1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Statistically, women constitute more than 50% of the Nigerian population and out of this; only about 35% of them are involved in business which can be under the form of micro, small, medium and large businesses (Odoemene, 2003). These businesses usually tend to have the flexibility and innovativeness that are critical business issues in feminism (Aburdene and Naisbitt. 2014, Kerka, 2008). In Nigeria, regardless of women’s physical population, educational, economic and social status, they are not well represented in the policy making process, especially in issues of business and manpower development. However, given the dynamic nature of the Nigerian environment, a number of changes have emerged, including the recognition of the potential of women and their contribution to the economy. As Mordi et al (2010) observes that traditional roles occupied by the Nigerian woman in the family are changing as a result of changes in the family configuration and setting which has allowed women to undertake more practical and functional roles within the society. Changes in the family structure and functions which resulted from the process of rapid urbanization had brought women into the mainstream of the Nigerian economy and business world. There appears to be role reversal within traditional Nigerian societies where the man is seen as the provider and protector of the family. Most women are now operating as de-facto heads of households in settings and a number of these women are involved in business and business management in order to provide income for their family/home keeping. Considering women’s multiple roles in our society (roles as mothers, wives, bread winners etc.) and the circumstances surrounding their peculiar nature which pose a constraint to their full involvement in business, there is a need to create conducive and enabling environment to encourage their participation in the economic development. Promoting women business development demands more attention to be focused upon issues that restrict women entrepreneur. Information on gender issues will help with the implementation of supportive practices and programmes for monitoring and evaluating the challenges facing women entrepreneurs in developing economies and the best way to meet their needs. More emphasis from several researchers such as Odoemene (2003) and Mansor (2005) has been placed on the effect of psychological and economic factors on their business development. It is therefore against this background of disadvantaged position of women that the paper looks at how the women potentials can be harnessed through business education on women traders. However, the advent of modern development has relegated the role of women in entrepreneurship to the background while portraying their male counterpart to lime light. Women, according to Jeminiwa (2012), are at the heart of development and economic growth as they control most of the non-monetary economy (subsistence agriculture, bearing children, domestic labour, and so on) and play an important role in the monetary economy as well (trading, wage, labour, employment among others). As Nigeria yearns for economic growth, emphasis must be laid on entrepreneurship. Some business education programs already embarked upon by the Federal Government of Nigeria include: Family Economic Advancement Program (FEAP), Peoples Bank of Nigeria, National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Small and Medium Industries Equity Investment Scheme (SMIEIS) and so on are all targeted towards promoting a vibrant entrepreneurial class that will actively articulate the economic development process. However, women are not specially targeted; but it was presumed that the extension of these services to the rural areas where women dominate in economic activities will empower them. In spite of these business education programmes aimed at developing Nigerians entrepreneurial skills, women are still vulnerable and suffer a lot of constraints and inhibitions which militate against their personal as well as national development. Rural women according to Jeminniwa (2012), are getting poorer and further marginalized both in the utilization of available resources and access to factors of production. In the 21st century women comprise a growing percentage of the students in business schools globally, but when these same women enter the workplace, their ability to advance beyond middle level management has been both disappointing and unremarkable (Reuteman, 2011). In fact, Carter and Silva (2010) found that “women continue to lag men at every single career stage, right from their first professional jobs”. This phenomenon is not confined to one country or culture. The few women who do occupy executive leadership or ‘C-level’ positions (e.g., CEO, CFO, CIO, etc.) are often members of families who own the business or who succeed their spouses in their positions of authority. The public sector (including public office as well as elected officials) is also amazingly parallel in this regard. Catalyst (2009) reports that 3% of chief executive officers and 13.5% of executive officer positions within some corporations are women. This number represents an increase from 2007 data, which showed 2.5% of chief executive officer positions in Fortune 500 firms being occupied by women (Jordan , Clark, & Waldron, 2007), up from 2% in 2003 (Weyer, 2007). This is in sharp contrast to the percentage of women who are graduates of business programs and who hold managerial positions in the firm. When this information is coupled with wage disparity, the discussion is more problematic. Although females earn 57% of master’s degrees and 42% of doctoral degrees, those with graduate degrees, on average, presently earn only slightly more than males with no college and only a high school diploma— $41,995 for women versus $40,882 for men (Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, 2007). The reason for this discrepancy between education attainment and executive accomplishment as well as wages is complex and requires careful analysis. Despite years of recognition of this issue, there persists a bias which prevents women from advancing to the top. A recent repeat study (Powell, Butterfield, & Parent, 2002) using the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) of perceived masculine versus feminine characteristics for effective management confirms the hypothesis that a good manager exhibits “masculine” traits. The study also confirms that “feminine” traits are considered to be ineffective. Asexual or “androgynous” characteristics are preferable to feminine characteristics. This perception is particularly problematic for corporate performance in that recent research of managerial styles confirms that a feminine/inclusive leadership style is actually associated with greater firm performance (Luis-Carnicer, MartinezSanchez, Perez-Perez, & Jose Vela-Jimenez, 2008).
