Which is the most binding constraint to microenterprise development, human capital or financial capital? To answer this question, we present the first field experiment that jointly investigates these two constraints for poor microentrepreneurs, by introducing separate treatments of business training and a business grant. We combine survey data and data from a lab experiment to investigate treatment effects on business results, business practices, business skills and mind-set. Our study demonstrates a strong effect of business training on male entrepreneurs, while the effect on female entrepreneurs is much more muted. There is no effect of the business grant for either males or females. The results suggest that human capital may be the more important constraint for poor microentrepreneurs, but also point to the need for more comprehensive measures to promote development among female entrepreneurs.

Bertil Tungodden

Associated Senior Researcher