This article reports the findings of a survey conducted among village women in Tanzania during the summer of 1989. The survey was part of the planning phase of an action-research project for training in entrepreneurship. The aim was to identify the extent to which rural women are engaged in income-producing activities, and the significant characteristics of women entrepreneurs and their enterprises in a Tanzanian village. In addition, the survey sought to discover the type of assistance they had already received from the government, and what they needed, especially in terms of training.Studies on the informal sector or the microenterprise and small-scale business (MSE) sector in Africa abound, but none could be found for Tanzania that focused on rural areas, targeted women, included all types of enterprises run by women, as opposed to only those run by groups or with the help of certain agencies, and assessed training needs. This study, therefore, helps shed light upon the impact of economic reform measures on the most vulnerable part of the population (rural women and their children) and provides guidance for future policy changes. Time and budget constraints did not permit a survey comprehensive enough to permit national inferences. Nonetheless, the findings provide a reasonably accurate picture of the role of MSE in the life of typical village women, and present some patterns that can be tested by further research.