ABU Journal, Department Of Public Administration
Volume No: 3|
PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN NIGERIA
HAUWA&RSQUO;U IBRAHIM YERO
DEPARTMENT FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY, ZARIA, NIGERIA
In Nigeria, the study of history has shown that women occupied a position of varying importance in various communities. Their identified roles include: reproductive, which is made up of motherhood; productive, which is economic- that concerns trading, farming and skills work; social service work; peace makers and keepers; and to cap it all, they constitute the highest electorate for electing political government and decision makers. It is the objective of the study to examine some women entrepreneurial activities and its constraints such as finance, land acquisition and ownership etc that impede full participation of women in entrepreneurship. The paper also views some of the government programmes that are geared towards women empowerment. Data from books, journals and electronic are consulted. Focus Group Interview of 100 women is conducted. The respondents are randomly selected from 6 and 4 wards under Zaria and SabonGari Local Governments respectively. It is found that women’s lack of easy access to land, agricultural input, financing, poor knowledge and access to market, prioritising their family roles over their economic activities affect their entrepreneurial prosperity. Finally, there is call for government affirmative action towards the establishment and sustenance of women entrepreneurship through it laudable programmes. This will no doubt improve women entrepreneurial engagements thereby reducing their poverty level.
It is unfortunate that government sponsored development activities have benefited only a small section of women i.e. the urban middle class women. The large majority of them who are rural and semi urban dwellers are still unaffected by change and development activities. Socio-cultural and societal value still play key role in the set back of women in entrepreneurial activities. Curbing such myths will help women to perform relative to men in terms of survival and growth of their respective firms.Statistics has shown a high incidence of poverty in Nigeria and, the most affected are women and children. The import of this is that the government(s) of Nigeria need to do more to deal with the ever-increasing incidence of rural poverty, especially as it affects women. In this regard, microfinance policies are excellent microeconomic tools for effecting the required change. Microfinance program when properly implemented, help not only to reduce poverty but contributes to the empowerment of women. They help place vital resources in the hands of rural women, which otherwise will not be available to them. This helps them increase their economic activities and raise their standard of living in the process.