Factors influencing growth of self-help saving groups in Nyacheki Division, Nyamache District, Kisii County, Kenya
Ombati, Moses B
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The study sought to investigate the factors that influence growth of self-help saving groups and how they have affected their growth in the area under study. The study had five objectives. Firstto determine the .influence of and degree of relationship between level of education of group members and growth of self-help saving groups in Nyacheki Division, Nyamache District. Secondly, to determine to what degree members' commitment influences growth of self-help saving groups. The third objective was to assess the influence of leadership on growth of self-help groups. The fourth objective was to determine the influence of and degree of relationship between members' regular contributions and growth of the saving groups and finally to determine the influence of gender on growth of self-help saving groups.The literature review and the conceptual framework dwelt on the level of education of group members, particularly on the importance' of literacy skills and training. It also looked at commitment of members in attendance and promptness in paying loans and regular contributions which in tum boosts growth of savings. The study reviewed literature on the kind of leadership in groups and how training of leadership assists growth of selfhelp saving groups. It also looked at influence of gender in the growth of self-help groups. The objectives were examined through a descriptive and correlational study of selfhelp. saving groups in the Division of . Nyacheki in Nyamache District. Nyacheki division which is a rich agricultural zone where every household is involved in an economic activity was purposively selected. SHGs which are self-promoted were selected for an in-depth study. The fieldwork took place in July 2011. A detailed survey of the groups was conducted and members' perceptions on factors influencing growth of their groups since they joined the groups were collected using a questionnaire. For this, 43 self-help saving groups and 313 members were selected. The findings of the study show that growth of self-help saving groups is greatly influenced by these factors. Savings of the SHGs have improved and members' standards of living are also improving.' Every member randomly selected into the sample was engaged in an income-generating venture. However, the growth realised has taken a long time, an indication that it has been slow. This has led to membership not significantly increasing. In some cases, members have left the groups. Those leaving default in loan repayment and this has had negative consequences in the performance of self-help groups. The study had the following policy implications: training of group members on .capacity building, leadership and recordkeeping training and raising of minimum contributions to boost economic development of group members.