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Handicraft small enterprises as a tool for employment, poverty eradication and rural economic growth
The economic opportunities in the handicraft sector of South African have not been fully exploited for poverty reduction, employment creation and source of livelihood for ordinary South Africans who lives especially in the rural areas. The study seeks to identify and quantify socioeconomic factors that affect viability in the handicraft industry of Midland KwaZulu-Natal. The key objective of the study was to assess the economic potential of handicrafts produced by entrepreneurs conducting business in the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal. The study was conducted by collecting data from a stratified random sample of size 196 practitioners of handicraft enterprises. Data was gathered by use of a structured questionnaire. The main question this research seeks to answer is; how large is the economic potential of handicrafts produced by entrepreneurs conducting business in the Midland of KwaZulu-Natal? A quantitative method of data collection and analysis was used for conducting the study. As part of the quantitative aspect of the study, data analysis was performed by using frequency tables. The study found that 112 of the 196 handicraft enterprises in the study (57.14%) were viable, whereas the remaining 84 enterprises (42.86%) were not viable. Results obtained showed that although handicraft enterprises had the potential for growth and development, but not enough support was provided to them by the South African Government, the private sector and non-governmental organisations.