Effects Of Women Enterprise Fund’s Training On Performance Of Women Grocery Micro-Entrepreneurs In Thika Sub-County, Kenya

Master's Thesis, 2016

76 Pages, Grade: 72.89









1.1 Background to the Study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Purpose of the Study
1.4 Objectives of the Study
1.5 Hypotheses of the Study
1.6 Significance of the Study
1.7 Scope of the Study
1.8 Limitation of the Study
1.9 Assumptions of the study
1.10 Definition of Terms

2.1 Introduction
2.2 Women Entrepreneurs in the World and Africa
2.3 Women Entrepreneurs in Kenya
2.4 The Women Enterprise Fund in Kenya
2.5 Profits Among Women Entrepreneurs
2.6 Sales Among Women Entrepreneurs
2.7 Labour Resource Among Women Entrepreneurs
2.8 Capital Resource Among Women Entrepreneurs
2.9 Theoretical Framework
2.10 Conceptual Framework

3.1 Introduction
3.2 Research Design
3.3 Location of the Study
3.4 Population of the Study
3.4.1 Accessibe Population
3.5 Sampling Procedure and Sample Size
3.6 Instrumentation
3.7 Data Collection Procedure
3.8 Data Analysis

4.1 Introduction
4.2 Characteristics of the Respondents
4.2.1 Age of the Respondents
4.2.2 Highest Level of Education of the Respondents
4.2.3 Respondents’ main reason for getting into business
4.3.4 Management of business capital
4.3.5 Type of business operated
4.3.6 Business start-up capital
4.3.7 Age of business enterprise
4.4 Effects of WEF’s training on profits among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs
4.5 Effects of WEF’s training on sales among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs
4.6 Effects of WEF’s training on capital among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs
4.7 Effects of WEF’s training on labour among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs
4.8 Discussions in Relations with other Research Studies

5.1 Introduction
5.2 Summary of Findings
5.2.1 Characteristics of the Respondents
5.2.2 Effects of WEF’s training on profits among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs
5.2.3 Effects of WEF’s training on sales among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs
5.2.4 Effects of WEF’s training on capital among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs
5.2.5 Effects of WEF’s training on labour among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs
5.3 Conclusions
5.4 Policy Implications
5.5 Recommendations
5.6 Suggestions for Further Research




I am grateful to God almighty for good health throughout the research. Special thanks go to my supervisors, Prof. Dolphine Odero-Wanga and Prof. Margaret Ngigi for their patience, dedication and commitment. My special thanks go to my friends Japtheth Mbihi, Kennedy Obumba and Omuria Nyandoro for their encouragement and willingness to help whenever there was need to

The completion of this thesis would not have been possible without the guidance, cooperation, advice and encouragement received from course coordinator Prof. Mark Okere. My sincere thanks to the Curriculum, Instruction and Educational Management Department of Egerton University and National Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI). Thank you and be blessed


There has been a great attention by the government of Kenya on women entrepreneurship over the last nine years. Several policies have been enacted that could support the growth and performance of women entrepreneurship in Kenya. The Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) was established in 2007 to assist women in the development of their enterprises. One condition of funding by WEF is that beneficiaries must first undergo capacity building before getting the funds. However, the effects of WEF’s training remains unexplored in Kenya and in particular Thika Sub-County. This study sought to bridge the gap by establishing the effects of WEF’s training on performance of women grocery micro-entrepreneurs in Thika Sub-County in Kenya. The study examined the effects of WEF’s training on the indicators of performance that is, sales, profit, labour and capital. It focused on four specific objectives to: identify the effects of WEF’s training on profits among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs, examine the effects of WEF’s training on sales among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs, establish the effects of WEF’s training on labour among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs and finally assess the effects of WEF’s training on capital among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs. A cross-sectional descriptive survey research design was used. The sampling technique used was simple random sampling, since it produced the most productive sample to test the research hypotheses. A sample size of 111 women entrepreneurs was used out of a population of 371 women entrepreneurs. Data was collected using structured questionnaires from the respondents. The study was guided by the human capital theory. Paired t-test and ordinate logistic regression were used to analyze quantitative data collected at 5% significance level with the help of STATA software. Validity of the instruments was achieved through expert judgement of the research supervisors and WEF’s officials. Reliability was tested by subjecting the instruments to a pilot study through the test-retest technique. The study established that the type of training had significant effect on the performance of women grocery micro-entrepreneurs. While the frequency of training had no significant effect on the sales of women grocery micro-entrepreneurs. From the study results, the researcher recommends for the performance of women micro-entrepreneurs to improve drastically WEF has to focus more on providing quality training especially market access skills. It is therefore, hoped that the outcomes and recommendations of this study will be of help to WEF and other women entrepreneurship stakeholders to address the performance challenges in Thika Sub-County and the nation at large.

Key Words: WEF’s Training, Performance, Micro-Entrepreneurs, Grocery


Figure 1: Conceptual Framework

Figure 2: Map of the study area

Figure 3:Respondents’ main reason for getting into business

Figure 4: Age of business enterprise

Figure 5: Duration of training received

Figure 6: Type of training received from the Women Enterprise Fund

Figure 7: Changes in the average level of profits between the years 2011-2015

Figure 8: Changes in the average level of sales between the years 2011-2015


Table 1: Sampling Grid

Table 2: Summary of Data Analysis

Table 3: Age of the Respondents in Years

Table 4: Highest Level of education of the household head

Table 5: Most key method in which business capital was managed

Table 6: Type of business operated

Table 7: Amount that was used to start the business

Table 8: Number of trainings received by the Women Enterprise Fund

Table 9: Monthly profits realised by grocery micro-enterprises before Women Enterprise Fund trainings

Table 10: Monthly profits realised by grocery micro-enterprises after Women Enterprise Fund trainings

Table 11: Average level of profits in Kshs

Table 12: Effects of WEF’s training on monthly profits among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs

Table 13: Ordered Logistic Regression for the effect of WEF’s training on monthly profits among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs

Table 14:Average level of sales in Kshs

Table 15: Effects of WEF’s training on monthly sales among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs

Table 16:Ordered Logistic Regression for the effect of WEF’s training on monthly sales among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs

Table 17: Effects of WEF’s training on capital among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs

Table 18: Ordered Logistic Regression for the effect of WEF’s training on capital among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs

Table 19: Effects of WEF’s training on labour among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs

Table 20: Ordered Logistic Regression for the effect of WEF’s training on labour among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


1.1 Background to the Study

Entrepreneur is a term that owes its origin to the French Economics and as early as in 17th and 18th centuries it was being used. The concept of an entrepreneur has shown its close link with general understanding of an individual starting and running a business (Dolliger, 2003). But its general meaning has moved to a broader application into an area of producing high returns through improved productivity for economic development and social well-being.

