Women in Micro- and Small-Scale Enterprise Development

Women in Micro- and Small-Scale Enterprise Development

Women in Micro- and Small-Scale Enterprise Development

Women in Micro- and Small-Scale Enterprise Development

Synopsis

"Women's participation in small- and microenterprise activities in less developed countries (LDCs) has seldom been dealt with either in analytical discussions or in empirical illustrations. This book aims to increase the visibility of such women microentrepreneurs by bringing their concerns into the arena of research as well as policy and program review. The volume brings together the viewpoints of researchers and practitioners from both donor and implementing agencies. Also, all contributors are involved in different capacities in the study of gender, informal sector employment, and microenterprise development. As a result, the book integrates a hands-on approach in tune with current Women in Development (WID) and feminist arguments that underline the relevance of women's daily experience, grassroots initiatives, and de facto interface with development assistance programs." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Experiences with conventional development strategies that emphasize large-scale interventions have revealed that such approaches may have serious limitations; in addition, the changing economic conditions -- especially since the early980s -- have further heightened the need to reexamine these strategies. Given this general context, micro -- and small-scale enterprises (MSEs) in both formal and informal economic sectors are now being proposed as a new alternative for achieving sustainable socioeconomic development. Such enterprises are often generated by women, particularly in the informal sector where women account for about haff -- and sometimes more -- of the entire sector's work force. Therefore, both in research and in development organizations, it is increasingly recognized that women's micro- and small-scale enterprises (WMSEs) can provide an opportunity to accelerate general levels of economic activity and at the same time promote a more equitable distribution of development benefits. Yet, in spite of the new sensitivity to these issues, publications dealing with WMSEs are scant: this book is among the first to specifically address the topic.

WMSE concerns constitute a virtual cross section of the main preoccupations of today's most influential approaches in international development: Women in Development (WID), bottom-up strategies, privatization and entrepreneurship, basic needs, endogenous development, appropriate technology; approaches that are all the more relevant when viewed against the backdrop of the "world economic crisis" and the prevailing structural adjustment policies. As a result, not only are WMSE concerns -- and their related policies and programs -- currently regarded as very important, but a sense of urgency seems to beset all practitioners in the field. However, this eagerness in the sphere of practice has not been matched by equal efforts in research. Yet in the field, controversies and even competing axiomatic stands are . . .

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