The International Rescue Committee (IRC) implemented BILLY in Nairobi, Kenya from 2019-2021. BILLY was a micro-entrepreneurship program which provided business grants and services intended to increase employment status, consumption levels, and business investments. The program focused on youth in Nairobi, particularly refugees and vulnerable populations. As part of a research study, three treatment models of BILLY were implemented, which included various combinations of direct program services, business grants, and compensatory cash grants.
BILLY costs varied $1,780 - $2,754 per youth across the three treatment arms, depending on the types of services provided within each. A significant portion of the costs went to national staff, program supplies and materials, which include business grants. However, the cost of program service delivery was high even without the inclusion of the cost of grants.
Teams considering implementing BILLY should consider limiting services such as savings groups and mentorship in addition to business grants and skills training, as these services raise the cost per client significantly without evidence of impact. Resources used for personnel facilitating skills training, savings groups, and mentorship drove up the cost per client for treatment arms which received these services.