Kenyan Youth

Three things Kenyan youth should learn before starting a business

Kenyan youth are being urged to take up entrepreneurship as several factors put pressure on their opportunities for economic empowerment. Some of these include: population growth rate eating into economic growth and an education system that is due for reforms.

Yet Kenya is not doing as well as it should in setting up a good environment for entrepreneurship. Therefore, if you are a young Kenyan, you must not underestimate the importance preparing well before plunging into entrepreneurship.

These are the three things every Kenyan youth should learn:

Opportunity Perception
This is, ultimately, the most important thing in entrepreneurship. Bitange Ndemo wrote about what we all observe; Mpesa outlet next to Mpesa outlet next to Mpesa outlet. Research by FSD Kenya goes further to reveal that most Kenyan businesses grow by diversifying instead of specializing. Instead of expanding market for your Cyber Café, you start selling movies to increase revenue. Interpretation of this is that Kenyan youth should be trained in identifying opportunities. For instance, if you field of business has low barrier of entry you should not be surprised when in a year or two your growth opportunities start to dwindle.

Since you will wear many different hats, as an entrepreneur, it’s not possible to be an expert in everything. But there is a minimum you must meet in terms of skills. This is where the education system fails young Kenyans. It’s awful to spend even your University years rote learning. At the start of a business, you should at least be able to keep records, manage and market your business. There’s too much reliance on soft skills and also the “trial and error” tactics. Strategic management is one of the things you should learn.

One of the arguments for not rushing into business is networking. Some argue that it takes time to build networks and, after all, the wider the network the better your business prospects. Do you agree with this? But there are other avenues for building networks fast. These are in the form of the many business-owners associations in Kenya.