Challenges facing Kenyan handicraft traders in accessing the global market a case study of shop owners at Kariokor market
Handicrafts are unique expressions of a particular culture or community through local craftsmanship and materials. With increased globalization, however, products are becoming more and more commoditized and artisans find their products competing with goods from all over the world. In Kenya the production of handicraf ts makes significant contribution to the national economy. Many types of Kenyan handicrafts are known around the world, but of all these crafts, basketry, wood and stone carving may be the most famous. A survey was carried on the challenges facing Kariokor market handicraft traders in accessing global market and measures adopted by the handicraft traders of Kariokor market to counter these challenges. Data was collect e d from 125 respondents, who constituted of owners of handicraft shops in Kariokor market, two stratum of male and female was made and 50% of the stratum participants were picked randomly. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The study finding suggested that handicraft trader face numerous challenges when accessing the global market. T he ratings of the challenges on market entry measures, networking and collaboration within the industry were rated highest. The results further suggested that these challenges were predominately affecting other SMEs in accessing the global market. Unprote cted intellectual properties, copyright systems, patent right and trademark , global networking connection, exchange of information and lack of collaboration with the handicraft industry was ranked high that they greatly impact ed on competitive of the hand icraft products in the global market. These challenges appear to have had the greatest impact on access to global market. The research findi n g s further established that global market entry strategies are measures to be adopted in countering the challenges of accessing the global market. From the results of this study, it can be concluded that challenges in accessing the global market has impacted on the market entry strategy to be adopted by Kenyan handicraft traders . The study recommends that the role of government in promoting the sector in - terms of right policies and enabling environment should be relooked. The traders are also urged to utilize networking systems and collaborate within the sector players to facilitate in inclusive bargaining power, prod uction on economies of scale t o meet big orders and access to information on global markets.