December 15, 2016 – A team of local PEP researchers held a national policy conference in Kampala, Uganda, to share and discuss their findings on the impact of credit counselling on youth entrepreneurship.
The conference was organized in collaboration with the Uganda National Evaluation Association (UEA) and attracted more than 65 participants, including senior policymakers, government officials, local and international NGO representatives, academics, public and private sector practitioners, and journalists. Notably, the Commissioner for Youth and Children of the Ministry of Gender, Labor, and Social Development provided the introductory statement, setting the tone for the event.
The PEP research team organized the conference to present the key findings and recommendations from their study of the Impact of credit counseling on the entrepreneurial behavior of Ugandan youth, selected for support under the PAGE initiative in 2013. In this study, the research team set up a randomized control trial involving 555 entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35 to investigate how risk tolerance determines credit demand amongst young business owners, and how credit counseling impacts their borrowing decisions.
The team’s analysis indicates that providing financial-risk education to youth alongside credit for entrepreneurial endeavors can reduce both the loan default rate and unemployment levels, with youth who attended credit counseling demonstrating a better understanding of financial management. Find out more about the research methods, findings, and policy recommendations in PEP Policy Brief 151.
As well as providing an opportunity to discuss the team’s findings and recommendations, the team sought commitments from key stakeholders to implement their recommendations.
Representatives of the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development, and from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development were key participants, representing the government institutions responsible for implementing the programs to encourage youth entrepreneurship. During the event, the team was invited to present their findings to top officials from both ministries in January 2017, to inform upcoming policy decisions.
The Uganda Broadcasting Corporation - Uganda’s national broadcaster - reported from the event. Three other television channels (Deta TV, Bukedde TV, and Salt TV) also covered the event. New Vision, a daily national newspaper, published a report from the conference discussing the findings and the reactions of policymakers.
As well as ensuring their findings and recommendations reached a wide audience, including key stakeholders, the research team also benefitted from the conference as a networking opportunity during which they were invited to share their expertise on the methodology they used in the study with other researchers and evaluators. Furthermore, several researchers from other institutions invited the team to develop policy papers on topics related to the study.