Poverty, unemployment and inequality are crucial issues in development. This research identifies and analyses factors influencing rural employment promotion (REP) in southern Nigeria. It specifically describes and analyses the socio-economic characteristics (of rural women and men), which influence REP in the region. It also analyses the institutional, ecological and cultural variables promoting employment generation; estimates/determines crucial factors, which might influence REP; and identifies viable avenues for rapid REP. Over all, five major factors were extracted in the process of variable reduction in the analysis of data. These are the socio-economic attributes of the respondent; institutional influence on his/her activities; the ecology of the respondent's immediate environment; his/her financial and knowledge acquisition; and the physical and social capitals at his/her disposal for appropriation in the process of establishing a cottage industry for production and or service purpose(s). These are some of the key policy issues, which require the attention of national governments and international donor agencies in their bid to drive employment generation.