"Access to capital is crucial for fostering entrepreneurship, fueling business growth, and enhancing productivity. Unfortunately, femaleentrepreneurs in developing countries face significant challenges securing formal financial support and making lower profits than maleentrepreneurs. While the evidence on the gendered investment gap is well documented, scant evidence-based studies investigatewhether the disparity arises from investor bias. Authors Shibiru Ayalew, Shanthi Manian, and Ketki Sheth implemented a large-scale field experiment in a high-stakes natural context to identify whether loan officers exhibit discriminatory behavior in capital allocation decisions for businesses inEthiopia. The experimental study showed no evidence that financial providers discriminate against women-owned businesses in reviewing loan applications."
Through ANDE's Gender Equality Initiative (AGEI), we convened Gender Learning Communities across our eight chapters focusing on the barriers and discriminatory policies that women entrepreneurs face.
"Female founders raise less capital from investors than male founders, even if their ventures are similar or identical. However, providing systematic evaluation frameworks could encourage investors to assess all candidates equally, thus reducing gender disparities. In this vein, the authors – Amisha Miller and Saurabh Lall – investigated whether changing systematic evaluation practices could close the gender gap in investment decisions. The authors designed and implemented a two-stage experiment in collaboration with Village Capital across different developing regions across Africa, South Asia (India), the Middle East, and Latin America to reduce gender disparities in investment decisions. The experimental findings confirm that using a systematic evaluation framework – prompting investors to consider both risks and growth, as well as progress – reduces or even reverses gender disparities in investment decisions. This study provides strong causal evidence for an intervention that can be implemented right out the gate at a low cost: providing a systematic evaluation framework to investors."
ANDE spoke with Jason Goldberg, Director of Edge Growth, to learn more about NXT-9, an online platform that gives capacity builders a potent toolkit for helping SMEs to grow.