Entrepreneurial opportunity discovery dimensions and growth of non-governmental organizations in Kenya

  • Olive Kamane Ndeveni Karatina University
  • Kenneth Lawrence Wanjau
  • George Mbugua Kariuki
  • Joseph Muchiri
Keywords: Opportunity Discovery, Kirzner Theory, Structural Equation Model, NGOs


Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) play a critical role in addressing social ills like poverty, employment, and food insecurity; therefore, their growth prospects enhance their ability to address these social ills. Discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities amongst the agro-based NGOs has not got the desired attention, and it is the least researched area in social entrepreneurship. This study investigated the relationship between Entrepreneurial Opportunity Discovery Dimensions and Growth of Non-Governmental Organizations in Kenya. It employed correlation design and was anchored on the Kirznerian Entrepreneurship Theory. The target population was 135 agro-based NGOs in Kenya. A mixed-method approach was used, combined qualitative and quantitative techniques. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21 and Analysis of Moment Structures (AMOS graphic-25) aided in the analysis. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) using AMOS and Simple linear regression analysis were the primary analysis techniques used to evaluate the relationship between entrepreneurial opportunity discovery dimensions and the growth of NGOs. The results indicated that alertness0.372, p=0.033)and prior knowledge (0.163, p=0.031) have a significant favorable influence on growth, while social networks 0.047, p=0.713) showed an insignificant effect on the growth of NGOs. Investing in acquiring alert individuals and helping them gain relevant knowledge in the 21sttechnologies and emerging issues can lead to increased NGO ability to continue serving the community effectively and be engines of development for the general good of Kenya.


Adomako, S., Danso, A., Boso, N., & Narteh, B. (2018). Entrepreneurial alertness and new venture performance: facilitating roles of networking capability. International Small Business Journal, 36(5), 453-472. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0266242617747667

Aldashev, G., & Navarra, C. (2018), Development NGOs: basic facts. Annals of public and cooperative economics, 89(1), 125-155 https://www.unamur.be/en/eco/eeco/pdf/1409.pdf.

Alvarez, S. A., & Barney, J. B. (2014). Entrepreneurial opportunities and poverty alleviation. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(1), 159-184.retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1111%2Fetap.12078

Ardichvili, A., Cardozo, R., & Ray, S. (2003). A theory of entrepreneurial opportunity identification and development. Journal of Business venturing, 18(1), 105-123. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0883-9026 (01)00068-4.

Atkinson A. B., Backus P. G., Micklewright J., Pharoah C. And Schnepf S. V., 2012, ‘Charitable giving for overseas development: UK trends over a quarter century’, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society A, 175, 167–190.

Bloom, P. N., & Chatterji, A. K. (2009). Scaling social entrepreneurial impact, California management review, 51(3), 114-133. https://centers.fuqua.duke.edu/case/wpcontent/uploads/sites/7/2015/02/Article_Bloom_ScalingSocialEntrepreneurialImpact_2009.pdf

Browne, M. W., & Cudeck, R. (1993). Alternative ways of assessing model fit. Sage focus editions, 154, 136- 136.https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=FvIxxeYDLx4C&oi=fnd&pg=PA136&dq=Brown,+M.,+%26+Cudeck,+R.+(1993).+Alternative+ways+of+assessing+model+fit.+K.+Bollen+and+J.&ots=_M-Ey1YHwQ&sig=rFvUot7aoWo_zAciNP1nTiFsUBw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

Busenitz, L. W., West III, G. P., Shepherd, D., Nelson, T., Chandler, G. N., &Zacharakis, A. (2003). Entrepreneurship Research in Emergence: Past Trends and Future Directions. Journal of Management, 29(3), 285-308. https://doi.org/10.1016%2FS0149-2063_03_00013-8

Byrne, B. M. (2013). Structural equation modeling with Mplus: Basic concepts, applications, and programming. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203807644

Carman, J. G. (2007). Evaluation practice among community-based organizations: Research into the reality. American Journal of evaluation, 28(1), 60-75.

Craig, J., & Lindsay, N. (2001). Quantifying ‘gut feeling’in the opportunity recognition process. Frontiers of entrepreneurship research, 124-137.

Duffield, M. (2012). Challenging environments: Danger, resilience and the aid industry, Security dialogue, 43(5), 5-492 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0967010612457975

Dutta, D. K., &Crossan, M. M. (2005). The Nature of Entrepreneurial Opportunities: Understanding the Process using the 4I Organizational Learning Framework. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 29(4), 425-449. Retrivied from: https://doi.org/10.1111%2Fj.1540-6520.2005.00092.x

Fatima, S., Iqbal, S., Rehman, F. U., & Ali, M. (2011). A study of factors affecting opportunity recognition process—case study of Pakistan, an opportunity recognition process framework. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 3(8), 1106-1125.

George, N. M., Parida, V., Lahti, T., & Wincent, J. (2016). A systematic literature review of entrepreneurial opportunity recognition: insights on influencing factors. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 12(2), 309-350.

