Factors influencing performance of small and medium building construction enterprises in Embu county, Kenya
Several studies have identified the Construction Industry as one of the main engines of performance in any economy. On supply side of the industry are Small and Medium Construction Enterprises (SMCEs) which form an important sector of any construction economy. The need for efficient SMCEs is well documented and cannot be overemphasized. SMCEs are vital in their contribution to employment creation and value reorientation. There are a number of SMCEs in Kenya but much more important than their number is their current status, stage and pace of development. . The process of performance of these enterprises needs to be well understood and addressed. The objective of this study was to establish some of the factors influencing the performance of SMCEs in Embu County. The target population was 120 SMCEs registered by Ministry public works and with physical address in Embu County. The methodology used included an extensive literature review and field survey conducted on 68 SMCEs. The field survey used the questionnaire instrument and stratified random sampling. The findings from the literature are that there are binding constraints in the performance of SMCEs. The field survey confirmed the issues raised in the literature and posited the challenges to performance as lack of capital, technical skills and tendering procedures. Management skills were found not to have much influence on performance of SMCEs.The implication of the findings is that the challenges named above need to be addressed if the SMCEs in Embu County. will perform and become more competitive. The recommendations include developing training programmes for SMCEs, introduction of sector specific financing programmes and provision of appropriate regulatory framework. The findings of this study make a contribution to the search for solutions to the problems facing the performance of SMCEs in Embu County and provide insight for further research in this sector.