Researchers, theorists, business experts and academicians define it in many diverse ways. For example, Gartner (1988) defines an entrepreneur as somebody who creates new autonomous organizations. Schumpeter (1934) outlines entrepreneurs as visionaries who implement entrepreneurial transformation within markets. The entrepreneurial transformation is marked by five pointers: the introduction of a new (or improved) good /service; the introduction of a new technique of manufacturing; gaining entry to new markets; the exploitation of a new source of supply; and the re-engineering/organization of business management practices. While Shane and Venkataraman (2000) describe entrepreneurship as an area of business that seeks out to comprehend how opportunities can create something new by specific persons, who then utilize several mechanisms to exploit or improve them, thereby generating a wide array of effects . Futhermore, Dollinger (2003) deduces entrepreneurship as the formation of an innovative economic business (or network of establishments) with the goal of gain or growth in circumstances of risk and uncertainty.

The awareness and practice of women entrepreneurship is a recent occurrence. Until the 1980’s little was acknowledged about women entrepreneurship both in practice and research, which made its emphasis wholly on men. Scientific dissertation about women’s entrepreneurship and women owned and run organizations is just the development of 1980s (International Labour Organization, 2008). The state of women in enterprise development – the starting and growing of individual enterprises – is of great concern among governments in most countries. One of the global impetuses in developing countries was the United Nations Decade for Women (1976-1985). In 1979, the General Assembly of the United Nations embraced the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This paved the way for more government attention everywhere on the role of women in development programmes as well as on approaches for eradicating discriminatory practices against women. During the 1980s, the query of how to incorporate women successfully into development plans was further steadily researched. The objective of development policies turned more focus on how to upsurge women’s right of entry to education, skills training, credit, land and other useful resources to empower them to take part fully in development activities.

Research from the developed countries indicates that female business owners choose to start their enterprises in segments where female employment is concentrated. The choice of a sector is attributed to a combination of resource limitations, environmental ambiguity as well as explicit female aversion to risk-taking, which forces them to take part in undertakings with low entry thresholds and low economic risk (Lumpkin & Dess, 2008). This trend helps to illuminate why women businesses are typically smaller in employment and sales than their male counterparts. Therefore the sectors women prefer for starting a business are mostly characterized by high instability proportions, consequently providing reasonably limited opportunities for rapid business growth.

Training plays a crucial role in providing learning prospects for people to expand their skills, attitudes and abilities (Sindhuja, 2009). In empirical works, the results of training on women entrepreneurs’ output, particularly in developing countries, has not been sufficiently talked about. Studies support the fact that majority of women entrepreneurs do not have expertise trainings, therefore they cannot make decent use of resources available to them (Karnani, 2007), and hence they require training. Formal employment gives necessary business experience that is vital for enterprise accomplishment, nevertheless women entrepreneurs ordinarily in developing nations lack this.

Training is one of the factors that can impact positively on the growth of enterprises. Those women entrepreneurs with a greater capacity of human capital, in terms of education and (or) occupational training, are well positioned to acclimatize their enterprises to constantly changing business environments and cycles (McGrath & King, 2002). Training plays an important role in equipping women with necessary knowledge and skills in order to effectively manage and flourish in their business endeavors. Research indicates that the levels of formal entrepreneurial activity among women increases as their education and training rises (Aldrich, 2007).

Business management skills training facilitates women to acquire the necessary skills to save and gain the self-confidence to explore worthwhile business ventures and market prospects for their products or services (Akanji, 2006). This is mainly true at the moment due to the development of e-business and telecommuting. This enables women to undertake commercially viable work which is home-based. Some expertise in rudimentary accounting like financial recording and reporting are needed. The bigger and more elaborate the enterprise or undertaking is, the greater need for financial skills (Otuya, 2003). Considering the unusual circumstances of most women in developing countries in terms of poverty, low educational levels and other societal discriminations. Training is an important factor for women entrepreneurs as it offers the expertise and knowledge necessary for business (Kuzilwa, 2005).

The Kenyan Government envisions the training sector delivering a globally competitive quality training and research for sustainable economic growth and development. Besides decreasing illiteracy, the sector trains and provides a workforce; a key component in the political, social and economic development of any society (Government of Kenya, 2012). In Kenya’s Vision 2030, training will offer the required knowledge, skills, approaches and attitudes necessary to drive the initiatives set in the pillars. On the economic pillar, training will play a central part in the training of ample and vastly skilled human capital to help in the sector growth.

The majority of women entrepreneurs in Kenya run enterprises related with women’s roles such as, hairstyling, restaurants, retail & wholesale outlets, clothing and design (ILO, 2008). Of the 462,000 jobs generated annually since 2000 in Kenya, 445,000 jobs have stemmed from the informal sector, where 85 percent of women’s enterprises are found (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2014).Women entrepreneurship performance and competitiveness must therefore be increased if it is to successfully respond to the task of generating productive and sustainable employment opportunity, economic growth and poverty reduction in the nation. For a woman entrepreneur to start and operate a business it includes a possibility of success as well as failure. This is due to, a modest lack of education and training which is likely to lead to a sure death of the enterprise. Inadequacy of forecasting, inappropriate financing as well as poor management have been advanced as the main causes of failure among women entrepreneurs (Langowitz & Minniti, 2007). Deficiency of credit has likewise been identified as one of the most serious constraints facing women entrepreneurs and hindering their growth and development.

