Influence of micro finance institutions services on growth of women owned small and micro enterprises in Ainabkoi sub-county, Uasin-Gishu county, Kenya
Women in the world account for the highest economic growth through the economic activities they engage in. The failure of many of these women, especially those from the rural areas, to exploit fully the credit facilities offered to them by the Micro finance institutions may influence the growth of women owned enterprises. Thus, this study sought to establish the effect of interventions provided by microfinance institutions on growth of women owned SME‟s in Ainabkoi sub-county, Uasin Gishu County. The study utilized questionnaires and interview schedules to collect primary data. The study was guide by the following objectives: to assess the extent to which accessibility to credit facilities from microfinance institution influence the growth of women owned small and micro enterprises; to examine the influence of micro savings from microfinance institutions on growth of women owned small and micro enterprises; and to establish the influence of financial and management training services from microfinance institutions on growth of women owned small and micro enterprises and to find out the influence of advisory services on growth of women owned enterprise. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. It targeted all women entrepreneurs in Ainabkoi Sub-county and the management of various micro-finance institutions in the region. A total of 260 women entrepreneurs were targeted which is the total number of women identified to have small scale business enterprises in the region operating as small enterprises. The desired sample size of 165 respondents identified using the Morgan and Krejcie Table for Determining Sample Sizes. SPSS was used to code and enter data for analysis. The study adopted both the qualitative and quantitative analysis in order to achieve the objective of the study. The study established that women needed collaterals to qualify for micro credit facilities while the application procedures were cumbersome and tiresome. The study also established that savings were voluntary among the women entrepreneurs in Anabkoi Sub County and over half of the respondents were of the view that the MFI have a requirement of monthly limit in savings. In addition the MFIs required that women entrepreneurs should have initial deposit in their accounts. The study recommended that: the design of micro savings should be changed to align to the client‟s needs such that withdrawal procedures should be made easier and the time period for consequent withdrawals be reduced; micro finance institutions should provide complementary free service for the first year to all their clients in order to allow a larger number of women entrepreneurs to access training and hence get empowered; the regulators of micro finance institutions should have a policy that will regulate the rate of interest charged, savings limits and other requirements. In summary it was noted that most 146(88.5%) of the entrepreneurs were of the view that investment advisory services are not available to because they are not affordable. Despite the fact that these services can benefit their business most of the investment advisory venues are not convenient. Moreover, the government should also partner with the MFIs and conduct civic education to reach out to the small scale entrepreneurs as well as to the potential entrepreneurs to seek the services of microfinance banks as a way of ensuring poverty alleviation in the rural areas.