There is a wide consensus that entrepreneurship plays a key role in economic growth and structural transformation of nations. Several policies and programs have been experimented by governments, NGOs, and other actors to foster entrepreneurship. Businesses plan competition is one of these policies that attracted the attention of donor and huge resource is channelled for its implementation in many countries around the world including Ethiopia. Business plan competitions commonly have dual purposes: selecting high-growth potential business (i.e. gazelles) through rigorous screening procedure and directly provide some supports (like training or grant) for part of the contenders. However, there is a dearth of studies regarding the effectiveness of business plan competitions in meeting their goals.
In a series of studies, this project examines both objectives of a business plan competition by pooling data from first cohorts of two business plan competitions conducted in Ethiopia, namely, Bruh and EDC startups incubation. Bruh entrepreneurship competition has been run by the former Jobs Creation Commission (JCC) (or the current Ministry of Labor and skills) in collaboration with Master Card Foundation; whereas EDC startups’ incubation program was conducted by the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) (currently called Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI). To this end, we compiled administrative data from the competition records and conducted a follow-up survey on the universe of about 500 applicants to measure actual business outcomes a year after the application to the competitions. Self-reported outcomes were independently verified with administrative data whenever possible and qualitative data were also collected to substantiate the quantitative ones.