Factors influencing performance of selfhelp groups in kathiani constituency in Machakos county in Kenya
Self-Help Groups (SHGs) are increasingly becoming very important method of organizing women to take action and transform their situation. The strength of Self Help Groups is based upon the fact that the people who are facing problems are likely to be the most committed to solve them. The inability of formal credit institutions to cover rural poor is generally attributed to high cost of administering the large number of small loans. The main objective of the study was to examine the factors influencing the growth of self-help groups in Kathiani constituency in Machakos County. The study was guided by the following objectives: to determine the influence of entrepreneurial skills on the growth of self-help groups, to examine the influence of personal attributes on the growth of self-help groups, to determine the extent at which record keeping skills affect the growth of self-help groups and to analyze the influence of access to finance on the growth of self-help groups in Kathiani constituency in Machakos County. The design that was used in the research was descriptive survey. The target population of the study was 25 self-help groups in Kathiani constituency. The study used the census approach where all the members of the target population were included into the study sample. The study used primary and data collection method. The primary data was collected using questionnaires. First, the researcher went through the instruments and compared them with the set objectives and ensures that they contained all the information that answers the set questions and address the objectives. Second, experts (supervisor) were consulted to scrutinize the relevance of the questionnaire items against the set objectives of the study. The instruments were taken for piloting on a population that is similar to the target population in Machakos constituency. The data collected for the purpose of the study was adopted and coded for completeness and accuracy of information at the end of every field data collection day and before storage. The data from the completed questionnaires will be studied, re-coded and entered into the computer using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 19. This research is expected to yield both qualitative and quantitative data. The findings of the study were that; entrepreneurial skills, personal attributes, record keeping skills and access to finance significantly determined the performance of self help groups and that every unit increase in the independent variables would cause a positive change in the dependent variable with the following quantities; 1.851 (Entrepreneurial skills), 0.22 (Personal attributes), 0.555(Record keeping skills) and 1.522(Access to finance). 0.05) significantly. It was also observed that Entrepreneurial skills and Access to finance have the highest contribution to the regression equation compared to the other variables. The model fit summary shows that the coefficient of determination R square is 0.542 which implies that 54.2% of variation in the dependent variable is determined by the independent variables (predictors). It also means the goodness of fit test is fulfilled. The recommendations of the study are that; the County Government should frequently organize training forums for the self-help group leaders on management, book keeping and investment, the self-help groups should be sensitized on the available sources of finance like, the banks so as to diversify the finance sources, the banks should over loan facilities to the self-help groups at a reduced interest rate so as to encourage, them get loans the government should come up with a revolving fund for financing the self-help groups.
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