Influence of micro-finance institutions on small-scale business development in kitale township in Trans-nzoia county, Kenya.
The purpose of the study was on how micro-finance institutions have influenced the entrepreneurial growth of small scale businesses in Kitale Township, Trans-Nzoia County, Kenya. This was guided by the following four objectives; To determine whether loans extended to small scale businesses influence business growth; To establish how the provision of training by microfinance institutions influences entrepreneurial growth; To establish whether financial advisory services offered by Micro-Finance Institutions influences entrepreneurial growth; To determine how business idea generation by Micro-Finance Institutions influence entrepreneurial growth. The study was of crucial importance to micro-finance institutions because it will enable institutions to assess their influence on entrepreneurship growth. The study will further enable microfinance banks head offices to compare the cost benefit of outsourcing of services like micro credit loans distribution, direct sales representatives’ services and customer care. The study employed the descriptive survey research design. The study adopted probability and stratified sampling to identify the respondents. The study deployed research questionnaires so as to extract valuable first hand data from the groups of respondents. The data collected was presented using frequency distribution tables, ratios and percentages. The research findings indicates that loan provision, training, financial advisory service and business idea generation have some influence on the growth and development of small scale businesses.Micro finance institutions services should be closely monitored and that quality entrepreneurship skills and training be advanced to small scale business on timely basis so as to spur business growth in remote regions. The findings revealed that the trainings offered were not enough to spur business growth and development. This was shown by 63% and 55% who disagreed with the statement on the questionnaire. It also revealed that the loans offered were inadequate and that the time for repayment was not enough to spur any business growth and development as shown by the responses from the respondents. 53% and 59%. Advisory services though important were inadequate and untimely and that the MFIs did not support the business people adequately to influence business growth and development. This was as shown by 67% and 71%. On business idea generation,64% and 68% disagreed to some of the statements. Hence the researcher concluded that without new ideas, there can be no business growth and development and that the loans and advisory services were in vain. The researcher therefore recommended that enough training that is relevant to the times be advanced to the business people to ensure business growth and development. The researcher also recommended that loans be enough and the repayment period be extended to ensure maximum benefits of the loans to the entrepreneurs. It was further recommended that the advisory services be timely and on a continuous basis to ensure that the business people are guided throughout the project life cycles until they reach maturity. However of grates importance was the recommendation that the business people be helped to come up with new business ideas as a way of solving societal problems through critical thinking.