The effect of entrepreneur training on the growth of small and medium enterprises

Collaboration between Oxford University (Marcel Fafchamps) and the University of California at San Diego (Christopher Woodruff)

Research Background:

The ultimate purpose of the research we propose is to identify better ways of fostering a dynamic small and medium size enterprise sector in Africa.

In the last three decades we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the urban informal sector all across sub-Saharan Africa. Most of this growth has taken the form of an ever increasing number of very small enterprises, typically with no paid employees. While this has provided employment and business experience to millions, it has not enabled local businesses to tap into the productivity gains that modern technology and modern forms of organization permit. What Africa needs is a vibrant small and medium size enterprise sector that can serve as entrepreneur nursery for large enterprises while at the same time supporting the rise of a modern enterprise sector capable of capturing returns to scale and specialization. We propose to research how the growth of such a sector can realistically be achieved through entrepreneur training.

Competition for fellowships for entrepreneurship training

As part of this research, the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford, in collaboration with Innovations for Poverty Action, is organizing a competition for scholarships for entrepreneurship training in Accra. Applicants must be:

  • Aged 20-50
  • Operating a business in the Greater Accra Region
  • Currently owning and managing an enterprise in agro-processing, manufacturing, trade, retail and wholesale trade, services or construction
  • Employing between 2-20 paid full-time workers, not including apprentices.

This competition announcement is available here as a PDF file.

Selection Process:

After completing a survey at the business site, a group of selected applicants will be invited to attend an intensive 3-day Business Plan workshop in Accra and to present their business plan in person to a panel of experts. Selected enterprise owners will then receive additional entrepreneurship training.

Application Procedure:


Interested business owners must fill and submit an application form online at OR complete and submit the application form in person or by email

The application form is available:

Applications can be sent by e-mail to, or dropped in person during working hours at one of the following locations:

Joy FM (Reception/Front Desk)        

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
3 Koi Street Extension
Osu – Ako Adjei
(Near the New Kingdom Books, off of Beach Road)