Socio-entrepreneurial practices and community empowerment within the coastal tourism circuit in Kenya
MetadataShow full item record
A relatively small segment of business, known as social entrepreneurship (SE), is increasingly being acknowledged as an effective source of solutions to a variety of social problems. Despite this, little is documented as regards the role of social entrepreneurial practices and how they impact the local communities in Kenya in the context of the contribution of tourism and hospitality. Further, little is known about the requirements an innovation has to fulfill in order to be a social one and distinguish itself from other types of innovations. Also considered as important but whose evidence is also scarce is the role of SE practices on empowerment of local communities as well the existence of a legal framework to encourage the development of SE as a social economy in Kenya’s coastal tourism circuit. This study sought to contribute in filling the existing knowledge gap by assessing the role of tourism and hospitality enterprises’ SE practices on empowerment of communities with specific focus on the coastal tourism circuit in Kenya. Specifically, the study sought to determine the influence of enterprises’ socioeconomic practices, sociocultural practices and that of their green initiatives on empowerment of communities. Additionally, the role of innovations that the enterprises implement on empowerment was assessed. A descriptive survey of Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers registered enterprises as well as classified facilities, beneficiaries of empowerment programs and civic leaders were conducted. Data was collected from 42 enterprises purposively selected as well as from beneficiaries sampled using snowball sampling. Prior to the commencement of the actual study, 35 respondents affiliated to five enterprises participated in a pilot study to pre-test the research instrument. Data was collected using self-administered questionnaires. Quantitative data was analyzed descriptively and inferences drawn from correlation and multiple linear regression analyses results which were obtained with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23 computer software. Findings were that hotel enterprises within the coastal tourism circuit in Kenya had adopted socio-entrepreneurial practices, with socio-cultural practices having the greatest extent of adoption followed by green initiatives then social innovations, and lastly socio-economic practices. The practices were positively and significantly related with community empowerment at 0.05 level of significance. The relationship which was linear was strongest for social innovation followed by socio-cultural practices then socio-economic practices and lastly green initiatives. Similarly, it was found that socio-economic practices, socio-cultural and green initiative significantly influence community empowerment. Lastly, hierarchical regression analysis illustrated that social innovation mediates the relationship between socio-economic, socio-cultural and green innovation and community empowerment. It is therefore recommended that hotel enterprises enhance their level of adoption of the socio-entrepreneurial practices to enable local communities feel their impacts. In the process, due regard should be given to the vulnerable groups including women, youth and persons with disabilities. At the same time sensitization of host communities should be enhance through involvement of local civic leaders.