Potholes and pitfalls: The impact of rural transport on female entrepreneurs in Nigeria
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The role of transport in stimulating economic development in developing countries is well documented. However the specific impact of rural transport policy and provision on female entrepreneurs is less well known. Drawing upon the experiences of a group of growth-focused female entrepreneurs receiving support from a national programme, this research explores how they use transport for their business activities, transport barriers that they are subject to and ways in which these barriers are being surmounted. To this end it uses the findings from telephone surveys, supported by in-depth interviews to generate data about their business and transport behaviours. It identifies that many of the women feel that the current transport situation is having a negative impact on the success of their businesses, and has affected their ability to recruit employees, service customers and deliver goods. Whilst the women had a very poor understanding of transport policy, many of them felt that the main issue is the poor quality of the roads. In the short term initiatives to support the specific needs of women would be highly valuable in helping these entrepreneurs to successfully grow their businesses. In the long term a significant amount of investment is required to improve rural transport to meet the needs of female entrepreneurs.
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