Factors influencing performance of projects funded by the youth enterprise development fund among youth groups in Nakuru Town West Sub County.
The Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) was established in year 2006 with the sole purpose of reducing unemployment among the youth who account for over 61% of the unemployed in the country. The target of the fund is young people within the age bracket of 18 to 35 years who number 13 million. The Fund was gazetted on 8th December 2006 and then transformed into a State Corporation on 11th May 2007. The Fund’s strategic focus is on enterprise development as a key strategy that will increase economic opportunities for, and participation by Kenyan youth in nation building. The government has so far released Ks. 3.8 billion to the Fund. In 2008 the Fund developed a 3 year strategic plan to address varied needs and aspirations of the youth, and to address the challenges it has faced in the past. The Fund is currently working on a 5 year strategic plan in line with the Medium Term Plan (MTP) of the Vision 2030. It is the Fund’s intention to evolve and be able to meet the dynamic needs of the youth. The fund is constantly reviewing its operational mechanisms from time to time in order to make it responsive to needs and expectations of the target clients. The study investigated the factors influencing performance of projects funded by the youth enterprise development fund among beneficiary youth groups in Nakuru Town West Sub-County, Nakuru County. The research was guided by the following research objectives, to examine to what extent project planning factors, project control factors and team factors influence the performance of the youth Enterprise development fund. This study therefore employed the theory of organizational effectiness and examined view of various scholars on this theory over time. The study limited itself to youth groups funded through the constituency youth enterprise scheme in Nakuru Town West sub-county, Nakuru county. The research used descriptive survey study, sample 20 beneficiary youth groups to whom a questionnaire was administered. The data collected was summarized using the statistical packages for social science (SPSS) and analysis was done using the same package to produce frequencies and calculate correlations that was used to present the findings. The results from the study indicate that the project planning factors such as work plan development, market analysis and project role identification influence the performance of project performance while the skills level of project team, setting targets and involvement in decision making are strongly related to improved project performance. the study also revealed that a lot of the funded groups did not develop work plans and those that did failed to stick to them choosing to divert the funds to other businesses. The study thus recommends the setting up of oversight structures to improve n funds management, monitoring and control and the building of capacity of the beneficiary groups