Enterprise Development Funds Strategies and Financial Performance of Small and Micro Enterprises in Kericho County, Kenya
Kemei, Joseph Kipngeno
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Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) has encountered myriads of challenges especially at early establishments. This has affected the financial performance of youth Small and Micro Enterprises and some leading to closure. Despite the effort by government in Kenya for youth enterprise development funds their success rate is still very low. To address this issues the study main objective was to investigate the effect of enterprise development funds strategies and financial performance of Small and Micro Enterprises in Kericho County. These was supported by the following specific objectives; to establish the effect of access to credit strategy, to assess the effect of financial advisory strategy, to examine the effect of capacity building strategy and to establish the influence of business monitoring and evaluation strategy on financial performance of Small and Micro Enterprises in Kericho County. Financial intermediation theory, human capital theory and information asymmetry theory were utilized in the study. The study utilized a descriptive survey design where information was retrieved from Small and Micro Enterprises in Kericho County who had access to Youth Enterprise Development Funds and Uwezo funds. It targeted a population of 236 comprising of 144 employees in Youth Enterprise Development Funds and 92 employees in Uwezo funded Small and Micro Enterprises where a sample of 148 respondents were selected using stratified sampling method. Questionnaires were used in as data collection tools. The study conducted descriptive statistics where mean and standard deviation were adopted. In order to test the hypotheses regression model was used as inferential statistics technique. Ethical consideration was considered to ensure that there was confidentiality as well as necessary permits were obtained. The finding revealed that youth enterprises development funds strategies had significant influence on the financial performance of Small and Micro Enterprises in Kericho County, Kenya. This was contributed significantly be access of credit, financial advisory service, capacity building and business monitoring and evaluation. Access to credit was contributed by flexibility in access to loans as well as low requirement in accessing finance. It also showed that group loans strategy assisted significantly the growth of youth enterprises. However, there was low enrolment of financial advisory programmes affecting financial, market and operation advisory. Similarly, training, mentoring as well as exhibition were not sufficiently practiced affecting the net profit margin. Nevertheless, youth enterprise funds stakeholder conducted business monitoring and evaluation which reduced loan defaulting as well as enabled growth. The study concluded that access to credit, financial advisory services, capacity building as well as business monitoring and evaluation strategies had positive significant influence on financial performance of youth Small and Micro Enterprises. The study recommended that stakeholders of youth enterprise funds should improve in capacity building strategies through conducting seminars and outsource trainers. There was also need for more staffs that can ensure enterprises owner are given entrepreneurial skills, financial advisory, market advisory as well as operational advisory. The study also recommended exhibition and trade fair should be encouraged to improve networking and marketing of Small and Micro Enterprises produce. The study suggested that further research should focus on capacity building since it was the lowest strategies that can contribute to financial performance of the Small and Micro Enterprises.