Influence of youth enterprise development fund on the growth of youth group projects in Kenya; A case of Gatundu North district
The purpose of this study was to find out the influence of youth enterprise development fund on the growth of youth groups projects in Kenya but more specifically in Gatundu North District. The government of Kenya through the Ministry of Youth affairs and sports has tried to economically empower the youths through various projects like the youth empowerment marshal plan, the national youth policy and the establishment of Youth Enterprise Development Fund in 2006. However these efforts do not seem to bear much fruits in as far as youth empowerment is concerned. This necessitated carrying out this study with four objectives in mind i.e. to establish the extent to which entrepreneurship training through YEDF influence growth of youth group projects, to determine the extent to which accessibility of YEDF funds influence youth group projects; to examine the extent to which sufficiency of YEDF funds influence youth group projects and to establish how repayment of YEDF funds influence youth group projects. The study employed descriptive survey design for the purpose of describing the state of affairs as they were. The study involved a sample of 132 youths drawn from a population of 200 youths who were members of 20 youth groups each having an average of 10 members. Data was collected from respondent using questionnaire. The study instruments were validated prior to actual data collection by close consultation with research experts and peer students. 10 youths who were members of 5 youths groups from a neighboring Gatundu south district were used for the pilot testing. The scores obtained from the pilot respondents were correlated to determine the instruments reliability. Obtained raw data were systematically organized, coded, analyzed through descriptive statistics and finally presented using percentages and frequency distribution tables. The research findings of this study showed that entrepreneurship training by YEDF, sufficiency of YEDF funds, accessibility of YEDF funds and the repayment of the funds all had positive influence on the growth of youth group projects. The study recommends that the Government through YEDF should enhance and invest more on entrepreneurship training to the youths before any loans are given to them either in groups or as individuals. This was so since from the findings 80% the 123 sampled youths who reported having not been trained on entrepreneurship reported problems in repayment of their loans which could be attributed to poor business performance due to lack of management skills. The Government through YEDF should come up with a legal mechanism on how to ensure loans extended to youths are paid back on time since from the study repayment of funds faced challenges emanating from lack of legal mechanism on how to recover the funds disbursed to youth groups.