Challenges facing Tanzanian women entrepreneurs while managing entrepreneurial ventures

Dina M. Nziku, J. Kikula

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Starting-up and running own business has become the most common technique used by majority of Tanzanian women as they seek to gain power economically which traditionally has been suppressed by customs and culture. The study has been conducted within the united Republic of Tanzania (URT) using the sample from the southern highlands region where patrilineal system is more dominant. The aim of this study was to investigate on how women entrepreneurs sustain their ventures apart from the patriarchal system where full control and inheritance of all the valuable assets like land, house and animal being rested under men. This situation hinder women from economic freedom as they are traditionally regarded as house wives with primarily major role being in the kitchen, taking care of the husband, children and extended family members. The overall objective was on assessing challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in managing the entrepreneurial ventures.

The rationalization of the study is premised on the need to transforming the women entrepreneurs through creating and enabling conducive business environment which will influence more women to become a center of economic development in order to improve general economy. Using both quantitative and qualitative technique, a sample of 51 respondents was possessively selected out of the population of 120. Questionnaires and interviews were administered as the units of inquiry were trade officer of Mbeya City Council which in the southern highland of Tanzania, and 50 women entrepreneurs from the region hence forming sample of 51 respondents. Descriptive statistics was applied in the analysis of quantitative data where frequencies, percentages and chi-square were applied to analyze results. Content analysis was applied on qualitative data based on transcription of the interviews which were conducted for the purpose of this particular study.

The study findings indicate that, Tanzanian women entrepreneurs face many challenges while trying to manage the entrepreneurial ventures for both starting up and developing their own business activities. However, lack of capital and market has been found to be the most challenging barrier. These challenges can be minimized through empowering women capacity building in terms of seminars and training concerning various alternative strategies of financing their ventures apart from not having own valuable assets which would have been the strong base towards financing their entrepreneurial start up and development. This should be hand in hand with training them on marketing strategies. Hence the study recommends that capacity building in terms of formal and informal training remain fundamental in equipping women entrepreneurs to manage the entrepreneurial ventures competitively.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventESU PhD Programme and Conference - Lund, Sweden
Duration: 18 Aug 201423 Aug 2014


ConferenceESU PhD Programme and Conference


  • women entrepreneurs
  • challenges
  • entrepreneurial venture


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