An Assessment of the Contribution of Women Entrepreneurs Towards Economic Development in Wajir Township
Women in the pastoralist societies have always been considered as major pillars of both social and economic sustenance of their communities. Their role in the society is mainly as caregivers as opposed to being income earners. However, with increased women empowerment, more women are taking up income generating activities with a great number being involved in entrepreneurship activities. This study examined the contribution of women entrepreneurs towards economic development in Wajir township. The specific objectives included to assess how two important attributes of entrepreneurs contribute to economic development, thus establish the contribution of competitiveness of women entrepreneurs to economic development as well as the contribution of innovativeness of the women entrepreneurs to economic development and finally identify the characteristics of women entrepreneurs in Wajir township. This research was conducted among the eight hundred and forty-eight (848) women entrepreneurs operating within the township registered by the Department of Gender and special programs in the county. A total of one hundred (100) women were selected as a sample for the study. Data collection was done using closed ended questionnaires as the main tool whereas focused group discussions and key informant interviews were employed to triangulate the data. To measure reliability of the instrument, the questionnaire was tested and retested with a sample of respondents and the results measured against the Cronbach’s Alpha correlation coefficient test. To test the validity of the instrument, a pilot test was carried out. Analysis of data was done using SPSS and presented using tables and figures. The study revealed that there is an evident relationship between women enterepreneurial behaviour and consequent contribution to economic development in Wajir township. It was observed that the knack of an entrepreneur to be more innovative contributes more to job creation and better productivity in Wajir township compared to their competitive ability. On the other hand, a competitive women entrepreneur is more likely to contribute to personal wealth creation compared to an innovative one. This means that necessary support that promotes innovation and competitiveness amongst women entrepreneurs in Wajir township should be encouraged. The conclusion from this study is thus, women run enterprises in Wajir township contribute to the overall socio-economic development of the county.
Copyright (c) 2021 Mirriam Wanza Mulei, Joyce Gakobo
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