The study sought to determine the level of empowerment of rural communities through Small and Medium Enterprises ( SMEs) in Samar Island, Philippines. It described the rural community profile, to find out whether or not they influenced the emergence and growth of the SMEs in the area. It determined the status and conditions of the SMEs , the level of empowerment of rural communities with SMEs, and the degree of relatedness of economic, socio-cultural, demographic, bio-physical, and politico-legal factors, and organizational variables to the level of empowerment of rural communities with SMEs. It also identified the problems that hindered the rural communities from achieving a high level of empowerment; and pointed out the reasons for the SMEs survival and growth over the years. This descriptive survey utilized structured survey questionnaires, personal interviews and dialogues with the respondents. It was conducted in 12 municipalities in the three provinces of Samar Island, involving 256 respondents from 18 randomly selected rural communities with SMEs. The findings showed that while the socio-cultural, demographic, bio-physical and politico-legal factors influenced the emergence and growth of SMEs, the economic factors influenced them the most. The organizational variables of the SMEs such as the membership and ownership structure, leadership, policies, systems and procedures, resource mobilization, linkages and networking, communication systems, and awards and recognition were rated “good”, and found significantly related to the level of empowerment of rural communities as regards material, perceptual and relational changes.
Asterio T. Miranda, Jr., Keimyung University, South Korea
Juneth Lourdes F. Miranda, Keimyung University, South Korea
Stream: Technology and Society: Technologies
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