Factors influencing sustainability of youth group projects funded by youth enterprise development fund in Bomet county, Kenya
Unemployment is a critical issue in developing countries. Besides, the great numbers of those who depend on the few earners, majority of the young people who are unemployed are kept on the very brink of misery and starvation. Unemployment leads to poverty and provides sanctuaries for deviant patterns of social behavior among the young people, such as the rise of crime in the country. However a close look at the allocated resources the Kenya government has set aside, to set-up youth enterprise development indicates most beneficiary youths have not lived up to the government initiative. The youth projects are incapable of maintaining themselves for a long period of time. The purpose of the research study was to investigate factors influencing sustainability of youth group projects funded by Youth Enterprise Development Fund in Chepalungu Sub County, Bomet County, Kenya. The study was guided by four objectives; one of the objectives was to assess the extent to which entrepreneurial skills among the youth influence sustainability of youth group projects. The study was guided by four research questions; one of the research questions was to find out how group leadership influences sustainability of youth group projects. Theoretical framework of the study was based on two theories; David McClelland’s achievement theory of 1961 and Joseph Schumpeter’s entrepreneurship theory of 1948. Descriptive survey was used as the research design of the study. Descriptive survey design was considered suitable as it allows an in depth study by capturing both qualitative and quantitative data. The target population was 142 youth group projects funded in the last three years. The sample size was 30% of the target population, (Mugenda & Mugenda, 2003). The sampling procedure applied stratified random sampling to select respondents for the study. This is because the youth groups undertake different economic activities hence the need to segregate them into categories they are involved in. For accurate representation 30% of the target group i.e. 43 sampled youth groups were purposively picked to represent the study. Research instruments of the study were questionnaires, observation and interview schedule. The researcher conducted a pre-test of the study by administering the questionnaires in Sotik Sub County, a different area from the location of study. The sample for the pre-test was 43 respondents who are 10% of the total target population. The validity of research instruments (both construct and content validity) was addressed through input of the supervisor, and peer review before embarking on data collection. Data analysis for the study was presented by use of statistics in percentages and frequencies. The findings from the study established that entrepreneurship skills, group leadership, internal controls and level of education influence sustainability of youth group projects. Based on the findings, conclusion and recommendation to various stakeholders were suggested. These findings will be helpful to make recommendations on policy formulation and interventions on youth empowerment. Some of the recommendations include; entrepreneurship lessons be introduced in secondary school education curriculum in order to instill a sense of entrepreneurship among the students, training component should be part and parcel of all government funding to the youth, finally, a consideration on the age, gender, leadership position, level of education and duration of existence of members in groups when registering youth groups.