Survey: Majority of employed Kenyans engage in side hustles

Written By: Regina Manyara- Gitau

Retail, ICT, Financial services and hospitality are top side hustle industries

A majority of employed Kenyans are engaging in alternative sources of income, commonly referred to as, side hustles to make ends meet amid the rising cost of living and stagnating salaries.

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According to the latest report on the state of side hustle in Kenya 2020 by Viffa Consult, retail, ICT, financial services and hospitality industries offer more opportunities for side hustles.

The survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicates about 19.5 million Kenyans are active in the labour force with a majority in low cadre jobs, while 1.4 million are still job hunting. However, guaranteed pay at the end of the month is not enough to meet basic needs.

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As such Kenyans are getting creative ways of making ends meet, with a majority favouring ventures that are less capital intensive.

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Communications expert, Alex Owiti says the uptake of technology has created opportunities for the youth and tech-savvy individuals to create digital solutions.

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The report on the state of side hustle in Kenya indicates a 12% increase in entrepreneurs engaged in side hustles in the 21-25 age-group demographic and a 19% increase among those in their 40s.

Retail, ICT, Financial services and hospitality are top side hustle industries, while manufacturing and Agriculture have stagnated despite being identified as key pillars of development.

Further, there has been a 10% decline in side hustle opportunities in the construction and real estate sectors, as well as the media and entertainment scene with experts citing a decline in demand and over-saturation of the media industry.

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As the private sector continues to report a tough business environment characterized by profit warnings and downsizing, Kenyans are of the opinion it is a high time the corporate sector adopts the hourly rate system.

Majority of Kenyans maintain that the inability of their current salary to meet their basic needs is the main motivation to engage in side hustles.


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