An interesting study (found in the 2013/14 edition of National Bureau of Economic Research Reporter)
Can Basic Entrepreneurship Transform the Economic Lives of the Poor?
By: Oriana Bandiera; Robin Burgess, London School of Economics; Narayan Das, BRAC; Selim Gulesci, Bocconi University; Imran Rasul, UCL; and Munshi Sulaiman, BRAC -Africa
The world's poorest people lack capital and skills and toil for others in occupations that others shun. Using a large-scale and long-term randomized control trial in Bangladesh, Bandiera, Burgess, Das, Gulesci, Rasul, and Sulaiman demonstrate that sizable transfers of assets and skills enable the poorest women to shift out of agricultural labor and into running small businesses. This shift, which persists and strengthens after assistance is withdrawn, leads to a 38 percent increase in earnings. Inculcating basic entrepreneurship, where severely disadvantaged women take on occupations which were the preserve of non-poor women, is shown to be a powerful means of transforming the economic lives of the poor.
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Guy Pfeffermann is the Founder & CEO of the Global Business School Network.