Critical analyses of the perceptions on SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) have become a fundamental element of multi-criteria decision making for developing wicker handicraft entrepreneurship. The study examined the effectiveness and prioritization of entrepreneur's perceptions towards SWOT categories and factors and provided insights for developing wicker handicraft entrepreneurship in Pulwama district of Kashmir. Data were collected through structured interviews and focus group discussions of 100 wicker handicraft entrepreneurs of 20 villages selected by multi-stage random sampling. Simple descriptive statistics were used for the data analysis. Results showed that the factors like income generation (19.30%) and employment generation (19.00%) were viewed as most important strengths while labour intensive and less remunerative livelihood (18.80%) and seasonal subsistence (18.70%) were identified as main weaknesses. Further, poverty alleviation (20.70%), preservation of traditional art craft (19.00%) and improvement in public-private relations (17.50%) were adjudged as strong opportunities whereas limited marketing facilities (20.70%), lack of co-operative societies (18.90%) and harassment by officials in withies collection (16.50%) were seen as chief threats. The challenges (weaknesses and threats) (50.40%) for wicker handicraft entrepreneurship outweighed the prospects (strengths and opportunities) (49.60%) while the internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) (54.80%) prevailed over the external factors (opportunities and threats) (54.20%). F statistics (p<0.05) indicated significant differences between the internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (opportunities and threats). The results projected the basis to the policymakers to prioritize and address the prominent challenges and reinforce the prospects for conceptualizing, formulating and implementing the strategies for strengthening the wicker handicraft entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship, Kashmir, Perceptions, SWOT analysis, Wicker handicraft
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