THE ROLE OF FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS IN POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN RURAL COMMUNITIES: THE CASE STUDY OF AWKA SOUTH LOCAL GOVEERNMENT AREA IN ANAMBRA STATE,NIGERIA


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THE ROLE OF FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS IN POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN RURAL COMMUNITIES: THE CASE STUDY OF AWKA SOUTH LOCAL GOVEERNMENT AREA IN ANAMBRA STATE,NIGERIA


TABLE OF CONTENTS
APPROVAL                                                                                             I
CERTIFICATION                                                                                   ii
Dedication                                                                                       iii
Acknowledgement                                                                                   iv
Outline page                                                                                              v
Abstract                                                                                           1
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the study                                                                            2
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem                                                  2
1.3  Research Questions                                                                           3
1.4  Objectives of the study                                                                     3
1.5 limitation of the Study                                                                      4
1.6 Statement of the Research Hypothesis                                                      4
1.7 Definitions of Terms                                                                         4
CHAPTER TWO
LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Theoretical Issues on SMEs                                                              7
2.2 Conceptual Review of the Study
2.3 Empirical Review                                                                              14
2.4 Concept of Poverty                                                                            16
2.5 Theoretical Framework                                                                     18
2.6 Previous Empirical Studies on the Relationship between SMEs and   Poverty   19  
       Alleviation
2.7 Alleviating Poverty through Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Micro    20
 2.8 Alleviating Poverty through Women Entrepreneurship                                  21
 2.9 Women as Entrepreneur                                                                            22
2.10 Gap in knowledge                                                                            23
CHAPTER THREE
METHODOLOGY
3.1 Study Area                                                                                         25                                           
 3.2 Research Design                                                                                25
3.3 Population Of The Study                                                                           25
3.4 sample size                                                                                26
3.5 Methods of Data Collection                                                              26
3.6   Analytical Technique                                                                      27
3.7 Source Of Data                                                                                   28
CHAPTER FOUR
PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA

4.1 Socio-Economic Profile Of Respondent                                                   29
4.1.1 Age Distribution Of The Respondent                                                    29
4.1.2 Educational Qualification                                                              29
4.2  Nature and Type of SMEs Businesses in Awka south Area in Anambra State   29
4.2.1 Nature of Business                                                                          31
4.2.2 The size of Business                                                                       32

4.2.3   Ownership Structure
4.2.4 Year of operation                                                                            34
4.3   Assessment of Income and Employment generating capacity of   SMEs          35
4.3.1  Income Generation                                                                        35
4.4 Impact of SMEs on Living Conditions of  Owners                                  35
4.4.1 Income Level                                                                                   36
4.4.2   Toilet Facility                                                                               36
4.4.3  Sources of Water                                                                           37
4.4.4  Sources of Energy for Cooking                                                    37
4.4.5   Access to Medical Care                                                                37
4.4.6   Sources of Electricity/Power Supply                                                   38
4.4.7   Affordable and Adequate Meal per Day                                              38
4.4.8  SME’s increase employment                                                                  39
CHAPTER FIVE
SUMMRARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.1 Summary of the Findings.                                                                          42
5.2 Conclusion                                                                                42
5.3 Recommendations                                                                             43
            REFERENCES                                                                                  44
        APPENDIX                                                                                      48





ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
My special thanks goes to the Almighty GOD who made everything  possible in his own time because his mercy is without bounds.
I would like to thank my main supervisor, Dr. Kevin Onwuka for been  there to correct me   anytime I made a mistake in the cause of this research work. His guidance through this few months I spent under his supervision  is greatly appreciated.  this work is better for his input and directions regarding the role of female entrepreneurs in poverty alleviation in rural communities: this case  study of Awka  South Local Government Area Of  Anambra State, Nigeria.
My special thanks goes to the Management of National Open University of  Nigeria, especial the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Abdalla Uba  Adamu for his word of wisdom and Director of Awka  Study Center and entire Staff of Awka Study Centre.
My gratitude goes to several of my colleagues in my department who provided first hand critique of this Study,I am grateful to Eguonye Tonna Obidike among others that are not mentioned here.
I  am sincerely grateful to the entire family of Mr and Mrs Nwolisa, especially my late Father whose advice and words of encouragement always guide me in all my endeavors.
Finally I wish to express appreciation to my mentor Prof. Godwin Onu, who has been the motivational force behind me I say thank you all for been with me  throughout this critical period. 


ABSTRACT
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.





CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
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. 
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
In view of the escalating level of poverty in developing countries constituting a serious problem to economic growth and welfare state of the citizenry,  various policies were implemented  which could not significantly impact on the level of poverty. The failure of various reforms and development programmes to impact on the level of welfare of the citizens in terms of poverty reduction particularly through employment generation, triggered the reappraisal of the role and importance of small and medium sized enterprises as a viable channel to attaining economic growth and development especially in terms of reducing the poverty level in the economy as was witnessed in the developmental progress and economic transformation of some developed countries. In most developing countries, attention   has not   been focussed on development of   businesses owned by women due to the perception of their traditional role at home. In Nigeria, there are few studies on   the actual contribution of the women-owned micro, small or medium enterprises (SMEs) to employment creation, income generation and wealth creation in rural areas, hence this study.
1.3  Research Questions
       The study addressed the following   questions.
(i)   What are the characteristics of Female business owners in rural areas in Anambra      .         State, Nigeria.
(ii)    Has the establishment of the female-owned   enterprises alleviated poverty?

1.4       Objectives of the study
The broad objective of this study is to assess the role of small and medium businesses owned by women in reducing   poverty in Awka south Local Government Area in Anambra state, Nigeria through job creation and income generation. The specific objectives are to:
i.       Analyse the characteristics of female business owners  in Anambra
ii.    Assess the extent to which   the SMEs   have reduced poverty among the female owners in Anambra.

1.5 limitation of the Study
Some factors may limit the level of accuracy and reliability of this study. Factors include:
i.    difficulty in obtaining data
ii.   Low response rate from individual parties.
In the absence of the above mentioned limitations, all other errors and omissions are entirely those of the researcher.
1.6 Statement of the Research Hypothesis
This study would be guided by the following hypothesis
Ho: Participation in SMEs by female does not improve the standard of living.
Hi: participation in SMEs by female improves the standard of living
1.7 Definitions of Terms
i. Entrepreneur :Someone who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced.
    ii. Entrepreneurship: this is the process of designing, launching and running a new business,i.e. a start-up company offering a product, process or service. It has been defined as a capacity and the willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make profit.
According to economist Joseph Alois Schumpeter (1883-1950), entrepreneurs are not necessarily motivated by profit but regard it as a standard for measuring achievement or success
    iii Poverty: United Nations: Fundamentally, poverty is the inability of getting choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family, not having a school or clinic to go to, not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job to earn one’s living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living in marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation.
iv.World Bank: Poverty is pronounced deprivation in well-being, and comprises many dimensions. It includes low incomes and the inability to acquire the basic goods and services necessary for survival with dignity. Poverty also encompasses low levels of health and education, poor access to clean water and sanitation, inadequate physical security, lack of voice, and insufficient capacity and opportunity to better one’s life.
  v Small and medium-sized enterprises: these are business whose personnel numbers fall below certain limits. The abbreviation SMES is used in European Unions and by international organizations such as the World Bank, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. Small enterprises outnumber large companies by a wide margin and also employe many more people. SMES are said to be responsible for driving innovation and competition in many economic sectors
Alleviation: Reduction of or freedom from suffering and pains.

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