Women Entrepreneurship as a Cutting Edge for Rural Development in Nigeria

Adaku Bridget Chidi Ezeibe, Godson Onyebuchi Diogu, Justina Uzoamaka Eze, Getrude-Theresa Uzoamaka Chiaha, Edith Nwakaego Nwokenna


Rural development is more than ever before linked to entrepreneurship. Institutions and individual promoting rural development now see entrepreneurship as a strategic development intervention that could accelerate the rural development process. Furthermore, institutions and individuals seem to agree on the urgent need to promote rural enterprises; development agencies see rural entrepreneurship as an employment potential, politicians see it as the key strategy to prevent rural unrest; farmers see it as an instrument for improving farm earnings; and women see it as an employment possibility near their homes which provides autonomy, independence and a reduced need for social support. To all these groups, however, entrepreneurship stands as a vehicle to improve the quality of communities and to sustain a healthy economy and environment. Without entrepreneurial capabilities which are well developed or potentially available, external funds will be wasted on projects that will not provide long term economic growth. Rural entrepreneurship stimulates local entrepreneurial talent and subsequent growth of indigenous companies; it finds a unique blend of resources either inside or outside of agriculture. Therefore to accelerate economic development in rural areas, it is necessary to increase the supply of entrepreneurs, thus building up the critical mass of first generation entrepreneurs who will take risk and engage in uncertainties of new venture creation, create something from practically nothing and create values by pulling together a unique package of resources to exploit. The paper therefore deals with the following three issues: firstly, it sets out reasons why promoting entrepreneurship is a force of economic change that must take place if many rural communities are to survive, secondly, it deals with what policies are necessary in order to create an environment in rural areas conducive for entrepreneurship and thirdly, it considers developing and promoting of women entrepreneurship as a way for sustainable rural development in Nigeria.

Key words: Entrepreneurship, rural development, economic policies, entrepreneurial skills and women empowerment.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-607X ISSN (Online)2225-0565

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