Management Practices and the Performance of Women-Owned Enterprises in Nakuru County, Kenya
Wairimu, Muriungi Jane
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Studies have shown that around 60% of SMEs fail to go past the third of operation in Kenya. SMEs are important in Kenya’s economy. This is because they contribute significantly towards the GDP and employ a good number of people. This implies that SMEs are important and should be taken seriously. Many women entrepreneurs cite factors such as failure to access finances, lack of management training and cultural issues among others, as a reason for failure of their enterprises. At the same time, there are women entrepreneurs who have gone round such impediments to emerge successful. The question that emerges is what effect does management practices have on the performance of WOEs? The study’s aim was to assess the effect of management practices on the performance of WOEs in Nakuru County, Kenya. The study used the following specific objective: To determine how management skills affect the performance of WOEs in Nakuru County; To establish the influence of socio-cultural factors on performance of WOEs in Nakuru County; To assess the effect of access to finances on the performance of WOEs in Nakuru County, and; To examine the effect of ICT on performance of women owned enterprises in Nakuru County. The study may be of significance to County and Central Governments, owners and managers of WOEs and researchers. The study was underpinned by the expectancy, the balanced score card and sociological theories. The study adopted a descriptive type of research design. The study targeted WOEs that operated within Nakuru County and had been in operation for at least five years. The target population of the study was 2,400.The researcher used a sample of 96 respondents and stratified random sampling so as to ensure that all business categories were represented in the sample to be used in the study. Business categories were used as strata. Validity and reliability of research instrument were ensured by running a pilot test in Kabarnet town, County of Baringo. Semi structured questionnaires were used as research instrument. Data analysis was carried out using SPSS 22.0. This study was done in an ethical manner. The study achieved a response rate of 51.04%. The research study revealed that management skills had a positive relationship with the performance of WOEs. The findings revealed that there was a positive significant relationship between socio-cultural factors and performance of WOEs. The study found out that there was a positive relationship between access to finance and performance of WOEs. Research data indicated that there was a positive relationship between ICT and performance of WOEs. The study made some recommendations. Firstly, management of WOEs should improve on their management skills which include conceptual, technical and human skills. Secondly, managements of WOEs should understand socio-cultural factors in play in their market so as to make the most out of it. Thirdly, managements of WOEs should use sources of finance that are least expensive. Finally WOEs should adopt Information Communication Technology. For further studies, the study recommended that research be done on the performance of SMEs and other variables such as globalization and liberalization be looked at in further studies.