NEW UPDATE: Completed trials may now upload and register supplementary documents (e.g. null results reports, populated pre-analysis plans, or post-trial results reports) in the Post Trial section under Reports, Papers, & Other Materials.
Evaluating a Nationwide Business Plan Competition
Initial registration date
September 24, 2013
October 24, 2017 7:27 AM EDT
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
The program being evaluated is a business plan competition for young entrepreneurs in a large African country. It has the stated objective of encouraging innovation and job creation through the creation of new businesses and expansion of existing businesses. The program provides a four-day training course on preparation of a business plan to applicants who make it through a first stage, and then grants to winners selected in this second phase. The goal of this evaluation is to measure the impact of winning this program on business performance, including job growth, profitability, and capital accumulation.
The program provides a four-day training course on preparation of a business plan to applicants who make it through a first stage, and then grants to winners selected in this second phase.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Employment, Profitability, Sales
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Pre-analysis plan provides key details
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Design is in pre-analysis plan
Experimental Design Details
Design is in pre-analysis plan
Randomization by 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
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Post Trial Information
Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
January 15, 2014, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Data Collection Completion Date
February 15, 2015, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
729 treated with winning competition, 1112 control
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Identifying and Spurring High-Growth Entrepreneurship: Experimental Evidence from a Business Plan Competition, American Economic Review, 107(8): 2278-2307, 2017
Almost all firms in developing countries have fewer than 10 workers, with the modal firm consisting of just the owner. Are there potential high-growth entrepreneurs with the ability to grow their firms beyond this size? And, if so, can public policy help alleviate the constraints that prevent these entrepreneurs from doing so? A large-scale national business plan competition in Nigeria is used to help provide evidence on these two questions. The competition was launched with much fanfare, and attracted almost 24,000 entrants. Random assignment was used to select some of the winners from a pool of semi-finalists, with US$36 million in randomly allocated grant funding providing each winner with an average of almost US$50,000. Surveys tracking applicants over three years show that winning the business plan competition leads to greater firm entry, higher survival of existing businesses, higher profits and sales, and higher employment, including increases of over 20 percentage points in the likelihood of a firm having 10 or more workers. These effects appear to occur largely through the grants enabling firms to purchase more capital and hire more labor.
David McKenzie (2015) "Identifying and Spurring High-Growth Entrepreneurship:Experimental Evidence from a Business Plan Competition", World Bank Policy Research Working Paper no. 7391
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS