Microenterprise Development Cost and Benefits
Microenterprise development in the U.S. is measured by FIELD, a project of The Aspen Institute that fosters understanding and the role of business ownership as an economic strategy. The Aspen Institute is a nonpartisan forum for values-based leadership and idea exchanges.
Through its MicroTracker program, FIELD collects and analyzes the work of microenterprise organizations and the experiences of the individuals they support. FIELD compiles the data into reports that highlight key statistics and that yield insights into the effectiveness of microenterprise development organizations.
In 2014 FIELD surveyed the small business clients of 19 microenterprise development organizations to determine what benefits resulted from the small business assistance they received. On average, the program cost per business ranged from $2,269 to $2,392, and the benefit, in terms of increased income to the business’s owner and employees, averaged $21,442.
This means every $1 of program expenses yields between $8.96 and $9.45 in benefits. This doesn’t take into account multiplier effects of increased spending or the benefits accrued year after year as businesses mature.
For more information, read The Aspen Institute’s most up-to-date studies.
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