Employment creation in Kenya: exploring the Jua Kali enterprises

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In developing countries, non-agricultural micro-sized informal enterprises are known to create employment and income generation opportunities. However, due to the complexity and unregulated nature of the sector and, in particular, the Jua Kali, achieving efficient and effective sustainability remains a major challenge for the owners and policy makers alike. Since many unknown barriers continue to impact the effective and efficient development of the aforementioned enterprises, the aim of this study was to determine the barriers to effective job creation in a developing country’s informal micro enterprise industry using evidence from the Jua Kali sub-sector in Kenya. The data from a survey conducted among a random sample of 118 enterprises, which were listed in one Jua Kali Association Directory Nairobi, were analyzed using exploratory factor and regression analyses. Strong evidence supports the notion that some socio-demographic variables such as age, education and marital status have an impact on entrepreneurial activities in the Jua Kali sector. Training, advise and consultation for Jua Kali entrepreneurs need to be enhanced, as this will be necessary to advance their business prowess. The results contribute to studies in entrepreneurship and management by demonstrating that designing and implementing the systems, activities and programs for supporting employment creation through the informal sector can improve productivity at all levels of the economy and improve the living of these entrepreneurs.

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    • Figure 1. Conceptual model
    • Table 1. The demographic characteristics of the study sample
    • Table 2. Exploratory factor analysis and reliability results
    • Table 3. Calculated coefficients of barriers
    • Table 4. Influence of variables
    • Table 5. Kruskal-Wallis equality of population rank test