Entrepreneurial Orientation and Access to New Markets by Small-Scale Earthenware Manufacturers in Kenya
Matanda, Otenyo Margaret
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Accessing new markets remains a major challenge to MSEs in Kenya. While factors that influence access to new markets continue to attract much literal attention, the role of entrepreneurial is not clear. This study examined the effects of entrepreneurial orientation on access to new markets among small-scale earthenware manufacturers in Kenya. This was an explanatory study that adopted a survey approach. The study was conducted in three districts: Kakamega, Bungoma and Kisumu. A sampling list of small-scale earthenware manufacturers was constructed from lists provided by district cultural officers in the three study sites. From this sampling frame, a stratified random sampling procedure was used to select the study sample. Entrepreneurial orientation, the mindset of firms engaged in the pursuit of new ventures was assessed using a modified version of the Covin and Slevin (1989) scale. This scale is made up of 14 items that assess innovativeness, risk-taking, proactiveness, competitive aggressiveness and autonomy. A pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect data. This questionnaire was administered through interviews by the researcher with the help of two trained research assistants. Three Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted to establish the process of entry into new markets. The researcher moderated the FGDs using a pre-tested topical guide. Descriptive statistics (frequencies, percent, mean, standard deviation and charts) were used to present and summarize data. Bivariate data analysis such as contingency tables, correlation, x2 and t-tests were used to assess relationships between sociodemographic factors, entrepreneurial orientation and access to new markets. A logic model was used to identify the critical factors that influence access to new markets. Qualitative data were content analyzed. Three hundred and eighty four enterprises responded to this survey. Four percent of the study respondents had accessed new markets in the last twelve months. A majority of the respondents (53 percent) claimed that the opportunity to access new markets had just occurred. Bivariate data analysis indicated that young married males were more likely to access new markets. Higher levels of education, membership into business associations and attending trainings were also associated with access to new markets. Entrepreneurial orientation was also found to be associated with the entry into new markets. The results of the Logic model indicated that training and innovation influence access into new markets. The 1 - GDs established that the process of new market entry is complex and is made up of initiation and negotiation.
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