The Kenyan government introduced the Women Enterprise Fund in 2007, with the aim of supporting women owned enterprises and to enable other women to start micro and small enterprises. This is expected to create employment and empower women entrepreneurs, which is in tandem with, the government economic recovery strategy (ERS) for wealth and employment (2003-2007).

The Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) has two components namely:

- The C-WES (Constituency Women Enterprise Scheme): This fund is meant for the women groups in a constituency, who are organized into groups as it gives loans to group projects and not individual.
- Funds channeled through financial intermediary Partners: This is meant for all women owned enterprises in a County and it can be accessed by a women group or an individual.

The Women Enterprise Fund has the mandate to enhance capacity building among women entrepreneurs through training. To enhance and strengthen the knowledge, skills, expertise and capability of women entrepreneurs through; mentorship programmes, training of the Fund beneficiaries and involvement of financial institutions and other partners in training (WEF, 2013). WEF achieves capacity building of women entrepreneurs through the volunteerism model. The Fund works with volunteers at constituency level whose tasks involve recruiting and training women, evaluating and monitoring their projects and loan repayment.The volunteers have the duty of enlisting and training the Fund’s recipients on a curriculum that is divided into the following thematic areas:

i. Business skills for example financial recording and reporting.
ii. Market Access.
iii. Basic information, communication and technology (ICT) skills.

It’s the onus of the volunteers to conduct the trainings of women in their groupings at the constituency level. This facilitates WEF to realize capacity building at a wide berth. (WEF, 2012). Capacity building targets both internal and external customers. Internal customers are the Fund’s Advisory Board, WEF secretariat and the Ministry gender officers. The external customers comprise of women entrepreneurs in micro, small and medium businesses, potential individual business women, constituency teams and partnering Microfinance Institutions .

WEF has also partnered with the Coca Cola company in the 5 by 20 program that aims by the year 2020 to train five million women on entrepreneurship. This program seeks to empower women by imparting to them business expertise from capital sourcing, merchandise and professional quality standards, financial literacy, profit recognition and advertising (WEF, 2013). Recipients of the Fund all over the country will be trained on business skills in order for them to apply these skills in their enterprises and henceforward be able to run profitable enterprises.

Capacity building for women is a precondition to lending, this aims at ensuring members of the groups have appropriate knowledge and skills to steer their businesses to success and be in a position to repay their loans (WEF, 2013). WEF has trained 1532 women entrepreneurs in Thika Sub-County, out of this 371 women grocery micro- entrepreneurs have been trained (WEF, 2015). However, the effects of this training on performance of women owned enterprises on various indicators has not been established. Hence, this study aimed to examine the effects of WEF’s training on performance of women grocery micro-entrepreneurs in Thika Sub-County.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

There has been a great attention by the government of Kenya on women entrepreneurship over the last nine years.The government established WEF to assist women in the development of their enterprises. An important function of WEF is capacity building among the women entrepreneurs through training.WEF has trained several women entrepreneurs in Kenya. The effects of WEF’s training on micro - entrepreneurs remains unexplored in Kenya and in particular Thika Sub-County. It is key to note the effect of this training for the purposes of feedback.This study,therefore sought to bridge the gap by establishing the effects of WEF’s training on performance of women grocery micro-entrepreneurs in Thika Sub-County, Kiambu County.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to identify the effects of Women Enterprise Fund’s training on performance of women grocery micro-entrepreneurs in Thika Sub-County, Kiambu County.

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The study addressed the following four objectives:

i. To identify the effects of WEF’s training on profits among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs .
ii. To assess the effects of WEF’s training on sales among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs.
iii. To determine the effects of WEF’s training on capital among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs.
iv. To establish the effects of WEF’s training on labour among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs.

1.5 Hypotheses of the Study

The hypotheses were developed in line with the independent variable (WEF’s training) and indicators of performance (profits, sales, capital and labour).

Ho1 : There are no significant effects of WEF’s training on profits among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs.

Ho2 : There are no significant effects of WEF’s training on sales among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs.

Ho3 : There are no significant effects of WEF’s training on labour among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs.

Ho4 : There are no significant effects of WEF’s training on capital among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study are useful since it generates information on the importance of training on performance of women grocery micro-entrepreneurs. In practice the study is useful to women grocery micro-entrepreneurs as it highlights how WEF’s training affects their business performance in Thika Sub- County, Kiambu County.

The study also suggests policy recommendations to guide development of training that is beneficial to women entrepreneurs and other stakeholders of the Women Enterprise Fund. To the body of knowledge, the study contributes information and knowledge on the role of women in entrepreneurship, knowledge to scholars and researchers in the field of women entrepreneurship.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The study was conducted in Thika Sub-County, Kiambu County. The study focused on women grocery micro entrepreneurs within the WEF trained groups, who have been trained by WEF through C-WES and financial intermediaries in Thika Sub-County. Specifically, the study focused on how WEF’S training affects women grocery micro - entrepreneurs’ sales, profit, capital and labour.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

Kenya has over 70 Sub-Counties and only one was selected for this study; for this reason the findings may not be generalized to all the Sub-Counties in the country. However, the study would provide an insight into how WEF’s training affects the performance of women grocery micro-entrepreneurs.

1.9 Assumptions of the study

The study was based on the following assumptions:

i. The respondents were ready and willing to participate in the study by providing honest and accurate information on the issue raised.
ii. Women in Thika Sub – County engaged in grocery micro-enterprises.

