Factors influencing performance of youth enterprise development projects in Kiambaa subcounty, Kenya
This study sought to investigate factors influencing the performance of Youth Enterprise Development Fund Projects in Kiambaa Sub-county of Kiambu County in Kenya. Unemployment is the single most significant challenge facing the young people in this County today. For a developing Country like Kenya with a rapid growth rate, lack of adequate opportunities among the youth is a matter of great concern. In addition youth unemployment creates dependency syndrome, vicious cycle of poverty, social upheavals such as insecurity and risky behaviors. This coupled with economic and political malpractices, lack of dignity and self esteem among the youth has worsened over the years. In it in regard that this study sought to assess how access to credit, presence of market infrastructure, enterprise-based training and levels of formal education, influenced the performance of youth funded initiatives.The study documented best practices in the utilization of the fund, attempted to point out lessons learned as well as the strengths, general weaknesses and areas of concern with a view to strengthening the management and the subsequent utilization of the fund. The study entailed a descriptive survey design in which data was collected using questionnaires with both open-ended and close-ended questions. Data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple regressions. Results were presented in percentage frequencies and cross tabulations. To increase the reliability of the data collected, reliability of the research instrument was by Cronbach method, where a Cronbach Alpha coefficient of 0.75 was derived after examining validity of the questionnaire. Pilot testing of the questionnaire was done on 10 respondents 2 weeks prior to the main study. Validation of the data was done using content-related validity. The study results obtained indicates that there was a highly significant relationship (with t statistic p value <0.001 < 0.05) between entrepreneurial skills training and perforamnce of the youth enterprise development fund. There was no significant relationship between highest level of formal education (p = 0.485 > 0.05), business support services (p = 0.364 > 0.05), consultation with large organization (p = 0.220 > 0.05), access to adequate finances (p = 0.451 > 0.05) and performance of the YEDF projects. On this basis, the researcher recommends that future programs should inculcate training before funding for business ventures. Capacity building and other non financial services ranging from literacy classes, developmental leadership, financial management, community development and market-based business development services will greatly help the young entrepreneurs.