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Boosting Youth Entrepreneurship with Grants, Human Capital Support, and Behavioral Insights: Experimental Evidence from a Country-Wide Program in Kenya
Initial registration date
June 30, 2020
July 02, 2020 1:46 PM EDT
The World Bank
Other Primary Investigator(s)
University of Exeter
Additional Trial Information
This study aims to examine constraints to entrepreneurship and different means to alleviate these constraints for female and male youth in Kenya. The large-scale randomized control trial studies the combined and isolated impacts of providing business grants, business development services (BDS) of different forms (classroom, one-on-one counselling, and digital), behavioral interventions (future-self goal setting), and peer support through moderated whatsapp groups. The study further tests the effectiveness of an Entrepreneurship Aptitude Test that scores applicants on their entrepreneurial ability prior to program launch.
Domenella, Yanina et al. 2020. "Boosting Youth Entrepreneurship with Grants, Human Capital Support, and Behavioral Insights: Experimental Evidence from a Country-Wide Program in Kenya." AEA RCT Registry. July 02.
The study aims to identify different constraints to entrepreneurship – capital, knowledge, mindset, and/or behavioral – and whether active labor market programs and nudges can alleviate these constraints.
To examine these questions, this study focuses on the impact evaluation of support for self-employment, including testing of gender-integrated interventions. The interventions include: (a) business grants; (b) business development services (BDS) (classroom, individual counseling, and digital); (c) digital peer networks for youth to share challenges and solutions; and (d) future-self exercises with goal setting.
The study also includes an Entrepreneurship Aptitude Test (EAT) that will be administered to all participants at program intake. The EAT is by itself an important contribution of this study, and will allow us to assess whether such a test can serve as a useful screening tool for entrepreneurial ability, aptitude, and success. Please see attached study chart for full description of treatments and their interactions
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Outcomes can be broadly categorized as take up, intermediary channels (including business practices, socio-emotional skills), and business performance. We are also interested in studying heterogeneity of impact based on gender, EAT scores, prior entrepreneurial status/experience, and location.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The study design is multi-layered. The first layer consists of a 8-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 9,380 entrepreneurs, randomized at the individual level (stratified by gender, prior participation in training, and location):
ARM 1: A business start-up Grant
ARM 2: Classroom + Individual Counselling + Digital BDS (i.e. Full BDS)
ARM 3: Individual Counselling + Digital BDS
ARM 4: Digital BDS
ARM 5: Grant + Full BDS
ARM 6: Grant + Individual Counselling + Digital BDS ARM 7: Grant + Digital BDS
ARM 8: Control Group
In the second layer, participants in ARMs 1, 2, and 5 will be further randomly assigned into two orthogonal Sub-Arms:
Sub-Arm 1: Peer-Networking through moderated Whatsapp groups
Sub-Arm 2: Future Self Exercise through age-progressed rendering and goal setting
Experimental Design Details
Randomization done in office by a computer
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Please see attached impact evaluation chart for exact sample sizes within treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials
Impact Evaluation Design and Sample Sizes
This chart outlines the various treatment arms of this study
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Maseno University Ethics Review Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number