The role of women in poverty alleviation through entrepreneurship (A case study of Laikipia district)
Kanjah, G. Anthony
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If the life of the poor in Kenya is hard, it is particularly hard for poor women. Kenya is a male dominated society, yet women do a large part. Women constitute a silent majority of the most overworked and underpaid of agricultural workers in Kenya. Women activities in the rural areas involve cultivating food crops, cutting fire wood, carrying water, household work and taking care of the family.' ("Women, Basic education, Community health and Sustainable Development" UNESCO- Nairobi August 2002, No.I2). The research investigated the factors that force women to enter into entrepreneurship. It also looked at the aspects and conditions that the rural people consider to be aspects of poverty, how they affect them and how they think as a community they can alleviate their negative influence. Once these two aspects were ascertained it was important to look at the proceeds that accrue from these enterprises and also try to get the work or projects that the monies are channeled to This helped in establishing if the proceeds are used to ease poverty. If there is a direct correlation between the aspects, which will have been named as aspects of poverty and positive measures to ease them through proceeds gotten from entrepreneurship, then women entrepreneurs will be viewed as playing a positive role on poverty alleviation. Any economic activity has a ripple effect and this was checked to see if women participation in entrepreneurship has a ripple effect in as far as poverty alleviation strategies are concerned. The research was carried out in Laikipia District. The design of the study was exploratory and descriptive. The population for this study was the women entrepreneurs in seven divisions of Laikipia district. The researcher used cluster sampling to select the subjects for this study. Data for the study was analyzed using descriptive statistics and with the SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences), the data was then be presented in tables and narrative reports. At the end of this research project the researcher has come up with a report that highlights the means and ways of empowering women and involving them in poverty elevation in the society.