Impact Assessment

Effects of Management Training on Women Entrepreneurs in Viet Nam, 2002

    The importance of entrepreneurship development using business management training, particularly for women owners of informal businesses, has increased in Vietnam. However, studies confirm that trainers lack information on the effects, effectiveness, efficiency and impact of the training resulting in approaches and interventions that often produce unexpected results.

    The Training for Women in Micro and Small Enterprises, Phase 2 (TWMSE2) project, which provides business management training, incorporated a 2-year study to measure training effects by comparing test and control groups of women entrepreneurs. The study is also acquiring knowledge and experience on impact assessment research methodologies to support project monitoring. The research objectives of the study were to investigate how and to what extent management training promoted efficient business operation and its effects on the position of women entrepreneurs in Vietnam. The research questions the paper addresses are:
    1. Can a 3-day management training intervention change the management practices of women-owned MSEs? Do they stimulate innovation and result in better products?
    2. Can a 3-day management training affect numbers (sales, income) as well as employment generation?
    3. How do changes in numbers relate to the change in position of women who own and/ or manage a business?

    Baseline studies of 365 women who received training, and 147 who did not - primarily in the trading, textile, and food/ agro-processing sectors - distinguished non-entrepreneurs, potential/ non-growing entrepreneurs, and growth-oriented entrepreneurs achieving growth. Due to time constraints, the research team mailed the survey questionnaires rather than conducting individual interviews though they recognized the limitations of using this approach. The paper reports findings observed 4 to 6 months after the first series of trainings.

    Methods for info gathering
    SE interviews, survey questionnaire

    Summary of results
    The survey confirmed that management training stimulated changes in management practices and that marketing and advanced financial management techniques were the most important topics. It also found that the training led to innovation, better products, and increased productivity. The training had a significant positive effect on business figures such as sales and income, but direct employment creation as a result of the training could not be confirmed in such a short time frame. However, it is possible that women entrepreneurs achieving growth hire others for domestic work, supply services, or to free up more time for in the business. This is an area for further research.

    Regarding how changes in business figures affect the position of women business owners and managers, the survey presents a contradictory picture of increased workload and time spent working even as the women experience an enhanced quality of life and more control and decision making capability. Further exploration may help in understanding how women entrepreneurs assess their quality of life and ability to make business decisions.

    Future research will attempt to understand the ambitions of the 3 target groups to better determine impact expectations. It also will compare project benefits (with and without training) for each group in order to justify the costs of business training.