1.10 Definition of Terms

Capital is wealth in the form of money or other assets owned by a person or organization or available or contributed for a particular purpose such as starting a business or investing (Macmillan, 2010). In this study capital meant the amount of cash injected by a woman grocery micro – entrepreneur before and after training by WEF in starting and running her enterprise.

Effects: changes that result when something is done or happens: an event, condition, or state of affairs that is a resultant of a cause (Macmillan, 2010). In this study the word effects will mean the changes that the WEF training policy bring about in woman entrepreneurs business performance. It was measured by the change in sales, profits, capital and Labour among women entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneur: a person who organizes and manages commercial undertakings. He / She is considered as an innovator who takes up challenges and turns such challenges into achievements (Macmillan, 2010) . In this study the word entrepreneur meant a woman owner who organizes and manages a grocery micro enterprise.

Labour is the aggregate of all human physical and mental effort used in creation of goods and services (Macmillan, 2010) . In this study labour meant the number of employees a woman grocery micro-entrepreneur has before and after training by WEF.

Micro Enterprise: An enterprise with employees between one and ten people (Macmillan, 2010). In this study the same meaning was applied.

Performance: the action or process of carrying out or accomplishing an action, task, or function (Macmillan, 2010). In this study performance was looked in terms of profit, sales, marginal productivity of Labour and marginal productivity of capital.

Profit: this is determined by getting the difference between the sales and expenditures incurred in running the business (Macmillan, 2010) . In this study profits referred to the revenue made after subtracting the expenses in operating the grocery.

Sales: Transactions between parties where the buyer receives goods (tangible or intangible), services and /or assets in exchange for money (Macmillan, 2010) . In this study sales meant the cash and credit transactions the business owner makes with his customers for the commodities he / she sells.

Training: the action of imparting skills on a person ( Macmillan, 2010). In this study training meant a woman grocery micro entrepreneur that has been trained by the Women Enterprise Fund.

Women Enterprise Fund: This is a national fund established by the Kenyan government in 2007 aimed at funding women owned enterprises and enable other women to start small businesses (WEF, 2013). Thus creating employment and achieve the millennium Development Goal number three of gender equality and empowerment.


2.1 Introduction

This chapter will scrutinize literature written about women entrepreneurship in the world, Africa narrowing down to Kenya. Further, it examines literature on the Women Enterprise Fund, profits, sales, capital and labour among women entrepreneurs and finally a theoretical framework.

2.2 Women Entrepreneurs in the World and Africa

In order to understand women and their enterprises, it’s important to understand the concept of entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur is a risk taking person or someone who initiates or finances new commercial enterprises. Stevenson and St-Onge (2005b) defined the entrepreneur as a person who is able to scan the environment, identify economic opportunities and marshal resources to fulfill the identified need.

Entrepreneur personality tend to rebel against authority and working for others (Bardasi, Sabarwal, & Terrell, 2011). Instead entrepreneurs seek independency and control over their destiny. Risk taking is often associated with entrepreneurs; however, literature suggests that the entrepreneur has a preference for moderate risk taking gambling tempered with confidence, information and thoughtfulness.

Bellu, Davidson, and Goldfarb (1990), profiled successful entrepreneurs as active, committed individuals who took initiatives and sought personal responsibility. While under-capitalization has been found to be one of the main culprits of business failure, Bellu et al also believed that the entrepreneurs’ personality also determines success. Some of the qualities they emphasized as being unique to entrepreneurs include: resourcefulness and ingenuity, determination and commitment, single-mindedness, strong reality orientation, willingness to accept responsibility, ability to survive defeat and disappointment, ability to learn from mistakes, and willingness to try new things. Their main motive is not wealth but rather a desire to do something extremely well.

Women are becoming increasingly important in the socio-economic development of both developed and developing economies as they account for a significant percentage of the operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (Jennings & Cohen, 2006). Women engaging in entrepreneurship activities contribute a substantial share to national economies through their participation in start-ups and their growth in micro, small and medium businesses

While women's entrepreneurship is a central aspect of economic development and public policy concern in most nations, academic research around their entrepreneurial accomplishments is relatively inadequate (Nicholson, 2006). The advent of the private sector as a major player in the industrial development of many countries has also improved women’s access to employment opportunities. Compared to when they experienced denial in employment opportunities as wage workers because of their family duties, lack of technical skills, in addition to cultural barriers.

To cope with these challenges, the development of self- employment, especially in the area of MSEs have become the last resort for them (Tata & Prasad, 2008). MSE’s contribute more than 50% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of most nations both developed and less developed (Ojo, 2009). Their contributions to economic development have been predominantly in the area of job creation, poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, wealth making and human resource.

The numbers and calibers of women seeking the entrepreneurial alternative evidence the emancipation from traditional female employment. Women are finding their niche in self-employment. The desire to be in control, to be independent and to contribute something to society makes the package deal that is selling the entrepreneurship (Brana, 2008). Most women have selected the entrepreneurial path for two reasons: to make money and be their own boss.

Research done at the University of Texas at Austin, the findings on personalities of women entrepreneurs indicated that the desire to master new skills and a willingness to work hard, seem to be a better productive measure of success in the population studied rather than competitiveness (Nichter & Goldmark, 2009). In a second but unrelated study of management techniques used by 58 female owners in small businesses in Umea, Sweden were examined. The businesses were divided into two categories of success in terms of sales, gross profit and longevity of each firm. The level of education varied from junior high school to master degree with their majority reporting some college experiences. Educational and training preparation was seen to be much related to sales but not gross profit or longevity. Worker experience ranged from 2-35 years with a medium of 7 years (Miner & Haunschild, 2005). Data indicated that financially successful women business owners delegated certain key tasks to employees who are more highly educated and have more prior work experience than less successful females.

In related studies, (Bellu et al, 1990) interviewed 40 women from a survey of 264 women business owners in the USA. The successful women entrepreneurs came from close supportive families, married to supportive husbands, those who exhibited strong entrepreneurial drive tended to be early educated, exhibited a great ethic for hard work and dedication to the enterprise. Accessing financing was the first impediment in beginning a business according to the women.

