Role of Microfinance Programs on Empowerment of Women in Kenya: A Case Study of Wide Ridge Visions Development Programme

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Kampala International University, College of Economics and Management
This study was intended to examine the role of microfinance programs on women empowerment with specific reference to Wide Ridge Visions Development Programme in Maragua district, Kenya. The objectives of the study were to determine the programs offered to women entrepreneurs by WRVDP, to examine how the fore said programs influence empowerment in women entrepreneurs, to investigate the current trend of welfare among MFis in Kenya today and to establish the missing links within the programs and make necessary recommendations. The methods used in data collection were questionnaires, interviews, document review and the researcher's ground observation. From the findings it was discovered that majority of the clients were women with families with secondary education level who owned small businesses with minimal management skills. The fact that not only is microfinance good for women, but also women are good for micro financing was also highlighted. The study also found out that most MFIs including WRVDP did not have clear programmes that could train women on how to manage their business in order for them to grow. The conclusion made indicated that microfinance had impacted women in various levels including personal, business and household and this has led to changed perception by women. These changes in perception have led to increased participation by women in community leadership and in some cases, political positions; and this is a level of women empowerment. The general recommendations are that MFIs especially those focused on women should initiate business management training programs to improve the skills of women on how to run their business in order for them to grow from small shops to large enterprises. MFIs should also follow-up on the women and their businesses to ensure their businesses run smoothly and if they is potential for expansion can provide the necessary funds.
A Research Dissertation Presented to the School Of Business and Management, In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Award of a Degree Of Bachelors Of Business Administration Of Kampala International University
Microfinance Programs, Empowerment of Women, Wide Ridge Visions Development Programme