Influence of Access to Microfinance Loans on Poverty Reduction in Kuria West Constituency.
Kipngeno, Josphat Rono
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The purpose of this research project was to evaluate the influence of access of microfinance loans on poverty reduction towards growth and improvement of people’s living standards through services offered by Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Kuria west constituency. Microfinance as a tool for poverty alleviation has insufficiently penetrated the poorest strata of the society; the international poverty center reported that even in relatively successful countries such as Ghana and Tanzania, only about six percent of the population had access to microfinance services. Specifically, the objectives of the study were to investigate the influence of access to business loans, asset finance loans, home improvement loans and school fees loans on poverty reduction. Descriptive research design was adopted and the study targeted a target population of one hundred and sixty-two clients at Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT) who were principle informers identified through a stratified random sampling. Questionnaires and interview guides were used to collect primary data whereas the secondary data was collected by use of the library, internet and books. To ensure validity the researcher used a panel of experts who reviewed the test specifications and selection of items and commented that the items covered a representative sample of the behavior domain. To ensure reliability the researcher used the test-retest technique where he administered the same instruments to the same respondents after some time and compared and correlated the results with initial test to measure stability with the outcome showing the same results comparatively. The data collected from the study was mainly presented through the use of summarized percentages, averages, tabulations and graphs. The outcome showed that access to microfinance loans led to a reduction in poverty in Kuria West constituency and the researcher recommended that trainings and more empowerment was key as MFIs need to put a lot of care to ensure that income generating activities of their loan recipients are profitable and loan products appropriate.