Factors influencing participation of medium, small and micro enterprises in business plan competitions: a survey of Jitihada and Chora bizna projects
The Government of Kenya has over the recent five years been running Business Plan Competitions. These initiatives have been aimed at identifying growth oriented and innovative business ideas that can be nurtured into viable and sustainable enterprises. The initiatives dubbed litihada and Chora Bizna have been marked by poor participation by the targeted MSMEs. Since participation is key to success of such interventions, the researcher was prompted to investigate the factors influencing the participation of MSMEs in these initiatives in Nyeri Municipality. This study is based on Vrooms (1964) expectancy theory that states that work effort by individuals is dependent on the outcomes that they expected. It is also based on Leon Feistinger's theory of cognitive dissonance that suggested that attitudes shape people's behavior, action and judgment. This is a descriptive study. A sample of 92 MSMEs representing 30010 of the population was selected through stratified random sampling procedure. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected using questionnaires consisting of both open and close ended questions. Data was analyzed by SPSS package using mean, standard deviation, frequency distribution and correlation techniques so as to draw out the strength of relationship between variables. All the statistical analysis was carried out at the 0.5 level of significance. One of the major fmdings of this study was that participation in the recent Business Plan Competition was very low which hindered the intended deliverables. The attitude of entrepreneurs and their competence were found out to be most influential on the level of participation. This study therefore recommended that the project managers of these initiatives should invest in training and change of attitude.