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 How effective are training and mentorship programs for entrepreneurs at promoting entrepreneurial activity? An impact evaluation


In this paper, we analyze the impact of a government-sponsored program aimed at promoting entrepreneurial activity in Uruguay. The C-Emprendedor program provides training and mentorship to potential entrepreneurs throughout the process of development of a business. We contribute to the empirical literature on the effects of different entrepreneurial programs, and provide information for policymakers, by conducting a rigorous evaluation of a program designed to foster entrepreneurial activity. Using regression discontinuity methods, we assess the impact of the program on actions taken to create a business, investment, business creation, and employment. We find significant, although non-robust, effects on employment and the probability to take actions aimed at creating a business. No effects were found on investment and the rate of business creation. Our research provides important insights for the better design of public policies aimed at developing entrepreneurship skills.

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Source: own estimation

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Source: own estimation

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Source: own estimation

Fig. 7

Source: own estimation

Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available, since they include information that can uniquely identify individuals (i.e., it contains national ID numbers), but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Code availability

Code available upon request to corresponding author.


  1. Improving upon the misallocation of entrepreneurial talent could increase productivity in developing countries by up to 25%, according to this author.

  2. See Van Der Klaauw (2008), Imbens and Lemieux (2008) for recent surveys, and Cook (2008) for a historical perspective on RD designs.

  3. Argentina, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.

  4. Dinapyme, which is a department for SME support within the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining.

  5. The selection process evaluates six dimensions, using a standardized questionnaire and individual interviews with the potential entrepreneur. Each dimension receives a score between 0 and 3, so that the total score ranges from 0 to 18. To conclude the evaluation process, a selection committee composed of three representatives decides whether individuals will be admitted or not into the program.

  6. We use the rdplot command for Stata proposed by Calonico et al. (2014) to create these graphs.

  7. Graphs and results from the fit of higher order polynomials are available upon request from the authors.


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Funding was provided by the Ministry of Industry, Mining and Energy (Uruguay).

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Correspondence to Martin Pereyra.

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On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Additional information

We thank María Paz Queraltó for excellent research assistance. We are grateful for the comments and suggestions of participants of the 2018 Congress of the Latin American Economics of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Network in Buenos Aires and participants of the CINVE seminars in Montevideo. All the remaining errors and limitations are our responsibility.

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Pereyra, M., Aboal, D. & Rovira, F.  How effective are training and mentorship programs for entrepreneurs at promoting entrepreneurial activity? An impact evaluation. SN Bus Econ 1, 97 (2021).

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  • Training and mentorship programs for entrepreneurs
  • Entrepreneurial activity
  • Impact evaluation

JEL Classifications

  • C31
  • H25
  • L26
  • M53