n Mousaion - The role of the public library in economic empowerment and poverty alleviation among informal sector women entrepreneurs - a preliminary study in the Umhlatuze municipality

Volume 26, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



The informal sector women entrepreneur is a major contributor to the income of a household, and also contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. To establish and sustain profitable businesses this group needs access to business information. Given the low educational levels that characterise the informal sector women entrepreneurs, information provided to them needs to be repackaged to levels appropriate to their understanding. The primary objectives of the study was to determine whether an institution like the public library plays any meaningful role in information provision to informal sector women entrepreneurs, and also to establish the demographic profile of this largely marginalised group. The major findings revealed that access to information is a real problem, and that information sources and channels currently used - such as friends or relatives - are not providing the needed information. They are also completely unaware of the library as an information provider. The libraries themselves seem to be unprepared to service this group of potential clients, preferring them to come to the library to seek information, rather than reaching out to them in their workplaces.

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