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Female Entrepreneurship
This edition of the newsletter focuses on female entrepreneurship. In particular, we compile readings on constraints to female entrepreneurship, micro-enterprises in low-income countries, and female entrepreneurship in India. We also highlight stories of inspiring women from each state of North-east India, who set up independent businesses, and uplift other women.

Images used are from Images of Empowerment - a collection of thousands of images that show the connection between women's work, their health and ability to care for themselves and their families in 11 countries around the world. Going forward, we will extensively be using images from this collection in the newsletter.

As always, the edition includes information about jobs shared by members over WhatsApp. Starting from this edition, we will also be compiling interesting seminars you can register for and attend in the coming weeks. Reach out to us if you'd like us to add seminars in future editions. Happy Reading!
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This edition has been curated by Fizza Suhel, Prerna Kundu, Ria Dutta, Sharvari Ravishankar, and Vasanthi Swetha. 

The following key denotes whether or not a particular paper is open access:
(*) : Open Access 
(#): Not Open Access 
Dive into readings
What constrains female entrepreneurship?
Do Traditional Institutions Constrain Female Entrepreneurship? A Field Experiment on Business Training in India* : The paper explores how traditional religious and caste institutions in India that impose restrictions on women’s behavior influence their business activity.

Rule of Law and Female Entrepreneurship* : The authors present a model of female entrepreneurship and rule of law that predicts that women will only start businesses when they have both formal legal protection and informal bargaining power. The model's predictions are supported both in cross-national data and with a new census of Zambian manufacturers. In Zambia, female entrepreneurs collaborate less, learn less from fellow entrepreneurs, earn less and segregate into industries with more women, but gender differences are ameliorated when women have access to adjudicating institutions, such as Lusaka's “Market Chiefs” who are empowered to adjudicate small commercial disputes.

Are Women More Credit Constrained? Experimental Evidence on Gender and Microenterprise Returns* : The authors study a field experiment providing random grants to micro-enterprise owners. The grants generated large profit increases for male owners but not for female owners. They show that the gender gap does not simply mask differences in ability, risk aversion, entrepreneurial attitudes, or differences in reporting behavior. They find evidence that suggests there is a large group of high-return male owners and smaller group of poor, high-ability, female owners who might benefit from more access to capital.

Raising the Benchmark: Identifying and Addressing Gender Issues in Doing Business* The paper looks at whether business regulations have a discriminatory impact on women, and, if so, how should business regulations be reformed to promote female entrepreneurship. Within this context, the paper focuses on the World Bank's Doing Business Indicators (DBIs), which provide annual information on the extent of business regulations across 181 countries.

Aggregate Implications of Barriers to Female Entrepreneurship* : The authors develop a framework for identifying and quantifying barriers to entry and operation faced by female entrepreneurs in developing countries, and apply it to the Indian economy. They find that despite considerable progress over time, female entrepreneurs still face substantial entry and business registration costs. The costs of expanding a business, conditional on entry, are also substantially higher for women. However, there is one area in which female entrepreneurs have an advantage: hiring female workers is easier for them.

Micro-entrepreneurship in low-income countries
Micro-entrepreneurship in Developing Countries* : The article   reviews the recent literature in economics on micro-entrepreneurship in low-income countries. Major themes in the literature include the determinants and consequences of joining the formal sector; the impacts of access to credit and other financial services; the impacts of business training; barriers to hiring; and the distinction between self-employment by necessity and self-employment as a calling. The article devotes special attention to unique issues that arise with female entrepreneurship.

The impact of female entrepreneurship on economic growth in Kenya* : The study aims to provide a better understanding of the barriers and constraints that are faced by women entrepreneurs in starting and running a business in Kenya. It is found that female entrepreneurs in Kenya face far fewer barriers to starting micro-enterprises now than ever before. It is proving to be a widely successful model, which they use to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. There remain, however, a number of barriers to growth within the micro-enterprise sector.

