Ariela Alpert is the Initiative Associate with Innovations for Poverty Action’s Small & Medium Enterprise Initiative, based in New Haven, CT. She helps manage the Initiative’s Competitive Research Fund on Entrepreneurship and SME Growth and supports the Initiative’s communications and outreach efforts. Prior to joining IPA, Ariela worked for Chemonics International in Washington, DC supporting agriculture and civil society strengthening projects in East Africa. She also previously spent a year at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, where she served as the International Coordinator and taught entrepreneurship and business development courses. She holds a BA in Economics from Brandeis University.
Business training programs are a popular tool used by policy-makers to promote SME growth. However, recent evidence suggests that these programs rarely lead to firm growth or job creation. What do we know about how to effectively support SME development?