Few microenterprises grow and employ more than one worker, and policymakers have struggled to identify what keeps these businesses from growing further. To study these limitations, researchers offered microentrepreneurs capital to incentivize them to hire. Results showed that a wage subsidy did not lead to lasting increases in employment sales or profits.
Entrepreneurship accounts for a large share of female employment in most developing countries. However, the majority of female-owned enterprises are small in scale with low earning levels. In Sri Lanka, researchers tested whether business training, by itself or combined with a grant, can raise the income of women entrepreneurs. Among current entrepreneurs, the training improved business practices but did not have an impact on performance.