Full Esteem Ahead? Mindset-Oriented Business Training in Ethiopia

45 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2019

See all articles by Salman Alibhai

Salman Alibhai

World Bank

Niklas Buehren

World Bank

Michael Frese

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Markus Goldstein

World Bank

Sreelakshmi Papineni

World Bank

Kathrin Wolf

World Bank

Date Written: June 17, 2019

Abstract

Is there a mindset gap holding women back in business? Can entrepreneurship training instill a set of attitudes, behaviors, and strategies that are thought to underpin success in business such as motivation, perseverance, and self-confidence? This study conducted two randomized controlled trials to evaluate the effect of mindset-oriented business trainings on the performance of women-owned micro and small enterprises in Ethiopia. The trainings were underpinned by psychology with a mission to foster self-esteem and entrepreneurial spirit. Despite a similar approach, however, the quality of delivery seemed to matter as impacts of the trainings on business performance were mixed. A key channel for an impact on profits is if the training can actually effectuate the mindset change, with only one training transferring higher levels of entrepreneurial self-efficacy, personal initiative, and entrepreneurial locus of control to the women, relative to a control group. The study finds suggestive evidence that psychological skills and mindset are better inspired by a trainer who previously owned a business themselves and therefore may have a better understanding of the entrepreneurs' specific challenges. The study concludes that psychological skills are important for women's business success, and these skills can indeed be transferred using training, assuming a shared identity match between trainer and student. Service delivery appears to be critical for inculcating these important skills.

Keywords: Technology Innovation, Gender and Economic Policy, Technology Industry, Gender and Poverty, Economics and Gender, Gender and Economics, Private Sector Economics, Marketing, Private Sector Development Law, Labor Markets

Suggested Citation

Alibhai, Salman and Buehren, Niklas and Frese, Michael and Goldstein, Markus P. and Papineni, Sreelakshmi and Wolf, Kathrin, Full Esteem Ahead? Mindset-Oriented Business Training in Ethiopia (June 17, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8892, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3430501

Salman Alibhai (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Niklas Buehren

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Michael Frese

National University of Singapore (NUS) ( email )

1E Kent Ridge Road
NUHS Tower Block Level 7
Singapore, 119228
Singapore

Markus P. Goldstein

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Sreelakshmi Papineni

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Kathrin Wolf

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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