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Volume 72, Issue 3


Are There Barriers to Funding Female Entrepreneurs in MENA Countries?

Adair, Philippe; Berguiga, Imene

Year: 2022   Volume: 72   Issue: 3   Pages: 200-221

Abstract: Do female entrepreneurs in MENA countries face obstacles in funding their business, either endogenous (self-selection) or exogenous (discrimination)? Literature review provides controversial evidence thereof and, so far, very few papers tackled this funding issue for female entrepreneurs in MENA countries. A pooled sample of 6,253 Micro, Small and Medium sized Enterprises from the 2019 World Bank Enterprise Survey (WBES) including three North African countries (Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia) and three Middle East countries (Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine) documents the financial behaviour of both owners and managers according to gender. Two logistic regression models (marginal effects) address loan demand and loan supply with respect to self-selection vs. discrimination. No self-selection occurs for female owners and managers but there is discrimination for female owners. An estimation of these models on a subsample of Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs) provide a robustness test. Sampling biases in the WBES together with the characteristics of female clients of microfinance institutions suggest that micro-entrepreneurs would have faced bank discrimination and self-selection. Hence, public authorities should support pooling loan guarantees in favour of female entrepreneurs, i.e. a positive discrimination.

JEL classification: D1, D8, D22, G2, G4

Keywords: bank credit, discrimination, entrepreneurs, gender, logistic regressions, microfinance, Middle East and North Africa, self-selection

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32065/CJEF.2022.03.01


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