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Externally funded project
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research

Identifying and Teaching High-Growth Entrepreneurship: Experimental Evidence from Entrepreneurship Academies for University Students in Uganda

We disentangle the extent to which entrepreneurial success can be attributed to skill formation and to selection. To study skill formation of nascent entrepreneurs among Ugandan university students, we randomly accept applications to a business training program fostering an entrepreneurial mindset. We measure labor market outcomes, business creation and success, and cognitive and non-cognitive skills as key outcomes up to three years after program participation. To better understand individual motivation for entrepreneurship, we experimentally vary marketing messages to all interested students prior to their application decision, emphasizing either entrepreneurial profit or entrepreneurial freedom. Lastly, we describe endogenous self-selection through non-experimental comparisons of key outcomes among applicants and eligible students from the same population who were aware of the entrepreneurship training program but did not express interest.


[Preregistered in the AEA RCT Registry #0004502] [https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4502-1.0]


This work is supported by the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich, the Collaborative Research Center TRR 190 Rationality and Competition and the GRK 1928: Microeconomic Determinants of Labor Productivity. Funding for the planned data collection and the implementation was granted in June 2020 by the German Science Foundation (DFG), Project number 444754857.