Can Boosting Savings and Skills Support Female Business Owners in Indonesia? Evidence from A Randomized Controlled Trial
Elizaveta Perova and
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Mayra Buvinic: Center for Global Development
Hillary Johnson: World Bank
Elizaveta Perova: World Bank
No 530, Working Papers from Center for Global Development
There is broad evidence of gender gaps in the productivity of microenterprises, which are in part linked to financial and human capital constraints. Existing literature suggests that interventions simultaneously addressing skills and capital constraints can be effective, but there is little evidence to date exploring the combination of skills and savings interventions. This study tests the relative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of providing supply-side incentives to promote agent banking savings accounts, business and financial literacy training for female entrepreneurs, and the combination of the two on womenâ€™s businesses and agency in Indonesia. The study took place in 401 villages in East Java in which agent banking products were recently introduced. Although the trial found only small positive effects on the take-up of branchless banking services, both interventions had significant positive impacts on womenâ€™s profits. The impacts of the training and mentoring intervention seem to come in part from improved business practices, greater savings, increased business assets, and increased decision-making power. Because the high incentives treatment impacted womenâ€™s profits but not any intermediate outcomes the mechanisms are less clearâ€”potentially coming either from a more woman-friendly business environment or through using their husbandsâ€™ savings or their existing savings to support their businesses. Although the high agent incentives are more cost-effective than the training and mentoring, policy makers may still prefer the demand-side intervention, as it has more positive implications for womenâ€™s overall empowerment and stronger impacts for the poorest quintile of female entrepreneurs.
JEL-codes: D14 M2 O16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 79 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-ent, nep-fle, nep-mfd and nep-sea
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cgd:wpaper:530
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