Assessment Of Factors Affecting Performance Of Women Entrepreneurs In Nigeria

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Assessment Of Factors Affecting Performance Of Women Entrepreneurs In Nigeria


Abstract


For a country to achieve its development goals, women must be incorporated in the entrepreneurship activities. A lot of literature supports the role of women in economy building. This study sought to determine factors influencing the performance of women entrepreneurs in Lagos state. The study was guided by the following objectives: To investigate the influence of levels of education on performance of women entrepreneurs; to determine the influence of property ownership on performance of women entrepreneurs; to investigate the influence of competition from well established enterprises on performance of women entrepreneurs and to assess the influence of domestic commitments on the performance of women entrepreneurs. A conceptual framework to show the relationship between the dependent variables and independent variables including all indicators was used in the study. The target population for this research included all the 12300 women entrepreneurs in Surulere, Ikorodu, Agege and Eti-Osa, with a sample size of 370 determined from Krejcie and Morgan table and randomly selected. A descriptive Research design was used to allow researcher to gather information, summarize, present and interpret data for the purpose of clarification. Stratified random sampling was used where each location formed strata. Proportional allocation was used to compute the exact number of subjects in each location which was a correct representation from the strata. The received data was classified, summarized, coded, sorted and SPSS and excel softwares used in analysis. From this study, it was observed that although there is the possibility of women entrepreneurs operating business enterprises in the same capacity and magnitude as men, traditional roles and practices such as domestic commitments, low levels of education, lack of property ownership and lack of opportunity driven motive to start enterprises continues to influence the performance of women entrepreneurs negatively in terms of monthly income sales, profit margin and types of business enterprise.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Transforming enormous ideas into economic opportunities is the decisive issue of entrepreneurship. History shows that economic progress has been significantly advanced by pragmatic people who are entrepreneurial and innovative, able to exploit opportunities and willing to take risks. The role of entrepreneurship and an entrepreneurial culture in economic and social development has often been underestimated. Over the years, however, it has become increasingly apparent that entrepreneurship indeed contributes to economic development. Nevertheless, the significant numbers of enterprises were owned by men. In other words, it was not common to see womenowned businesses worldwide especially in developing countries like India.

The idea and practice of women entrepreneurship is a recent phenomenon. Until the 1980’s little was known about women entrepreneurship both in practice and research, which made its focus entirely on men. Scientific discourse about women’s entrepreneurship and women owned and run organizations is just the development of 1980s. Even though we observe a number of women entrepreneurs in the business, recent studies show that most of them are found in Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs).

Nigerian Women have been engaged in entrepreneurial activities for many centuries (Abiona; 2011), however their contributions have consistently gone unacknowledged. They have produced and bartered goods and exchanged services both in their local communities and surrounding markets (Abiona; 2011). And more often than not, family survival has often depended on women’s enterprising spirit. Women entrepreneurs have an important and increasing contribution to make to their immediate family budget and to the prosperity of the community. This study identifies a number of serious issues and implications for women entrepreneurs’ in both the rural and urban regions of Nigeria. This definition will hence be utilized in relation to the role played by Nigerian women as entrepreneurs’ and how these entrepreneurial skills have played out towards the move from oil dependency in the Nigerian region.

Also, women have been found to generate less sales turnover relative to men, even in same industry comparisons (Loscocco and Robinson 1991). For example in Nigeria in spite of the support and incentive programs to micro business, Akabueze, (2002) briefly stated that it would seem reasonable to suppose that small businesses would grow and boom, but the speed of business breakdown continues to raise because of the shortcomings influencing business performance which are: inadequate financial resources, poor location, insufficient management experience, poor laws and regulations, general economic situation, together with critical factors such as poor infrastructure, little demand for products and services, corruption, and poverty. 2 Others include: shortage of raw materials, handicap in obtaining finance, inadequate competent and motivated personnel, lack of ability to control costs and cheap foreign products dumped in the market Notwithstanding the intrinsic problems related to the growth of micro – scale businesses, women entrepreneurs are increasingly venturing into ownership of small-scale enterprises either on their own or in partnership with male entrepreneurs (ILO 2005). This has been made possible primarily because of ease of entry, limited access to other enterprises and lack of employment opportunities in formal sector of the economy. In addition, given the expansion of entrepreneurship amongst women, understanding the social, cultural and economic factors influencing their success is of vital importance.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

In the mid-80s, the ‘Nigerian’ Structural Adjustment Program was initiated, and the consequences of this policy affected men and women differently. It changed access to specific forms and categories of work, it reduced government services; devaluation, loss of jobs, loss of purchasing power, and threats to not only livelihood but also life (Mustapha; 2016). As a result Women in Nigeria began working towards addressing their own needs, priorities; and also making their own economic decisions (Mrs. Nkechi Florence Okpara, Development Education Centre: 1995) with the hope of reflecting their economic and social importance.

Whilst without a doubt the economic impact of women is substantial, we still lack a reliable picture, describing in detail that specific impact. Recent efforts initiated by the OECD (1997, 2000) are responses to this lack of knowledge and have focused the attention of policy makers and researchers on this important topic. In order to effectively and efficiently address this topic, policy makers need more knowledge about women entrepreneurs. The aim of this study is to enhance knowledge about the causes of poor performance among women entrepreneurs. In addition, women in entrepreneurship has been largely neglected both in society in general and in the social sciences (Brush & Hisrich, 1999). Not only have women lower participation rate in entrepreneurship than men but they also generally choose to start and manage firms in different industries than men tend to do (Franco & Winqvist, 2002; Reynolds & White, 1997).


