The Cultural Norms which Affect Access to Loan among Women Micro and Small Entrepreneurs in Njombe Rural Area- Tanzania
Keywords:Cultural Norms, Income, Loan, Rural area, Women micro & small entrepreneurs
The purpose of this study was to explore the cultural norms which affected access to loans among women micro and small entrepreneurs in Njombe rural area. The study employed a qualitative research approach which attempts to gain insight into the specific meanings and behaviors experienced in a certain social phenomenon through the subjective experiences of the participants. The targeted population involved 154 women micro and small entrepreneurs’ practitioners from Kifanya and Ihanga villages where a sample size of 20 was obtained from it using a purposive sampling technique. An in-depth interview guide and focused group discussion were used to gather data from interviewees. The data were thematically analyzed. The study revealed that women micro and small entrepreneurs were highly affected by cultural conservatism and negative attitudes that prevailed. This limited equality to opportunities including women's access to loans due to structural barriers, household responsibilities, and gender imbalance. The study, therefore, recommended that SACCOS and VICOBA being the only microfinance institutions in Kifanya and Ihanga should take advantage to uproot the cultural norms which slow down the efforts of women entrepreneurs. However, these microfinance institutions should further struggle to educate them on the importance of the availability of their services and provide the best services which could satisfy their needs.