Women’s Small-Medium and Micro Enterprises as Engines for Income-Poverty Alleviation: A Renewed Approach to Tackling Urban Poverty in South Africa

Loretta Muzondi


Poverty deprives people of their rights to socio-economic well-being. Forthwith, lack of income inherently worsens the plight of the poor and further deteriorates their living standards. The resultant of income-poverty is failure to afford basic needs such as food, health and education, amongst others. Basically, women and children are the most vulnerable when it comes to the manifestation of poverty and its social ills. Income-poverty is unquestionably the greatest challenge facing developing countries. As a result of high unemployment rates in most developing countries, urban poverty remains a threat to development. However, there appears to be some hope in the continued fight against poverty as Small-Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) are taking a stand as a strategic approach to income-poverty alleviation in developing countries. On that note, in South Africa, Women’s Small-Medium and Micro Enterprises (WSMMEs) are gaining momentum as a strategy to income-poverty alleviation. The paper strongly believes that women engaged in SMMEs have the potential and capacity to contribute to economic development, job creation and ultimately income-poverty alleviation. Theoretically, this paper reveals the positive relationship between WSMMEs and income-poverty alleviation. Additionally, the paper argues that WSMMEs contribute to a greater extent on the improvement of households’ living standards. Therefore, the paper concludes that although WSMMEs face a wide array of challenges, ranging from lack of finance, lack of equipment, poor access to business training and lack of information on institutional support, amidst others, their contribution towards income-poverty alleviation can be reckoned as indispensable.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n23p632

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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