Market Constraints to Female Entrepreneurship

Last registered on July 21, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Market Constraints to Female Entrepreneurship
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009177
Initial registration date
July 13, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
July 21, 2022, 12:34 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Harvard University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-04-11
End date
2023-09-30
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial is based on or builds upon one or more prior RCTs.
Abstract
Mobility and credit constraints faced by women in developing countries often lead them to operate their businesses from their homes and local neighborhoods. Having no public storefronts, women running local businesses might be limited in their ability to reach customers besides their friends, family, and neighbors. Given increasing access to smartphones and the Internet, this study explores whether digital market access, or going online, can provide inclusive and productive opportunities to female entrepreneurs. Particularly, I randomize access to social media marketing support and training among female microfinance clients in Jordan. The intervention aims at helping women expand their businesses’ online presence on Facebook, one of the most accessible platforms in Jordan and much of the developing world. Outcomes of interest include program completion, Facebook page usage and practices, business formalization and performance, liquidity, and behavioral changes among female entrepreneurs.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Alhorr, Layane. 2022. "Market Constraints to Female Entrepreneurship." AEA RCT Registry. July 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9177
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We recruit participants by calling current and former clients of our partner microfinance institution and screen them for being female business owners interested in the digital marketing support. Interested participants then fill the baseline and are randomized into one of the below arms, stratifying on whether they already have a Facebook business page or not. Experimental arms include:

- Control group: participants receive support to create a digital logo for their businesses
- Treatment group: in addition to getting a digital logo, treated participants receive (1) logistical support in setting up and marketing a Facebook page for their business, including creating one if they don't have it already; and (2) a virtual training consisting of 33 videos created in collaboration with female Jordanian influencers around social media marketing for small businesses.
Intervention Start Date
2022-06-05
Intervention End Date
2023-09-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Outcomes of interest include program program completion, Facebook page usage and practices, business formalization and performance, liquidity, and behavioral changes among female entrepreneurs.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
- Program completion: share of women who go through the training and complete the prompts needed to receive the support
- Page usage: share of women who post on business pages
- Business formalization: variety of products sold, willingness to register the business, offer delivery, number and share of friends/family/neighbors out of clients, number of close acquaintances out of clients, share and number of clients asking for store credit, volume of store credit outstanding, willingness to operate outside the home
- Business liquidity: cash on hand, interest in additional credit
- Business performance: revenue, profit, online and offline orders, willingness to expand business, number of (part-time) employees
- Behavioral changes: hours worked, aspirations around the business and its customers, locus of control, rate of agreement with statements around women’s work

Measures of heterogeneity include whether respondent has an online business page at baseline, level of education, whether she lives in a clan community, type of product (tradable or not; perishable or not), and whether the business is home-based.

Controls will include baseline level of outcomes, if available, basic demographic, and business quality measures for precision.

Heterogeneity analysis and selection of control variables will include variables recommended using machine learning predictions.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Participants will be split equally between treatment and control, stratifying on business page ownership at baseline.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomized on qualtrics as the baseline survey is being filled
Randomization Unit
Participants
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
0
Sample size: planned number of observations
Around 1200 participants (exact number pending ongoing recruitment)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Around 600 treatment, 600 control (50-50 split; exact numbers pending ongoing recruitment)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Harvard University-Area Committee on the Use of Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
2022-04-15
IRB Approval Number
IRB20-1571