The influence of socio-cultural factors on growth of women-owned micro and small enterprises in Kitui County, Kenya
Mbiti, Florence M
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Entrepreneurship is all over the world emerging as gainful employment and a means of helping women t o improving their economic and social status while asserting themselves in the business world. This pa per examined the influence of socio - cultural factors o n growth of women owned micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in rural areas of Kitui County. Growth of micro and small enterprise means increase in sales, profit s, employees, production and service lines. The study used descriptive survey as the research des ign involving a target population of 390 women owned micro and small entrepreneurs drawn from manufacturing, agriculture, commerce and services sectors in Kitui County. Proportionate stratified sampling was used to form a sample of 194 women entrepreneurs . Simple random sampling was applied on the sample to select the respondents from each sector. Questionnaires and observation guide were used to collect data which was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results suggested that socio - cultural factors positively influenced the growth of women - owned MSEs. The study recommended for t he government continuously review laws pertaining to women’s land ownership and inheritance rights, efforts to be made to educate both women and men on their respective rights while ensuring full implementation of the new constitution to empower women and be able to change their roles. Special programmes to train, capacity build and mentor women particularly in entrepreneurship should be put in place to change women mind set to make women - owned enterprises more competitive while the government should continuously work towards providing conducive business environment.