Influence of financial education program on business growth among youth Groups: Case of Homabay District, Homabay County
Youth unemployment is a pervasive problem. A number of countries faced with similar challenges have developed and implemented various labour market programs and interventions aimed at redressing the youth employment problem. One of the comprehensive surveys of interventions to address youth employment is provided by Betcherman, et al. (2007) and Puerto (2007). This study sought to examine the influence of financial education on business growth among youth groups in Homa-Bay district, Homa-Bay County. The study was guided by these research objectives; to assess the influence of entrepreneurship information on business growth; to determine the extent to which financial access influences business growth; to establish the extent to which debt management influences business growth; to investigate the influence of savings on business growth and to examine the extent to which business development services influences business growth among youth groups in Homa-Bay district, Homa-Bay County. The study evaluated five hypotheses; HOI: There is no significant relationship between entrepreneurship information and and business growth among youth groups in Homa Bay district, Homa-Bay County; H02: There is no significant relationship between financial access and business growth among youth groups in Homa Bay district, Homa-Bay County; H03: There is no significant relationship between debt management and business growth among youth groups in Homa Bay district, Homa-Bay County; H04: There is no significant relationship between savings and business growth among youth groups in Homa Bay district, Homa- Bay County and Ho-: There is no significant relationship between business development services and business growth among youth groups in Homa Bay district, Horna-Bay County. The study adopted the descriptive survey design where qualitative and quantitative data was collected. The study population was 54; consisting of 54 youth members drawn from 35 youth groups sampled using stratified sampling from the 4 divisions in the district. Data was collected using questionnaires with structured and unstructured questions and analyzed using statistical package for social sciences v16 (SPSS) and Chi-Square was used to test the hypotheses. The findings of the study indicated that financial education program influenced business growth among youth groups. To up scale this venture, any financial education program needs to be boosted where possible. The study therefore advocates for harnessing stakeholders resources in order to augment efforts made by the FIKA program on business growth fully feasible in the short term. The study contributed to the body of Knowledge by linking financial education to business growth with special focus on youth groups, this would help review, propose sound ideas and inform a possible scale-up for adoption in the purview of integrating youth financial literacy education levels into the financial world. The study recommends that the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in liaison with the Ministry of Education should develop and implement a comprehensive curriculum on entrepreneurship education training which should be integrated into the school curriculum at all levels from kindergarten to university, so as to build a strong entrepreneurial culture early enough in our youth. Another comprehensive curriculum for out of school youth involved in entrepreneurship should be developed and be rolled out periodically and in known phases by stakeholders to avoid ad hoc and amorphous 1 to 2 days trainings. Further research can carried out through a comparative study to assess the difference in business performance on the youths funded by financial institutions and the youths funded by YEDF in Homa-Bay district and a study may also be undertaken to examine the influence of market opportunities/technical assistance on business performance among youths in Homa-Bay district, Homa-Bay County.