The gender earnings gap has proven to be a hard nut to crack around the world and it's just as prevalent in strategies designed to lift women out of poverty in developing countries.
New research, however, is a reminder that solutions to seemingly intractable problems aren't necessarily complicated. A study of 1800 working-aged residents in a public apartment complex in Colombia found that women were more likely to run a home-based business when their randomly-assigned unit was on the ground floor. They earned a lot more at it too.
Female home-based entrepreneurs in ground-floor units of the four-storey complex earned twice as much as women running businesses from the other three floors. They also earned triple what their female neighbors made in other occupations.
The study's results underline the importance of visibility for female entrepreneurs, who are typically overlooked and less likely to promote their businesses as aggressively as men, according to other research.
Ground-floor female entrepreneurs in the Colombian housing complex used their windows and terraces as informal storefronts, almost exclusively selling food and drinks. Women on the upper floors tended towards beauty or other services, such as ice vending or laundry machine rental.
The research highlights the importance of "micro-geographic space" and how subtle differences in location can make a big difference to people's access to and exchange of resources, especially for women.