Kenya: Research Reveals Most SME's Are Women, Youth-Owned

Nairobi — A majority of small businesses in Kenya are managed by women and youth, a new report has shown, shining a spotlight on their roles in economic growth.

This was revealed today through the 'Small Firms Diaries' that was sponsored by the Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) and Financial Access Initiative (FAI) research centers.

While 62 percent of SMEs are women-led, only 32 percent are owned by men.

The study, which was undertaken in seven countries: Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Fiji, and Colombia, sought to investigate how microbusinesses overcome their financial constraints.

It sampled business owners in low-income neighborhoods and was conducted weekly for a span of one year.

In the country, the research was conducted in Kisumu, Nairobi, and Kwale, where most small-scale businesses are operated by women who rely heavily on community-based finances (chamas), a popular funding structure in Kenya.

"We also note that there is a significant growth in the youth population into business," "observed Tamara Cook of Financial Sector Deepening.

The report further revealed that Nairobi tops the list as the most formally financially indebted county, followed closely by Kisumu.

It also indicates that the majority of small business owners use loans to expand stock.

It, however, calls for more capital to be availed to them since a majority lack access to finances.

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