Coping strategies of women micro-enterpreneurs : the case of women curio sellers of the Durban beachfront.
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The dissertation examines the coping strategies of women curio sellers of the Durban Beachfront. In order to know the coping strategies employed the study looked at the problems that the curio sellers face. The understanding of the women's coping strategies by the service providers while addressing the needs of the curio sellers was also examined. The Fieldwork was conducted at the Durban Beachfront among a total of 35 women drawn through the accidental and snowball sampling techniques. Findings: Women curio sellers experience problems related to recognition of their work, capitaVcredit, shelter, accommodation, crime and laws that impede their business operations. Though these problems are quite crippling, women are not entirely helpless. They cope. The coping strategies of the curio sellers are both individual and collective. The individual coping strategies are used to deal with immediate problems and the collective strategies are used to tackle problems that women would not resolve as individuals. The collective efforts are transfonnative in that they seek to change women's position. The effectiveness of the coping strategies is demonstrated by the number of women that employ them and the gains made by using the strategies. Through collective coping strategies women have been able to get the authorities to act on the problems they face such as crime, shelter and accommodation. Coping strategies have implications for participation in endeavours to resolve the problems faced by the curio sellers. The service providers are aware of the problems faced by the women and some of the coping strategies that the traders employ. The service providers have made efforts to resolve the problems of the women but these efforts have not been fruitful. Women's coping strategies appear not to have been taken into consideration and their participation has not featured much in the planning and implementation of the programmes aimed at assisting them. For development programmes to be effective and sustainable, women's coping strategies need to be taken into account in the planning and implementation of development programmes.