A third of Kenyans with side hustles ready to quit day jobs – survey

33 per cent of Kenyans juggling formal jobs alongside entrepreneurial ventures on the side are ready to quit the day jobs this year as the after-work investments hold greater potential in comparison, a new survey shows.

The survey by SME based consultancy Viffa Consult on the state of the side hustle in 2020 said more and more Kenyans are joining the off-work investment train in a primary quest to grow personal incomes.

“We can hypothesize the phenomenon that there is a need for extra income to cover basic costs which are currently not being met by the existing salary as incomes grow below inflation,” noted the survey in part.

The ongoing tough environment for private sector players in the country is seen to trigger the acceptance for side hustles as formal jobs become increasingly unassured by the spate of mass layoffs by firms.

For instance, at least 15 listed companies issued profit warnings across 2019 while more than 1,700 employees were laid off leaving households with an even bigger struggle to make ends meet.

Last year, only 20 per cent of workers with side hustles were ready to call it quits on their day jobs with a further 3 per cent of the survey’s respondents looking to dispose of their businesses.

Other top reasons driving the transition into side hustles include the pursuit of a retirement plan, the creation of investment opportunities and boredom at work.

Top listed side hustles include the undertaking of investments in agriculture, media & entertainment, retail, transport and information technology.

Other investment avenues include manufacturing, construction & real estate, financial & business services and hospitality.

Interest in side hustles have meanwhile grown across the board with participation amongst Kenyans aged between 21-25 years and 41-50 years growing by 12 and 19 per cent respectively in the last year.

While the taking up of side hustles may largely mean spending time away from places of work, the survey recommends that employers support the ventures reading benefits to the exercise as 44 per cent of employees with side ventures mark improvements in the performance of their day jobs.

“Corporate employers should establish a framework to encourage employees to engage in side businesses outside official work hours,” added the survey.

However, like any other start-ups, side hustles experience interlocking challenges including access to capital, taxes, weakness in the management of cash flows and roadblocks to market access.