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Influencing Factors and Sustainability of Women Groups’ Income Generating Projects in Rumbek, South Sudan

Abstract: This article delves into a comprehensive analysis of the factors that influence the sustainability of women's income-generating projects in Rumbek, South Sudan, building upon the insights derived from the study. Anchored in the Empowerment Theory and the Theory of Change, the study adopts a descriptive research design; blending qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. The study adopted stratified and purposive sampling techniques to select a sample of 108 participants drawn from women groups’ income-generating projects, complemented by insights from 28 key informants comprising of microfinance institutions, NGOs and local government officials. From the study findings, key factors were found to be significantly affecting the sustainability of women's income-generating projects in this region. Socio-cultural factors identified include entrenched cultural norms, domestic role expectations, and limited access to education and credit. Economic aspects highlighted the role of microfinance institutions in bridging financial gaps and also emphasize the need for enhanced access to affordable financing options for women entrepreneurs. Extreme weather conditions, such as floods and droughts, as well as access to robust transportation and communication infrastructure were identified as significant variables affecting the viability of women's income-generating projects. The study accentuates the impact of political will, local laws and regulations in South Sudan on women's income-generating projects. More so, the burden of high taxes, inefficiency of government resources and services as a hurdle that diminishes the disposable income available to women for reinvesting in their businesses, thereby impeding growth and expansion. It was concluded that, geo-environmental, political, socio-cultural and economic factors significantly affected the viability of women's income-generating projects. The study recommends that, regulators should encourage the government to review and adjust laws and regulations that pose challenges for women involved in income-generating projects. It was also recommended that microfinance institutions and banks should increase access to affordable financing options for women entrepreneurs through microfinance institutions. Furthermore, it was recommended that, the local and national government should take a leading role in infrastructure development and environmental conservation in the region. Above all, political from both local and National governments in supporting women entrepreneurs is recommended.

Key words: Influencing Factors, Sustainability, Women Groups, Income Generating Projects


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