Economic Empowerment of Tanzanian Women Through Ownership of Tourism Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
Keywords:Tourism, MSMEs, Women Empowerment, Tanzania
This paper examines how Tanzanian women are empowered through the ownership of tourism micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); evaluates the effects of economic empowerment on their welfare; and discusses the challenges they face when running them. Using data on 475 women in Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, the empirical method used compares selected empowerment indicators before and after the women started their businesses. To determine the significance of the difference in monthly income earned and percentage contribution to household income, we use a non-parametric test. We find that owning tourism MSMEs empowers women by increasing their monthly income and contribution to household income, decision making in the enterprise and household, and allowing them to own assets. Women face challenges in obtaining inputs and accessing credit when starting and operating tourism MSMEs, lack capital to start and expand their businesses, and business management skills. Other constraints include high interest rates and difficult loan application procedures. Providing information on government funding opportunities, incorporating training in bank financial schemes, and simplifying loan application procedures to encourage women to apply for loans are the suggested measures to increase the empowerment effects of tourism MSMEs.