Microfinance of microfinance projects. Despite mixed results overall,

Microfinance is the provision of financial credit to low-income clients, including consumers and self-employed, who traditionally lack access to banking and related services . Therefore, microfinance involves the provision of financial services such as savings, loans and insurance to poor people living in both urban and rural settings who are unable to obtain such services from the formal financial sector. There are different providers of microfinance services and some of them are; nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), savings and loan cooperatives, credit unions, and non-bank financial institutions. Provision of savings and credit services is the key instrument for economic empowerment of disadvantaged people. Empowerment, on the other hand, is the process of obtaining basic opportunities for marginalized people, either directly by those people, or through the help of non-marginalized others who share their own access to these opportunities.  Defines empowerment as “the process of increasing the capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and improve the efficiency and fairness of organizational context which govern the use of these assets.”  Empowerment includes capabilities like; the ability to make decisions about personal/collective circumstances, the ability to access information and resources, ability to consider a range of options from which to choose,  ability to exercise decision making, having positive-thinking about the ability to make decisions, ability to learn and access skills for improving personal/collective circumstance, education and engagement, involvement in the growth process and  increasing one’s positive self-image. In his Asian Development Bank evaluation on impact of women economic empowerment, found out that the five microfinance projects that were under study supported the importance of considering women entrepreneurship in all aspects of microfinance projects. Despite mixed results overall, the evaluation found that the projects had positive effects on women economic empowerment. In particular it found that women had; a greater role in domestic household generation of cash, greater involvement in major expenditure decisions and generating cash savings, Ability to generate more income on their own and greater role in business decisions, Acquisition of more skills and expanding their network of friends and Increased acquisition of assets.According to  “putting resources into poor women’s hand while promoting gender equality in households and in society result in large development payoffs”. Expanding women’s opportunities in public works accelerate economic growth, helping to mitigate the effects of current and future financial crisis.In Sub-Saharan Africa, micro-finance is not yet widespread and most low income earners,  including many of the poor, cannot access financial services (CGAP, 2009; Spencer & Wood, 2005) while poverty is officially widespread and acute A study was conducted by Nader by testing a hypothesis, “microfinance credit is directly linked to women’s economic wellbeing in Cairo.” She urged that microfinance has become imperative to alleviate poverty and improve family’s wellbeing. This also confirmed that microfinance is strongly linked with children’s education, income and assets. So it provides support to the topic that microfinance plays an important role in women’s empowerment, especially their inclination towards family wellbeing and children education. As an industry, micro finance is a relatively new phenomenon in Kenya, with a few agencies starting about 20 or so years ago but the sector gained the status of an industry only in the last 10 years . Despite the enactment of the Microfinance Act 2006  and the rapid growth of Microfinance, of about 40 commercial banks and hundreds of SACCOs, 35.2 % of Kenyan Women are still in need of financial services partly because of their inability to access the formal financial services), and another 30.2 % are entirely excluded from accessing any financial services .The Government of Kenya has indirectly provided a boost to the micro-finance sector. By virtue of illuminating on vision 2030, the G.O.K has been implementing a Structural Adjustment Program, which has resulted in the liberalization of the economy. This has given due consideration to efforts and programs directed at the economic empowerment of women through the formation of organizations such as Maendeleo Ya Wanawake and Kenya Women Finance Bank .The interest in microfinance has burgeoned during the last two decades: multilateral lending agencies, bilateral donor agencies, developing and developed country governments, and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) support the development of microfinance provisions to women. A variety of private banking institutions has also joined this group in recent years. As a result, microfinance services to women have grown rapidly during the last decade, although from an initial low level, and have come to the forefront of development discussions concerning economic empowerment of women Examples of microfinance organizations in Kenya are; Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT)  which was found  in 1981 as an affiliate of  Women’s World Banking (WWB) by professional women in Kenya to provide  financial services to women in the country. Jamii bora Trust, a micro finance institution based in Kenya, got its beginnings in 2000 when Swedish humanitarian and former head of African Housing Fund, Ingrid Munro offered street beggars and prostitutes small microloans to start self-owned businesses. Faulu Kenya which was the first small lender to be licensed May 2009 in a move that sought to open up more funding avenues for the micro financiers who were previously prohibited from taking any deposits from public  and Kenya Rural Enterprise Program (K-REP) which was the pioneer  of NGO microfinance in Kenya.