SECTIONS

Is the golden age of hustlers finally here?

President William Ruto. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Will the hustler nation now flourish following the victory of the proponents of bottom-up economics? Will trickle-down economics now become trickle-up? Will economic freedom finally ring allowing the hustlers to enjoy their golden age?

Every hustler is asking these questions privately and soon in public. 

The truth is that social-economic systems rarely get transformed overnight. They take time and sometimes have to be nudged either through persuasion or force. Remember, the status quo has beneficiaries and they rarely give up their privileges that easily.

Kenya has few big firms, many small firms (the SMEs) and a missing middle. We hope the new regime will populate this missing middle. Will the infamous Hustlers Fund close that gap? 

We first need to get the Sh50 billion and decide on how to get a piece of it. Will one need a credit reference? Will records be demanded from them? And what will be the minimum and maximum one can borrow?

More importantly, does one have a plan on where to invest that money? Is there a ready market for their goods and services? Will one expand the existing business or start a new line? Will your customers change now that we have a new regime?

The hustlers might be happy politically, but what of economically? I saw a group of young men and women walking to a construction site the day after the inauguration of President William Ruto, a clear indicator that things do not change overnight.

Except through lottery, inheritance, or sponsorship, rarely does one change his or her economic status overnight.

It takes time and patience. And hopefully, an environment where floodgates of meritocracy are open. 

But I doubt if hustlers are that naive. They must have known the truth all along after failed promises from previous elections. All they want is an environment where they will earn their living honestly, scale up their businesses and get the basic services like roads, water, sanitation and access to the market.

Will the new regime offer that? It could but I suspect in drips and in the next five years. For now, hustlers have to contend with the new reality, the status quo as we wait for new policies and ride through shocks such as the war in Ukraine.

The golden age will come, but gold must be mined and refined through sweat and policies that are friendly to entrepreneurs.