aston

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This is an RCT aimed at micro-businesses with 1-9 employees. It is testing whether advice and coaching to treated business through a University-affiliated business school can encourage greater deployment of digital technologies within those businesses. Digital technologies are believed to be an important driver of raising productivity within businesses. We are testing whether an increased understanding and business planning for how such technologies could be deployed in each treated business actually leads to greater adoption and improved business performance metrics.
Total sample size is 750 businesses across 15 University business schools, covered by the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CharteredABS.org)
The trial is funded by the UK Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in association with Nesta, as part of the Business Basics experimentation fund.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Moody, Anthony, Mark Hart and Roxanne Nazrudeen. 2020. "Leading to Grow: Using the Small Business Charter to promote productivity growth in micro-businesses by catalysing digital technology adoption." AEA RCT Registry. December 13. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5377-1.6
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Change in commitment to implementing new digital technology within business
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
This is a self-reported measure capturing the extent to which the treatment has increased self-reported intentions to implement new digital technologies within the recipient business. It is an intermediate measure on the journey to ultimate outcome being monitored by administrative data to measure changes in productivity

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
15 business schools each working with 50 eligible microbusinesses (750 business in total).
After an iniital bselien data collection, all businesses given a 4-hour initial workshop introducing the potential of digital technologies to improve business performance.
50 businesses randomised into 30 treatement and 20 control businesses.
The 30 treatment businesses receive 4 hiurs 1:1 personalised coaching and business planning with an "entrepreneur-in-residence"
The 30 treatment businesses also receive a final wrokshop to reflect plans and implementino challenges/obstacles.
All treatment and control business are re-surveyed to understand level of commitment to implementing new digital technology adoption

Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
On computer by pseudo-random number generator with known seed.
Randomization Unit
Randomised at firm-level
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
No clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
750 microbusinesses
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
450 microbusiness in treatment, 300 microbusinesses in control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Aston University Ethics Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials