A Survey of youth's development in the services offered by microfinance institutions in Nairobi, Kenya
This study was set out to determine youth's participation i the services offered by the micro finance institutions in Nairobi, Kenya. About half a million youth graduate each year from various tertiary institutions ready to enter the job market. However, only 25% of them get absorbed in formal employment, leading to a rapid growth in crime, drug and substance abuse among the youth. This can be attributed to the frustration that comes with idleness and a lack of gainful employment. The interests and needs of the youth have no0t received as much attention or funding as those of other vulnerable groups, like women in Kenya. Micro finance institutions have traditionally focused on women as their target customers for their financial products and programs. Over time, the small and the micro finance enterprise sector has emerged as the main source of employment. This research is motivated by my interest in the micro finance sector and its capacity to help poor women. It seems to me that a youth micro finance institution might, if properly set up, also be of similar benefit to young persons. While general research on micro finance has been carried out,little is known about the participation of youth in micro finance. The study has used a quantitative approach to yield data that could give me the quantitative information about the way in which, the youth and the micro finance institutions in Nairobi are relating to each other. The main instruments for collecting data were questionnaires and interviews. There was also qualitative dimension to my research as I sought to understand the ways in which the youth and MFIs perceived and related to each other, which I hoped could give me some clues regarding the possibility of a youth MFI. my sources of primary data included books, reports, magazine articles, websites and newspaper articles related to micro finance. An important observation of the study is that given the right policy framework and an enabling environment, youth micro finance institutions could be a possibility. It sets a stage for conducting a country-wide survey.