Constraints to Female Entrepreneurship in Pakistan: the role of women’s goals and aspirations
Last registered on May 15, 2018


Trial Information
General Information
Constraints to Female Entrepreneurship in Pakistan: the role of women’s goals and aspirations
Initial registration date
May 11, 2018
Last updated
May 15, 2018 11:18 AM EDT

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Primary Investigator
University of Oxford
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Milan
PI Affiliation
Bocconi University
PI Affiliation
Lahore School of Economics
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Evidence on the impact of microfinance loans on business outcomes shows moderately positive, but not transformational effects especially for women. This finding has been linked to the fact that women do not invest the loans in their own business or they choose less profitable low-risk activities. We run a field experiment with microfinance female borrowers in Pakistan to test whether an intervention that exposes women to successful role models, and encourages goal setting, planning and the overcoming of obstacles can foster investments in higher-return activities. Moreover, we also study whether intra-household dynamics and social constraints interact with this treatment by cross-randomizing this intervention with the presence of the spouse.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Mahmud, Mahreen et al. 2018. "Constraints to Female Entrepreneurship in Pakistan: the role of women’s goals and aspirations." AEA RCT Registry. May 15.
Experimental Details
Our main intervention combines documentaries on successful local role models of women using their loans for their own business (Bernard et al., 2014, Field et al., 2010), with a short exercise on goal setting, planning and implementation intentions techniques (Duckworth et al., 2013). We randomize half of the sample into this treatment, while we show a placebo documentary to women assigned to the control group, with no exposure to goal setting or implementation planning exercises. We also randomize half of the women in control and treatment groups to spouses (or main male decision maker in the household) being present during the interview and/or intervention.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Business survival, sales and profits, innovation, capital and labour inputs, time spent and involvement in decision making
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The sample for the study is drawn from client lists of our microfinance collaborator, NRSP. We conduct a weekly listing exercise of all individual liability microenterprise loans issued in the target area to identify women with pre-existing business. We randomise half the women to receive intervention (and control video) in the presence of the husband and then our enumerator team establishes contact and goes to the client’s house. They first do the baseline survey and then based on randomisation done within SurveyCTO administers either the treatment or control intervention.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
500 treated and 500 control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
University of Oxford Research Ethics Approval
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Lahore School of Economics
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number