The term women’s empowerment has always been a subject of discussion among academic development practitioners and policy maker particularly after the failure of trickledown theory implemented during idemili planned development programmes which could not benefit women equally along with men. The role of cooperatives in the empowerment of women is contested in the idemili context, however, several studies show that it has provided women the necessary space and support for promoting economic self-reliance developing self confidence, overcoming exploration and taking effective steps towards achieving greater control over their lives, this paper put forward how cooperatives have received extensive recognition as suitable institutional mechanized women and enabling them to play a significant role in the process of sustainable economic development opportunities for the members of the people of idemili in general. The paper also highlighted the role of cooperative as economic agents of change leading to economic emancipation, developing leadership qualities promoting financial and social inclusion and ultimately leading to women’s empowerment by giving the ability to make strategic choice in their lives. It also discusses the government initiatives as well as opportunities and challenges for women led cooperative in idemili North Local Government Area, Anambra state.
1.1 Background To The Study
Nigerian women are perceived as household property that joins land in economic activities of their families with regard to exchange in marriage participation in agricultural activities and other areas that yield money.
Azikiwe 1992 Esere, 2011 in sociological perspective. The modern day Nigerian women take part in important economic activities to the benefits of their families and entire nation. Family is a basic social group united through bonds of kinship or marriage, it is present in all societies. Ideally, the family provides its members with corresponding author, E-mail, Onyekason@yahoo.com.protection,companionship,security,and socialization.
Simpson et al 2007, women thus, manage the home at the same time, participate with their male counterpart in developing the economy of the nation. In rural areas, women participate fully in food production, processing and distributing which they combine with their traditional role of procreation and management. Standing shehan 1978 in their studies on economic activities of women Nigeria reported a higher labour force woman. In rural areas, higher parity was positively associated with workforce participation which is contrary in the urban areas.
The urban women in addition to child rearing and home management engage mostly in trading, craft and distribution of goods from other countries. This becomes necessary as a result of gradual decline in the Nigerian economy which led to mass retrenchment in the labour market. High cost of living accompanied by high inflation rate.
Amali 2007, women have limited access to socio-economic rights and privileges. They enjoy lower social status and are encumbered by harmful traditional practices to exhibit their potential. Federal government of Nigeria 1996, they still suffer discrimination and marginalization through denials of rights and ownership, access to credit facilities and farm input; women are isolated abuse and restricted at the community levels through traditional and religious practice which hamper development
1.2 Statement Of The Problems
In spite of the efforts of those entrepreneur in the development of the Nigeria economy, there are still a lot of problems militating against them in playing this role. Such problems as finance, inadequate government assistance, inexperience gender discrimination and inability to source fund externally.
It is based in above that this study want to look into the subject matter which is impact of women entrepreneur in the development of Nigerian economy with the view to highlighting on the success, failures and prospects of some women entrepreneurs in idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra state.
1.3 Objectives Of The Study
The research work is concerned with the issue of the impact of women entrepreneurs in the development of Nigerian economy assessing of women entrepreneurs in idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra state, success, failure, problems and prospects in the recent times, the Nigeria women have exerted much influence in the Nations economies and social life.
The purpose of this study therefore look at
a. Identifying the kind of entrepreneurial development programmes established by the Nigeria in the recent time.
b. To identify the type of problems militating against the role of women entrepreneurs in development of Nigeria economy.
c. To find out if there is enough encouragement from the government to encourage the women to participate in the entrepreneurial development activities.
d. To examine the contribution of women entrepreneurs in the nation.
e. To assess the success, failure and prospects of idemili women entrepreneurs in Anambra state.
f. Finally, to suggest measures by which problems militating against the impact of the entrepreneurs in the development of Nigeria economy.
1.4 Significance Of The Study
It is necessary to state that this study deals on the issues of the impact of women entrepreneurs in the development of Nigeria economy with a view to assessing he failure, problems and prospects of idmilli women entrepreneurs in Anambra state.
The study is therefore significant because it will reveal the benefits derived from entrepreneurial development programme instituted by Nigeria women and the advantages of these programmes to the country.
Another significant of this study is that it will help to reveal discrimination meted against women by men prevalent in the olden economic development of the nation.
This study is also significant because it will create awareness for the government and society of the contribution of women entrepreneurs to the nation and nations economic development and this will enable this country acknowledge that women are partners in progress to the male folk.
Finally, this study is significant because the researcher hopes that this will serve as stepping stone for any future researches especially those who would wish to research, more on the subject matter in the near future
1.5 Research Questions
In pursuance of this research work, the researcher saw that it is necessary to ask some research questions, these questions are based on the objectives of this study.
The following research questions guided the study.
1. What sources of fund are available for economic activities by the women of the state?
2. What are the major economic activities performed by7 urban and rural women in Nigeria?
3. To what extent do women in different cooperative societies participate in economic activities and participation promotes social development?
4. To what extent dot he development/project carried out by women through their economic activities?
5. What strategies could be proffered for the enhancement of women empowerment and participation in economic activities?
6. What are the factors that inhibit the empowerment of women in Nigeria?
7. What is the possible solution by which these problems could be mitigated?
For the purpose of achieving a reasonable degree of success in this research work, the researcher considered it’s imperative to work on the following hypothesis
Ho: Women entrepreneurs do not contribute to the economic and social development of Nigeria.
Hi: Women entrepreneurs do contribute to the economic and social development of Nigeria.
Ho: Women entrepreneurs and women development programmes do not serve as employment opportunities for the teaming unemployed citizens.
Hi: Women entrepreneurs and women development programmes serve as employment opportunities for the teaming unemployed citizens.
1.7 Scope Of The Study
The scope of this study covered Idemili women entrepreneurs in Anambra state, problems and prospects that is facing them.
1.8 Limitation Of The Study
In the course of this study, the researcher experienced some constraints; the constraints encountered by the researcher include the following
Time: A lot of time as required enabling the researcher to conduct an extensive survey of the activities of the women entrepreneur in the area selected. Within the time given for the research work ad at the same time performing other academic engagement.
Lack of finance: Another limitation to this study was finance; A study of this type requires sufficient money to enable the researcher to travel from one place to another where women entrepreneurs are located in order to assess the activities of these women entrepreneurs on the spot in order to obtain the relevant made it difficult for the researcher to extend the scope of the research to other state of he country to collect data on the impact of women entrepreneurs in development of those areas.
Other limitation to this study was the difficulty encounter by the researcher especially during the oral interview conducted by the researcher with some Idemili women entrepreneurs. Some of them were unable to supply relevant information needed especially in connection with the questionnaires given to them by the researcher.
Finally, another major constraint is visiting many institutions and libraries for each data, which also gives the researcher a lot of problems.
1.9 Definition Of Terms
Entrepreneurs: refers to person perceives business opportunities and takes advantage of scarce resources to use them. They are in other words under takers who created business with the view to make profit. An entrepreneur is an investor also either in her own business or other people’s business.
Economic: This means the administration of the material resources individual community or country the state of those resources.
Development: This means a change towards the better, it is a new stage, which is as a result of growing larger, fuller, or more natured. It is an organized and gradual unfolding from one state to another.
Impact: Refers to ones contribution life or in any event.
Women entrepreneurs: This refers to women who by their own involvement in entrepreneurship form their own ventures and takes over or mange risk investments and makes vital decision in running of such venture.
Entrepreneurship: This is a process of creating something with value devoting the necessary time and effort. Assuming accomplishing the financial psychological and social risk and receiving the satisfaction.ROLE OF COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES IN WOMEN EMPOWERMENT AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT