Support to informal women entrepreneurs and their business: a case of Musakanya market, Mpika district.

Thumbnail Image
Kapaso, Natonse C.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The University of Zambia
Using a triangulation mixed methods design, this study looked at how support that women entrepreneurs in the informal sector receive affects their businesses. The objectives that guided the study were: to establish the nature of support that informal women entrepreneurs receive; to examine how the support to informal women entrepreneurs enhances their business; and to identify the challenges that informal women entrepreneurs face in accessing business support. The study total sample size was 81 and the participants were selected using purposive and systematic random sampling techniques. The findings showed that majority (80%) of the informal women entrepreneurs at Musakanya market depend on informal support which comes in the form of financing and hands on support from friends, family, spouses, self-funding and chilimba. The study also showed that the support which has been received by the informal women entrepreneurs has to an extent enhanced their businesses in as far as improving business savings, profit margins, business sustenance, quality of decision making and livelihoods are concerned. In as far as the challenges, results revealed the following challenges; high repayment rates of loans, no advertisement of available support by government and other stakeholders, cumbersome application process, infrequent and inconsistent support, ruined friendships, unreliability and insufficient funding. The study concluded that the women entrepreneurs have relied on informal support channels to sustain their businesses because the formal support is unstable and unreliable. Additionally, the study further concluded that the women’s businesses have been enhanced to a minimal extent as a result of the nature of support received. The study recommended that Government programs and projects meant to support informal women businesses should be predictable and viable so that many women run businesses can benefit from the support, lower repayment rates on the loans and simplified application process for business support to allow for equal opportunity among potential applicants. Key Words: Support, Women entrepreneurs, Business, Informal and Formal.
Master of Art in Development studies
Businesswomen. , Entrepreneurship. , Women entrepreneurs.