Response strategies to environmental changes by savings and credit cooperative societies in Nyeri county,Kenya
Response strategies to environmental changes by Saccos in Nyeri County and in Kenya as a whole have become a phenomenal issue for the survival of the Saccos. This study has therefore been designed to establish the environmental changes occurring in this sector and consequent response strategies being adopted by the Saccos. The Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies in the Nyeri County, like other organizations, do not exist in a vacuum. Their operating environment keeps changing continuously. These Saccos have to respond to the changes in the environment accordingly in order to guarantee their continuous existence. This survey was meant to establish the response strategies to environmental changes adopted by the Saccos in the Nyeri County. The population of interest in this study was all the 53 active Saccos in Nyeri County at the end of the year 2009. The sample in this study consisted of 30 Saccos. This size was chosen because it was expected to be representative of the population since the sector is largely homogeneous. The stratified sampling method was used since the population is further divided into strata based on the types of Saccos which differ depending on the type of members and the Sacco’s activities. Responses were sought from Managers or executive committee members who have been in the firms for at least three years since these are the ones who are involved in the crafting and implementation of response strategies in their respective organizations. The data collected was analyzed by use of percentages, means and standard deviation and presented in the form of tables and charts. The major challenges that have greatly affected the growth of this sector include; employment laws, political instability, high interest rates, low economic growth rates, high population growth rate, poor age distribution, strong emphasis on safety, increase in automation and high rate of technological change. Despite these challenges, most of the Saccos in Nyeri County have remained in operation for over ten years with some of them having over 30 years of operation. The main response strategies which have enabled these Saccos to remain in business are: targeting new market segments; identification of new potential users of their services; adding product features or product refinement and developing new products for existing market. The main pricing strategy employed in response to some of these challenges when setting charges by the Saccos is setting charges based on the market. The Saccos employ a cost leadership strategy in an effort to acquire a competitive advantage.