Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Bruce Wydick


Utilizing the power of local knowledge and peer networking, this study attempts to quantify the impacts of mentorship among female micro-entrepreneurs in Medellin, Colombia on empowerment. Developing countries such as Colombia have disproportionately high rates of unprofitable micro-businesses, many of which are managed by women. Internal constraints, such as disempowerment, play a central role in perpetuating poverty. We implement a 6-month mentoring intervention by pairing 18 successful entrepreneurs with 52 disadvantaged female, micro-entrepreneurs in Medellin, Colombia to measure the additional benefit of localized knowledge to micro-borrowers. Using a process of random assignment, I measure the change in female empowerment, measured by its impact on support, self-confidence, self-efficacy, locus of control, aspirations, and positivity among mentees. I use principal component analysis and ANCOVA analysis to measure the mentorship effect on these psychological well-being variables. I find that mentorship increases female empowerment by .71 deviations in the short-run. Treatment effects disappear in the long-run. Moderation analysis suggests that mentor-quality is an important indicator of heterogenous treatment effects.