A Critical Evaluation Of Factors Affecting Productivity Of Women Entrepreneurs In Delta State

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A Critical Evaluation Of Factors Affecting Productivity Of Women Entrepreneurs In Delta State


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Entrepreneurship is increasingly recognized as an important driver of economic growth, productivity, innovation, and employment, and it is widely accepted as a key aspect of economic dynamism (Baron, 2001). On the contrary, Kpelai (2007) claimed that the role of entrepreneurship and its culture in economic and social development has often been underestimated. However, over the years, however, it has become increasingly apparent that entrepreneurship indeed contributes to economic development. Notwithstanding, most entrepreneurial enterprises are owned by men. This implies that women are not commonly involved in businesses worldwide, especially in developing countries. Notably, women’s involvement in entrepreneurship is a recent development (Okafor & Chima, 2010). Historically, little was known about women’s entrepreneurship as men dominated this sector of the economy. However, the recent engagement of women in business is found mostly in micro and small enterprises (MSEs) (Walker & Joyner 200).

Additionally, Abiona (2011) noted that Nigerian women have been engaged in entrepreneurial activities for many decades, but their contributions have consistently gone unacknowledged. They have exchanged products both in their local communities and surrounding markets. And more often than not, family survival has often depended on a woman’s enterprising ability (Abiona, 2011). Irrespective of women’s perseverance in entrepreneurship, there have been a number of factors impeding their success.

Over half of all female entrepreneurs in Nigeria often face gender-related challenges when it comes to establishing new businesses as well as operating or expanding existing businesses. According to Lee and Choo (2011), women are disadvantaged due to culture, religion, and tradition. For instance, many women face difficulty in raising credit finance from banks as well as borrowing via informal networking. Also, women have been found to generate less sales turnover relative to men, even in same-industry comparisons (Khalid & Kamisan, 2012). Furthermore, despite the support and incentive programs for micro businesses in Nigeria, Claudia (2006) stated that, like their male counterparts, women in small businesses experience business breakdown because of the shortcomings influencing business performance, which are: inadequate financial resources, poor location, insufficient management experience, poor laws and regulations, and the general economic situation, together with critical factors such as poor infrastructure, little demand for products and services, corruption, and poverty. Others include a lack of raw materials, difficulties in securing finance, insufficient skilled and motivated employees, a lack of cost-control abilities, and inexpensive imported products dumped on the market. Despite the inherent difficulties associated with the expansion of micro-scale enterprises, women entrepreneurs are increasingly stepping into ownership of small-scale enterprises, either on their own or in collaboration with male entrepreneurs (ILO 2005). This has been made possible primarily because of ease of entry, limited access to other enterprises and a lack of employment opportunities in the 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 vital.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The “Nigerian” Structural Adjustment Program was implemented in the mid-1980s, and the implications of this policy impacted men and women differentially. It altered access to certain jobs and types of employment, and it lowered government services through devaluation, job loss, purchasing power loss, and dangers to not just livelihood but even life (Mustapha, 2016). As a result, women in Nigeria began to address their own demands and interests, as well as make their own economic decisions (Schorling, 2006), with the goal of reflecting their economic and social importance.

While there is no doubt that women have a significant economic influence, there is still lack a solid picture that describes that exact impact in full. Additionally, women in business have been often overlooked in the society as a whole (Stevenson and Jarillo, 2003). Women not only have a lower involvement percentage in entrepreneurship than males, but they also prefer to establish and run businesses in different industries than men (Banmeke 2003; Eze, Ibekwe, and Okorie, 2009; & White, 1997). According to Ram (2009), the decline in female entrepreneurship interest and engagement is due to the multiple hurdles they confront in the sector. These difficulties include cultural elements, economic concerns, environmental factors, and so on. Hence, the purpose of this research is to uncover the constraints that women entrepreneurs in Nigeria confront.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The primary goal of this study is to assess the factors affecting the productivity of women entrepreneurs in Delta State. Specifically, the study will

  1. Analyze the effect of women entrepreneurs on the growth of Nigeria’s economy.
  2. Ascertain the economic and cultural factors affecting the performance of women entrepreneurs.
  3. Identify business administration factors affecting the performance of women entrepreneurs.

1.4 Research Question

The questions below will guide this study:

  1. Do women entrepreneurs contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s economy?
  2. What are the economic and cultural factors affecting the performance of women entrepreneurs?
  3. What business administration factors affect the performance of women entrepreneurs?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study will help to ascertain if the economic activities of women entrepreneurs really contribute to the growth of the Nigerian economy. Much more importantly, the study will communicate to the relevant government officials the controllable challenges impeding the effectiveness of women entrepreneurs in the country and the need to render necessary support to them. Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the factors affecting the productivity of women entrepreneurs in Delta State.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The overall focus of this study is to evaluate the factors affecting the productivity of women entrepreneurs. Additionally, the study will analyze the effect of women entrepreneurs on the growth of the Nigerian economy, ascertain the economic and cultural factors affecting the performance of women entrepreneurs, and identify business administration factors affecting the performance of women entrepreneurs. The study will be channeled to women entrepreneurs in Delta State, Nigeria.


1.7. Limitations of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.

In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Entrepreneurship:

This is the creation or extraction of value. With this definition, entrepreneurship is viewed as change, generally entailing risk beyond what is normally encountered in starting a business, which may include other values than simply economic ones.

Entrepreneur:

A person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.

Productivity:

This is the efficiency of production of goods or services expressed by some measure.


A Critical Evaluation Of Factors Affecting Productivity Of Women Entrepreneurs In Delta State


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