Influence Of Savings And Credit Cooperative Societies’ Products On Members Livelihoods: A Case Of Imarisha Sacco
Members’ livelihood is paramount factor for financial institution in ensuring its prosperity. Imarisha SACCO investment programmes are some of the major financial innovations that are in place to advance and cater for livelihoods of its members. The purpose of this study was to establish the influence of SACCCO investment programmes on Imarisha members’ livelihoods. The objectives of the study were to determine how loans influenced the livelihood of Imarisha members; to establish the extent at which shares influenced the livelihoods of Imarisha SACCO members; to establish how educational and training programmes have influenced the livelihoods of the members; and to assess how welfare funds influences Imarisha SACCO members. A descriptive survey study was used during the study. Agency theory as advanced by Jensen and Meckling (1976) was adopted. The target population was 8452 members of Imarisha SACCO Kericho branch who subscribed for different investments programmes. A sample size of 381 members were selected from target population. Data was collected using structured questionnaires having both open-ended and closeended items. Pilot testing of the data collection tool was done prior to actual data collection to validate the tool and a Cronbach alpha reliability index of 0.73 was obtained. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics in form of frequency and percentages tables with assistance of Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 20. On the other hand, qualitative data was organized into relevant thematic areas. The study revealed that majority of the members (87.2%) had an easy access to loan facilities from the SACCO. Majority of the respondents (91.6%) improved on their saving culture and more than a half (57.5%) had their sources of income increased by investing in shares. However, a considerable number of members (43.4%) were not aware of training and educational programmes offered by the Sacco. The study also found out that most of the respondents 55.6 % attributed their improvement in livelihoods to the social protection measures provided by the sacco . Imarisha sacco investments products have influenced livelihoods of its members greatly by availing shares , education and training, easy access to loans etc It xiii was recommended that the Sacco to make members to be aware of other FOSA products such as standing order services and provision of safe custody of assets and valuables of the members. Welfare fund was found to have improve the livelihoods of the members whereby it provided the members with relevant social protection measures. However the measures put in place were not comprehensive enough to adequately meet members social needs .Need assessment should be undertaken by the Sacco regarding members educational needs so that the product are tailored to meet their needs the Sacco should also enhance guidance given before loans are advanced to members especially the new members.
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