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Short-Term Impacts of Improved Access to Mobile Savings, with and without Business Training: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania - Working Paper 478

Gautam Bastian , Iacopo Bianchi , Markus Goldstein and Joao Montalvao
March 16, 2018
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This paper presents short-term results from an experiment randomizing the promotion and registration of a mobile savings account among women microentrepreneurs in Tanzania, with and without business training. Six months post-intervention, the results show that women save substantially more through the mobile account, and that the business training bolstered this effect. Women also obtain more microloans through the mobile account, an additional service provided by the product. The business training further led to an increase in the business practices of the women. We find no significant evidence that these impacts translate into greater investment, sales, and profits, but we see some evidence of increased business expansion through the creation of profitable secondary businesses, as well as improvements in women’s empowerment and subjective well-being.

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