Studies have also shown that women running micro, small and medium enterprises, mainly in developing countries, do not save often; yet savings are needed to safeguard income, acting as a collateral for loan, a bulwark during a rainy day or be re-invested in the business (Akanji, 2006). Saving through a micro-finance institution enables people with few possessions to save, since they can contribute weekly funds as well as contribute to group savings, and these savings are organised by the micro-finance institutions for further lending to other clients (Mkpado & Arene , 2007). Women entrepreneurs, especially in developing countries also lack training (International Finance Corporation, 2011) and an entrepreneurial process which is a vital source of developing human capital.

2.3 Women Entrepreneurs in Kenya

Women play a crucial role in the economic development of their families and communities but certain obstacles such as poverty, joblessness, little family earnings and social discriminations mostly in developing countries have hindered their effective performance of that role. Therefore, most of them embark on entrepreneurial activities to support their families. Research has shown that women entrepreneurship could be an effective strategy for poverty reduction in a country; since women are the worst hit in such situations (Ekpe, Mat, & Razaq, 2010). Empowerment of women is crucial for the emancipation of poverty and meaningful participation of entrepreneurship development. Nevertheless, women are inadequately represented and their success often remains invisible and unappreciated. It is anticipated that increasing women’s access to education and expertise training will enable women to make a greater contribution to household revenue (Miner & Haunschild, 2005). Combined with other programs to increase household well-being, this translates into improved wellbeing for women and ability to bring about wider changes in gender inequality.

Kenyan women entrepreneurs are increasingly recognized to play an important role to the unprecedented rate of growth of the Micro, Small and medium enterprises (MSEs) and indirectly to the Kenyan Economy. The number of women in Kenyan MSEs in 2008 was 48 percent of the total employment in MSEs’. The International Labour Organization report of 2008 indicated that 44 percent of Kenyan women surveyed professed desire for self-employment. It is not surprising that the number of women entrepreneurs in Kenya has increased in the past decade due to the emphasis on industrial development, mounting benefits envisioned in privatization, self-reliance and in favour of informal employment (ILO, 2008). All of these have been facilitated by the growth in various segments such as banking and financing, food processing, general trading, individual and communal services, teaching, training and consultancy. It has been established that Kenyan women have been involved in various enterprises formerly male-dominated (Mutuku, Olubandwa, & Odero, 2006).

According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (2014), there were 800,000 companies involved in services, industrial and agronomic sectors, of which 85 percent were MSEs’. About 16 percent were women-owned companies with 48 percent of them involved in the services sector, 8 percent in industrial and 25 percent in the farming sector.

The Kenyan government has come to realize that fostering the development of women entrepreneurship in the country is crucial for the achievement of Kenya’s broader expansion goals, including economic growth. Kenya is among a few countries which established the Ministry of Gender in 2002 and Women Enterprise Fund in 2007. The aforementioned superintend the advancement and development of existing and potential women entrepreneurs in the nation. Several government awards and financial resources are made available to the women entrepreneurs through many of the government agencies such as Youth Enterprise Fund and Women Enterprise Fund.

2.4 The Women Enterprise Fund in Kenya

The Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) was established by the Kenyan government through Legal Notice No. 147: Government Financial Management Regulations, 2007. The enactment of Public Finance Management Act, 2012, classifies the body as a National Fund. As a flagship project under the social pillar in the Kenya vision 2030, WEF spearheads the realization of the 1st and 3rd Millennium Development Goals on Poverty Reduction and Gender Equality & Women Empowerment respectively. The mandate of the Fund as stipulated in the Legal Notice No.147 is to undertake the following (WEF, 2013):

i. Provide loans to credible micro-finance institutions (MFIs), registered non-governmental organisations (NGOs) undertaking micro financing, as well as savings and credit co-operative organisations (SACCOs) for on-lending to women enterprises.
ii. Attract and facilitate investment in micro, small and medium enterprises oriented infrastructure like business markets or business incubators that will be beneficial to women enterprises.
iii. Support women entrepreneurs to develop linkages and partnerships with large enterprises.
iv. Facilitate marketing of products and services of women enterprises in both domestic and in international markets.
v. Support capacity building of the beneficiaries of the Fund and their institutions.

WEF has achieved the following milestones ;

i. It has established its presence in 290 constituencies which has enhanced outreach by facilitating easy access to the credit services.
ii. It has a proven lending methodology to groups with loan repayment of over 90% country wide.
iii. WEF has deployed mobile telephone technology for loan repayments which has improved service delivery.
iv. Capacity building for women is a precondition to lending. During the first three quarters of the 2013/2014 financial year 29,624 women had been trained in entrepreneurship in all the 290 constituencies (WEF, 2013).
v. WEF won an achievement award in acknowledgement of her efforts in realizing the 3rd millennium development goal on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment at the second MDG awards, 2011.
vi. WEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Cooperatives has facilitated the registration of forty six women owned Sacco’s throughout the country.

WEF performs to ensure that women throughout the country are empowered financially and are running enterprises that are steady and contribute to their economic status and thus the country’s economy as a whole (WEF, 2012). The fund promotes financial inclusion of women by removing barriers that have prevented them from participating fully in the economic development of the country. Interest free loans are provided to registered self help groups through respective constituencies. WEF gets a hundred percent financial backing from the Government of Kenya through the annual budgetary allocation. However, its funds dropped from KSh 352 million in the year 2012 to KSh 167 million in the year 2013 following the transfer of KSh 185 million to Uwezo fund as part of devolved funds (KNBS, 2014). Nonetheless, to respond to the increasing demand for her services, WEF is pursuing out collaborative partnerships with similar-minded development organizations for support.

