Freelancing in Kenya

On average, it takes a Kenyan university graduate 5 years to get a job! The pressure on jobs becomes greater as over 150,000 graduates enter the job market every year. The fact that many multinationals and blue chip companies are downsizing makes this problem even worse.

Relying on traditional 9 to 5 jobs created by government and multinational companies as the solution to unemployment is not sustainable. Western economies are now exploring the alternative that is the ‘gig’ or freelance economy. In the US for example, freelancers now make up 35% of the entire workforce!

The freelance economy will only thrive in Kenya if we increase the number of entrepreneurs who understand and exploit the benefits of using local talent to grow their business. The freelance model can dramatically lower the costs for startups and small companies that need specialized help, from product development to accounting, sales and marketing. For us to launch for example, Kenya’s freelance and contractor’s website, we had to leverage contributions from various talented freelancers. We used Bramwell to register the company, John and Talaam to develop the website and Mark to create content. Like a ‘harambee’ where small contributions add up to the whole, this was a contribution of talent from various freelancers to create the whole. Using freelancers at affordable rates is truly the smart way to grow your business.

Everyone in Kenya with a passion and skill can earn a living. A person who spends majority of their time on facebook and twitter for example can develop into a freelance social media marketer. A person who has a significant amount of friends and is very sociable and likable can make a career as a freelance brand ambassador. will create a pipeline of projects for freelancers and contractors to make a decent living.

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