Challenges facing Tanzanian Women Entrepreneurs while Managing Entrepreneurial Ventures: A Case of Mbeya City
The study from which this paper is based was conducted in Mbeya City, Tanzania, with the aim to investigate how women entrepreneurs sustain their ventures notwithstanding patriarchy, which is high in their communities whereby full control and inheritance of all the valuable assets like land, houses and animals are dominated by men. The overall objective was to assess the challenges that women entrepreneurs face in managing their entrepreneurial ventures. The rationalization of the study was premised on the need to generate empirical information to inform strategies to create enabling business environment which will enable more women to become instrumental in economic development in order to improve the general economy. A sample of 50 respondents was purposively selected out of the population of 120 women entrepreneurs, and copies of a questionnaire were administered to them for data collection. Moreover, one trade officer was interviewed using an interview guide. Descriptive statistics were computed in the analysis of quantitative data whereby frequencies, percentages, minimum and maximum values, and averages of some variables were computed. Content analysis was applied to qualitative data to transcribe the interview which was held with the trade officer. The findings indicated that the biggest challenges that women entrepreneurs faced when trying to manage their entrepreneurial ventures for both starting up and developing their own business activities were lack of capital and unreliable markets for their services and products. These challenges can be minimized through empowering women, for example in terms of seminars and training concerning various alternative strategies of financing their ventures apart from having own valuable assets which could be a strong base for financing their enterprises. This should go hand in hand with training. Hence, it is recommended that capacity building in terms of training should be done and increased to equip women entrepreneurs with knowledge and skills to manage entrepreneurial ventures competitively.