Influence of Micro finance Institutions on Start-ups of Women Entrepreneurship Projects: a Case of Smep Microfinance in Lurambi Sub-county, Kakamega County
The establishment of microfinance organizations institutions has gone a long way in assisting women form start-up entrepreneurship projects. This study aimed to investigate their influence on start-ups of women entrepreneurship projects by; determining how training offered by microfinance institutions influence start-ups of women entrepreneurship projects; determining how credit facilities offered by microfinance institutions influence start-ups of women entrepreneurship projects; establishing how banking facilities offered by microfinance institutions influence start-ups of women entrepreneurship projects and establishing how interest rates charged on loans by microfinance institutions influence start-ups of women entrepreneurship projects. The study was guided by microfinance theory of change and financial sustainability paradigm emphasized by Mayoux (2005). A case study research study was adopted whereby staffs of SMEP microfinance were targeted to provide contacts and location of their women clients, 380 women entrepreneurs with start-up projects and who were members of SMEP microfinance institution in Lurambi sub-county in Kakamega County. The desired sample size was determined by use of Morgan and Krejcie Table for Determining Sample Sizes. A population of 380 yielded a sample of 191 women with start-ups projects in Lurambi Sub-County. Random sampling was employed to pick the sample from among the 191 women to be interviewed. Pilot testing was carried out on nineteen members of SMEP in Shinyalu sub-county before commencement of the study whereby errors on the instrument were corrected. An introductory letter was obtained from the University of Nairobi before commencement of data collection while the researcher observed all ethical practices during data collection. A research permit was obtained from NACOSTI. Data analysis was done using Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS ver. 20.0). Descriptive statistic was computed and data presented using frequency tables. The data was further cross tabulated to analyse relationship between independent and dependent variables in each objectives. Also, Chi-Square test was conducted to test significance of association between these variables. In the first objective, the findings showed that 75.4 % women with start-up projects received training from SMEP microfinance. This training had a positive influence on the start-ups of women projects in Lurambi Sub-County as they could better handle their customers. Also they could analyses performance of their businesses. In the second objective, the study showed that 70 % of women with start-up projects were able to source for business opportunities due to credit availability. Credit availability had a positive influence on women start-ups projects as they were able to diversify their stock. In the third objective, the studies showed that 72% of women with start-up projects were saving with the microfinance. Saving had a positive influence on their start-ups projects as it could be used as collateral. Also, mobile banking was accepted by the microfinance. In the fourth objective, the study showed that 85.5% of women with start-up projects in Lurambi Sub-County strongly disagreed that interest rates were affordable. Interest rates had a negative influence on the start-ups as it was expensive, not negotiable and did not motivate them take bigger loans. The study concludes that to a large extent micro finance institutions influence positively start-ups projects of women entrepreneurship projects. Training should be extended to those not trained so that they benefit fully from the micro finance institution, more emphasis should be put on mobile banking as the world economies are headed for cashless transactions. The government should legislate on control of interest rates and taxes to protect entrepreneurs seeking finances to venture into projects.
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