African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6576

Full Length Research Paper

Assessment of the performance of informal women entrepreneurs in Enugu State, south east Nigeria

Patience Ifenyinwa Opata
  • Patience Ifenyinwa Opata
  • Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.
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Rosemary Nnedinso Arua
  • Rosemary Nnedinso Arua
  • Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.
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  •  Received: 28 January 2016
  •  Accepted: 11 November 2016
  •  Published: 16 March 2017

Abstract

A simple theoretical model of informal women co-operatives micro credit societies’ participation in providing access to credit to informal women entrepreneurs was used to explain their coping strategies under liquidity constraints. A total of 432 questionnaires were administered to informal women entrepreneurs from September 2013 to January, 2014 for primary data collection in Enugu State, south east Nigeria. Also, a total of 60 questionnaires were administered to the managers of informal women co-operatives micro credit societies during the same period for primary data collection.  Data were analyzed with descriptive and simple linear regression model. The results portrayed the informal women entrepreneurs in the light of economic operators who depended on agriculture and allied activities for their sustenance. Their operations were characterized by poor resource situations resulting from lack of access to credit, which obviously necessitated the need for involvement in organizing informal-women-co-operative micro-credit society. Their organizational structure and operational procedure allowed for optimization of efficient management and use of funds. The respondents were mostly credit worthy, thus debunking the belief that the poor misuse credit. There was a high level of awareness among the creditors concerning the performance, creditability, promptness and reliability of the women’s cooperatives. The informal women’s cooperatives are still highly dependent on the NG/Os for their operations and all the credits disbursed are from NGOs. Quantitative analysis showed that: Credit repaid was statistically significant and positively related to the amount of credit disbursed. The regression analysis showed that repayment was related to savings generated by the informal women’s groups. Total loan repaid was found to be statistically significant with positive coefficient of (0.8) and R² value of 0.79. Thus the informal women’s co-operatives have increased the volumes of savings of their clients as well as the volume of credit available to their clients. Thus government should provide incentives to informal-women-entrepreneurs by linking formal micro-finance institution with organized informal women’s micro credit societies for sustainable rural micro-finance programmes in Nigeria.

Key words: Informal-women-entrepreneurs, micro-finance, co-operatives, Nigeria.