Factors influencing disbursement of youth enterprise development fund project in Kirinyaga south constituency, Kirinyaga county, Kenya
The Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) was instigated to ensure that a specific portion of the Government annual ordinary revenue is devoted to the constituencies for the purpose of development and growth of enterprise among youth at constituency level. Unlike other development funds that filter from the Central Government through larger and more layers of administrative organs and bureaucracies, funds under this program go directly to local levels and thus provide people at the grassroots the opportunity to make expenditure decisions that maximize their welfare consistent with the theoretical predictions of decentralization theory. However, despite the fact that YEDF could be a preferred source of funding among the youths, accessing it has remained a great challenge. The purpose of this study was to establish the factors that influence the disbursement of Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) loans by youth in Kirinyaga south constituency. The study has both policy and academic significance. The research findings are expected to assist the Government of Kenya to gauge the level of disbursement and to ascertain why the budgeted fund is not fully utilized by the intended youth. The research may help the youth in the area be aware of the challenges and how to surmount those challenges in accessing the fund and finally for Scholars who may also benefit from the findings of this study especially those interested in doing further research as far as disbursement of Youth Enterprise Development Fund. The target population was members of 98 youth groups each group having approximately 12 members. Probability sampling technique and specifically stratified random sampling was adopted. Furthermore the selection of the sample from each category was done using stratified random sampling with a sample size of 92. A descriptive survey research design was used. The study used questionnaires as the main data collection instrument in addition to Focus Group Discussions. Data analysis was done using both descriptive and inferential statistics for quantitative data by use of Statistical Package of Social Scientists Program (SPSS) and thematic analysis for qualitative data. Presentation of data was done using Frequency distribution tables and percentages. Findings indicate that majority of the youth groups in the study area were males between 24 and 29 years who had completed secondary level education .Although these youth were aware of the YEDF, they had inadequate trainings on entrepreneurship which is necessary for utilization of funds. Findings also reveal a disbursement rate of 44.8% and that awareness level was at 90.8% mostly through friends.66% of the respondents felt that entrepreneur skills were vital and both lending procedures and group dynamics play a major role in disbursement of YEDF at 94% and 83.9% respectively. The study concluded that provision of continuous and relevant business development services to youth entrepreneurs is key to the success of enterprise development initiatives in enhancing sustainability. The study recommended that there is need for the YEDF to encourage the youth to get loans from them by easing the administration process followed for them to access funds and facilitate in equipping the youth with entrepreneurial skills and business management skills to help them make informed decisions on the businesses that are viable for their groups.