Identifying Gazelles: Expert Panels vs. Surveys as a Means to Identify Firms with Rapid Growth Potential

34 Pages Posted: 19 May 2015

See all articles by Marcel Fafchamps

Marcel Fafchamps

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Christopher Woodruff

University of Warwick; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2015

Abstract

We conduct a business plan competition to test whether survey instruments or panel judges are able to identify the fastest growing firms. Participants submitted six- to eight-page business plans and defended them before a three- or four-judge panel. We surveyed applicants shortly after they applied, and one and two years after the competition. We use follow-up surveys to construct measures of enterprise growth potential. We find that a measure of ability correlates strongly with future growth, but that panel scores add to predictive power even after controlling for ability and other survey variables. The survey questions have more power to explain the variance in growth. Participants presenting before the panel were given a chance to win customized management training. Fourteen months after the training, we find no positive effect of the training on growth of the business.

Keywords: business plan competitions, firm growth, high growth entrepreneurship

JEL Classification: J24, L26, O1

Suggested Citation

Fafchamps, Marcel and Woodruff, Christopher, Identifying Gazelles: Expert Panels vs. Surveys as a Means to Identify Firms with Rapid Growth Potential (May 2015). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP10597, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2608055

Marcel Fafchamps (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Christopher Woodruff

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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