Entrepreneurship is the capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any accompanying risks. Over the years, entrepreneurship, along with innovation, has carved its role in the economic and social development of the society, transforming the lives of millions of people around the globe.

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The stand-alone trait that makes an entrepreneur is the entrepreneurial spirit that inspires one from within to be the best they can be. It develops within an individual who demonstrates a true passion for building something great from nothing and the will to push themselves to the limits to achieve their goals. An entrepreneur

is always passionate about what they do,always welcomes improvement in every aspect of their lives,optimistic about all possibilities, while taking challenges and obstacles as learning opportunities,takes calculated risks, and above all,executes their ideas. This combination of traits nurtures the entrepreneurial spirit within him that drives his ambitions.

Entrepreneurship in Kenya has evolved through the years driven by the political, social and economic changes that the country has undergone. In the past, entrepreneurship in Kenya lacked diversity, being reserved to family businesses, cultural lines, the older generation, and predominantly men; but over the years Kenya has transformed into a cosmopolitan economy that spurs innovation and partnerships along diverse cultural differences and has seen youth and women step up. The key factors that encourage entrepreneurial development in the country are:

Challenges such as unemployment and poverty: The unemployment rate in Kenya as at 2014 was 40% of the total population, with a large percentage comprising youth and women. This has led to innovations and entrepreneurial activities with the aim of improving their standards of living, especially in the informal sector. The inability of a large proportion of school leavers to secure jobs has left many to come up with their own businesses as a means of livelihood.
Economic growth: The Kenyan economy is expected to continue growing strongly given the high infrastructural developments, which provide ample opportunities for entrepreneurial developments. Kenya being a developing nation, the opportunities for entrepreneurship brought about by economic growth are large and far-reaching ranging from technology to agriculture, manufacturing to service, education to finance and real estate to infrastructure.
Technological advancements: Global technological advancements and local innovations such as M-Pesa have greatly enhanced convenience and the ease of doing business.
Government initiatives: The government has come up with several initiatives aimed at promoting entrepreneurship in the country, with the most recent being the Uwezo Fund, which targets the youth, women and the physically disabled.
Education levels: We have seen a lot of growth in the tertiary education sector with a lot of new campuses being opened up. This will definitely lead to a lot of growth in the knowledge base and is bound to improve the rate of discovery in the country.
However, the Kenyan population faces obstacles that hinder them from exploiting their full potential. These obstacles are statutory, economic or social:

Exam-based education system: Education nurtures talent from an early stage. A good education backbone in the country serves as a strong foundation on which entrepreneurship thrives. Our education system has been criticized for being rigid and exam based, hence limiting creativity and innovation, which are key for entrepreneurship. We need to review the system to one that nurtures talent and creativity from an early stage rather than one that focuses solely on examination.
High taxes: High taxes have a significant impact on entrepreneurial activity hindering innovation. Entrepreneurs are discouraged to invest their ideas in the formal sector that have strict statutory regulations and will rather work in the informal sector where they can evade tax.
Unclear and/or too many conflicting regulatory hurdles: It should be easy for any entrepreneur to register and run their business as long as they can comply with the required regulations. Streamlining the regulatory authorities so that there is minimum waiting time to receive service should be key across all sectors.
Difficulty in attracting and retaining a quality workforce: A good entrepreneurial venture requires a skilled and dedicated workforce. The difficulty and the expenses associated with sourcing or training such a workforce discourages entrepreneurial activity as entrepreneurs try to minimize their startup costs. Improvement of the education system to a problem solving based and rounded education system will help, as the quality of graduates will be improved thus reducing the cost of training.
Prevalent corruption in the country: Corruption within public and private sectors make it hard for ambitious entrepreneurs to pursue their ideas, as they have to pay bribes to attain the necessary statutory approvals. The Government?s war on graft is a step to curb the challenge of corruption in turn inspiring the public to innovation. We should all support the President?s ongoing fight against corruption.
Despite these challenges, the opportunities for entrepreneurial activities present an attractive prospect for economic diversity and growth. The 6th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit recently held in Kenya highlights the promise of entrepreneurship. With the right governance, Kenya is poised to be Africa?s leading entrepreneurship hub.

A rich entrepreneurial culture in Kenya will create jobs, grow the economy and uplift the standards of living. The current depreciation in the Kenya Shilling, in the long-term, can be well addressed by entrepreneurs manufacturing more locally to reduce imports, exporting more to global markets, and thereby strengthening the Kenya Shilling.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication, are those of the writers where particulars are not warranted- as the facts may change from time to time. This publication is meant for general information only, and is not a warranty, representation or solicitation for any product that may be on offer. Readers are thereby advised in all circumstances, to seek the advice of an independent financial advisor to advise them of the suitability of any financial product for their investment purposes.

Excerpt from the Cytonn Weekly Report

 Copyright ? 2015 Cytonn Investments, All rights reserved.

Source: Sokodirectory

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