“Closing the Gender Profit Gap”? Is the paper just published at Management Science by Nova SBE and NOVAFRICA Professors, Cátia Batista and Pedro Vicente, and the NOVAFRICA External member Sandra Sequeira from London School of Economics.
We examine the impact of providing access to mobile savings accounts and improving financial management skills on the performance of microenterprises in Mozambique. The effects are highly heterogeneous: Combining both types of support is associated with a large increase in both short- and long-term firm profits and in financial security for female microentrepreneurs. This allowed female-headed microenterprises, particularly those with a higher level of profits at baseline, to close the gender profit gap in performance and skills relative to their male counterparts. The main drivers of improved business performance are improved financial management practices (bookkeeping), an increase in accessible savings, and reduced transfers to friends and relatives. Providing access to mobile money as a tool to save and manage finances also increases long-term profits of female microentrepreneurs, particularly for those with higher profits at baseline. However, neither treatment has any impact on male-led enterprises. Uncovering this heterogeneity in impact across different types of microenterprises can help improve the targeting of these interventions in the future.
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