The effect of micro finance services on women empowerment in Kenya
Poverty reduction has become the object of unprecedented attention globally since 1990’s. In Kenya and elsewhere, micro finance institutions have been on the rise with micro credits having been portrayed as a way to reach poor people in the development process, meet the UN Millennium Development Goals, and as a new innovative strategy for alleviating poverty. Empirical indications are that the poor can benefit from micro finance from both an economic and social well-being point-of-view. Studies on micro finance services and women empowerment in Kenya remain scanty with global empirical evidence providing contradicting information. The study sought to find out the effect of micro finance services on women empowerment in Kenya. A survey design was used for this study which is best used in studies that are set to determine the status quo of given situation. The target population comprised of women who had been awarded loans from the MFIs in Kenya in the past one year. Data collections tools that were used in this study were questionnaires, which were semi-structured and enabled the researcher to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. The researcher developed the questionnaire based on the objectives of the study. The sample size in this study was 100 women chosen at random, 50 women who are clients of KWFT in Nairobi, whilst the remainder 50 women will be chosen from the same micro finance institution in Nyahururu town to represent the rural women. The study found that micro finance services have positive and significant effect on women empowerment in Kenya. The study established that micro finance services provided financial access which provided women with start-up and working capital, training, savings leading to women engagement in income generating activities and hence positive outcome on empowerment and women role in society and decision making.