FACTORS INFUENCING ENTREPRENEURIAL PRACTICES IN KIKUYU TOWN, KIAMBU COUNTY
PDF version
Entrepreneurship is one of the most important inputs in economic growth and development. The
number and competence of entrepreneurs in a country affects the economic growth and
development of a country. The crucial and significant role played by entrepreneurs in the
economic development of advanced countries has made the people of underdeveloped and
developing countries conscious of the importance of entrepreneurship in economic growth and
development.
The key objective of this study was to analyze the factors influencing entrepreneurial practices in
Kikuyu Town. This study sought to find out how entrepreneurial skills, availability of financial
resources, the economic environment, government policies and government support influence
entrepreneurial practices. This study also outlines the historical development of entrepreneurship,
theories of entrepreneurship, role and importance of entrepreneurship in an economy as well as
characteristics of entrepreneurs.
In this study, the target population was enterprises operating in Kikuyu Town and government
officials who answered questions on behalf of the government. The research design that was
used is descriptive survey design. Stratified random sampling was used to divide the target
population into various groups or strata. The sample population was picked from each stratum
using simple random sampling. Primary data was collected through interviews, administering
questionnaires and observation. Secondary data was collected from written records and reports
from previous studies carried out. The data was analyzed using statistical packages for social
sciences and presented using percentages, frequencies and tables.
From the data collected, majority of the respondents run their businesses personally and do
financial accounting in their businesses. In addition, all the entrepreneurs interviewed had
attended at least one business training course. The major source of initial capital for the
respondents was personal savings coupled with borrowing from friends and relatives. None of the respondents got loans from commercial banks for their initial capital due to lack of collateral
and the high cost of credit. When it came to expanding the business, the major source of capital
was ploughed back profits followed by loans from microfinance institutions.
Research findings show that the economic environment within which the entrepreneurs are
operating is unfavorable for business. Businesses are struggling to survive due to high inflation
rates and high operation or production costs. This has greatly reduced profitability of businesses.
Consequently, entrepreneurs have had to raise the prices they charge for their products, reduce
number of workers, change to alternative business ventures and buy sub-standard or low quality
inputs.
Majority of the respondents felt that the government had not done enough to support
entrepreneurship in the town. They complained of poor road network in the town, high levels of
insecurity, poor drainage and sewerage systems, heaps of uncollected garbage, lack of a regular
supply of water and poor town planning.
Further, most of the respondents felt that the policies formulated by the government on
entrepreneurship were sufficient but they were not properly implemented. They felt that the
government should develop a one stop shop to deal with matters concerning businesses and to
regulate business activities. In addition, bar owners feel that the infamous Mututho Law should
be discarded since it has negatively impacted on their businesses and significantly reduced their
profit margins.
The study recommended that the government should help businesses to reduce production or
operation costs by reducing the cost of fuel and energy. In addition, the government can provide
subsidies to entrepreneurs and other incentives to promote entrepreneurship. The government
should establish an entrepreneurship development plan that will enable entrepreneurs and other
stakeholders to be more focused in their endeavour to develop entrepreneurial ventures.
The government should also develop programs that provide entrepreneurial education to
entrepreneurs and people thinking of starting their own businesses. Finally, organisations or
institutions involved in providing courses on various aspects of business should offer more
affordable courses so as to encourage more entrepreneurs to get trained.