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Who Does Microfinance Fail to Reach? Experimental Evidence on Gender and Microenterprise Returns Image

Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

Who Does Microfinance Fail to Reach? Experimental Evidence on Gender and Microenterprise Returns

Who Does Microfinance Fail to Reach? Experimental Evidence on Gender and Microenterprise Returns

Summary

This paper examines the economic rationale for microfinance’s focus on female-owned businesses, which states that female owners are likely to be poorer, more credit constrained, and use resources more efficiently. The paper states that if this were the case, returns to capital ought to be higher in female-owned firms.The study findings indicate mean returns to capital to be zero among female-owned microenterprises in Sri Lanka. Women did not obtain the same returns as male entrepreneurs even when they re-invested profits into their businesses.
Finally, the paper states that there is a need to re-examine the concept of empowering women through income creation.

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