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1.1 Background to the Study
The need to meet the basic necessities of life is an essential aspect of everyday activity in a human life. The natural expectation of most societies is that the man is the bread winner of the family and should therefore provide all the requirements of the home. This however is not often the case, not just in the modern context but even in the cultural or traditional homes in most part of the world.
While the man works tirelessly to meet up with these obligations most often their female partners participate equally in activities that would help the family meet up with its needs, either in the traditional farm settings or fishing communities, or in the more sophisticated societies of today. The woman continues to play a vital role in the family in other to make ends meet. The average woman in the barracks therefore is not an exception to this fact.
The women in the barracks are married to men whom by choice have decided on the noble call to serve their country and humanity at large. Similarly the women married to them are by extension committed to supporting them in this course. They have chosen to accept all the pain and glory of their choice and dedicated to support them just like any average family anywhere else.
The military profession being a calling is not a highly paid job anywhere in the world, but men in this profession often enjoy certain privileges, which, in a developing country like still lives much to be desired. It is therefore not surprising that the women in the Nigerian Barracks would not be idle but strive to assist their men in providing for the family.
The average barracks in Nigeria is a mini town on its own with a population that has its own peculiar needs. These needs are often accessed within the barracks in a mini market referred to as mammy market. This is one of the places the average barrack woman runs her small business to provide goods and services for financial rewards to support her family’s needs. The business is usually comprised of goods and services which are required by the immediate community on a small scale, and for which she, more often than not, does not require a large capital to set up.
The businesses engaged in by women in the Barracks range from simple trading in provisions, cosmetics and foodstuff to patent medicine stores, hair dressing salons, tailoring shops, food canteens and beer parlours, rentals of chairs and tables etc. There are also women who engage in seasonal trading of mostly consumables like roasting and cooking corn, groundnuts, mangoes, firewood etc. To the average woman in the barrack, most trading activities that will generate income to augment her husbands’ is welcome.
However, despite the profound impact micro businesses have on the lives of women in the barracks, it is believed that they have not being able to maximise their potential in these ventures due to their inability to adequately access both local and national schemes that would enable them to do so. Consequently, the study would try to proffer solution.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem which arises from inadequate finances available to women in micro businesses within the barracks has hindered their growth in that area, and it is believed that such unavailability is as a result of lack of awareness on the subject, and also the proper medium within which they can access such funds.
Therefore this research will examine the unavailability and lack of awareness of financing options and its resultant effect on the barrack women engaging in micro businesses.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
Micro businesses have long being viewed by the barrack community as an important medium to enhance the financial growth and development of most families, considering the low income earnings of the personnel and the large families they need to cater for. In most instances, the spouses of personnel also have limited formal education, which automatically precludes them from engaging in white collar jobs thereby making micro business the only option they have to augment their income.
Therefore the study aims at finding out the impact of the micro businesses in enhancing the socio economic life and development of women within military barracks in Nigeria through interactions with the women.
1.4 Scope of the Study
The study discusses the impact of micro businesses on women’s lives in most of the military barracks. A comprehensive analysis of achieving this involves interaction with various women engaged in such businesses, study of their businesses and the challenges they face while carrying out such businesses.
The case study which also stands as a sample study is the NDA Barracks in Kaduna.
1.5 Justification of the Study
For the economic activities and their effect on the lives of barrack women to be successful, policies set up to assist them must be fully available and easily accessible by them. Therefore this study will be fully accomplished when it has been well appreciated by those vested with the functions of rendering assistance to micro businesses, researchers, students and other members of the public as well as many others who will come across this project and give a thorough digestion of its facts.
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