Effect of non-financial services provided by microfinance institutions on social capital and women empowerment in Kericho town, Kenya
Women play a vital role in the economic development of their families and communities but certain obstacles such as poverty, unemployment, low income and social discrimination mostly in third world countries have hindered their effective performance. The series of microfinance programs and policies were put in place by the government to reduce the rate of poverty by empowering women through having women have access to credit facilities. However, it is discovered that women entrepreneurs, especially in developing countries do not have easy access to micro-finance factors for the entrepreneurial activities and at such have low business performance than the male business. The specific objective addressed in this research paper was to assess how non-financial services provided by microfinance institutions affect social capital and women empowerment. This answered the question; how do non-financial services provided by microfinance institutions improve social capital and women empowerment? The research problem emerged from the need to assess Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) effects on women entrepreneurial empowerment and social capital. The study was of great significance to the women entrepreneurs, the management of microfinance institution, the government and the community at large. The study presented analysis of culture and deeper understanding of linkages between MFIs and women empowerment. Descriptive research design was adopted basing the study on selected women group enterprises within Kericho town, (Kericho County) with a target population of 100 respondents of which 79 of them were sampled. The data was analysed with the help of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Validity was achieved through pilot study. The findings revealed that Micro-finance provided the needed opportunity for entrepreneurs to start or improve business in order to make profit and improve their lives, savings, training and social capital could have positive impact on opportunity for entrepreneurial activity of women enterprises which could lead to business performance which highly depend on attitude to risk. The study concluded that women entrepreneurs lack the skills, ideas to innovate and respond to market opportunities and threats leading to weak market positions. It was recommended that women entrepreneurs should attend several training workshops and business meetings in order to develop business skills that will help them grow and build business empires in their counties.
Flister Kurgat. Effect of non-financial services provided by microfinance institutions on social capital and women empowerment in Kericho town, Kenya. International Journal of Finance and Commerce, Volume 1, Issue 4, 2019, Pages 10-13