Female Entrepreneurship in India
Friendship at Work: Can Peer Effects Catalyze Female Entrepreneurship?* : A random sample of customers of India’s largest women’s bank was offered two days of business counseling, and a random subsample was invited to attend with a friend. The intervention had a significant immediate impact on participants’ business activity, but only if they were trained in the presence of a friend. Four months later, those trained with a friend were more likely to have taken out business loans, were less likely to be housewives, and reported increased business activity and higherhousehold income.

Local Industrial Structures and Female Entrepreneurship in India* : The authors analyze the spatial determinants of female entrepreneurship in India in the manufacturing and services sectors. They focus on the presence of incumbent female-owned businesses and their role in promoting higher subsequent female entrepreneurship relative to male entrepreneurship. They find evidence of agglomeration economies in both sectors, where higher female ownership among incumbent businesses within a district-industry predicts a greater share of subsequent entrepreneurs will be female.
Read stories of inspiring female entrepreneurs
While constrains to female entrepreneurship exist all over the world, we all know of women who succeed despite the odds stacked against them. Below we highlight stories of a few female entrepreneurs from each state of North-East India.
  1. Tage Rita, Arunachal Pradesh - Managing director Lambu-Subu Food and Beverages Limited who launched Naara-Aaba, India's first organic kiwi wine
  2. Saara Shabnam, Assam - Winner of the Best Woman Entrepreneur of Assam in 2019
  3. Geetashori Yumnam and Dr Asem Sundari, Manipur - Co-founders of Green Biotech EcoSolutions which is the first bio-fertilizer company in Manipur.
  4. Mamta Kharroman, Meghalaya - Founder, Uniform World, a women-driven enterprise that manufactures affordable school uniforms
  5. Maggie Lalnunsangi, Mizoram - She set up her interior design venture called DCM-Living Design, in 2012, followed by an offshoot venture specialised in manufacturing timbre components, called DCM Wood Based industry in 2018
  6. Akitoli Suu, Nagaland - Founder, Angry Mother Soap, an organic soap business
  7. Architha Ray, Tripura - Owner of M/S Kanup Hatchery, one of the first private hatcheries in the state of Tripura
  8. Devika Gurung, Sikkim - Founder, Fidgety Fingers, a social enterprise that trains underprivileged women to knit and crochet. Check out their super cute products here
Sign up for conferences and seminars
1. Register for Ahmedabad University's 2nd Annual Economics Conference. There are some great women economists speaking at the conference about their research including Dr. Sonalde Desai, Dr. Sonia Bhalotra, Dr. Farah Said, Dr Farzana Afridi among many others. Find out more about the conference here.

2. Seminar in Applied Microeconomics - Virtual Assembly and Discussion (SAMVAAD) is a platform for faculty and researchers in India to present their work and get feedback from the applied micro community. Sign up for their invite-only seminars  here.

3. Strengthening Social Protection - Issues, Evidence and Policy Response (March 1st, 3:30 pm IST). Panellists: Arvind Chaudhary (Government of Bihar), Jean Drèze (Delhi School of Economics and Ranchi University), Maitreesh Ghatak (London School of Economics), Priya Nanda (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), and Sudha Narayanan (International Food Policy Research Institute). Register here.
Browse jobs and fellowships shared by members 
Note: These are jobs shared by members over WhatsApp over the last 2 weeks. Please check if positions are still open before applying. If you are thinking about applying to one of these, you can also drop a message on the WhatsApp group or on the google group to connect with members currently working in these organisations. 

1. Fellowships:
2. Job Openings:  3. Internships:
  • A paid internship opportunity is available to work with an independent researcher on a project on public health and health policy. The position is remote and open to candidates across India. Apply here
4. Websites that compile job postings:
Have thoughts on our newsletter, or ideas for other activities we should consider? Follow us on Twitter, shoot us an email or fill out this feedback form! We’d love to hear from you and work on what we can do better!
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