Factors influencing establishment of small and medium enterprises by women in Likuyani sub-county, Kakamega county, Kenya
The current constitution of Kenya provides a new window of opportunity to address SMEs related issues through regulatory and institutional reforms under a new, devolved governance system as well as the Micro and Small Enterprises Act 2012.Most of the women running SMEs in Likuyani Sub- County are married (63.81%) and this implies that they get support from their husband. This study investigated on the factors that influence establishment of Small and Micro enterprises owned by women in Likuyani Sub- County, Kakamega County. The study was guided by four objectives and questions derived from the objectives. They sought to establish the extent to which economic status of women, sociocultural factors, environmental factors influenced the establishment of women in Small and Micro enterprises and the relationship between the women’s level of education and performance of Small and Micro Enterprises in Likuyani Sub- County. The dependent variable of the study was the establishment of SMEs by women, while the independent variables were the economic factors, the education level, the socio-cultural and the environmental factors. Data was collected using descriptive survey. Both qualitative and quantitative data was collected. The theoretical framework that guided the study was the liberal feminist theory that is based on premise that women are facing overt discrimination from education or business experience. And social feminist theory is based on socialization process, such as; family setting, social values, norms, experience, education aspiration, and expectations. The target population was the women running the enterprise in Likuyani Sub-County with a sample size of 248 women, which was identified using the Krecjien and Morgan Table (1970). The three wards were identified using simple random sampling. The study grouped the population into strata. The study employed the use of questionnaire as the main tool of data collection. Data was analyzed using frequencies, percentages and presented on tables. Analyzed data was interpreted and conclusions drawn findings indicated, economic status of women account for 36.6% initiation, socio-cultural of women account for 34.4% of establishment of SMEs, education level account for 27.8% and thus environmental for account 31.3%. The researcher recommends further research by targeting high profile women entrepreneurs who are knowledgeable, then the government to measures on how to train women on business skills, to mobilize funds so as to upgrade the infrastructure especially roads and lastly to make sure that SMEs Development Services are gender sensitive to consider the needs and interest of women.