Prospects and challenges facing women entrepreneurs involved in tourism industry in overcoming poverty: the case of Stone Town and Nungwi Village in Zanzibar

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study analyzed the prospects and challenges facing women entrepreneur in Zanzibar tourism industry located at the Stone Town and Nungwi Village. The main objective of the study were to examine whether women entrepreneurs engaged in tourism industry related activities are able to address poverty related issues both at household and community level. More specifically, the study examined four aspects, namely, types of activities preferred by women entrepreneurs, contribution to poverty reduction at household and community level, major challenges and constraints encountered and coping strategies used to address existing bottlenecks. To achieve these objectives, 60 women entrepreneurs and other 20 respondents responsible for entrepreneurship and tourism activities were involved in the study. Both qualitative and quantitative data research methods were used. Structured questionnaires, interviews and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were organized to compare and confirm the respondents’ responses. Quantitative data were analyzed by using Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS). Overall study findings revealed that, most women entrepreneurs involved in tourism industry in Zanzibar preferred crafts, decorations and mix-up different items. Furthermore, women entrepreneurs involved in tourism industry have been able to manage household expenses and save some money on monthly basis, some of them even employed assistants. Likewise, entrepreneurial activities has enabled them to overcome poverty. At the community level, the women entrepreneurs helped them to harness business opportunity to generate employment and contribute to improve the well being of their respective societies. However, women entrepreneurs were constrained by limited entrepreneurship and language skills, low capital, seasonal market, higher rents, power cuts, competition, patriarchal values, low quality of goods, poor technology, lack of cooperation among women, poor record keeping, and household monetary responsibilities. To redress the problem of inadequate language skills and poor quality products, women entrepreneurs attended some courses to improve such skills. Further, to increase working capital, women entrepreneurs obtained loans from close relatives including husband. In conclusion, the study recommends various actors to take measures that should address problems and challenges faced women entrepreneurs involved in tourism industry.
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Women in business, Women entrepreneurs, Tourist trade, Stone town, Nungwi village, Zanzibar
Haji, K.A(2012),Prospects and challenges facing women entrepreneurs involved in tourism industry in overcoming poverty: the case of Stone Town and Nungwi Village in Zanzibar , master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. available at(