The Returns to Microenterprise Support Among the Ultra-Poor: A Field Experiment in Post-War Uganda
74 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2015 Last revised: 24 Sep 2021
Date Written: June 2015
We show that extremely poor, war-affected women in northern Uganda have high returns to a package of $150 cash, five days of business skills training, and ongoing supervision. 16 months after grants, participants doubled their microenterprise ownership and incomes, mainly from petty trading. We also show these ultrapoor have too little social capital, but that group bonds, informal insurance, and cooperative activities could be induced and had positive returns. When the control group received cash and training 20 months later, we varied supervision, which represented half of the program costs. A year later, supervision increased business survival but not consumption.
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