Start-up Capital for Youth

Last registered on August 21, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

Start-up Capital for Youth
Initial registration date
February 18, 2015
Last updated
August 21, 2020, 6:56 PM EDT


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Primary Investigator

University of California, Berkeley

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Virginia
PI Affiliation
Center for Effective Global Action, University of California, Berkeley
PI Affiliation
Harvard University

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This project will examine the effectiveness of potentially complementary interventions aimed at boosting the employability of youth and the productivity of their self-employment ventures in a less-developed country. In particular, we seek to compare and contrast the relative efficacy of vocational training voucher and unconditional cash grant provision in Kenya by studying two overlapping programs administered by a local NGO involving nearly 2,200 youth. The vocational training voucher program selected applicants by lottery to receive vouchers which permitted them to enroll in training programs of their own choosing between 2009 and 2010. The cash grant program was launched in mid-2013, and provided grants to a randomly selected subset of voucher winners and non-winners. The proposed project will undertake detailed, high-quality data collection among the full sample of program applicants, in order to evaluate the medium-longer term effectiveness of these programs in improving youth employment, entrepreneurship, and other important life outcomes.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Hicks, Joan et al. 2020. "Start-up Capital for Youth." AEA RCT Registry. August 21.
Former Citation
Hicks, Joan et al. 2020. "Start-up Capital for Youth." AEA RCT Registry. August 21.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We identify three sets of key hypotheses: impacts on self-employment and profits (H1); impacts on other entrepreneurship and labor market outcomes, and migration (H2); and impacts on living standards and wellbeing (H3).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The SCY evaluation builds on the Technical and Vocational Vouchers Program (TVVP) evaluation. The TVVP is a randomized evaluation of a youth training intervention in Kenya. In 2008, participants of an ongoing longitudinal data collection effort known as the Kenyan Life Panel Survey (KLPS) were invited by a local non-governmental organization to apply to receive a voucher to cover the cost of vocational training. 2,163 young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 submitted an application, and a randomly selected half of applicants (1,055 individuals) were awarded a voucher while the other half served as the comparison group. Furthermore, a random half of all TVVP introductory meetings included an additional intervention – a presentation on the returns to vocational training, highlighting in particular the opportunity for women to learn traditionally male-dominated trades, which in many cases are more lucrative. We refer to this as the “information intervention”.

TVVP voucher winners subsequently enrolled in training for varying lengths of time during 2009-2011 at any of 65 different public and private training institutions in rural and urban locations across Kenya. Data was collected from participating individuals and training institutions during the enrollment period, and near term follow-up data was collected from TVVP program applicants between August 2011 and August 2014.

In 2013, the SCY program was launched utilizing this same sample of individuals, such that a randomly selected half of TVVP voucher winners and half of non-winners were awarded unconditional cash grants worth approximately US$230 each. Upon enrollment in the program but prior to the receipt of the grant, grant winners were given pamphlets with tips on starting and running a business, in an effort to encourage use of the grants for investment in entrepreneurship.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
The randomization for the SCY program was done using STATA software, stratifying by gender, baseline participation in the Primary School Deworming Project or the Girls' Scholarship Program (and assignment to treatment group in the respective program), assignment to TVVP voucher and information intervention groups, and survey wave.
Randomization Unit
SCY grants were randomized at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
2,163 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,163 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
950 grant winners, and 1,213 non-winners
In combination with the TVVP evaluation, this works out to: 464 individuals who were selected to receive a voucher and a grant, 591 individuals individuals who were selected to receive a voucher only, 486 individuals who were selected to receive a grant only, and 622 individuals who were selected to receive nothing.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects, University of California, Berkeley
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Maseno University Ethics Review Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Institutional Review Board, Southern Methodist University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Institutional Review Board for the Behavioral Sciences, University of Virginia
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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