THE EFFECT OF TRAINING AND CREDIT OFFERED BY SMALL AND MICRO ENTERPRISE PROGRAM ON THE PERFORMANCE OF WOMEN-OPERATED ENTERPRISES IN NAKURU MUNICIPALITY, KENYA
CHEBET JOAN KIRUI
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Microfinance institutions have been offering help to women who wish to venture into or expand their business. In Kenya, several of these institutions have come up and small and MicroEnterprise Programme (SMEP) is one of them. The general objective of this study was to determine the effect of the training and credit offered by SMEP on the performance of enterprises owned and operated by women entrepreneurs. Specifically, it aimed at determining whether credit and training in budgeting and bookkeeping, marketing techniques and risk management offered by SMEP have led to a significant influence on the performance of womenowned enterprises in Nakuru Municipality. The study used survey research design targeting women enterpreneurs in the area who were working with SMEP. Random sampling design was adopted targeting 310 women using questionnaires. Data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings reveal that all the variables in the study individually were statistically significant to the performance of the women owned business in Nakuru Municipality (z > 1.960; α<.05; df = 309; p = 0.000). Credit and training in budgeting and bookkeeping offered by SMEP resulted in a positive response; however, there was need to focus more on training in managing their profit and loss accounts. It was also established that the marketing techniques of the women entrepreneurs significantly improved after receiving training and credit. Finally, it was established that credit and training had significantlyreduced the underperfomance of the women owned businesses in the area and, therefore, needed to be emphasized. The study concluded that based on the results of the Z-test analysis all the variables of the study were indeed significant factors to the performance of women-owned businesses in the area. It is recommended that; training frequency need to be increased by SMEP, more coverage needs to be made in marketing techniques and risk management; and more emphasis needs to be put on the conflict management aspect of group dynamics. Further research should also be done to establish the effect of technology adoption and capital management training on the performance of women- owned businesses.