All effective entrepreneur training programmes for business
creation conduct monitoring and performance evaluation. While there are
substantial issues with regard to what should be measured and the appropriate
methodology, evaluation is an essential tool not only for determining the
effectiveness of the training but also for making continuous improvements in
training, cost effectiveness, and sponsor support.8
In his survey of entrepreneurship development, Harper contacted
over 100 programmes and received replies from 52, of which 33 could supply data
on the success of their trainees.
As Patel points out:9
Despite a variety of programmes for diverse target
groups, in most countries these are not adequately documented and evaluated. An
adequate mechanism to monitor the programmes is missing, and therefore data on
how many units are set up, expected to start, and among those which have
started, how many are successful, what is their profile, are not available.
Final performance analysis of the enterprises is an important
test of any entrepreneurship development programme. Whatever the quality of
selection or training, if the units do not survive long enough to face the
environment, something is wrong somewhere in effort, and it is in this critical
area that most EDP organisations are silent. No judgement therefore can be
passed on the effectiveness of their target groups, selection methods, training
inputs, follow-up, support system, etc.
But even where such performance measures exist they are usually
the result of a co-ordinated package of services such as indicated in the above
discussion of infrastructure. This global measure may mask deficiencies in
individual components. Comparison of the performance of those trained with those
who applied but were not selected is rare, while comparison of performance given
various combinations of achievement motivation training, management training,
technical training, selection techniques, business planning, financial
assistance, and extension services is not much more common.
Furthermore, each component can vary considerably as well. Are
programmes which use interview techniques to select applicants more successful
than those which use application forms or psychological measurements? Which
topics in marketing, production, finance and personnel should be covered in the
management training component? Are some combinations more successful than
others? Do training programmes of different lengths have different results? Some
of these questions were addressed in the Harper research previously cited. But
in general insufficient data existed to reach firm conclusions and much research
remains to be done on these and other questions.
While occasional examples of such evaluation can be found, much
remains to be discovered. Good programmes recognise this need and include
rigorous evaluation as an important part of their ongoing activities.
The Bangladesh Management Development Centre programme is an
example of a programme which not only uses global measures but also attempts to
assess the effectiveness of each of the components.10 While a
comparison between those selected and those not selected is not made, other
evaluations are conducted. The object of the programme is to have trainees
achieve self-employment. The object of the selection and training scheme is to
have trainees produce viable proposals for self-employment projects. The
selection component is assessed on its ability to differentiate those who will
produce a valid project proposal from those who will not; the training programme
is assessed on the proportion of trainees producing a project proposal
acceptable to the Project Appraisal Committee; and the credit component is
assessed on the proportion of valid projects implemented and doing well in
- 306 youths selected, of which 300 submitted
project proposals after training.
- 228 projects approved by Project Appraisal Committee,
therefore efficiency of selection + training = (228/306) x 100 = 74.5 per cent.
- 177 doing well in business, therefore efficiency of credit
component = (177/228) x 100 = 77 per cent.
- 177 out of 306 selected doing well in business, therefore the
efficiency of the programme = (177/306) x 100 = 59 per cent.
No doubt this type of monitoring and critical self-appraisal
contributes to a success rate significantly above the average for entrepreneur
training and business creation schemes.
Most developers will be familiar with the difficulties of
getting business people to keep financial records so that they know how well
they are doing and can make decisions on changing what they are doing. They will
also be familiar with the next task, which is to get them to set budgets for
monitoring future performance. The same thinking should be used by developers
themselves and applied to decisions about their programmes. Objectives must be
set for each component of the programme, measures of performance should be
formulated and performance should be monitored. Just as a successful business
will find certain departments not performing up to a standard and take action to
make changes, so too must an entrepreneurship development programme be prepared
to change, add or delete a component in accordance with a measured analysis of
its contribution to the overall objective.
Those entrepreneurship development programmes reviewed in this
monograph which have the longest record of success are all characterised by this
emphasis on research, performance measurement and the documentation of results.
They are prepared to subject their work to critical review and in so doing not
only improve their performance but also earn the respect and support of their
sponsors and clientele.
1 Patel, V.G.: Entrepreneurship development
programme in India and its relevance for developing countries, paper
prepared for the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank (Ahmedabad,
Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, 1985).
2 Xavier Institute of Social Services: Training
village entrepreneurs: Guidelines for development workers (Ranchi, India,
3 The Entrepreneurship Forum is used for business
opportunity guidance in the programme offered by the Entrepreneurship Institute,
Columbus, Ohio, United States.
4 Patel, 1985, op. cit.
5 Hunt, Robert W.: The evaluation of small
enterprise programs and projects: Issues in business and community
development (Washington, DC, Agency for International Development, Office of
Evaluation, 1983); and idem: Approaches to small enterprise development for
PLAN International. Draft of a paper prepared at Illinois State University
(Illinois State University, 1984).
6 For example: International Centre for Advanced
Technical and Vocational Training, Turin, Italy; Entrepreneurship Development
Institute, Hyderabad, India; University of the Philippines Institute for
Small-Scale Industries, Manila, Philippines; Cranfield School of Management,
Cranfield, Bedford, United Kingdom.
7 Harper, Malcolm: Entrepreneurship for the
poor (London, Intermediate Technology Publications, 1984).
8 Goldmark, Susan G. and Rosengard, Jay:
Evaluating small-scale enterprise promotion: State-of-the-art methodologies
and future alternatives (Washington, DC, Development Alternatives, Inc.,
1981); and Johnson, Peter and Thomas, Barry: Training means (small)
business: An economic evaluation of the new enterprise programme, in
Employment Gazette (London), Jan. 1983.
9 Patel, 1985, op. cit.
10 Chowdhury, A. Momin: A behavioral model of
entrepreneur-ship development for self-employment of educated unemployed youth
in Bangladesh (Dacca, Bangladesh Management Development Centre,