THE ROLE OF FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS IN POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN RURAL COMMUNITIES: THE CASE STUDY OF AWKA SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA IN ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA. A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP
The study assessed the role of female entrepreneurs in poverty alleviation in rural communities of Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria. It specifically analysed the socio-economic characteristics of women entrepreneurship and assessed the contribution of female-owned businesses to poverty alleviation in the study area. The main reason for this study was due to the fact that most studies on the relationship between businesses development and poverty alleviation have concentrated on aggregate effects of small businesses on poverty reduction with little attention on gender issue in rural areas. The study employed primary data. The target population was all the women-owned enterprises from eight communities in Awka South Local Government Area in Anambra State of Nigeria. Data were collected from primary source, using questionnaire on a sample of 205 female-0wned enterprises. Responses of the respondents were analysed using percentages and the chi-square tests were carried out to support the analysis. The study therefore concluded that female-owned microenterprises have played key role in poverty alleviation among the businesses’ owners in Awka Division through income generation and job creation.
1.1 Background of the study
Poverty is one of the main economic problems facing most countries in the world. There have been several strategies to tackle poverty in its various forms and dimensions. Of recent, there has been a shift from the capital intensive large-scale industrial policy to Small-scale policy as small scale industries viewed as a sector that creates substantial employment opportunities as they are relatively labour intensive. In the light of this, different levels of government in Nigeria have embraced the challenge of promoting small and medium enterprises since 1986 through the Small Scale Enterprises Programme (SSEP) as an engine for economic growth. There are many studies on the relationship between small businesses development and poverty rates and overall microeconomic performance on the basis of aggregate time series data. But most of the studies have neglected the individual traits of businesses and gender issue, and with less attention on rural areas. This study is gender sensitive as it investigates the roles of small businesses owned by women in rural areas in poverty alleviation.