Are Mobile Savings the Silver Bullet to Help Women Grow Their Businesses?

Iacopo Bianchi
Markus Goldstein
Joao Montalvao
November 05, 2018

This brief was originally published in the World Bank’s Open Knowledge Repository.

Key Messages

  • In Tanzania and Indonesia, we promoted the expansion of mobile savings accounts among women microentrepreneurs and provided them with business related training. In doing so, we simultaneously relaxed supply- and demand-side constraints to savings that women might face.

  • In both countries, the training enhanced the impact of promoting mobile savings. In Indonesia it led women to save more overall, including a nascent use of mobile accounts, and report greater decision making power within the household. In Tanzania, it led to substantially higher mobile savings, new businesses and products, more capital investment, labor effort, and better business practices.

  • However, these short-term impacts have yet to translate into higher business profits. In Indonesia, we observe increased household welfare, but no discernible effects on business outcomes shortly after the training ended. In Tanzania, the increased business investments were not accompanied by greater profitability.

Read more from the Evidence-based Report Series on Women’s Economic Empowerment here.

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