Missing Entrepreneurs and the Social Cost of Failure

Failure is a social phenomenon. Individuals who attempt an activity and fail visibly have to face a social cost: the stigma of failure. By increasing the cost of visible failures, this stigma may distort individuals’ behaviors in a range of settings with uncertain payoffs  including entrepreneurship, job search, and migration. In this project, I investigate the empirical relevance of this hypothesis in a natural, high-stakes field setting in urban Côte d’Ivoire: women's entrepreneurship. My study has two core objectives. First, evaluating if and by how much the stigma of failure may hamper women’s entrepreneurship by measuring their willingness to forgo seed funding to avoid a potential future entrepreneurial failure being  visible. Second, testing an alternative entrepreneurship training module specifically designed to alleviate this barrier. The project builds upon qualitative and quantitative fieldwork conducted since 2019.

RFP Cycle:
Côte d'Ivoire
  • Florian Grosset
  • Pilot project