Business Practices And Entrepreneurial Performance: Does Management Training Improve SMEs’ Performance?

Onajomo Akemu, Cinzia Colapinto

Research output: Working paper


As the field of entrepreneurship has grown into an active domain of research (Brush et al., 2003, Katz, 2003, Kuratko, 2005) public policymakers and business schools have supported management/business training programs aimed at small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Policymakers, in particular, support these programs because they perceive SMEs as a means to drive innovation, employment and transformation of their economies (Kuratko, 2005). How effective are these management programs? We address this question in the context of Kazakhstan, a Post-Soviet transition economy, where the stimulation of private-sector entrepreneurship has been a key public policy objective for at least a decade. As part of its efforts to diversify the country’s economic base, the government of Kazakhstan sponsors a program, the Business Roadmap 2020 SME Executive Development Program (hereafter the Program), to provide business training to Kazakh SMEs at a local business school (hereafter, SB) (Government of Kazakhstan, 2016). More concretely, our research questions are: (1) what is the impact of business training on firm performance? (2) What is the impact of business training on management practices within SMEs?
Our research project is ongoing, and we are still collecting our data. Nevertheless, this study intends to contribute to the growing literature on development of managerial competence—entrepreneurs’ ability to manage customers, finance, business operations and people within small businesses in transition and developing economies (Bloom and Van Reenen, 2010, De Mel, McKenzie and Woodruff, 2008, Karlan and Valdivia, 2011, McKenzie and Woodruff, 2016, Anderson, Chandy and Zia, 2018) by untangling the effects of formal training and informal networking. Furthermore, we intend to contribute to the development of evidence-based practice in the field of entrepreneurship research and education (Frese, Rousseau and Wiklund, 2014).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 2019


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