Does Entrepreneurial Mindset Catalyse Business- turnover by Women Managing Small and Medium Enterprises? Evidence from What Works in Kenya

John Aluko Orodho, Judith Waudo, Caroline Thoruwa, Francis Kirimi, David Ngigi, Juliana Wanjiru, Elsie Njeru


This paper explores the effect of entrepreneurial mind-set on business turnover of women-owned Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya. The study had three objectives aimed determining the effect of: i) education and business training on business turnover, ii) soft skills training on business turnover, and iii) overall entrepreneurial mindsets on business turnover.  The study used an explanatory mixed methods research design premised on pragmatism paradigm. The study was anchored on Resource Based View (RBV) Theoretical framework propounded by Adegbite (2019) which explains how women can utilize resources to grow their businesses.  Slovenes  formula using 800,000  population of KWFT beneficiaries   was employed to determine a stratified random sample of 400 women entrepreneurs from Kakamega, Kilifi, Machakos and Vihiga Counties in Kenya. Quantitative data from questionnaires coupled with qualitative case studies were used. The study revealed that education and training provided during training varied in intensity of coverage across the study locales with women located in Kakamega, Machakos and Vihiga more prepared compared with their counterparts in Kilifi Counties. Second, there were positive and statistically significant correlations between type of business and business turnover (r =.707**, p =01) and type of business and entrepreneurial mind-set (r =.483**, p = 01). Third, there were positive and no-statistically significant correlations between study locale and all other study variables. Further, positive and statistically significant correlations between business turnover and skills gained (r =.587**, p =001), and business turnover and entrepreneurial mind-set (r =.359**, p =.05) were established. However, further qualitative case study data analysis using interviews and focus group discussion (FGDs) revealed that   entrepreneurial mind-set, which is a combination of business training and soft skills/life skills (e.g. curiosity, creativity, problem solving, communication and collaboration, resilience), were not covered adequately during programme intervention. It is recommended that programme providers should make a policy shift towards providing a comprehensive intervention model that incorporate entrepreneurial mind-set as part of their capacity building through lifelong learning which has been demonstrated to be a critical driver that can spur business turnover among women managed SMEs not only in Kenya but other Sub-Saharan African countries.

Keywords:Entrepreneurial mindset, education and training, Nurturing soft skills, Small and Medium Enterprises, Kenya

DOI: 10.7176/JESD/14-14-06

Publication date:August 31st 2023

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