You might have noticed her missing in the evening social gatherings, girls nights out or that she is ever glued to her laptop during and after office hours. Some women are forever talking to people on their phones during lunch or may be seen driving away very fast and leaving only a trail of dust in their wake whenever they can get a short break. No, she is not missing from the gatherings because she is eternally broke or is unwell. She is also not always online because she is following the latest scandal on buyer beware or hurling abuses at fellow Kenyans on political forums. This woman is doing what women do best, multitasking and juggling her mostly demanding job with a side hustle. Welcome to the world of jeans of all trades that is lining the pockets of upwardly mobile women that are causing waves in the Kenyan economy
They say do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life, and many of these side hustles are actually born from passion. The women have a passion for their God-given talents which they have turned into money-minting entities. They range from catering, graphic designs, interior designs, wedding and events planning, fashion designs and so on. Necessity is also the mother of invention and some of the best companies online, and offline are made from the need to feel a gap that the entrepreneur experienced or has recognized around them. They have also come up with different kinds of diapers, pads, shoes, clothes and so on to respond to a particular need. Some just needed to make an extra coin and had to learn a new skill and hence started their journey of making mats or cooking food for office professionals at a cost. Other women run errands for busy people, sell cereals, and clothes online to make a living. They have since learned how to leverage online platforms and hence make money from the comfort of their homes and office.
As we celebrate the International Women’s Day this month, I am challenged and highly impressed by these women who have also alluded to the fact that despite their efforts bearing fruits, they also undergo challenges that almost broke them. In an interview with Afromum, Getty Mariga, for example, said that she almost gave up when her shop assistant at the famous Kamukunji market stole her entire stock and she had to start from scratch. “She took advantage of the fact that am rarely there during the day and would cart away a few items each day. Within
“She took advantage of the fact that am rarely there during the day and would cart away a few items each day. Within a short time, I had almost nothing left, and she just took off, “explained a visibly annoyed Getty. I have since learned to keep a closer tab on my business and often send my husband whenever he is free, “she added.
Greedy shop assistants are not the only problem; there is also the issue of creating what is often a delicate balance between keeping your job and also ensuring that your clients at work are happy.
“It’s a bitter/sweet kind of a situation, sometimes you lose clients coz you can’t meet their needs, sometimes you struggle to perform at your pace of employment…. but once you get a good deal you will be very happy, ” said Anne Njoki. Grace Kiteme agrees with Njoki in this regard but has also found a way around this situation. She says that she makes friends with people who offer similar goods and if she cannot meet her clients, she will refer them to friends who are free and she gets a cut from that instead of just letting everything go and letting the client go. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 50 percent of startups fail before the four-year mark and reasons such as lack of cash flow, consistency has much to do with this. Female side hustles are not shielded from this situation as well and have to suffer major losses, but they live to fight .or sell another day.
Women who are making it big with side hustles all agree that you will have to make major sacrifices in your social and family life to make your business life. This does not, however, mean that you should ignore the important things in life or sometimes just take a break once in a while. Consistency is another important attribute that any entrepreneur should embrace and that will let you win and keep customers. It is also important to keep a hands-on approach to the business to ensure that there are no loopholes that can be exploited to cause you losses. When looking for employees, ensure that you are able to pay them and motivate them to stay as well. A revolving door may not be so good for business. Being able to hold a job, facing challenges head –on and coming up with strategies for business to keep them afloat are definitely the reasons why I celebrate these women this month.