PEP-PAGE video series

The "PEP-PAGE video series" was created to present each of the projects selected for support under the new PEP research and capacity building initiative for Policy Analysis on Growth and Employment (PAGE) in developing countries. The PAGE program is co-funded by UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and Canada's International Development Research Center (IDRC).

Click here to find more information on the PAGE program.

In June 2013, 23 projects were selected to receive support under the first round of PAGE funding. This is one of these projects:

Beyond Technical Skills Training:
the Impact of Credit Counselling on Entrepreneurial Behavior of Ugandan Youth

Research objective and method

This project seeks to examine the effect of risk tolerance on entrepreneurial choices of trained youth, with emphasis on their demand for business-expansion credit. More specifically, the research entails an experimental evaluation of the impact of "business and credit counselling" on a sample population (600) of eligible beneficiaries of the Youth Venture Capital Fund (of UGX 25 Billion) - commonly called "Youth Fund".

The Youth Fund has been made available by the Ugandan government since 2011/2012, through participating banks, to support growth of viable and sustainable SMEs owned by young (18-35 years) entrepreneurs. Despite relatively low conditionality (no requirement of collateral or education attainment) and thus high potential of accessibility, there is concern that certain categories of youth, including those with adequate business skills training, remain hesitant to access this fund and exhibit low morale for business start-up and expansion.

Business clinic, Kampala

Through an experimental approach, involving a randomized controlled trial (RCT - find out more about the method), this project aims to examine:

  • the determinants of entrepreneurial risk tolerance among youth,
  • the extent to which risk aversion affects subsequent demand for credit among youth, and
  • the impact of credit counseling on borrowing choices of young men and women in Uganda

The evaluation will measure entrepreneurial risk tolerance using primary data from an entry interview and real-life risk simulation involving a random sample of young men and women eligible for the Youth Fund.

The research will contribute to the current policy debate regarding the need for further interventions, extending beyond standard business and technical skilling, to promote youth entrepreneurship and employment. The research also aims to advocate for the inclusion of credit counseling in the business training curriculum of Uganda.

Research team

  • Ms. Juliet Nassozi Ssekandi
    Programme Specialist, UNICEF-Uganda

  • Mr. Benjamin Kachero
    Economist, Office of the Prime Minister

  • Mr. Daniel Joloba
    Business Manager, Enterprise Uganda

  • Mr. Galiwanga Samuel
    Senior Economist, Office of the Prime Minister

  • Ms. Zeridah Zigiti
    Principal Economist, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development



Project links - reports and publications

Find out more about this project - its analytical approach and outcomes - through the following links/documents:


PEP project PIERI-12451 (web page)


Project proposal (Word doc)


Interim research report


Final research report


Working paper


Policy brief


Slide presentation


Policy context, responsiveness and engagement


While the Youth Fund has received an overwhelming response - with as much as a 100% uptake in some collaborating banks - there is concern that certain categories of youth, including those with adequate business skills training, remain hesitant to access this fund and exhibit low morale for business expansion credit. This project aims to examine the related behaviours and provide evidence in order to adapt the design and implementation of this and related  policies/programs.

Since the very design of the research project by the PEP project team, the following institutions have been involved and/or consulted with to ensure responsiveness to specific policy needs in terms of evidence base, and coordination with current practices:

  • Office of the Prime Minister
  • Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development
  • Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development
  • Uganda Investment Authority
  • Ministry of Education and Sports
  • Enterprise Uganda
  • Centenary Bank
  • UNICEF-Uganda

These consultations will also lead to wider impart, through assimilation of the project findings into decision-making at multiple levels.

With the Ministry of Gender

With the Uganda Investment Authority

Business clinic, Kampala


Consulting with UNICEF

Recent updates on the team's consultation activities

The initial consultations were meant for the research team to undertake a review of the existing mechanisms that have been put in place by Government to address the youth unemployment problem - mainly with the policy makers in the relevant government institutions/ministries (see above).

Following the selection of the proposal, the team sought collaboration of the stakeholders to inform them of the project to be conducted, its objectives, methods and expected outcomes - for which the team received comments, suggestions and ideas from the stakeholders, to ensure responsiveness to policy needs.

The consultations preceding the interim report involved presentations of the study plan, to ensure that all the issues pertaining to the study are fully incorporated.Through the National Evaluation Sub-Committee, at the Office of the Prime Minister, in particular, the researchers have had opportunities to present the research proposal to policy evaluation technocrates and decision-makers.

Further consultations have also been undertaken in an effort to establish collaborative arrangements with key institutions.

  • UNICEF-Uganda is providing the platform for the recruitment of the participant in the study and also intends to provide support in the dissemination of the outcomes of the study through their policy research series.
  • Centenary Bank Uganda is providing the expertise of loan officers to deliver mentoring on the loan applications process.
  • Enterprise Uganda, through its collaborative role in this research, will gain better capacity in executing tracer studies and impact evaluations of their initiatives. They will also have the chance to develop a customised module for training youth entrepreneurs in risk management.

Recent updates on the research work

As for all the other current PAGE projects, two members of the research team (Juliet Nassozi Ssekandi and Zeridah Zigiti) participated in the 10th PEP general meeting in Cape Town, South Africa (May 2013), where they were invited to present tbeir shortlisted proposal (before final selection) and to receive intensive training in the research methods to be applied in their project (in this case, an RCT - see above).

Given the complexity of this particular (experimental) approach, the PEP resource person assigned as this particular project's mentor, Maria Adelaida Lopera, visited the team directly in the field (Kampala, Uganda) to assist them in setting up the experiment. The team has now completed baseline data collection and the interventions (of credit counselling) are underway.

Preparing the interim report

Further updates to come...


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