Why Kenyans are Taking up ‘Side Hustle’ to Earn More

Why Kenyans are Taking up 'Side Hustle' to Earn More

Agriculture, media, and entertainment are lucrative side hustles for a majority of Kenyans who are putting in an effort to earn extra income.

According to research findings by Viffa Consult on the State of Side Hustle in Kenya 2020 which found an increase of 12% points from 2019 to 2020 of entrepreneurs engaging in a side business.

The report which is the second reveal that engaging in the business is aged between 21-25 Years as well as an increase by 19% points age bracket 41-50 Years. 

“Over 80% of respondents indicated salary supplement as their top motivation for starting a side hustle due to the inability of current salary to meet their basic needs. Respondents who indicated motivation for retirement and investment indicated that investment in side business had the potential to provide above market return on investment as well as the business acted as a cash reserve in case of an emergency,” reads part of the report findings.

“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 Top 10 Side Hustles in Kenya

  1. Agriculture 
  2. Media and entertainment 
  3. Retail 
  4. Transport 
  5. Information Technology 
  6. Manufacturing 
  7. Construction and Real Estate
  8. Financial services 
  9. Business services 
  10. Hospitality


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The report indicated that there has been a 10% decline in side hustle opportunities in the construction and real estate sectors with experts citing a decline in demand and over-saturation of the media industry.

However, the key challenges in managing a side hustle include: 

  • Business Management, 
  • Access to capital
  • Hiring Employees
  • Market Access
  • Taxes
  • Cashflow Management
  • Product Market Fit

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