PIERI-12515 Enhancing Productive Firm Assets: A RCT on an Innovative Savings-Loan Product for Female Entrepreneur


Of the two billion people living on less than $2 per day, roughly half run a business (Collins et al. 2009). As such, scholars agree that substantial economic growth in developing countries can occur if significant numbers of micro-entrepreneurs scale their businesses and transition into small or medium enterprises (SMEs). Yet, the reality is that few developing country firms manage to grow and scale-up (Ardagna and Lusardi 2008; Schoar 2010). We ask if this ‘missing middle’ problem is more pronounced for female entrepreneurs and, if so, how can it be overcome? Given female entrepreneurs may experience limited credit access due to discrimination (PEP-Theme 6) or reduced risk appetites due to household constraints (PEP-Theme 5), financial markets may not offer products that increase access to capital or ensure it is invested optimally in productive firm assets. Thus, we design a hybrid savings-loan product that aims to address financial capital constraints to female micro enterprise growth from both the supply-side and the demand-side. Specifically, the research will examine whether marketing an untied savings-loan product (no restrictions on how capital from savings deposits and loan proceeds is invested) or a tied savings-loan product (capital investment is dedicated ex ante to a specific firm asset) leads to better productivity and growth outcomes for female micro enterprises. We will implement a randomized-controlled trial to measure the impact of this intervention on credit access and investment in firm assets, as well as on the female entrepreneur’s savings behavior, loan repayment behavior, business performance and household welfare.


Project leader: MAVIS AMPONSAH

Project researchers: AUGUSTINE DAMPTEY OWUSU | Maham Farhat

Scientific mentors: Christopher Ryan | Maria Laura Alzua

Journal publication

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Working Papers

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Policy Briefs

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Final report

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2016-09-21 1057.04KB 0 0


Title Modified Size Comments Recommendations
Enhancing Productive Firm Assets: A Field Experiment on an Innovative Savings-Loan Product for Female Entrepreneurs in Ghana 2013-06-30 2734.24KB 2 1

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