Strategies Employed in Uptake of Youth Enterprise Development Fund Loans in Embakasi South Constituency, Nairobi City County, Kenya
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Although majority of the youths in Kenya know about the YEDF, they still lack essential details about the facilities on offer, especially how to access and property utilize the borrowed funds as there’s no data on loans uptake and performance of youth business enterprises. Against this backdrop, the study sought to determine the strategies employed in uptake of youth enterprise development fund loans in Embakasi South constituency. The study was underpinned by both social network theory which posits that people form group ties in order to maximize their personal interest and desires and program theory which guides the way specific programs, treatments, or interventions are implemented and expected to bring about change. The study was limited to youth groups’ officials and constituency youth officers and adopted descriptive survey research design. The researcher used purposive, cluster and random sampling techniques to get a sample of 63 respondents. The data for this study was collected using questionnaires that were administered to the youth groups’ officials and interview schedule that were administered to the constituency youth officers. A pilot study was conducted to test for clarity, ambiguity and understanding of the questionnaire items. All scales were found reliable, with Cronbach alpha coefficients above the prescribed 0.7 threshold. Questionnaires were piloted on a sample of 10 group officials from neighboring constituency that were be involved in the final study. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze quantitative data while data elicited by interview questions were analyzed qualitatively by arranging the responses thematically. Findings reveal a positive correlation between each strategy and YEDF loan uptake. The strongest correlation was obtained between awareness creation and YEDF loan uptake (r = .798) and the weaker relationship found between Project Monitoring and Evaluation and YEDF loan uptake (r = .436). Entrepreneurial training and Business Development Services are also strongly and positively correlated with YEDF loan uptake at correlation coefficient of .716 and .708 respectively. All the independent variables were found to have a statistically significant association with the dependent variable at 0.01 level of confidence. It can be concluded from the foregoing findings that entrepreneurship training has exhibited moderate to great influence on youth groups’ uptake of loans. It can also be deduced from the findings that there is considerable high awareness levels among members across a majority of the youth groups, and the same has significantly contributed to the knowledge of and uptake of loans. The study also hereby concludes that BDS have only to a minimal extent influenced YEDF loan uptake by a majority of group members. It is also concluded that a majority of youth group members have not been influenced by Project Monitoring and Evaluation to take up YEDF loans. The study further concludes that YEDF loan uptake among the youth groups reached is moderate. The study recommends that development of clear national development objectives to meet the special needs of the Youth owned enterprises is necessitated. The youth fund should offer more entrepreneurial trainings to the youth so as to empower them, the government should equally increase its efforts in supporting the youth fund. The provision of continuous and relevant business development knowledge to youth entrepreneurs is important to the success of enterprise development initiatives in creating long term employment. Business development services are needed to transform those with potential into dynamic growth oriented enterprises.