The Impact of Business Support through Competitive Grants

Last registered on June 06, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

The Impact of Business Support through Competitive Grants
Initial registration date
June 04, 2022

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
June 06, 2022, 5:58 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

The World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
The World Bank
PI Affiliation
The World Bank

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This study aims to examine the overall success and cost-effectiveness of business plan competitions (BPC), and to disentangle the importance of different features of BPCs on driving business performance and employment outcomes of female and male youth entrepreneurs in Kenya. The large-scale randomized controlled trial randomly assigns entrepreneurs into receiving business plan support, grants of varying amounts, and screening of business plans. The study is therefore designed to determine whether business plan training can help candidates to win the BPC, whether smaller grants are as effective as larger grants, and whether grants to unscreened businesses are as effective.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Campos, Francisco , Abla Safir and Bilal Zia. 2022. "The Impact of Business Support through Competitive Grants." AEA RCT Registry. June 06.
Experimental Details


The study aims to identify which mechanisms of the business plan competition (BPC) – support for business plan development, grants of varying sizes, and screening by judges – drive business performance and employment outcomes for youth entrepreneurs in Kenya; as well as which isolated and combined interventions can be targeted to improve cost-effectiveness of each step in the BPC.

To examine these questions, this study evaluates the impact of a country-wide BPC, which includes the delivery of (a) business plan development support; (b) business grants ($9k and $36k); and (c) selection for evaluation by judges.

Furthermore, by varying exogenously the amounts provided to the winners, this study will both shed light on capital constraints to entrepreneurship as well as help increase the cost-effectiveness of grant amounts in future BPCs.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcomes for this impact evaluation are monthly profits and employment. We are also interested in studying heterogeneity of impact based on gender, education level, business nascency, and location.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Randomized Control Trial
Experimental Design Details
Applicants to the business plan competition are randomly assigned to a combination of the following four sub-treatment arms at different stages in the BPC process. Randomization is done at the individual level (stratified by gender, prior participation in training, and location):

• ARM 1: Business plan screening
• ARM 2: Support in preparing a business plan
• ARM 3: Grants to top screened candidates of either $9,000 or $36,000
• ARM 4: Grants to unscreened candidates of $9,000
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual entrepreneur
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Individual level study
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
See attached chart
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Based on surveys for evaluations in Kenya and in the region, the following assumptions are made to guide the power calculations for the question of the impact of grants among those selected in the competition: • Take-up rate: 90% • St Dev/Mean = 1x • 3 follow-ups and one baseline • Correlation between baseline and follow-ups: 0.3 • Desired power of 80% • Significance level of 5% • ANCOVA • Randomization at individual firm level Based on the above assumptions, the IE is powered to detect ITT effects on profits of 19 percent
Supporting Documents and Materials

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Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Maseno University Ethics Review Committee
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