2.5 Profits Among Women Entrepreneurs

The decision to start a business is influenced by reasons like; family backing, education, expertise training, previous business involvement, ease to capital, as well as socio-economic factors and personality characteristics. Profit oriented entrepreneurs are interested in financial independence and driven by profit maximization (Grimm, Kruger, & Lay, 2011). To begin an enterprise women rely mainly on their savings, families, and friends for financial support to start-up outlays. However, high cost of loan administration, poor dissemination of information, deficiency in distinctive product branding, limited individual choices in group lending, high default rates, bureaucratic processes and limited business monitoring are challenges to better profits making among women entrepreneurs (Kinyajui & Munguti, 2000).

A commitment to a single network is related to profits, while affiliation with numerous organizations is negatively associated with both revenues and personal income. Women entrepreneurs who strongly connect with an organization will increase profits by building loyal ties, whereas multiple loose associations or ties may not allow these strong relationships to develop (Nichter & Goldmark, 2009). Also women entrepreneurs’ business skills like accessing financing, proper budgeting, labour organizing, and forecasting ahead are significantly related to profitability.

Environmental influences such as location of business, sector dynamics and socio-political impact (i.e., availability of government assistance) are also critical determinants of profits making (World Bank, 2012). Similarly, resource availability, including start-up capital, expertise labour skills, and availability of credit, support systems, and an encouraging entrepreneurial context are also a major influence on profits.

Gender-specific spending priorities also define the amount reinvested in the business, as women are identified to allocate a greater share of their earnings to the welfare of children (Duflo & Udry, 2004). Likewise, Fafchamps, Quinn and Woodruff (2011) found in Ghana that cash grants seem to be spent on household expenses and transfers rather than being invested in the enterprise. Moreover, it has been discoursed that womenfolk run their businesses in a subsistence-oriented manner to complement their husbands’ revenue. Therefore, they tend to expand their activities by creating several small businesses rather than investing in the growth of an existing one.

From the reviewed literature in this section by the various authors they have critically discussed, that profits among women entreprenurs are affected by the network association, environmental influences and gender specific roles that women entrepreneurs play. However, the effects of training on profits is scantly mentioned. Thus this study filled this gap by examining effects of WEF’s training on profits among women grocery micro -entrepreneurs in Thika Sub-County. Based on the study results, the null hypothesis was rejected thus WEF’s training had a significant effects on profits among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs.

2.6 Sales Among Women Entrepreneurs

Financial success often depends on the marketing skill. Finance processes, bookkeeping, and other business roles will not truly matter if there is no sufficient demand for products and services so that the company can make a profit. Marketing activities and strategies result in making products available that satisfy customers while making profits for the companies that offer those products (Shiu & Walker, 2007). Marketing means mobility and confidence in dealing with the outside world, which equally women have been disheartened from developing by social conditioning. Moreover, even when in control of a business, they frequently hinge on males of the family in this area.

Entrepreneurship salesmanship is embedded in a complex network of social interactions. Within these connections, free enterprise is facilitated or constrained by linkages between aspiring entrepreneurs, resources, and opportunities (Pelham, 2000). According to this outlook, the having and not having networks, such as access or membership in associations, play a part in swaying performance. The fact that women entrepreneurs are embedded in different personal and social networks than men, and that divisions and barriers limit the reach and diversity of their networks might have far-reaching consequences for business performance (Aldrich, 2007). The importance of support arrangements, guides, and mentors has been recognized in past research. In specific, business associates, acquaintances and friends were acknowledged as being imperative to moral support, while involvement in trade linkages and women's groups was related to business guidance and making excellent sales (Ahuja & Lampert, 2010).

From the scholarly works above by the different authors it is extensively discussed that sales among women entrepreneurs is affected by the marketing skill that an entrepreneur possess’s, social interaction networks and mentorship programmes. Nevertheless, a gap still exist on how training (for example; market access training) affects sales among women entrepreneurs. Hence, this study filled this gap by examining effects of WEF’s training on sales among women grocery micro -entrepreneurs in Thika Sub-County. The study found out that the WEF’s training had a significant effects on sales among women grocery micro-entrepreneurs.

2.7 Labour Resource Among Women Entrepreneurs

National MSE Baseline Survey, (2011) executive summary indicates that labour is a critical input for the performance of any enterprise, yet women spend less time than men working in their business and are likely to hire fewer workers due to the impact of gender differentiated allocation of tasks within the household.

Cultural norms defining the respective roles of women and men within the household and society may explain why female-run businesses tend to stay small and having more subsistence leanings. Lack of time due to multiple roles of women constitute another major constrain in women performance in MSE’s activities (Mbogo, 2011) .Women as the chief custodians of children and responsible for domestic tasks, embrace self-employment because it offers flexible work schedules, and permits them to balance work and family responsibilities. Women spend more time performing domestic tasks such as household chores or child rearing, which can avert a chunk of their best useful time away from market-oriented activities (Jones, McEvoy, & Barrett, 2008). The gender differentiated allocation of time within the household can cause women to allocate their time sub-optimally to their businesses. The structure of the family may also have an impact on such ineptitudes, as the existence of dependent members can increase the burden of household duties.

Many women operate their business in their homes because it enables them to combine work and family chores. In addition, in a number of countries, businesses that are in close proximity to home surroundings are often the only opportunity for women to generate income as the prevailing cultural norms prevent them from exercising an activity outside or far away from the household (Ypeij, 2000). Home-based dealings carry quite a few drawbacks, like being far-flung from input marketplaces plus clients. Conflict arising from the different roles women have to play in households, including the long times spent at the enterprises site, have been cited as constituting a major obstacle to the development, growth and stability of women owned enterprises in Kenya (Bardasi, Sabarwal, & Terrell, 2011).