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to find out the factors affecting performance of women entrepreneur in Nigeria, specifically the study intends to:

  1. Find out the factors affecting the performance of women entrepreneurs in Nigeria
  2. Analyze the effect of women entrepreneurs on the growth of Nigeria economy
  3. Examines way of empowering women to become entrepreneur

1.4 Research Question

  1. Are there factors affecting the performance of women entrepreneurs in Nigeria?
  2. Is there any effect of women entrepreneurs on the growth of Nigeria economy?
  3. What are the ways of empowering women to become entrepreneur?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study is of immense significance to women entrepreneurs as it has outline factors influencing the performance women entrepreneurial ventures. The study will be useful to alleviate the problems that women entrepreneurs face in Nigeria and other parts of world. To researchers and academicians, the study will be a supply reference material for future researchers on other related topics. In addition it will help other academicians who undertake research on related topics. The study covers a very essential area in economic development and hence it will be of importance since it will provide information that can be used to formulate policy. The financial institutions will come up with products which are tailor made to fit into woman financial needs. In addition through the financial institutions corporate social responsibilities they will factor in woman groups.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study will covered women entrepreneur in Lagos state. There are different issues that will be researched in relation to women entrepreneurs. But, this study will be delimited to the key socio-cultural, financial accessibility, level of entrepreneurial training and domestic commitment on the performance of women entrepreneurs in SMEs. In addition, the study focuses only on assessing the major personal and organizational characteristics of women entrepreneurs in MSEs to check whether these characteristics affect their performance.


1.7 Delimitation of the Study

Finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study. Correspondents also might not be able to complete or willing to submit the questionnaires given to them.

However, it is believed that these constraints will be worked on by making the best use of the available materials and spending more than the necessary time in the research work. Therefore, it is strongly believed that despite these constraint, its effect on this research report will be minimal, thus, making the objective and significance of the study achievable.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Women Entrepreneur:

Women entrepreneurs are those women who think of a business enterprise, initiate it, organize and combine the factors of production, operate the enterprise and undertake risks and handle economic uncertainty involved in running a business enterprise.


Chapter Five


Summary of the Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter covers summary of the findings, conclusions drawn from the study as well as recommendations based on the study findings and suggestions for further studies.


5.2 Summary of Findings

This study sought to find out factors influencing the performance of women entrepreneurs; a case of Lagos state. The problem of poor performance of women in the field of entrepreneurship is felt with struggling economy. For Nigeria to achieve vision 2030, women should have same capability to start and operate business enterprises. The study had the following four objectives: To investigate the influence of levels of education on the performance of women entrepreneurs; to determine the influence of property ownership on the performance of women entrepreneurs; to determine the influence of competition from well established enterprises on the performance of women entrepreneurs; to assess the influence of domestic commitments on the performance of women entrepreneurs in Lagos state.

The study revealed that out of 366 women respondents, 176(48%) and 100(27%) were from a family background that was poor and extremely poor respectively. This shows that push factors are mostly responsible for women entrepreneurships. The study also found that most of the women entrepreneurs were married and that out of 366 respondents, 218(59.6%) and 146(39.9%) operated micro and jua kali enterprises respectively. The study also found that out of 366(100%) only 107 had secondary certificate and out of that, only 4 had university degree with10 having qualification from other institutions Out of 366(100%), 334(91%) admitted that academic qualification affected the performance of women entrepreneurs.

Out of 366(100%), 343(94%) had no land with 366(100%) admitting to be affected by lack of property ownership, also all respondents admitted that they were not allowed to inherit property. All respondents admitted to the fact that property/land ownership policies are in favor of men. On motivational factors behind starting business, the study found that all respondents were influenced by push factors to start business. Out of 366(100%), 216(51%) of the respondents said that social network has strongest benefit to the performance of women entrepreneurs while the remaining respondents said that social network has moderate benefit to the them. It was also found that out of 366(100%), 299(82%) belonged to social networks with only 33(10%) being actively involved in social network activities, it was also found that majority 154(42%) of 299(100%) respondents belonged to community social networks with only 26(7%) belonging to business social network. 67(18%) did not belong to any social network.

343(94%) of women entrepreneurs do not own property, all respondents admitted that lack of property affects the performance of women entrepreneur. Majority of women entrepreneurs strongly agreed with various ways in which domestic chores affect their performance, among them: divided time; divided attention; uncompensated work and fatigue, Majority of women entrepreneurs also strongly agreed with various ways in which reproduction affect their performance, among them: divided time; divided attention; uncompensated work and fatigue


5.4 Conclusion

From this study it was observed that although there is the possibility of women entrepreneurs operating business enterprises in the same capacity and magnitude as men, traditional roles and practices such as domestic commitments, low levels of education, lack of property ownership, reproduction and lack of opportunity driven motive to start enterprises continues to influence the performance of women entrepreneurs negatively in terms of monthly income from sales, profit margin and types of business enterprise.


5.5 Recommendations

From the findings, the following recommendations were suggested.

  1. The government and all stakeholders should establish women’s university to enable girl child to get education. Also, civic education should be done on importance of girl education.
  2. The government and policy makers should enforce gender equality in terms of property ownership in order to achieve the set millennium development goals. For this to be done,there is need to find ways of reconciling conflicts between customary law and women’s human rights in order to enhance womens ability be productive in entrepreneurship world
  3. Women entrepreneurs need be accepted and supported through social networking so that capacity building is made available in the areas of entrepreneurship. Women should also be supported financially so that they engage in a more opportunity based enterprises
  4. Married women entrepreneurs should be given support by their spouse in terms of actual engagement and involvement in running business

5.6 Recommendation for Further Research

  1. Research needs to be done on the influence of patriarchy on the performance of married women entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
  2. A comparative study between men and women entrepreneurs performance in Nigeria should be carried out.

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