CHAPTER THREE â€“ OVERVIEW OF WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN MAURITIUS AND THEIR ADOPTION OF E-marketing . 3.1The rise of women entrepreneurs in Mauritius The Centre for Applied Research Social (2001) conducted a study in year 2000 to investigate the attitudes of the unemployed towards accepting employment and found that about 73 percent of the registered unemployed were women who had most of them were above 30 and did not have a strong educational background which would make it difficult for them to adopt E-marketing . The majority stated that they left their jobs, especially in the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) sector because they did not have job security and had to work overtime and hence could not allocate enough time to take care of their families. It should be noted that most of these women did not have experience in E-marketing practices.
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It seemed very unlikely that they would be able to take on other jobs as around 61 percent of them remained unemployed for over two years. The Mauritian economy was undergoing a re-engineering process at that time and the profile of women employees described above painted a grim picture about re-employment for the Mauritian women, especially with their lack of knowledge pertaining to ICT which had gained growing importance in the island. Moreover, their educational profiles of the latter made it next to impossible to transfer them to high-skilled sectors which required ICT knowledge. Bearing in mind the situation that prevailed, the GOM decided that promoting women entrepreneurship would benefit both these women and the economy. It would help to improve women’s economic and social status and also eliminate the glass ceiling. The GOM also encouraged women entrepreneurship on the assumption that women entrepreneurs were more likely to recruit women in the businesses which would decrease the women unemployment rate in Mauritius which was confirmed by the findings of a survey carried out by the Ministry of Women’s Rights, Child Development and Family Welfare in 1997. 3.2SMEs in Mauritius Since most Mauritian WEs firms’ fall under the category of SMEs, an overview of SMEs is provided in this section. In Mauritius, the new legislation provides new definitions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on the basis of turnover:
50 employees; and
As per the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) Act, the SMEs definition includes enterprises in all economic sectors. In order to avoid detailed sector-specific criteria, turnover criteria is used across sectors i.e.
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