Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Professor Alessandra Cassar


Approximately 57% of women in Nigeria from age 15-64 are involved in some form of employment, but there are still 17 million unemployed women (World Bank, 2016). Most of these women are involved in informal entrepreneurship due to external constraints. According to the World Bank, women who have no access to schooling are forced to find informal work to provide for themselves and their families. This study aims to analyze the effectiveness of goal settings and support groups on small businesses among female small-scale business owners in Abuja Nigeria. The research conducted uses the experimental design created by the Family Independence Initiative of Oakland to explore ways in which the three behavioral mechanisms of Goal-Settings, Incentives, and Support Groups can help female low-income business owners in Abuja Nigeria grow their business. Our results show that the act of setting goals, receiving an incentive for achieving this goal and having a support group play a positive role in individual outcomes. However, this result is not statistically significant. Incentives did result in a higher individual outcome as well as an increase in income with moderate significance. This study contributes to the existing literature by showing cost-effective ways of alleviating poverty. Unfortunately, this study provides insignificant evidence to support this claim.


Small-Scale Female Entrepreneurship