Perceived Factors Affecting The Growth Of Women Owned Small And Medium Enterprises (Smes) In Events Management Sector In Nairobi County, Kenya
Small and Medium Enterprises form the foundations of growth for numerous economies particularly African nations. They represent a large number of businesses generating employment and wealth. Women entrepreneurs are increasingly recognized as playing a vital role in the unprecedented SMEs growth rate and indirectly to the economy of a country. The Kenyan SME sector is equipped with the potential and the historic task of shifting millions of people from the survivalist level including the informal economy to the mainstream economy. The study is anchored on the Schumpeter and Kirzner‟s theories of economic development and the Networking Theory. The objective of the study was to identify the perceived factors affecting the growth of women owned small and medium enterprises within the events management sector in Nairobi. While the sector has immense potential to generate remarkable levels of income, contribute substantially to the national economy and exhibit progressive sector growth, the situation on the ground has not met these expectations. Despite the great potential and positive impact events have on a country's economy, the sector experiences challenges like all other sectors Dwyer et al., (2007). Low business growth and numerous other challenges are evident in the sector. The study used primary data that was collected directly from the targeted population using questionnaires. Further, descriptive research design was utilized to assess the quantitative data and the results displayed in tables. Descriptive research design was best suited for this study for its ability to provide information on the characteristics of a given population or phenomenon. The study established that majority of women owned businesses are faced with numerous challenges which include networking, access to finances, access to markets, competition, shortage of skilled and adequate human capital among others which hinder the expected growth of their businesses. The study recommends; use of computer and web-based business networking to build more business contacts; alternative sources of income such as merry-go-rounds and “chamas”; enrollment into more business programs to educate themselves in different management and entrepreneurial competences for effective decision making and improved leadership skills; implementation into employee education programs to boost skills.
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