No longer trapped? Promoting entrepreneurship through cash transfers to ultra-poor women in northern Kenya

Vilas J. Gobin, Paulo Santos, Russell Toth

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5 Citations (Scopus)


We examine the short-to-medium-run impacts of the Rural Entrepreneur Access Program, a poverty graduation program that promotes entrepreneurship among ultra-poor women in arid and semi-arid northern Kenya, a context prone to poverty traps. The program relies on cash transfers (rather than asset transfers) in addition to business skills training, business mentoring, and savings. Participation in each of the program's three rounds was randomly determined through a public lottery. In the short-to-mediumrun, we find that the program has a positive and significant impact on income, savings, and asset accumulation, similar to more traditional poverty graduation programs that rely on asset transfers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1362-1383
Number of pages22
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Cash transfers
  • entrepreneurship
  • field experiment
  • microenterprise
  • poverty graduation
  • ultra-poor

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