González, M. F., Husted, B. W., & Aigner, D. J. (2017), Opportunity discovery and creation in social entrepreneurship: An exploratory study in Mexico. Journal of Business Research, 81, 212-220. Retrieved: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2016.10.032

Grecu, I. (2014). Factors of Entrepreneurial Opportunity Recognition: A Systematic Review of Evidence in the Last Decade (Master’s thesis) Retrieved from http://projekter.aau.dk/projekter/en/studentthesis/factors-of-entrepreneurial-opportunityrecognition-a-systematic-review-of-empirical-evidence-in-the-last-decade (3d177ae2- e758-4902-9c54-d23c3b5efff9).html

Grim, J., Hora, J., Boček, P., Somol, P., &Pudil, P. (2010).Statistical Model of the 2001 Czech Census for Interactive Presentation, Journal of Official Statistics, 26(4), 67). retrived from:https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jii_Grim/publication/228859684_Statistical_Model_of_the_2001_Czech_Census_for_Interactive_Presentation/links/0fcfd507c02045c730000000/Statistical-Model-of-the-2001-Czech-Census-for-Interactive-Presentation.pdf

Hajizadeh, A., &Zali, M. (2016).Prior Knowledge, Cognitive Characteristics and Opportunity Recognition.International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 22(1), 63-83. Retrieved from : https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-05-2015-0110

Israel, G. D. (2012).Sampling: Determining sample size. University of Florida IFAS Extension: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pd006

Kirzner, I. M. (1997). Entrepreneurial discovery and the competitive market process: An Austrian approach. Journal of economic Literature, 35(1), 60-85.

Kirzner, I. M. (2015). Competition and entrepreneurship. University of Chicago press.

Kline, R. B. (1998). Software review: Software programs for structural equation modeling: Amos, EQS, and LISREL. Journal of psychoeducational assessment, 16(4), 343-364, https://doi.org/10.1177%2F073428299801600407

Lomax, R. G., & Schumacker, R. E. (2004), A beginner's guide to structural equation modeling, psychology press. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781410610904

Lumpkin, G. T., & Lichtenstein, B. B. (2005).The Role of Organizational Learning in the Opportunity‐Recognition Process.Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 29(4), 451-472. https://doi.org/10.1111%2Fj.1540-6520.2005.00093.x

Lumpkin, G. T., Moss, T. W., Gras, D. M., Kato, S., &Amezcua, A. S. (2013). Entrepreneurial Processes in Social Contexts: How are they Different, if at all? Small Business Economics, 40(3), 761-783. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11187-011-9399-3

MacCallum, R. C., Widaman, K. F., Zhang, S., & Hong, S. (1999). Sample size in factor analysis. Psychological methods, 4(1), 84.

Marvel, M. R., & Lumpkin, G. T. (2007).Technology Entrepreneurs' Human Capital and Its Effects on Innovation Radicalness.Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 31(6), 807-828.Of Small Business &Entrepreneurship, 21(2), 139-151. https://doi.org/10.1111%2Fj.1540-6520.2007.00209.x

Mary George, N., Parida, V., Lahti, T. et al. Int Entrep Manag J (2016) 12: 309. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11365-014-0347-y

Miller, J. (2007). An effective performance measurement system: Developing an effective performance measurement system for city of Elmira sub-grantees. Unpublished manuscript, New York: Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Nunnally, J. C., & Bernstein, I. H. (1967). Psychometric theory (Vol. 226). New York: McGraw-Hill. Retrieved from : http://garfield.library.upenn.edu/classics1979/A1979HZ31300001.pdf

Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2019). Creating shared value. In managing sustainable business (pp. 323-346). Springer, Dordrecht http://www.nuovavista.com/SharedValuePorterHarvardBusinessReview.PDF

Puhakka, V. (2007).Effects of Opportunity Discovery Strategies of Entrepreneurs on Performance of New Ventures.The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 16(1), 19-51.

Razali, N. M., & Wah, Y. B. (2011). Power comparisons of shapiro-wilk, kolmogorov-smirnov, lilliefors and anderson-darling tests. Journal of statistical modeling and analytics, 2(1), 21-33. Retrieved from : https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bee_Yap/publication/267205556_Power_Comparisons_of_Shapiro-Wilk_Kolmogorov-Smirnov_Lilliefors_and_Anderson-Darling_Tests/links/5477245b0cf29afed61446e1/Power-Comparisons-of-Shapiro-Wilk-Kolmogorov-Smirnov-Lilliefors-and-Anderson-Darling-Tests.pdf

Robert C. MacCallum, Keith F. Widaman, Kristopher J. Preacher & Sehee Hong (2001) Sample Size in Factor Analysis: The Role of Model Error, Multivariate Behavioral Research, 36:4, 611-637, DOI: 10.1207/S15327906MBR3604_06

Shane, S., & Venkataraman, S. (2000). The Promise of Entrepreneurship as a Field Of Research.Academy Of Management Review, 25(1), 217-226 https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2000.2791611

Shane, S., Locke, E. A., & Collins, C. J. (2003). Entrepreneurial motivation. Human Resource Management Review, 13(2), 257-279. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1053-4822(03)00017-2

Salvador, E., Pinot De Villechenon, F., &López Rizzo, H. (2014). European Smes and the Brazilian Market: The Key Role of Social Networks. European Business Review, 26(4), 368-388.

Taber, K. S. (2018). The use of Cronbach’s alpha when developing and reporting research instruments in science education. Research in Science Education, 48(6), 1273-1296. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-016-9602-2

How to Cite
Ndeveni, O., Wanjau, K., Kariuki, G., & Muchiri, J. (2019). Entrepreneurial opportunity discovery dimensions and growth of non-governmental organizations in Kenya. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478), 8(5), 18-26. https://doi.org/10.20525/ijrbs.v8i5.300