FACTORS AFFECTING GROWTH OF YOUTH-OWNED AGRO BASED SMALL BUSINESS IN KENYA: A SURVEY OF YOUTH-OWNED SMALL AGRIBUSINESS IN YATTA SUB COUNTY
The mobilization of youth in Kenya and growth of youth group enterprise projects took centre stage from the year 2008 with the creation of Ministry of youth affairs and sports. The Department of Youth development was established in January 2007 with an aim of spearheading the general empowerment of the youths. The study aimed at broadening understanding about the factors affecting growth of youth-owned agro based small business in Yatta Sub County, Kenya. The objectives included determining the influence of managerial skills on growth of youth owned agro based small business; identifying the influence of access to markets on growth of youth owned agro based small business; on growth of youth owned agro based small business in Yatta Sub- County. The study was limited to registered youth groups in Yatta Sub County. Descriptive survey design was used where questionnaires was the tool of collecting data. Data was analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative data was analyzed manually followed by categorization and coding into emerging themes and presented in a narrative form. Quantitative data was organized, coded, and standardized then descriptive statistics used to analysis aided by statistical package for social scientists (SPSS). Reliability test was conducted and all factors had cronbach alphas of 0.7 and therefore measures were internally consistent. Managerial skills had the best correlation of 0.849 which is a strong correlation to the growth of youth owned agro based small business. This implied that possession of business management skills among youthful entrepreneurs is very important in guaranteeing success and growth of enterprises. Access to markets was the second best with a moderate positive correlation of r=0.456 with growth of youth owned agro based small business. This implied that with ready markets, youth entrepreneurs have the motivation to put effort in their enterprises to succeed and expand. The study concluded that managerial skills evolved as the best measure of explaining growth of youth enterprises. The future of youth entrepreneurship in Kenya is through fostering managerial strengths among the youth entrepreneurs. Access to markets is important for the growth of enterprises. Lack of ready markets for youth entrepreneurs is a stressor that leads to collapse of enterprises. Entrepreneurship training had an average relationship with growth of enterprises. The conclusion is that entrepreneurship training is vital in explaining success in youth enterprises. The study recommended that another study be conducted on the youth enterprises in other counties to allow for generalization of findings among all youth enterprises in Kenya. It also recommended for another study focusing on the other variables key to enterprise growth.
Key Words: Youth Owned Business, Agribusiness
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