Gender, Credit Constraints and Performance of SMEs in Cameroon

Serge, Piabuo & Baye, Francis & Tieguhong, Julius. (2015). Effects of credit constraints on the productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises in Cameroon.


The role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in providing productive employment and earning opportunities has emerged as an important concern among policy makers, donor agencies and researchers. It is estimated that women-owned businesses account for over one-third of all firms, and they are the majority of businesses in the informal sector in African countries. Second, the ability of women to formalize and grow their businesses, to create jobs, and to enhance productivity is hampered where legal and institutional barriers exist that affect men’s and women’s enterprises differently. Despite the growing body of research on female managed and/or owned firms’ under-performance hypothesis, as well as on the difficulties female entrepreneurs faced in applying for and securing loans, there are no studies aimed at analysing the gender discrimination in credit access and its effect on SMEs’ performance in an African context.. Secondly, the literature on gender discrimination on the capital market is almost always conducted in the US or in Europe. This study will examine entrepreneurs’ gender and financial constraints trying to relate the later to firm performance in Cameroon.

Women’s access to SME finance in Australia

Van Hulten, Andrew (September 2012). “Women’s access to SME finance in Australia.” International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, 4 (3).


The purpose of this paper is to test whether Australian female and male entrepreneurs differ in their growth aspirations and demand for finance; denial, discouragement and financial constraint rates; and sources of finance.Design/methodology/approach – This paper applies logistic regression techniques to data drawn from a comprehensive survey of Australian small‐ and medium‐sized businesses, which was conducted in 2010.Findings – After controlling for a wide range of firm, owner and risk characteristics, female entrepreneurs are found to have lower growth aspirations than males but do not differ in their demand for business finance. Gender does not influence the probability of reporting denial, discouragement or financial constraint. Females and males do not differ significantly in the types of finance that they use.Research limitations/implications – The online survey had a low response rate.Originality/value – First, the paper tests the proposition that gender mediates demand for finance whilst controlling for a wide range of firm, owner and risk variables. Second, the paper tests whether female entrepreneurs are more likely than males to be financially constrained, that is, to have foregone viable investment opportunities due to inadequate access to finance. In doing so, it endeavours to reconcile the financial discrimination and financial constraint literatures. Third, the paper tests whether gender produces its effects in interaction with owners’ migration status.

The Profits of Wisdom : The Impacts of a Business Support Program in Tanzania

“Bardasi, Elena; Gassier, Marine; Goldstein, Markus; Holla, Alaka. 2017. The Profits of Wisdom : The Impacts of a Business Support Program in TanzaniaPolicy Research Working Paper;No. 8279. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank.


Business training programs in low-income settings have shown limited, if any, impacts on firm revenues and prof- its, particularly for female entrepreneurs. This paper uses a randomized design to compare the impacts of two types of business training programs targeting women with estab- lished small businesses in urban Tanzania. The basic version of the training relied on in- class sessions to strengthen the managerial and technical skills of the participants. In the enhanced version, training was supplemented by individual visits from business coaches to the sites of participants’ activities, as well as other services tailored to their individual needs. The study finds no impact of the basic training on business practices and business outcomes. Participants in the enhanced training are more likely to adopt new prac- tices, but show no effects for revenue or profits, on average. However, the average masks large heterogeneous effects: entrepreneurs with low levels of experience show reduced revenues; those with more experience benefit from the pro- gram. This finding suggests that business training programs may have greater impacts if they are more carefully targeted.

Gender, small firm ownership, and credit access: some insights from India

Chaudhuri, K., Sasidharan, S. & Raj, R.S.N. ” Gender, small firm ownership, and credit access: some insights from India,” Small Bus Econ 54, 1165–1181 (2020)


Using a comprehensive dataset on micro, small, and medium enterprises in India, we examine whether the gender of the owner matters in firm perfor- mance and in credit access from institutional sources. The study finds significant underperformance in the size, growth, and efficiency of firms owned by women when compared to those owned by men. In line with the evidence in the existing literature, our findings also support the view that women-owned firms are disad- vantaged in the market for small-business credit. These findings suggest that addressing gender discrimination in the small-business credit market could help, partly, in bridging the performance gap between male- and female-owned firms.

Business training and female enterprise start-up, growth, and dynamics : Experimental evidence from Sri Lanka

De Mel, Suresh, McKenzie, David and Woodruff, Christopher (2012) Business training and female enterprise start-up, growth, and dynamics : experimental evidence from Sri Lanka.Working Paper. Coventry, UK: Department of Economics, University of Warwick. CAGE Online Working Paper Series, Volume 2012 (Number 98)


We conduct a randomized experiment among women in urban Sri Lanka to measure the impact of the most commonly used business training course in developing countries, the Start-and-Improve Your Business (SIYB) program. We work with two representative groups of women: random sample of women operating subsistence enterprises and a random sample of women who are out of the labor force but interested in starting a business. We track impacts of two treatments– training only and training plus a cash grant – over two years with four follow-up surveys and find that the short- and medium-term impacts differ. For women already in business, training alone leads to some changes in business practices but has no impact on business profits, sales or capital stock. In contrast the combination of training and a grant leads to large and significant improvements in business profitability in the first eight months, but this impact dissipates in the second year. For women interested in starting enterprises, we find that business training speeds up entry but leads to no increase in net business ownership by our final survey round. Both profitability and business practices of the new entrants are increased by training, suggesting
training may be more effective for new owners than for existing businesses. We also find that the two treatments have selection effects, leading to entrants being less analytically skilled and poorer.