Areas of Opportunity for Young Kenyan Entrepreneurs in 2018
In an article that was published in the Standard Media in 2016, Josphat Mwangi described Kenyans as innovative, welcoming and friendly. However, one word that came up even more often in the article is "hardworking." Despite the many challenges they face, the author described Kenyans as hardworking; they put in hard hours to earn that Shilling.
Kenya is also home to some of the most successful entrepreneurs both men and women. The following are just a few of some of the most popular and inspiring entrepreneurs in Kenya:
- Tabitha Karanja—The founder and CEO of Keroche Breweries
- Dorcas Muthoni—The founder and CEO of founder of OpenWorld
- Lorna Rutto—The founder of EcoPost
- Diana Opoti—The founder of Diana Opoti PR
- Teresa Lubano—The founder of Nanjala Company
Young Kenyan Entrepreneurs
Areas with great opportunities
What is even more inspiring is that most of the entrepreneurs are young people who have gone to achieve so much. According to a number of studies, it has been shown that the number of young entrepreneurs (in their 20s) is expected to continue growing in 2018. This, as many have claimed, is from working hard and being creative (innovative).
As we look forward to 2018, I did some research to find some of the areas that have been said to present great opportunities for young Kenya entrepreneurs. While some of these areas have profited many between 2010 and 2017, they present many opportunities if taken advantage of and as calm returns to the country. They include the following:
Farming is one of the areas that present so many opportunities. Young Kenyans are also more likely to greatly benefit from the same by taking advantage of new, better techniques that have been shown to greatly increase yields. A good number of young Kenyans have already taken advantage of new methods of farming and are making millions in the process. One of the best examples is Eric Mumo, who in just five years turned a Ksh 150,000 investment in to over Ksh 16 million. Mumo diversified in dairy, poultry and horticulture among others and not only continues to make more profits, but also create employment.
Many more young people are taking advantages of the opportunities and are starting small. This includes many young high schoolers in Central and Rift-valley who are finding it to be one of the best ways to start employing themselves. It is worth noting that farming presents many opportunities depending on the abilities of the entrepreneur. This is because farming activities include among others:
- Arable (Crops)
- Pastoral (Animal)
- Poultry farming
Through irrigation (using polypipes, surge valves and furrows etc) young entrepreneurs can grow different types of crops that can help make good profits between the months of January and March; these being months where there are high food prices. On the other hand, young people can start keeping goats, cattle and poultry for milk, eggs or even for meat. All it requires is starting small and putting in the work. To succeed, it is also advised that young entrepreneurs learn more about the type of farming learn new and better techniques and then get started.
Innovation (Including Recycling)
Over the past few years, we have seen a number of young inventors in Kenya display their inventions. This has not only caught the attention of many Kenyans, but also attracted the attention of employers and investors who have invested their money in to such inventions. Richard Turere is one of the best examples of young inventors who are looking forward to better and greater things. Being innovative presents so many advantages given that the world is watching. Great ideas are being brought to life every other day and creating real, life changing opportunities for a good number of young Kenyans.
For instance, since the ban of plastic paper bags, a good number of young people are trying to come up with inventions that will help replace the paper bags at lower prices. Through recycling old material, Lorna Rutto was able to start her own company (EcoPost) and is today one of the richest young people in the country. This goes to show that young people should not sleep on their ideas, but rather work towards getting them noticed. There is definitely nothing to lose from trying.
Innovation May Go Towards:
- Cheaper and efficient fuel/lighting alternatives
- Alternative paper bags
- Farming methods, etc
Entrepreneurship in kenya
Fashion and Design
Fashion and design is one of the areas that have been experiencing high growth in Kenya. Some of the businesses that have been showing growth include Ankara Vintage, Afrivaze, Angelsmile House of Design and Kikoti to name a few. For young people in particular, this field represents a lot of opportunities given that it is still a relatively new field. As such, it provides an opportunity for young creative people to try out their designs, share them on social media where they can receive feedback and get an opportunity to improve.
Writing, Including Blogging
With better internet connections, availability of affordable mobile devices (tablets, laptops etc) as well as the various types of social media, young writers in the country today has so many opportunities. From blogs to script writing, there are endless opportunities. Today more than ever, it is very easy to start a website for a variety of content. Using such platforms as YouTube, it is also possible for young people to work on scripts for short films, create their own news channels or other types of entertainment. There are also many types of affiliate programs that writers can take advantage of to promote and sell products. Writing, therefore presents so much opportunities to earn some good cash over time.