Employers especially those without a comprehensive remuneration package would be better off encouraging their staff to set up side hustles and engage in them outside working hours and on special occasions within working hours, the State of the Side Hustle in Kenya 2021 report authored by SME think tank Viffaconsult reveals.
According to the document published on January 23, 2021, such a move would reduce attrition of their best talent and build motivation among staff as well as develop talent simultaneously.
“If such a scheme is well managed employers will reap the benefit of increased skill and productivity at no or significantly less cost compared to formal training as well as low attrition due to job satisfaction,” reads the report.
The report which bases its findings on a survey conducted over the course of 2020 in seven largely cosmopolitan counties namely; Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nakuru states that 89 percent of respondents indicated that their side business improved their level of income while 11% indicted that their side business didn’t improve their income level.
Conversely, 85 percent of respondents indicated that their side business was profitable while 15 percent indicated that their side business wasn’t profitable.
Another 92 percent of respondents indicated that their side hustle improved their performance of day job while 8 percent indicated that their side hustle had no or negative performance on their day job.
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Heading into 2021, 85 percent of respondents said they are actively seeking formal employment despite
existence of profitable side business while 15 percent seeks to expand their business while keeping their day job.
Side hustles were also significantly hit by COVID with respondents quipping that business performance was worse off compared to 2019. Thirty nine of the respondents stated that revenue had declined by10% and below.
With most businesses and organisations being forced to alter their methods of operation due to health restrictions brought about by COVID-19 from March last year, 62 percent of respondents surveyed in this report indicated that they don’t sell their product online despite the impetus to ecommerce driven by the pandemic.
The remaining 38% indicated they have aligned their businesses with online channels.
“This can be explained by sector distribution where agriculture and construction are leading and business model favor brick and mortar rather than ecommerce,” reads the report.
The report notes: Agriculture, Construction & Real Estate, Media &Entertainment, Business Services, Education, Transport, Wholesale Retail, Financial Services, ICT and hospitality were the most preffered side hustles by Kenyans last year.
The biggest motivations for starting a side hustle as per the respondents were: Supplementing their salaries, Investment of disposable income, Retirement plan, Retrenchment, Desire to actualize an unmet need by the employer while another section cited side hustle as their hobby.
Further the biggest challenges that SMEs face are listed as: Lack of access to capital. High levels of taxation, Lack of knowledge on taxation & tax planning, Access to market, Lack of business management skills, Product development and Lack of business premises.