We present experimental evidence on the effects of entrepreneurship training for unemployed workers in the U.S. at two different stages in the business cycle. In the context of a strong economy, training helped training participants – particularly those with prior self-employment experience – to start a business and become self-employed, while it may have persuaded others to pursue salary employment instead. During the Great Recession, training helped training participants become self-employed, particularly those with no prior self-employment experience. Regardless of economic conditions, positive impacts on self-employment were partly or largely offset by reductions in regular employment. These findings indicate that entrepreneurship training may help unemployed workers to become self-employed at different stages of the business cycle, but there is weak evidence that it can be an effective policy for combating unemployment, particularly during recessions.