Factors Influencing the Performance of Female Owned Enterprises: a Case of Businesses in the Central Business District of Nairobi, Kenya
The aim of this study was to establish factors influencing business performance of female owned enterprises in Kenya. Women being the backbone of economies in developing countries and specifically in Kenya, play a significant role to ensure their families‟ wellbeing. The study sought to determine how social networks, entrepreneurial orientation, training and development and financial resources influence the performance of women owned enterprises in Kenya. The design of this research was a descriptive survey research. The population of interest was 523 registered female entrepreneurs in Central Business District (CBD). Stratified random sampling technique was used to select 221 respondents. Primary data was obtained using self-administered questionnaires that will be administered using a drop and pick later method. The quantitative data in this research was analyzed by descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages, mean scores and standard deviations using statistical package for social sciences SPSS (V. 22.0). The qualitative data took an conceptual content analysis process. Pearson correlation analysis was used to establish the relationship between the identified independent and dependent variables. The data was then be presented using frequency tables. The study established that membership in women groups is very important for success of female owned enterprises since it helps women to access market information, capital for their business, market through the group‟s membership. The study also deduced that innovation in the businesses is key for the better performance of the enterprise. Majority of the businesses competes to be first in introducing new products and services and processes. It was found that female entrepreneurs in Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) often encourage incremental improvements in products and services. The study established that female entrepreneurs in Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) lead in associating with aggressive posturing relative to the competitors, strives to be a first mover to capture the benefits of pioneering, continually scans the market to predict future trends, generates first-mover advantages and that shape market direction through anticipating change. However, female entrepreneurs have not been trained in human resource management, planning, record management and marketing. The study concludes that entrepreneurial orientation had the greatest effect on performance of female owned enterprises in Kenya followed by social network, then access to financial resources while training and development had the least effect on the performance of female owned enterprises in Kenya. The study therefore recommends that The study recommends that the government and other women empowerment bodies should encourage women to join membership in women groups. By being in membership groups‟ women should be able to access market information, capital for their business and market. The study also recommends that female entrepreneurs in Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) should be committed to identifying new opportunities. They should also aim at allocating its resources to deal with an emerging opportunity or threat. The study finally recommends training session be organized for women entrepreneurs on formal business management skills such as marketing, human resource management, record management, problem solving and planning.
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