We study the impact of a new nationally advertised six-month intensive training program to encourage leadership in social entrepreneurship among youth. Program costs were on the order of 12,000 euros per participant. We conduct a randomized field experiment where 50 applicants were randomly allocated to the program and 50 similar applicants were rejected. Despite large training efforts we find no robust treatment effects on leadership motivation, leadership style, social entrepreneurial aspirations and intentions, skills, sustainable behaviour, entrepreneurial actions and venture progression. Those that had made more progress on their venture prior to the start of the program were more likely to make progress afterwards, irrespective of treatment. There were also large Hawthorne effects. Those having the highest expectations before selection to treatment, as measured by their self-ratings on a battery of scores, experienced the biggest drop across all scores after selection, irrespective of treatment. Training people to become entrepreneurs seems to be difficult and costly (co-authored with Florian Hoos).
Ansprechpartner: Dr. Fabian Gaessler