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Dalphne Halkias


A literature gap exists on the daily challenges faced by women microentrepreneurs (MEs) in rural Kenya beyond access to financing, which impedes business growth. The purpose of this qualitative, narrative inquiry study was to gain a deeper understanding of the daily challenges for business growth faced by women MEs in rural Kenya after microfinance accessibility. The narrative inquiry method was used to address the problem and answer the research question using interview data from 10 women MEs in rural Kenya. This study was framed by two key concepts aligning with the purpose of the study: (a) Muñoz and Kimmitt’s concept of rural entrepreneurship in place; and (b) Kiyai et al.’s concept of hindering growth of Kenyan women’s microenterprises. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts revealed patterns combined into six conceptual categories for answering the central research question: (a) the nature of women’s microenterprises in rural Kenya, (b) challenges at the startup stage of Kenyan women’s rural microenterprises, (c) challenges for rural Kenyan women in microfinance accessibility, (d) challenges in running a rural microbusiness after microfinance accessibility, (e) challenges to business growth of rural microbusinesses after microfinancing, (f) future prospects for rural women entrepreneurs in Kenya. By informing policymakers who may initiate positive social change in sustaining development in poverty-stricken rural regions of Kenya, and strategize on social and financial empowerment of rural women who comprise microentrepreneurs in developing counties of Kenya.