The use of family members as a Labour resource can act as a double edged sword, in that they provide free or cheap labor and have an interest in the prosperity of the firm, besides using them to execute supervision tasks thus freeing the entrepreneur for other responsibilities (Johnston & Le Roux, 2007). However, the use of family members can also have antagonistic outcomes: the entrepreneur may feel the pressure to offer work to members of his / her kin group even though they lack the technical skills and qualification. Overall the role of the family in the activity can be positive or negative and may depend on the sex of the businessperson. For instance, women could be more willing than men to hire family workers. Supplementary, the right of use to family labor can be essential for female entrepreneurs in settings where it is difficult for them to hire and supervise male workers (Luke & Munshi, 2006). Male entrepreneurs depend on the help of their spouse more than women can rely on the labour of their husbands.

From the above discussion by the various authors it is critically stated that cultural norms, family responsibilities and family members affect the amount of labour hours that a woman entrepreneur will spend on her enterprise. However, the element of training affecting labour hours spent and hiring of employees is inadequately covered. Therefore, this study filled this gap by examining the effects of WEF’s training on labour among women grocery micro -entrepreneurs in Thika Sub-County. Basing on the study findings WEF’s significantly increased the labour level of micro-enterprises.

2.8 Capital Resource Among Women Entrepreneurs

The negative cultural attitudes towards women have a bearing on women’s ability to stand on their own as borrowers of credit from financial institutions (Government of Kenya, 2005). This is because they have limited access to land and other properties. Consequently, they lack adequate collateral for accessing credit services. The same sessional paper continues to quote that, most of the financial institutions and other facilities are allocated in urban areas, while majority of women are in rural areas. This factor has led to most women being unfamiliar with institutional banking and credit systems except their own funds (Wanjohi & Mugure, 2008). This hampers their bid to expand their business, yet they are good in debt servicing.

To obtain credit for her business, a woman is likely to participate in a “merry-go round” group of five or six women who combine their savings over a six-month period of time and then start lending, on a very short-term basis, to members from the pool (Gakure & Roselyn, 2003). Men have an easier time accessing credit because they are more likely than women to have title deeds to offer as loan collateral. This enables them to function on an “individual” basis more so than women, who must use groups to pool funds.

As argued by De Mel, McKenzie and Woodruff (2009), inefficiencies arising from a lack of cooperation within the household may be responsible for the lower returns to capital in women-run businesses found in Sri Lanka. With one of the spouse seizing part of the profit or working capital of the enterprise for other purposes rather than for the enterprise well-being. There is a great need for women entrepreneurs to get access to credit facilities and policy makers should understand and develop successful strategies to address the issue (World Bank, 2012). According to Besley, (1995) without adequate access to this credit facilities women entrepreneurs will be subjected to negative shocks and issues such as poor production levels in their businesses, lack of growth and generally poor performance of the businesses. They can also lose some of the few assets they have, unlike their male counterparts who can access well-designed credits and loans easily; thus able to finance their businesses and adopt more effective and efficient strategies to stabilize their businesses (Roomi & Parrot, 2008).

From the above discussion, various authors have in-depth examined the role negative cultural attitudes, legal frameworks and household responsibilities hamper returns on capital among women entrepreneurs. However, the effects of training on returns on capital among women entrepreneurs is insufficiently discussed. Thus, this study bridged this gap by examining effects of the WEF’s training on capital among women grocery micro -entrepreneurs in Thika Sub-County . The study found out that training significantly increases the micro-enterprises capital in the study area.

2.9 Theoretical Framework

This study was steered by the Human Capital Theory by Adam Smith (1776). Human capital is defined as the abilities and skills of any person, particularly those learnt through investment in education and training that enhances potential income earning. It’s founded on Adam Smith's explanation of wage differentials in net advantages and disadvantages between various occupations. The expenses of learning a skill or trade are a major constituent of the net advantage, ceteris paribus, personal incomes differ according to the degree of investment in human capital; that is, the education and training carried out by individuals (Suvillan & Steven, 2003). There is a belief that widespread investment in human capital produces in the labour force the skill base vital for economic development and growth.

Human capital arises out of any action able to increase an individual’s output. Education and training are taken as the key examples. Individuals investing in human capital resource involves both direct costs as well as costs in foregone earnings (Suvillan & Steven, 2003). Individuals making the investment decisions parallel the appeal of alternative future pay and consumption trends, which some guarantee higher future income, in comparison to present education and training costs and postponed consumption.

The study proposed that WEF’s training acquired by a woman grocery micro-entrepreneur will affect her business performance that is profit, sales, capital and labour.This through the skills acquired in financial management, market access and basic information, communication and technology skills.

2.10 Conceptual Framework

The Conceptual framework shows the interaction of the independent variable in association with other variables (intervening variables) influencing and affecting the dependent variables.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1 : Conceptual Framework

The independent variable was participation in WEf’s training; which was measured by the frequency of training that is, how many times a woman grocery micro - entrepreneur has been trained by WEF, and the type of training that is, if she has received training on all the thematic areas of WEF’s training. The intervening variables act as a link between the independent and depedent variables, they can positively or negatively affect the depedent variables. The dependent variables were profits, sales, labour and capital which the study sought to identify if WEF’s training affects them or not.


3.1 Introduction

This chapter presents the research design to be used, study area, target population, the sampling procedure and sample size, instrumentation (validity and reliability), data collection procedure and data analysis used in the study.

3.2 Research Design

The study was based on a cross-sectional descriptive survey research design to collect data from the respondents in the study area. A cross-sectional descriptive survey is used to describe characteristics / features of a population or phenomenon being studied. It does not answer queries about how / when / why the features occurred. Rather it addresses the "what" question (what are the features of the populace or condition being studied (Creswell, 2007). A cross-sectional descriptive survey method involves gathering data once, during a period of days, weeks or in months, it seeks to ascertain respondents' perspectives or experiences on a definite subject in a preset planned method. The respodents answered questions administered through questionnares and the researcher described the responses given. The survey involved questions of the past and current situation. The choice of the study design was made based on its ability to determine relationship between two or more variables.

