Influence of credit requirements on accessing constituency women entreprise fund among women self-help groups in Thika West District
The purpose of this study was to research on the influence of credit requirements on accessing constituency women enterprise fund among women self-help groups. The study was necessitated by the fact that despite the government effort to realize the 3rd millennium development goal of ensuring gender equality and women empowerment through women enterprise development fund programme as one of the flagship project under the social pillar of Vision 2030, women still remain stuck at micro-enterprise level because of the hurdles they face in accessing credit either through the government agencies or the financial lenders. The research objectives of the study highlighted are; generating viable business idea; the process vetting of loan applicants; the business experience of beneficiary groups and the cost of funds. The study is significant in that it addresses the hurdles that self-help women groups' face in accessing the women enterprise funds such as it provides the right intervention to improve utilization of the funds. The research methodology that this study employed was qualitative approach and in particular descriptive survey. The study adopted probability sampling and specifically random sampling in order to sample the target population. The study employed the administered questionnaires as data collection instruments where piloting was done to test reliability of the research instruments. The key findings of this study were that motivations of women in their informal groups are often tied to necessity and lack of other employment opportunities which drive them to initiate groups' project activities. Secondly, women groups rated the process of accessing fund as one the greatest hurdle because of the many stringent conditions to borrow. Thirdly, women in the informal sector reported that lack of skills and training in handling finances and also generating viable but sustainable business idea was also an obstacle to them. Last but not the least, where fund was accessible the cost of credit was found to be very expensive for most women groups which made the enterprises almost uneconomical to operate the financed projects.