Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 238

Full Length Research Paper

Exploring women’s resilience in doing business during the covid-19 pandemic - A phenomenological study

Patrick Gatsinzi
  • Patrick Gatsinzi
  • Department of Quality Assurance, East African University, Rwanda.
  • Google Scholar
Livingstone Byandaga
  • Livingstone Byandaga
  • Alliance of Bioversity International-CIAT, Rwanda.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 08 July 2021
  •  Accepted: 13 December 2021
  •  Published: 30 June 2024


The Covid-19 pandemic has led world governments to take measures in stopping its spread and minimize its victims. This has affected businesses of all categories, including that of women (micro business) of selling fruits and vegetables in Rwanda’s Kimironko markets. This study investigated how these women did business before, during, and after the lock down, the challenges they faced, the reasons for resilience, and what can be done to overcome challenges. In-depth interviews were used to collect data from 15 selected participants. Using thematic analysis, findings indicated how business was done; main challenges included capital, rent, weary journeys, access to financial credits, working in shifts, rotting products, and business skills. Reasons for resilience included doing business as last resort for family sustenance and passion for business. The study concluded that women at Kimironko markets are resilient in doing business despite challenges. The study is of great significance as it brings new insights of doing business amid a pandemic. Policy measures to enhance productive capacities of post COVID-19 Crisis have been recommended. These include: facilitating people doing business with monitored and coordinated cheaper transport access during a pandemic outbreak. Secondly, economic recovery fund be designed in a way that it becomes accessible to all business categories; Micro finance credit institutions devise ways of facilitating women micro businesses to continue performing through long-term loans, and measures be taken to provide trainings on doing businesses at the micro level. This would facilitate women to acquire business skills so that they don’t incur losses.


Key words: women’s resilience, doing business, Covid-19.