Factors Influencing Participation of Youth in Entrepreneurship in Kenya: a Case of Youth Entrepreneurs in Kakamega Central District, Kakamega County
In efforts to promote self-employment, since independence, the government has pursued endeavors to support small business creation. Entrepreneurship plays a crucial role in the country’s development and employment generation. The purpose of this study was to determine factors that influence youths’ participation in entrepreneurship in Kenya. The objectives of the study were to assess the influence of innovativeness and creativity; entrepreneurship training; funding; markets and marketing and formal employment opportunities, on youth entrepreneurship participation in Kenya. The study employed an exploratory research study to determine the factors Influencing Youth's participation in Entrepreneurship among urban Youths in Kenya. The study employed descriptive research design targeting the urban youths engaged in entrepreneurial activities in Kakamega County. The principal target population was 908 youths involved in entrepreneurship and aged between 18-35 years from the Kakamega Central District in Kakamega County. Information on the number of registered youths’ entrepreneurs in Kakamega Central District was obtained from the county offices. Based on this information, the study adopted Yamane (1967) to come up with a sample size of 278. Data was collected with the use of self-administered structured questionnaires and drop and pick later method was adopted. Entry and analysis of data was done using descriptive analysis with the help of SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) version 22 tool for quantitative data and findings presented using tables and percentages. The research findings revealed that; Innovativeness and creativity, entrepreneurship training, funding and formal employment opportunities influence youths’ participation in entrepreneurship. On the other hand markets and marketing do not. Further if revealed that education level and government policies, in particular strict business regulations/labour laws/ regulatory red tape, are intervening variables that influence youths’ participation in entrepreneurship. The study recommends that; Youth entrepreneurship programs in Kakamega County should focus on imparting knowledge and skills on small business management, use of computers as a business tool, how to attract business financing and general success/employability skills to encourage their participation in business. It also recommends that youth in Kakamega Central District, Kakamega County should consider establishing new businesses from innovative ideas based on the market needs and not replicate local established businesses due to lack of adequate capital to compete with them. Further; it recommends that the county of Kakamega should ease regulations/labour laws/ and regulatory red tape which hinders youth participation in business. Finally; the study recommends that the government should regulate interest rates and support youths to acquire loans to start businesses.
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