Do marketers matter for entrepreneurs? Evidence from Uganda


Published 01.12.21
Photo credit:
©Deanna Ramsay/EIF

Marketing support for entrepreneurs helps firms stand out in the marketplace, boosting profits and growth

Read “Do marketers matter for entrepreneurs? Evidence from a field experiment in Uganda” by Stephen Anderson, Pradeep Chintagunta, Frank Germann, and Naufel Vilcassim here.

While marketing is a core component of business practices, it is often difficult to empirically disentangle its impact on enterprise growth or profits. In this VoxDevTalk, Stephen Anderson discusses his recent work with Pradeep Chintagunta, Frank Germann, and Naufel Vilcassim in which the researchers examine the impact of a business support intervention for Ugandan entrepreneurs. As a part of the intervention, international business professionals volunteered their time and expertise to support the entrepreneurs in growing their businesses.

The authors find that compared to a control group of entrepreneurs, those that received a coach significantly increased their sales, profits, assets and number of paid employees over the study period. Those that were coached by marketers benefited the most compared to other types of consultants or business professionals, specifically due to their ability to help differentiate the product mixes that local businesses brought to market. The authors highlight that as small businesses contribute a significant share of employment in developing countries, investing in solutions that boost sales and profits is vital for long-term aggregate growth.