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We thank the entire excavation team working at El Sidrón, as
well as the other members of the Paleoanthropology Group of
MNCN-CSIC, including S. Garcia-Vargas, J. M. Baquero, and D. Oropesa.
We are grateful to the NESPOS Society and the professionals
behind it, as well as to the following Institutions and scholars for
providing CT data: A. Balzeau, Muséum National D’Histoire Naturelle
Paris; C. Stringer and R. Krusynski, Natural History Museum,
London; F. Spoor, University College London; and P. Semal, Royal
Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels. We thank H. Coqueugniot
[CNRS–PACEA (De la Préhistoire à l’Actuel: Culture, Environnement et
Anthropologie)] for advice on cranial reconstruction. We thank Clinica
Ruber for technical support with CT scans and radiographs. We also
thank the following curators and researchers for granting access to
skeletal collections: J. Alves and S. García (Museu Nacional de História
Natural e da Ciência, Lisbon); A. L. Santos, S. Wasterlain, T. Ferreira,
and the staff of DRYAS (Universidade de Coimbra); L. Jellema (
Hamann-Todd Osteological Collection); J. Pastor (Universidad de Valladolid);
M. Benito (Universidad Complutense de Madrid); and E. Gilissen (Royal
Museum of Central Africa; Synthesys grant BE-TAF-4580 to L.R.). We
also thank B. Bogin for the discussion of several aspects of the research
with L.R. (José Castillejo visiting research grant CAS16/00108 to
Loughborough University). A. Martínez helped with the figures. A.R.
was supported by a grant from the Ministerio de Economía y
Competitividad of Spain (CGL2016-75-109-P Convenio Principado de
Asturias–Universidad de Oviedo CN-09-084). We additionally thank
three anonymous referees for valuable suggestions. A.R., L.R., C.D., and
H.L. wrote the manuscript. All authors contributed to the manuscript
and the overall interpretation. L.R., A.R., and H.C. compiled osteological
databases. H.L. and C.D. provided human dental databases. A.R., L.R.,
A.E., R.H., A.G.-T., and M.B. performed fossil anatomical identification
and numerical analyses and discussed the results. C.L.-F. and M.R.
provided paleogenetic and archeological background information.
Original fossils from the El Sidrón site are housed at MNCN.
Material and Methods
Supplementary Text 1 to 8
Figs. S1 to S24
Tables S1 to S34
12 May 2017; accepted 27 July 2017
Teaching personal initiative beats
traditional training in boosting small
business in West Africa
Francisco Campos,1 Michael Frese,2,3 Markus Goldstein,1 Leonardo Iacovone,1*
Hillary C. Johnson,1 David McKenzie,1*† Mona Mensmann3*
Standard business training programs aim to boost the incomes of the millions of self-employed
business owners in developing countries by teaching basic financial and marketing practices,
yet the impacts of such programs are mixed. We tested whether a psychology-based
personal initiative training approach, which teaches a proactive mindset and focuses on
entrepreneurial behaviors, could have more success. A randomized controlled trial in Togo
assigned microenterprise owners to a control group (n = 500), a leading business training
program (n = 500), or a personal initiative training program (n = 500). Four follow-up
surveys tracked outcomes for firms over 2 years and showed that personal initiative training
increased firm profits by 30%, compared with a statistically insignificant 11% for traditional
training. The training is cost-effective, paying for itself within 1 year.
Alarge share of the labor force in most de- veloping countries is engaged in small-scale ntrepreneurship (1). However, most of these businesses are “too small and utterly undif- ferentiated from the many others around
them” (2) to ever grow beyond subsistence size.
What distinguishes those individuals who end
up growing their businesses from the rest? There
has been a long-running debate about whether
such successful entrepreneurs are “born” or “made”
(3). The “born” view argues that entrepreneurs
differ from others in their innate personality traits
and desire to succeed, whereas the “made” view
argues that entrepreneurs can be created through
education and experience.
The billions of dollars spent by governments,
microfinance organizations, and nongovernmen-
tal organizations providing business training
programs indicate a strong belief by many policy-
makers that entrepreneurship can be taught.
Traditional business training programs such as
those offered by the U.S. Small Business Admin-
istration, the International Labor Organization’s
Start and Improve Your Business program, the
International Finance Corporation’s Business
Edge program, and Freedom from Hunger’s pro-
grams for microfinance clients aim to teach small
business owners to use better business practices—
for example, record-keeping, stock control, and
simple marketing. There is increasing evidence
in economics that better management and im-
proved business practices matter for productivity
in both large (4) and small (5) firms. However,
few evaluations of traditional business training
programs offered to existing firms have found sus-
tained impacts on profits, particularly for women-
owned firms (6–10). In addition to methodological
issues such as a lack of statistical power in many
existing randomized controlled trials, two possi-
ble explanations for this lack of impact are (i)
that traditional training does not result in a large
enough change in the business practices that it
aims to teach and (ii) that it is not teaching the
right set of skills (11).
One promising approach to improving these
outcomes has been to incorporate insights from
other fields into the standard accounting and
economics-based approach. Examples include
a “rules of thumb”–based training program drawing from behavioral economics (8) and programs
based on insights from marketing science (12).
What characterizes these programs is that they
aim to improve managerial knowledge. In contrast, the psychology literature has long noted
predictors of entrepreneurial success that go beyond knowledge and standard economic variables (13). However, few attempts have been made
1The World Bank, Washington, DC 20433, USA. 2National
University of Singapore, Singapore. 3Leuphana University of
Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany.
*All authors contributed equally to this work. †Corresponding
author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org