The Role of County Governments in Promoting Ease of Doing Business Among the Youth in Kenya: Case of Kiambu County
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The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 ushered a new era of governance and introduced a new framework of doing business. One of the main objectives of devolution was to promote social and economic development and provision of proximate, easily accessible services to the citizens. County governments are to achieve this objective by providing favourable environment which enable the populace engage in meaningful economic activities. The County Government of Kiambu was ranked among the top counties by World Bank Group as one of the counties that had performed quite well in promoting ease of doing business especially in starting business sub-index. This study sought to identify the enabling factors as well as complimentary services put in place by the county government of Kiambu to promote ease of doing business among the youth. The Study was guided by the Entrepreneur Alertness theory and the Population Ecology theory. The study purposively sampled Thika Sub County in Kiambu County as the area of study. The study adopted descriptive research design and through non probability sampling technique ninety seven (97) youth doing business in this Sub-County were selected for the purpose of collecting the information required. The instruments used for data collection were questionnaires and interview guides. To ensure reliability and validity of the instruments, a pilot study was conducted. The researcher selected four youths doing business in Thika Sub-County and used them for pilot study. The quantitative data collected was coded, analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The information was presented through tables, charts and graphs. The researcher ensured that ethical principles were observed and the respondents were aware of their rights. The data collected was wholly used for the purpose of the study. The study concluded that capital accessibility, supportive infrastructure and adherence to business regulations were the main requirements for starting a business, however, youths indicated that those requirements were a great challenge. Infrastructure such as drainage, street light, road pavement and garbage collection for the last four years have improved. Most of the youths had not attended training before engaging in business activities. Further, they deal with customers drawn from within the county. Most of the youth’s businesses have been in operation for a period of 1-2 years. The study concludes that youths conducting businesses within the county have never attended any training offered by the county government. The study found out that there was no follow up made after training was offered to access the applicability of the training to youth businesses. The study recommends that county governments should create enabling environment that support youth business such as developing structures that can enhance accessibility to capital by increasing the maximum loan that an individual may receive. The structures such as stalls developed by the county should be favorable to youths in terms of pricing. Further, the county should conduct enhanced awareness campaign on the available business opportunities and services like training which are offered.