The Performance of Small Scale Manufacturing Enterprises in West Laikipia (Ngarua Division)

Small scale enterprises have gained importance since the first official study of ILO in 1972. The Government views the small enterprise sector as an instrument of creating more jobs both in the rural areas and urban areas. It has shifted its policies in the favour of small scale industries, in the last one or so decade.

This study sought to investigate on the performance of small scale manufacturing enterprises in an attempt to determine the potential for growth of these enterprises, in the rural small towns.

This study covered small scale manufacturing enterprises in the rural areas of Laikipia West (Ngarua Division).  The activities studied were: tailoring and dressmaking, carpentry, shoe making, metal fabrications and tinsmith/blacksmith.

Both primary and secondary data was collected. A variety of simple descriptive statistics were applied in data analysis. These included averages, percentages, and cross tabulations. Regression analysis was used for further data analysis. Cartographic techniques were used for data presentation and illustrations.

The main finding of this work is that the performance of small scale manufacturing enterprises demonstrated that the enterprises performed better at the start than at the time of study. The overall employment growth rate (1-3 percent) is far below the Government expected rate between 3.5 percent and 5 percent. Average monthly sales and profits were higher at the beginning than at the time of study. There is a strong relation between agricultural performance and business performance in the rural area.

In the light of these findings it is recommended that to boost the performance of small scale manufacturing enterprises, there is need to adopt a more integrated approach. Besides creating an enabling environment for the enterprises to operate, the government should step up its public investment in the rural areas. Such investments should be biased towards agricultural development.
 

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