Savings can help businesses expand, by enabling them to finance lumpy investments and absorb unexpected shocks. However, several barriers stand in the way of women firm owners in developing countries who want to increase their savings.
As an African woman leader who grew up on African soil, Joyce Banda has seen firsthand how young rural girls face obstacles that shape the rest of their lives. From Day One makes the case of how, if African girls are to realize their potential and become the leaders that their continent so badly needs, gender interventions should and can start from day one.
Unequal Ventures: Results from a Baseline Study of Gender and Entrepreneurship in East Java, Indonesia
A study of women and men business owners in East Java offers a unique opportunity to analyze characteristics of entrepreneurs and their businesses by gender for a country where such systematic data are scarce. The study is one of two randomized controlled trials launched in 2015 to assess the power of mobile savings and training for women entrepreneurs. This report details baseline results from the Indonesia trial, still under way, which is testing whether providing financial literacy training for women who are potential bank clients and varying financial incentives to bank agents promoting a new mobile savings product make a difference in increasing entrepreneurs’ uptake of formal savings and in improving economic outcomes. Short-term results of the other trial, in Tanzania, were reported in the first report in this series.
Women own a large and growing proportion of businesses in Indonesia, estimated at over half of all micro, small, and medium enterprises. However, women’s economic outcomes are not equal to those of men.