5 Mistakes Kenyan entrepreneurs make

Kenyan entrepreneurs are industrious and committed. Yet many times their ventures fall flat because of mistakes they make. Herbusiness lists 5 of the most common ones.

Inadequate research

Many Kenyan entrepreneurs don’t value the importance of research. Gaining a thorough understanding of what you are getting into is essential to sustain the business. It is important to prove that your business idea is, infact, needed in the market. Poor research is also reflected at the start with putting capital requirement above all else. Many businesses find themselves unable to take off even after acquiring the much vaunted capital. Starbucks founder, Zev Siegl, advises acquiring markets before funds.

Derivative idea

Remember “Quail-mania?” Unfortunately, that is the nature of most new businesses in Kenya. Entrepreneurs get into the game to supplement income or meet an immediate need. There is usually little innovation by our entrepreneurs. The weakness of this modus operandi is that your business will only grow so fat. This lack of innovation is partly caused by the poor repute we give entrepreneurship. No surprise that the A students paraded on our screens and prints annually all want to get employed.

Refusing to let go

This is not known too much but a common impediment to expansion of a business is the entrepreneur. How can that be? Isn’t the entrepreneur the one who built it all up-you ask. When the volume of activities starts increasing the deficiencies in skill begin to show. As an entrepreneur, this is the moment to invest in skilled personnel. Bring in people to manage the growth. Being a busy body that refuses to delegate is only going to burn you out and burn your business down.

Poor management

Many Kenyans still consider entrepreneurship a side-hustle; I’m looking at you parents. Entrepreneurs therefore make little investment in management skills needed for that particular business. As a consequence you have problems about withdrawal of funds, record-keeping, employee retention, planning, etc. This is the most important thing in keeping your business around after the first 2 years.


This mainly affects young entrepreneurs. As the Aga Khan Survey showed, Kenyan youth are unhealthily obsessed with riches. This type wants to start a business today and be Captain of Industry in a year. They easily get despondent when they find themselves not trailblazing soon enough. Convenient to miss the long journey the figures they aspire to have taken or easy to miss that entrepreneurship is the best example of learning on the job.