The impact of technical and entrepreneurship skills training on the performance of women entrepreneurs in Tanzania: a case study of food processors.

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University of Dar es Salaam
The increasing role that women are playing in Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs), and the role that the MSE sector has played in the alleviation of poverty is expanding as a result of wide-spread displacement from formal employment and difficult economic conditions in recent times. Access to relevant training has been identified as critical in contributing to the potential of the MSEs operated by women to realise their transformative role in increasing Women Entrepreneurs (WEs) economic positions. WEs working within the MSE sector typically have less education/training than their male counterparts and have less time to spend on their MSEs activities given their triple work burden. The objective of this study was to find out the impact of technological and entrepreneurship training on the performance of MSEs. It subsequently zeroed in on the impact of training on the WE, with specific reference to food processors' performance. It attempted to solicit the WE opinion on the usefulness of training and explored the intervening variables that hinder WE performance and the methods that WE employ to overcome constraints encountered. The study combined quantitative and qualitative methods of enquiry, comprising questionnaires, interviews and observations. The review of current literature with up to date views on the subject formed an integral component of the overall analysis. The multiple regression model which incorporated performance as a function of sales, profit and capital / investment was utilized in the further analysis of the data. Results indicate that training enables WEs get new technology and entrepreneurship skills, thus improving MSE performance. Some WE were able to open new businesses through training attended; without such training they co could not have entered into business. Training has a big multiplier effect, some untrained WE (who were used as a control group) learnt the trade from trained WE and are performing very well in their MSEs. Through training, some reduction in gender imbalance is achieved because WE are able to have new skills and earn more. The study findings further reveal that inaccessibility to training leads to lack of information, and access to the sources of capital/credit, and causes business failure. In conclusion, besides providing training, in order to improve MSEs performance, factors necessary to ensure MSE improve performance are proposed and recommendations are presented. The study's recommendations include; training needs analysis by the training institutions, registration and certification of products, establishment of business/information centres and a review in trade liberalization policies.
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Entrepreneurship, Business incubators, Women, Food processing machinery industry, Tanzania
Rwanshane, H. M. (2000). The impact of technical and entrepreneurship skills training on the performance of women entrepreneurs in Tanzania: a case study of food processors. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (