Women entrepreneurs face a myriad of challenges in running their enterprises, such as inadequate market information for their products or services, lack of marketing skills, insufficient capital to start and run the business and unfavourable policies in county governments among others, leading to unwillingness to participate in businesses. To overcome these challenges, a number of initiatives had been put in place as a way of empowering these women, for example, Women Enterprise and Development Fund (WEDF) aimed at financing and sustenance of women-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Despite these initiatives, women continue to lag behind in terms of entrepreneurship leading to this study to unearth underlying issues pertaining to women entrepreneurship and empowerment. The study was guided by the following objectives: to determine the effects of WEDF loans on women empowerment, to evaluate accessibility of credit by women entrepreneurs, to establish the role of capacity building on the performance of women enterprises and to establish the effects of women enterprises on household livelihoods. This study is significant as it aimed at establishing the relationship between gender enterprise in relation to women empowerment by use of descriptive and explanatory research designs. The study targeted 246 women entrepreneurs in Eldoret whereby 51 respondents were sampled randomly who were issued with questionnaires having closed- and open-ended questions. Secondary data obtained from the banks were also used to enhance the accuracy of the data. The study established that WEDF loans had a positive effect on women empowerment and an improved household livelihood. On accessibility of loans, a few entrepreneurs had benefitted as women were required to be in groups in order to benefit and in addition, have collaterals. Performance of business enterprises owned by women who possessed marketing skills was good as opposed to those without the skills necessitating capacity building. The study therefore recommends that there is a need to encourage vulnerable groups to participate in economic development and women entrepreneurs to form groups which will enable them do table banking hence making them financially empowered.
Sawe, C.J. (2021), "Effects of Gender Enterprise on Women Empowerment in Eldoret – Kenya", Nziku, D.M. and Struthers, J.J. (Ed.) Enterprise and Economic Development in Africa, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 101-120. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80071-322-220211007
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