Influence of microfinance institutions in empowering motorcycle women entrepreneurs in Kerugoya town, Kirinyaga county, Kenya
The purpose of this study was to investigate on the influence of Microfinance institutions in empowering motor cycle women entrepreneurs in Kerugoya town, Kirinyaga County, Kenya. The study was guided by the following objectives; to establish the nature of financial assistance offered by MFI’s to women entrepreneurs venturing in the motorcycle business in Kerugoya town, to determine the level of capacity building offered by MFI,s in empowering motorcycle women entrepreneurs’ in Kerugoya town, to establish the assistance offered by MFI`s through corporate social responsibility programme to motorcycle women entrepreneurs in Kerugoya town and to determine the innovativeness of MFI’s towards the evolving financial needs of motorcycle women entrepreneurs in Kerugoya town. The study adopted descriptive survey method to collect information by administering questionnaires to a sample of individuals. The target population was 216 comprising of 200 women boda boda operators and 16 staff of various MFI`s at Kerugoya town, Kirinyaga county Kenya. In order to select the participants for this study, simple random sampling was used to select 61 women boda boda operators in Kerugoya town from the target population while census method was used on the key informants from the MFI`s due to their small numbers. Questionnaires and document analysis guide was used to collect the data. The data generated by questionnaires and interviews was checked, edited organized and coded by computer to reduce the mass of data obtained into a form suitable for analysis. A code sheet was used for synthesizing data which was then analyzed quantitatively and then summarized into frequencies and percentages and presented in tables and figures. Frequencies and percentages were adopted to present, discuss and interpret findings obtained. The results showed that women boda boda operators were offered loans because they are good credit risk takers and less likely to misuse the funds and at the same time reliable in repaying their loans. It was found that microfinance improved the awareness about environment, courage and self confidence and skills which generally improved their living conditions. It was also noticed that most women were not aware of trainings organized by MFIs yet the trainings were important in ensuring they gained more knowledge in managing their financial business matters. In addition, it was also realized that MFIs weren’t doing enough to address the changes in technology within the industry. Therefore the researcher concluded that MFIs played important roles in empowering women entrepreneurs. It was recommended therefore that empowering women leaders, organizing training forums and embracing technology would help take this initiative to the next level.