Factors influencing the performance of youth owned micro and small enterprises: A case Of Kiambu Town, Kiambu County Kenya
Youth Owned Micro and Small Enterprises are faced with several challenges in their operations. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors influencing the performance of youth owned micro and small enterprises. The objectives of the study included: establishing the influence of socio-cultural factors on the performance of youth owned enterprises; determining the influence of education , training and skills on the performance of the enterprises; examining how access to finance and credit facilities influences performance of youth enterprises; investigating how competition determines performance of the youth owned enterprises; and establish how access to market influences the performance of the youth enterprises. To achieve this, the study adopted descriptive research design where the respondents were requested to describe the circumstances facing their business operations. The target population of the study was 1182 enterprises within Kiambu Town that were owned by youths. The study selected 10% of the population which gave a sample size of 122 respondents. A semi structured questionnaire was used in data collection. The completed questionnaires were coded, entered into SPSS and presented using frequency tables and percentages. The study concludes that socio-cultural factors affect the performance of youth owned enterprises. The culture of the entrepreneurs had a large effect on thinking of the youth and the kind of businesses they engage in. Youth perception on entrepreneurship depended particularly upon their personal environment. The study also established that education training and skills affected the performance of the enterprises. Access to finance and credit facilities influenced performance youth enterprises to a great extent. Competition determines the performance of the youth owned enterprises because of its effects on the ability of the businesses to cover their operational costs. Further access to market influences the performance of the youth enterprises due to the fact that many a times the youth have limited or no access to timely, simplified, production technology and government regulations they are unable to perform and survive in the fast changing, increasingly globalized and highly competitive environment. This study therefore recommends that the entrepreneurs continue observing the socio-cultural dynamics for example land inheritance issues in forecasting their business performance. This study recommends that the youth entrepreneurs be trained on business management skills including entrepreneurship and the general reputation, acceptance and credibility of entrepreneurs in society would help to overcome these challenge. The study further recommends that Microfinance institutions continuously engage the youth entrepreneurs in providing finance and entrepreneurial knowledge to the poor in the society as this would lead to creation of jobs and reduced poverty levels in a country. The study also recommends that the Government provides more space for entrepreneurs to work from. The study finally recommends that more cheaper and efficient marketing strategies be advocated among youth entrepreneurs to improve their reach to their customers.