The role of table banking on the empowerment of women in Kenya
Sang, Amos Kibet
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Women entrepreneurship in the society is critical towards the economic development. However, women still encounter a lot of challenges in their quest to start or expand their businesses through acquisition of credit from formal financial institutions. As a result, most women have resorted to table banking groups as they are able to access affordable credit and other services that are crucial for the sustenance of their businesses. On that basis this study sought to determine the role of table banking on the empowerment of women in Kenya with specific focus on Nairobi, Uasin Gishu and Nandi. The researcher identified four constructs that can be used to conceptualize the role of table banking. These are table banking financing, membership power, organizational learning and networking power. These constructs were examined to understand the extent to which they affected empowerment of women. The study utilized three theories namely: social capital theory, social cognitive theory and empowerment theory. Social capital theory was the major theory that informed the study. This is because it is central to the core functions of community coalitions which involve building and creating collaborative and community capacity. It asserts that community coalitions empower their member organizations to collaborate effectively and their communities to build the social capital necessary to address emerging issues. Data was collected by use of questionnaires with the target population of 400 members of SHGs within Joyful Women Organization (JOYWO). The questionnaire incorporated a 5 point Likert scale. Descriptive statistics correlation analysis and multiple correlation analysis were used to analyze the data. Finding from the study revealed that there was a positive relationship between table banking and empowerment of women. Moreover, the findings revealed that all the constructs were significant in influencing empowerment of women. The study concluded that table banking was critical in the empowerment of women. The study recommends that the government should observe a culture that encourages adoption of table banking among other SHGs that do not utilize the table banking concept. The study limitations were that it only considered one table banking association, which is JOYWO. This research suggested that future research could extend to other table banking associations.