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
As indicated by the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) , which is “to promote gender equality and empower women”. Women empowerment is a major concern in the world today. Business Education presents an opportunity for women to lift themselves out of economic hardship, this potential of business to change the direction of their lives is yet to be realized satisfactorily in Nigeria, hence the need for Business education of the market women in the context of the role of business education on women traders in Nigeria. This education should start as early as primary school and progress through all levels. This study makes a case for the business education of the women as a major tool to reduce the vulnerabilities of the women especially those from lower socio-economic levels. Through Business education they become better equipped in carrying out their roles as care-givers, making the home more stable and by extension, the society.
1.3AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine the role of business education on women traders in Nigeria. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the benefits of business education to women traders and to Nigeria as a Nation.
2. To examine the awareness of business education programmes to the women traders.
3. To examine the impact of business education on women traders in Nigeria.
4. To examine the role of business education on women traders in Nigeria.
5. To examine the relationship between business education and women traders in Nigeria.
6. To suggest ways to curb the challenges facing women traders in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the benefits of business education to women traders and to Nigeria as a Nation?
2. What is the level of awareness of business education programmes to the women traders?
3. What are the effects of business education on women traders in Nigeria?
4. What is the role of business education on women traders in Nigeria?
5. What is the relationship between business education and women traders in Nigeria?
6. What are the ways to curb the challenges facing women traders in Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no impact of business education on women traders in Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant impact of business education on women traders in Nigeria.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will have much significant on the government because despite the fact that women are integral part of a nation’s development, the disadvantaged position of women in Nigeria particularly when compared to men and the fact that they are ravaged by poverty, make case for efforts to be geared towards their empowerment. If this is achieved, it can have positive effect on the social, political, economic, and cultural development of Nigeria. In business, women tend to be more involved in establishing and leading small enterprises than in huge conglomerates. They are regarded as more successful entrepreneurs in fields such as fashion design, marketing, communication and media. They are often expected by society and their professional communities to be active in these sectors. Consequently women are making significant contributions to their families and country at large particularly in this era of economic distress. The findings of this study will equally help to alleviate the problem of women entrepreneurship and empowerment. The findings will be of benefit to women entrepreneurs, students and researchers. This is so because the report of the study will serve as a good reference document to this group of learners when conducting a research on the role of business education on women traders in Nigeria.
1.7SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the role of business education on women traders in Nigeria, case study of Jalingo main market.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Business: An organization or economic system where goods and services are exchanged for one another or for money. Every business requires some form of investment and enough customers to whom its output can be sold on a consistent basis in order to make a profit.
Education: The wealth of knowledge acquired by an individual after studying particular subject matters or experiencing life lessons that provide an understanding of something. Education requires instruction of some sort from an individual or composed literature.
Traders: An investor who seeks to profit from price fluctuations rather than a change in the intrinsic value of a security or derivative product. A trader typically holds a security for periods as short as a few minutes to several weeks.