Regina Mwatha Karega
Groups formed by rural women in Kenya have a long history. The activities of these groups have often been studied and the resulting literature, in general, ascribes to them a welfare orientation. Since the 1970s, this orientation has changed and the concept of income generation became incorporated and encouraged by policymakers and field extension officers. These two paradigms have been a common basis for policy towards the development of women's groups. This article argues that women's groups are increasingly incorporating small-scale enterprises into their group activities, and that the characteristics exhibited by the women's groups are consequently entrepreneurial in nature. They are innovative, they take risks, and they invest and reinvest accumulated capital through their enterprises. The types of enterprises in which the women's groups engage is outlined, and then the entrepreneurial characteristics of the women's groups in a study conducted in a rural district in Kenya is discussed.