Business Growth


Business Libraries to increase innovation and improve performance in the informal Kenyan Furniture Sector

Does the existence of a “business library”, which provides human capital training, physical capital and market linkages enable very small enterprises to innovate, flourish and grow? What combinations and intensities of services are necessary to maximize enterprise innovation and growth?

Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub RCT Feasibility Study

Is it possible to design and conduct a randomised control trial of one of the business support services delivered by the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub?

NatCen and New Economy received a Design Grant from the Innovation Growth Lab in order to conduct a study to examine which Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub business support services are most likely to make a growing contribution to the city-region’s economic vitality as well as be amenable to a rigorous test of their impact through implementing a carefully designed randomised controlled trial.

How Effective is Business Coaching as a Support Intervention for Early Stage Technology-Based Ventures?

Research confirms that business coaching is core to most incubation and acceleration programmes. Business coaching combines aspects of teaching, training, mentoring, and consulting and creates a general support approach for early-stage technology ventures. It has been identified as a key attribute to the impact of an early-stage venture team’s performance. 

Performance Pay and Multi-dimensional Sorting: Productivity, Preferences and Gender

In this lab experiment intended to recreate sorting into jobs and productivity in those jobs within the labour market, there is stong evidence of multidimensional sorting, including gender, risk attitudes, and productivity. Therefore, firms should consider both effort effects and the self-selection of different types of workers.

How Costly Is Diversity? Affirmative Action in Light of Gender Differences in Competitiveness

In the context of a lab experiment replicating the job/hiring market, this study reveals that prior to affirmative action, women, including high-performing women, fail to enter the competition, thus the actual performance costs of affirmitive action are negligible. This implies that the long-term effects are positive, as increasing the representation of "minorities" may improve mentoring possibilities, and change the perception of "minorities'" ability to hold a high-ranking position.

KAIZEN for Managerial Skills Improvement in Small and Medium Enterprises: An Impact Evaluation Study in a Knitwear Cluster in Vietnam

In the context of knitwear and rolled steel clusters in Vietnam, preliminary short-run impacts of KAIZEN production training reveal positive impacts on entrepreneurs' management knowledge, firms business practices, and willingness-to-pay for the training. Researchers will evaluate the long-run results including a cost-benefit analysis.

Social Connections and Incentives in the Workplace: Evidence from Personnel Data

In the context of a fruit producer in the UK, social connections increase productivity of connected workers, but their effect on the allocation of managerial effort hinders firm productivity under fixed wages. Thus managerial behaviour is shaped by both social connections with subordinates and monetary incentives. In this setting, it is in the firm's best interest to foster social ties between management and workers, but to introduce monetary incentives to achieve an efficient interplay between social relationships and incentives.


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