3.3 Location of the Study

The study was carried out in Thika sub- County, Kiambu County. This place is situated in Central, Kenya, its geographical coordinates are 1° 3' 0" South, 37° 5' 0" East, and it’s an industrial town in Kiambu County, approximately 40 kilometers north east of Nairobi the capital city of Kenya, near the confluence of the Thika and Chania Rivers. Its elevation is approximately 5,351 feet above sea level. It is home to large industries including bakeries, tanneries, textiles, footwear, food processing, motor vehicle assembly and cigarette manufacturing and over a hundred light industries. The reason for selecting Thika Sub -County as the area of study was because it’s agriculturally and industry driven and serves a large population in Nairobi County due to its close proximity. Thus varieties of enterprises have been established in this market and women entrepreneurs are fairly exposed to the Women Enterprise Fund’s training.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2 : Map of the study area

3.4 Population of the Study

A population is a well-defined or set of people, services, elements, events, group of things or households that are being investigated or examined (Gatara, 2010). In this study the population of interest will be women grocery micro - entrepreneurs trained by WEF in Thika Sub-County, Kiambu County. WEF has trained 371 women grocery micro - entrepreneurs in Thika Sub - County. The women who were considered as entrepreneurs, are those who owned and run a business and have a physical address (premise from where the enterprise operates) with contact information that enabled the researcher to trace them and distribute the questionnaires.

3.4.1 Accessibe Population

The whole target population was accessible since Thika Sub- County has a well developed road infrastructure making it possible to access all the population of study without any hinderances.

3.5 Sampling Procedure and Sample Size

To guarantee that the sample correctly represents the population, Cooper and Schindler (2008) recommend that the researcher must clearly define the characteristic of the population, define the requisite sample size and select the best technique for selecting members of the sample from the larger population.

3.5.1 Sample Size Determination

Kerlinger, (1983) observes that a sample size of 30% is representative of the population to be studied. Using this as a guide, a sample size of 111 respondents was selected. These women were drawn from five county assembly wards which are within Thika Sub–County.

Table 1

Sampling Grid

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source : The Women Enterprise Fund.

3.5.2 Sampling Procedure

The study used simple random sampling to get the required sample size of 111 women grocery micro - entrepreneurs, the researcher used excel random sample software to select the sample from the target population of 371 women grocery micro - entrepreneurs.

3.6 Instrumentation

The study used structured questionnaires to collect quantitative and qualitative data from the respondents. The instrument was developed by the researcher and contained both open-ended and close-ended questions. The women entrepreneurs survey questionnaire was divided into four sections; questions on profile of the respondent and business in section one, questions on training, profits and sales in section two, questions on marginal productivity of labour and capital in section three and a likert scale in section four on effects of WEF’s training. To test the validity and reliability of the tools; consultations with my research supervisors were done. Hulley, Cummings, Browner & Hearst (2013) recommend that the sample size for a pilot study should be 10 percent of the final study size. Using this as a guide 11 women grocery micro entrepreneurs in Nakuru Sub –County were selected for the pilot study. The reason for selecting Nakuru Sub-County for pilot study was that women micro-entrepreneurs have also been exposed to training by WEF in the County and there are women micro-entrepreneurs engaged in grocery micro- enterprises.

3.6.1 Validity

Validity means that the research outcomes truly reflect the phenomenon the study is trying to measure (Mugenda & Mugenda, 2007). To guarantee internal, construct and content validity of the research instrument, the research instruments were given to the research proposal supervisors for expert judgement and the researcher made corrections on them as necessary. This is by checking the instrument items against the study objectives. The use of real-life settings and ensuring the sample is representative of the population of study improved external validity.

3.6.2 Reliability

Reliability denotes the degree to which findings can be reproduced by another researcher (Kothari, 2008). To test the internal consistency of the items recorded on the research tool used, the Cronbach alpha coefficient was computed. Cronbach’s alpha was used to test reliability of the survey questionnaires used in the study. A correlation coefficient of 0.8 was obtained and considered acceptable . Maxwell (2013) notes that a Cronbach’s alpha value of >0.7 is ideal for reliability of social sciences surveys.

3.7 Data Collection Procedure

This study mainly used primary data. The researcher sought an introductory letter from Egerton University Graduate School to assist in obtaining a research permit from the National Commission of Science, Technology and Innovation before starting the research process. The researcher then visited Thika Sub-County Commissioner’s office to inform him of the intention to collect data and subsequently, liaised with the Constituency WEF office in Thika Sub-County. Consequently, informed the Ministry of sports, gender and cultural activities office in Thika Sub – County the purpose of the study. A set of 111 survey questionnaires were distributed to the respondent women entrepreneurs. Data collection took approximately one month. The questionnaires were administered through a drop and pick method. This allowed the respondents to give their responses in a free environment.

3.8 Data Analysis

After data collection, the data was stored in paper and electronic form. The researcher pre-processed the data to remove unworkable data that can be ambiguous. Afterwards, creating a coding scheme by generating codes and scales from the responses gotten which were then summarized and analysed. The data was analysed using inferential statistics that is,paired t test and ordered logistic regression and descriptive statistics ( mean, mode and median) with the aid of STATA software. The results are presented using percentages, pie charts and frequencies.

Table 2

Summary of Data Analysis

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


Excerpt out of 76 pages


Effects Of Women Enterprise Fund’s Training On Performance Of Women Grocery Micro-Entrepreneurs In Thika Sub-County, Kenya
Egerton University  (Faculty of Education and Community Studies)
Master of Research and Public Policy
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
1435 KB
effects, women, enterprise, fund’s, training, performance, grocery, micro-entrepreneurs, thika, sub-county, kenya
Quote paper
Michael Muraguri (Author), 2016, Effects Of Women Enterprise Fund’s Training On Performance Of Women Grocery Micro-Entrepreneurs In Thika Sub-County, Kenya, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/353191


  • No comments yet.
Look inside the ebook
Title: Effects Of Women Enterprise Fund’s Training On Performance Of Women Grocery Micro-Entrepreneurs In Thika Sub-County, Kenya

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free