The majority of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity. Traditional power companies often find it too costly to bring electricity to rural and suburban areas, but in recent years, the cost of alternative energy sources like solar power has fallen dramatically.

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Microfinance has generated worldwide enthusiasm as a potential answer to economic development and poverty reduction. But high default risk and unproductive use of loaned funds plagues many programs. Researchers worked in Peru to measure the marginal impact of adding business training to a group lending program. The results of this study found business training slightly improved business practices, but had no impact on key business outcomes such as revenue and profit.

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Little empirical evidence exists on the effectiveness of business training and support. In particular, the extent to which such a support program might raise revenues and augment survival rates of new enterprises is unclear.

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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.

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This study of the impact of entrepreneurship training and mentoring in Uganda evaluates a program which aims to help women entrepreneurs develop the skills they need to run thriving businesses. In addition to testing the overall impact of the program on participating entrepreneurs and the businesses with whom they compete or collaborate, the study will demonstrate the relative cost-effectiveness of intensive, personalized training versus a less intensive, standardized approach.

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