Muhammad Zia Mehmood

Job title: 
PhD Candidate
Haas School of Business
Research interests: 
Fellowship Year(s): 2022
Project/Theme Title: Training with Technology: Lessons from a field experiment with Kenyan MSMEs
Abstracts: Trainings encouraging adoption of best business practices are vital for strengthening small businesses in low-income countries. However, conventional in-person classroom-style business trainings are expensive and not easily scalable. SMS-based trainings are cheap, highly scalable, and can be crucial for targeting support to female entrepreneurs; yet there is little evidence that explores their effectiveness and whether a market-based approach is feasible for their delivery. This project aims to address this gap by studying (i) the impact of SMS-based trainings in low income settings on outcomes for small businesses, (ii) the feasibility of a market for these trainings by estimating entrepreneurs’ willingness to pay for them, and (iii) the interactions of these with gender. I plan to do this by implementing a large-scale field experiment in Kenya in which I will randomize access to SMS-based trainings for small business owners, further randomizing the price at which they are offered. Short and medium-run effects will be estimated through phone-based surveys.

Country Expertise: