Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 229

Article in Press

EXPLORING WOMEN’S RESILIENCE IN DOING BUSINESS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC - A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY

Patrick Gatsinzi and Livingstone Byandaga

  •  Received: 08 July 2021
  •  Accepted: 13 December 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic has led governments, including the Rwandan one, to take measures to stop its spread and minimize its victims. It is in this regard that women doing the micro business of selling fruits and vegetables at Kimironko markets were affected. This study investigates how these women did business before, during, and after the lock down, the challenges they faced, the reasons for resilience, and what can be done to overcome challenges. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were used to collect data from 15 selected participants from Kimironko market. Using thematic analysis, findings indicated how business was done, challenges included lack of capital, high rent, weary journeys, access to financial credits, working in shifts, rotting products, lack of business skills. Reasons for resilience included doing business as last resort for family sustenance and passion for business. The study concluded that women at Kimironko markets are resilient in doing business despite challenges including the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The study is of great significance as it brings new insights and understanding of doing business amid a pandemic. Policy measures to enhance productive capacities of post COVID-19 Crisis have been recommended. These include: facilitating people doing business with monitored and coordinated cheaper transport access during a pandemic outbreak. Secondly, economic recovery fund should be designed in a way that it becomes accessible to all business categories. Thirdly, Micro finance credit institutions should devise ways of facilitating micro businesses especially those of women to continue performing through long-term loans so that businesses don’t halt. Finally, measures should also be taken to provide trainings on doing businesses especially women at the micro business level. This would facilitate women since they are less educated to acquire more business skills so that they don’t just spend without out calculating costs and losses

Keywords: Women’s resilience, doing business, Covid-19.