Business Intelligence

When Is Capital Enough To Get Female Microenterprises Growing? Evidence From A Randomized Experiment In Ghana

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Executive Summary

Standard models of investment predict that credit-constrained firms should grow rapidly when given additional capital, and that how this capital is provided should not affect decisions to invest in the business or consume the capital. The authors' findings cast doubt on the ability of capital alone to stimulate the growth of female microenterprises. First, while the average treatment effects of the in-kind grants are large and positive for both males and females, the gain in profits is almost zero for women with initial profits below the median, suggesting that capital alone is not enough to grow subsistence enterprises owned by women. Second, for women they strongly reject equality of the cash and in-kind grants; only in-kind grants lead to growth in business profits.

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