Influence of table banking on empowerment of women: A study of savings-led schemes in Selected counties in Western Kenya
The global call for enhancement of gender equity, equality and social-solidarity-based economy are seen as an impetus to attaining sustainable development that meets the need of all. The lack of capital and weak decision-making capacities are identified as the main reason for slow pace in achieving most development milestones. The proposed research is intended for investigating the effect of table banking entrepreneurial processes as a model of community savings-led financing initiative; that offers an opportunity for access to capital and creation of a decision making structure especially to low-income earners most of whom are members of Self Help Groups involved in Table Banking practice as a component of in Internal Savings and Loan Activities. The study analyzed the effect of table-banking processes which enhance provision and utility of factors of production namely: social capital, financial capital and organizational cognition in a bid to determine their influence on development. Development in the context of this study was viewed at three levels given by: achievement of a social and solidarity-based economy, centered on individuals and satisfying their needs: and which lead to sharing of means of production and of income; and sharing of decision-making power. A survey was done from a sample of 400 table-banking groups participants (±5% precision level) randomly selected participants indulged in focus group discussions. Target population from Western Kenya was selected to participate in the study using stratified and purposive sampling. A pilot test with a retest preceded the main research to answer the research questions: what was the effect of women economic empowerment in table banking on empowerment of women? To what extent does membership power in table banking affect empowerment of women? Does organizational learning in table banking affect empowerment of women? How does networking in table banking affect empowerment of women? The research examines government policies as mediating variables beside environmental hostilities as the intervening variable. Tools employed in data collection included use of questionnaires, and document analysis techniques; and, triangulation conducted through focus group discussion. Quantitative data was organized, analyzed using simple statistical techniques including tables and graphs; and descriptive statistics was compressed into mean and standard deviations. The findings from the study were used to infer on household income rates, means of production and decision-making capacity. The results were shared with practitioners, trainers and champions for adoption of the use of alternative community–led approaches to entrepreneurial financing as a measure taken towards achieving gender equality and inclusive sustainable global development. The study established that respondents are motivated to form the groups for the need to save for their children’s school fees, and to raise business capital. In addition, the study concludes that the problems greatly faced by the group are: low interest rates, bad leadership skills, and lack of training.