Challenges Facing Women In Accessing The Constituency Women Enterprise Fund In Manyatta Constituency, Embu County
In December 2013, statistics from the Manyatta Divisional Women Enterprise Fund Committee indicated that slightly over one thousand women groups in Manyatta Constituency had been registered at the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. However, out of these groups only 266 groups (26.2%) had been able to access funding from C-WEF over the same period. This was a clear indication that there could be issues that needed to be identified and addressed to enhance accessibility to the C-WEF.This study sought to explore the challenges facing women in accessing the C-WEF in this Constituency and also examine the extent to which these challenges limited the success of the fund. The study employed a descriptive survey research design which was most appropriate as the study involved fact finding and enquiries to describe the challenges. Purposive and random sampling methods were used to select the key informants and to draw a sample from the 266 registered women groups and that are beneficiaries of the Women Enterprise Fund. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire and key informant schedule. Qualitative data collected was analyzed thematically while the quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented using tables and graphics. The study findings reveal that women groups in Manyatta Constituency face numerous challenges in their endeavor to access C-WEF facilities. These challenges are mainly due to delays in loan disbursement, inadequate C-WEF officers, preference to individual loans by members, C-WEF offices being far away, lack of adequate information, heavy paperwork involved and the fear of losing property in case of default. The results indeed point to the conclusion that C-WEF is underperforming in the constituency. The study recommends enhancing information dissemination, recruiting more officers, accelerating loan processing, reviewing maximum loan ceiling and reviewing the training curriculum as some of the ways of addressing these challenges.