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Improving financial literacy and participation of female entrepreneurs in Chile
Initial registration date
October 08, 2014
May 04, 2017 9:38 AM EDT
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
This study explores the impact on micro-entrepreneurs and their businesses of different possible components included in training programmes. It is implemented together with "Simon de Cirene" foundation, which gives out training to vulnerable micro-entrepreneur. The study measures the impact of including two specific components in the courses. The first one, is the participation of a role model, who graduated from the course, and assists to the class to share his/her experience and the benefits of formalizing and using business techniques learned. The second one is an analysis of different modalities of technical assitance. Some participants receive group assistance during class, others individual assistance during class and other individual assistance in the business location. Impact is measured on variables related to the business, employment status and economic situation.
Lafortune, Jeanne, Julio Riutort and José Tessada. 2017. "Improving financial literacy and participation of female entrepreneurs in Chile." AEA RCT Registry. May 04.
The study makes two different implementations to be evaluated in the business and finance courses given by Simon de Cirene Corporation. First, a role model, who graduated from the program in a previous version, assist in class 3 or 4 to tell about his successfull experience and the benefits of making use of the tools and knowledge adquired.
Additionally, there are different modalities of technical assitance give. One third of the students receive group technical assistance in class, other third individual technical assitance in class and the last third receives individual technical assistance in the business location. This component is given during the last classes by a teacher assitant.
A double randomized assignment methid is used to distribute the different components of the program. The purpose of this double randomized assignment is to guarantee the comparability of the participants who receive the role model with the ones who do not on one side, and between the ones who receive each kind of technical assistance.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The data collection of this experiment included the application of three instruments in different moments in time. Together with the application form, a short survey on analytic abilities and financial knowledge was applied (this is referred to as LB0). This survey includes four mathematic questions to capture the analytic abilities of the participant before de training and an additional question that measures the level of financial alphabetization. In class number four, before de role model session or the assistance checking beginning, a second baseline survey was applied (LB1). The objective was to characterize the households in terms of their economic situation, labor supply, entrepreneurship, access to credit and banking and adoption of financial and management techniques. Finally, once the training was concluded, a follow-up survey was applied (SEG0) to obtain information, right after the ending of the course, about the participants in terms of socioeconomic condition of their households, business situation, access to credit and banking, adoption of financial and management techniques, evaluation of the technical assistance received and evaluation of the role model if applicable. This survey was collected in three different instances. Most of it on the last class, though some participants could not assist so they were surveyed during the graduation ceremonies. Finally, those who did not attend any of the two, were surveyed by telephone calls.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Targeted population: micro-entrepreneurs participating in Simon de Cirene´s program, applying through Minucipalities
Base Line 0 (LB0): analytic abilities and financial knowledge survey (5 questions)
Base Line 1 (LB1): household characterization, economic variables, labor supply, entrepreneurship, access to credit and banking and adoption of financial and management techniques
Follow-up 0 (SEG 0): same as LB1, and evaluation of technical assistance and role model.
Follow up 1 (SEG 1): same as LB1, and business status
Experimental Design Details
Lottery by computer system.
Stratified according to their cohort, county and region.
The assignment of role model is in the class group level.
The technical assistance is delivered at individual or group level within each class group.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
The Role Model treatment stratified the courses according to their county and region.
The technical assistance treatment stratifyied the participants acording to their possession of an actual business and provision of an informed consent.
Sample size: planned number of observations
Role Model: 66 courses 1,705 participants. Technical Assistance: 53 courses 1,371 participants.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
32 courses with Role Model, 34 courses without Role Model
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Role Model: assuming a 80% power, an ICC of 0,05, attrition rate of 10%, a compliance rate with the treatment assigned of 95% and a correlation between base line and follow-up of 0,5 , the power estimations reveal that the available sample allows us to detect with enough statistic confidence a minimum detectable effect (MDE) of 0,267 standard deviations.
Technical assistance: assuming a power of 80%, an ICC of 0,05; attrition rate of 10% and a compliance rate with the treatment assigned of 90%, the power estimations reveal that the available sample allows us to detect with enough statistic confidence a minimum detectable effect (MDE) of 0,206 standard deviations.
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Study has received IRB approval. Details not available.
IRB Approval Date
Details not available
IRB Approval Number
Details not available
Post Trial Information
Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
May 30, 2015, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Data Collection Completion Date
May 30, 2015, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Role Model: 66 courses 1,712 participants. Technical Assistance: 53 courses 1,347 participants.
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
We implemented a randomized experiment in Chile with micro-entrepreneurs participating in a training program. Some groups received the visit of a successful ex-student as a role model; students also received personalized versus group “consulting sessions”. Both interventions increase household income one year after, mostly through increased business participation and business income, with role models being particularly cost-effective. Role models did not improve knowledge or use of business practices but rather increased motivation and worked best when similar to the participant. The two interventions benefited different micro-entrepreneurs: role models helped those with less experience while consulting benefited experienced and ed-ucated entrepreneurs.
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS