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Startups: New job opportunities for Kenyan youth

By Albert Sagwe | January 9th 2020

I couldn't help but be sad when I read an article describing the dismal situation Kenyan graduates find themselves in. It reminded me of a famous comic cartoon going by the moniker "plezident Kingston." The struggle to find employment is a real nightmare. Perhaps Kenyan graduates are overlooking other opportunities by focusing most of their energy in finding jobs at big companies. Startup businesses provide opportunities for graduates to learn and grow with the company as well as provide insights that can help youth start their businesses.

Here are some recent startups that you can find employment in or get inspiration from to get you unstuck from joblessness.

1. Sanergy

This is a company that provides low-cost waste management products and services. They mostly cater to urban slum areas with limited access to basic services. Their main products are a urine-diverting toilet and a bicycle-powered vacuum pump for desludging existing pit latrines. By using a franchise model, the urine is collected, brought to a central location, and then processed to create bio-gas for use at home for cooking and lighting, organic fertilizer, and insect-based animal feed for farmers. They currently have over 250 employees and have one open position currently.

2. Mother & Baby

As the name suggests, mother and baby is an online business that caters specifically to the needs of new mothers and their babies. From simple products like diapers to more exotic products like breast pumps and nursery furniture.

3. PayGo Energy

At one point in your life, cooking your favorite food may have come to a halt because your gas got depleted. But what if your retailer could tell when your supply is almost over and replace it with a new cylinder before it becomes an emergency. Paygo provides a digital platform that enables LPG gas retailers to track customer consumption and replace gas cylinders before supply runs out. As a jobless youth this is a business opportunity as a retailer and once you have a customer they are bound to stay for life.

4. Lori Systems

Lori Systems is a logistics firm based in Nairobi. They offer a platform that enables efficiency in the logistics industry by connecting cargo owners to transporters. They also have a number of jobs worth checking out.

5. Komaza

We consume much more wood than the trees we grow. And thus, we are facing a supply crisis and unsustainable deforestation. Small farmers collectively own large tracts of land. Komaza comes in to unlock the potential of these small farmers to solve Africa's wood supply problem by supporting them in commercial forestry. They are also looking for new hires, by the way.

While you may not be lucky to get a job in any of the organizations listed above, I hope these startups inspire you to generate new ideas of your own. You might want to go into business yourself. Alternatively, as you search for a job, don't fail to find out other small businesses that are hiring. They could be the missing link in your career trajectory.

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