Factors influencing participation of youth in small scale businesses: a case of Kilungu District, Kenya
Mwaniki, James N.
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This study aimed at assessing factors behind low participation of youth in small scale businesses. Kenya has been faced with high unemployment rates among the youth. Few Kenyan youth complete school with the thought of setting up businesses. It comes as a last result when other avenues of getting jobs have failed. This portrays a negative societal attitude towards entrepreneurship. There is need to change the 'get a job' mentality to that encouraging entrepreneurship. Kilungu district which lies within Makueni County has experienced low rates of youth participation in small scale business enterprises. The target population was youth in small scale businesses between the ages of 18 to 40 years. The researcher selected a sample of 31 respondents using systematic and purposive sampling techniques. A questionnaire with both structured and unstructured was administered to the respondents by the researcher and his assistants. They also used direct observation of the businesses owned by the youth. The findings were presented by use of descriptive statistics that include tables, frequencies and percentages. The study investigated the causes of low participation of youth in small scale businesses and found out that few youth had been trained in business skills. There was clear evidence that the youth who had no formal schooling and those who were highly educated were less willing to participate in small scale businesses. Most of the respondents confessed to have had relatives who were in business and thus the motivation to do business was from their family background. From the study it was found out that there was wide choice of businesses for the youth. Lack of business finances was cited as the number one reason why the youth do not participate in small scale businesses. From the findings it was concluded that family background is a very strong impetus for the youth to participate in business and thus families need to encourage the youth into joining business. The government also need to focus on a syllabus which equipped the youth with skills to run businesses in their local set ups. Youth also need to be sensitized on the available sources of business finance, criteria of application and qualification.