More and more Kenyans are leaving formal employment to test their luck in business. And these are the lucky ones who had jobs to begin with.
Millions are forced into self employment by circumstances, and have never worked for anyone their whole lives.
It’s no secret that Kenya’s has no job market to speak of. Despite thousands of college and University students graduating every year, the slots they hope to occupy are already filled. They end up joining the waiting list alongside the hundreds of thousands who completed their studies but still have nothing to do.
We’ve often been told often that self-employment is better than formal employment.
For one, you control your time schedule and in theory also control how much you can earn in a given month.
But anyone who has ventured into this world will tell you that is easier said than done.
Unlike having a stable job in the government or some company, the business world is full of uncertainties and is heavily dependent on the state of the economy. Most businessmen live hand to mouth.
During this Covid-19 pandemic, the reality of this has been laid bare, with thousands of Kenyan businessmen either shutting down or taking considerable losses.
Pictures and videos of car owners lining Nairobi roads and estates selling vegetables from their boots have swept the internet. Just 3 months ago, these were people who were quite stable in their different businesses, but the dynamics of the last few months have changed everything.
It is therefore paramount that before considering taking the entrepreneurship path, you have the right advice and information.
The best way to acquire this is by listening to entrepreneurs who have themselves made it big.
One such guy is Eng. Antony Ng’ang’a Mwaura. He is an accomplished businessman, being the Managing Director of Toddy Civil Engineering. His company has undertaken many water and sewerage projects in the country.
Quite an achievement for a company he founded in 2002 with just 2 employees in Karatina.
We recently sat down with him and he had some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
His biggest belief is that anyone who considers himself/herself an entrepreneur should be ready to take risks. Sometimes big risks, but at the same time calculated.
“Aspiring entrepreneurs must be willing to take risks, but these should always be researched and calculated risks. Be brave, believe in yourself and have a vision which has always been carefully designed to find success in business and all areas of your life.”
He added that entrepreneurship is an extremely demanding undertaking, particularly in the early stages of growth, which means your whole mind should be into it.