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INVESTIGATING THE FACTORS AFFECTING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN CAMEROON

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INVESTIGATING THE FACTORS AFFECTING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Entrepreneurship is increasingly acknowledged as a crucial catalyst for economic growth, enhanced productivity, innovation, and job creation, constituting a vital component of economic dynamism. The pivotal aspect of entrepreneurship lies in the transformation of ideas into viable economic opportunities. Throughout history, notable economic advancements have been propelled by individuals characterized by pragmatism, entrepreneurship, and innovation, who demonstrate the capacity to identify opportunities and embrace risks (Hisrich, 2019).

However, the significance of entrepreneurship and fostering an entrepreneurial ethos in economic and social progress has often been underestimated. However, in recent years, it has become increasingly evident that entrepreneurship significantly contributes to economic development. Nonetheless, a considerable proportion of enterprises have been predominantly owned by male (ILO, 2006), indicating a prevailing lack of women-owned businesses globally, particularly in developing nations like Cameroon. 

Furthermore, women are showing eagerness to engage in entrepreneurship and contribute to national development. The promotion of women entrepreneurship is identified as a crucial stage in industrial growth. However, it is essential for women entrepreneurs to possess and apply entrepreneurial traits and skills effectively to navigate changing trends, confront global market challenges, and strive for excellence in the SMEs sector (Vinesh, 2019). Women-owned enterprises are characterized by women's ownership and control, with studies indicating that women play a decisive role in determining key aspects such as employment quality, quantity, and the allocation of profits. However, ownership and control of SMEs can be complex due to their close association with patriarchal systems that often limit women's power, even in enterprises they have initiated (McCormick and Pedersen, 2018). nevertheless, with dwindling opportunities for employment in both private and government sectors, women are increasingly establishing their own enterprises and becoming entrepreneurs (Gemechis, 2019). Additionally, economic empowerment of women is recognized as a vital component of contemporary development agendas in any nation. Women's empowerment entails active participation in various development initiatives. Studies have shown that women's engagement in entrepreneurial activities has empowered them across social, economic, and cultural domains. Despite recent progress in advancing and empowering women in Cameroon, significant segments of the female population continue to face poverty and social deprivation (Jahed et al., 2021). Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to investigate the factors affecting women entrepreneurship in Cameroon.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Women's entrepreneurship has emerged as a significant global trend, garnering substantial attention from researchers in recent decades. Beyond its contributions to job creation and economic growth in various economies. It is also recognized for enhancing entrepreneurial diversity across different economic landscapes (Verheul et al., 2019). Consequently, it presents an important area for focused scholarly investigation. However, despite the notable impact of women entrepreneurship in Cameroon, it still encounters numerous barriers and challenges that impede their success as entrepreneurs (Errico, & Rong, 2018). Furthermore, women entrepreneurs in many emerging economies often lack adequate support to initiate their ventures (Roomi & Parrott, 2018). Regrettably, there has been insufficient attention given to women entrepreneurs in emerging economies, despite their significant contributions to GDP growth (Kelley et al., 2020) and poverty reduction efforts (Khan, 2018). This neglect can be attributed to the intricate interplay of socio-cultural factors, religious influences, and familial structures (Roomi, 2018). Additionally, women continue to confront discrimination and gender disparities stemming from biased power dynamics rooted in inequality and prejudice (Roomi, Rehman, & Henry, 2018). Thus, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to  investigate the factors affecting women entrepreneurship in Cameroon.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to  investigate the factors affecting women entrepreneurship in Cameroon. Specifically, the study will;

Assess factors influencing women's participation in entrepreneurial activities in Cameroon.

Examine the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in accessing finance in Cameroon.

Assess the impact of women entrepreneurship on socio-economic development of Cameroon.

Investigate the role of government in empowering and promoting women entrepreneurship in Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What factors influence women's participation in entrepreneurial activities in Cameroon?

What challenges do women entrepreneurs face when trying to access finance in Cameroon?

How does women entrepreneurship impact the socio-economic development of Cameroon?

What is the role of the government in empowering and promoting women entrepreneurship in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the Study

Understanding the role of entrepreneurship in economic growth is crucial for policymakers and government officials as they formulate strategies and policies to foster a conducive environment for entrepreneurship. This includes creating supportive regulations, providing incentives, and investing in infrastructure and education to nurture entrepreneurial activities. Furthermore, 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 women entrepreneurship in Cameroon.

1.6 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is investigating the factors affecting women entrepreneurship in Cameroon. Empirically, this study will assess factors influencing women's participation in entrepreneurial activities in Cameroon, examine the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in accessing finance in Cameroon, assess the impact of women entrepreneurship on socio-economic development of Cameroon and investigate the role of government in empowering and promoting women entrepreneurship in Cameroon

Geographically, the study will be delimited to women in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

1.7 Limitation 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: refers to the process of identifying, creating, and pursuing opportunities to generate value through innovative ideas, products, or services.

Economic development:  the sustained increase in the standard of living, well-being, and overall prosperity of a region or country. It involves various factors such as growth in GDP (Gross Domestic Product), improvement in infrastructure, reduction in poverty, expansion of employment opportunities, and enhancement of social and economic indicators (European Commission, 2018).

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: SMEs are businesses that fall within a certain size range, typically defined by criteria such as the number of employees, annual revenue, or total assets.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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