In Kenya, the SME sector is considered as one of the major contributors to the economy by providing income and employment to a significant proportion of the population. Group owned SMEs are a component of social entrepreneurship initiatives and they create economic value for the organization, beneficiaries and partners in the form of earned income, economic attainment, wealth creation and capital accumulation. However these groups face a number of challenges in terms of their performance and sustainability. The purpose of this study is to examine the determinants of performance of group owned enterprises in the dairy industry. The objectives of the study will be to explore the influence of technology and access to markets on the performance of group owned enterprises in the dairy industry. The study focused on dairy group enterprises under the Smallholder Dairy Commercialization Programme (SDCP) in Trans-Nzoia County. The study adopted a quantitative and qualitative descriptive survey research design. The population consisted of 61 dairy groups benefiting from SDCP interventions in Trans-Nzoia County. Stratified and systematic sampling techniques were used to select the sample of 11 dairy groups that participated in this study. Data was collected through desk research and by administering questionnaires to the dairy groups in the targeted group. The data was analyzed by using both descriptive statistics such as the mean, frequencies and standard deviation; and inferential statistical techniques such as multiple regression analysis. The STATA analytical software was used in the analysis process. The study established that the group owned enterprises had adopted new technologies that they had learnt. Technological innovation influenced positively the performance of group-owned enterprises in the dairy industry in Trans-Nzoia County. The study also found out that the group owned SMEs marketed their business thus improving their performance. The study concluded that the adoption of technology and market access enhance the performance of group owned SMEs. The study recommends that the County government of Trans-Nzoia should invest more in technology and provide linkages with export markets.

Key Words: Performance, Group Owned Enterprises, Dairy Industry

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