Assessing the effectiveness of table banking as a financing option for women owned micro and small enterprises in Nairobi, Kenya
Akinyi, Veronicah Liza
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Women enterprises are believed to make a great contribution to economic growth of developing countries with about one in three micro and small enterprises being women-owned. This study assessed table banking as a financing option for women-owned micro and small enterprises in Nairobi County, Kenya. The study objectives sought to investigate the drivers of table banking among women entrepreneurs, to assess the member experience of table banking as a financing option for women owned enterprises and to explore the effect of table banking financing on the performance of women owned enterprises in Kenya. A sample of 400 members of table banking women groups was selected using purposive and simple random sampling methods. Data was collected using a structured researcher-administered questionnaire and analyzed using SPSS and Stata software applying descriptive and inferential techniques. Findings indicate that majority of women running micro and small enterprises in Nairobi are aged 26 – 45 years, are fairly well educated and close to a third of them have more than four people depending on them for livelihood. Women entrepreneurs are pushed to join table banking financing groups to enable them save, raise business capital, to avoid prohibitive requirements and procedures in formal financial institutions and save for their children’s school fees. Table banking improves business performance of women owned enterprises but the extent of effect varies by individual attributes of the business owner and group attributes. Moreover, table banking groups are marred by lack of training opportunities, group conflicts, mistrust among members and bad debts. The study recommends that savings and credit cooperative societies, cooperatives, microfinance institutions and commercial banks should develop simple, friendly and practical products targeting women entrepreneurs in table banking groups. Further, national and county governments through Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA) and development partners should aim to strengthen table banking groups longevity through requisite policies and regulatory frameworks. Development partners should discriminate interventions such as capacity building by duration of membership, age and other relevant individual attributes. Finally, there is need to provide table banking groups with training in conflict resolution and group cohesion.