Researchers: Christopher Blattman, Nathan Fiala, Sebastian Martinez
Time period: 2008 to 2012
The Challenge: Helping young people get job training and start small businesses as a way to promote employment, social cohesion, and stability.
The Program: Cash grants to entrepreneurs to start new businesses or train for employment with no formal mechanism for follow-up or accountability after the initial disbursement of funds.
The Findings: The Ugandan cash transfers achieved nearly all its goals. Beneficiaries invested most of the cash in building business opportunities. While they still did agricultural work, they spent more time working in skilled industry and services and their incomes rose
Partners: Support from SIEF, DFID, the Gender-Action Plan; research collaboration with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) at Yale University.
Policy impact: The results have broad implications for development policies and underscore the importance of financing when it comes to employment creation, training and incomes. Long-term solutions should address the root problem— inadequate access to cheap finance for small business development. In the interim, however, this impact evaluation shows there are viable options for boosting non-agricultural employment and reducing poverty. In certain circumstances, unsupervised cash grants can be used successfully with poor entrepreneurs, something policymakers will want to consider when looking to boost employment and income among young adults.