Interview: Setting up a Business in Kenya

Because as life evolves, so do businesses. What used to make sense even a year ago doesn’t make sense today. Trends and Technology play a big role.

NAIROBI, Kenya, March 8, 2024/-- Happy International Women's Day. In this important day that seeks to celebrate the achievements of women; we are lucky to have Njeri Muchina. Our guest today is a rising business titan with an impressive devotion towards uplifting budding entrepreneurs in the country.

In this edition of Kikao we will touch on basics of starting a business, the state of the Kenyan economy, making business decisions during uncertain times, and more.

Let Kikao begin...

[Question 1] Welcome to Kikao. Who's Njeri Muchina?

Njeri Muchina is a serial entrepreneur, but before that, she is a wife, mother, daughter, aunt, and sister.

[Question 2] How does one simply start a business in Kenya?

By having an idea and acting upon it. The adversity of that depends on whether it’s a goods-driven business or a service-driven business. The latter (My most preferred) is the easiest to start because it requires minimal capital. You are the biggest asset as an individual.

[Question 3] As a successful serial entrepreneur with a finger on the pulse of the Kenyan economy, what is its direction?

We are currently living in very worrisome times. The noise is that the economy is doing badly, and we can see it from the number of customers approaching us. Not many things are working right now, but one thing for certain for any entrepreneur, you will always have your tribe, your people, who will take up your goods, or your service. The number might be small, but at least you have reason to wake up every morning.

[Question 4] Decision-making in uncertainty. Start-ups and established businesses have to go through this. Give us your approach.

It all boils down to what you hold dear and what you call priority. There is always a reason why you started. To be honest, most of us do that from the point of view of being broke and you need to put food on the table. On top of that, there are no jobs, so you have to figure out a way to earn a living. Now, when being broke is no longer the thing that drives you, let maintaining the status quo or even bettering it be the reason you are keeping at it. If the business is no longer making sense, discover the market trends and get yourself a piece of it. Because as life evolves, so do businesses. What used to make sense even a year ago doesn’t make sense today. Trends and Technology play a big role.

[Question 5] Being self-employed and working in the gig economy is becoming prevalent every day. Is this a panacea for the youth unemployment problem in Kenya?

I believe it is. Because more than ever, we have access to millions of potential users for our products and services. The world is more open to ideas, and products, and we can take advantage of this. Well, we can never all be in self-employment, not everyone makes a good business person, but we can in our little ways try to be employers, those of us who run businesses. At the end of the day we want to add value to our lives, we want to afford stuff. It’s up to us now to figure out which part of the puzzle we solve.

[Question 6] What does failing forward mean to you?

Taking every L I face as a lesson. I never blame any situation or anyone for failure. I take it as a lesson and use it the next time.

[Question 7] The world is your oyster. What are your long-term goals?

I would like to develop an incubation hub for businesses and expose them to mentors from any sector. The hub will have all types of businesses, not just tech-enabled startups. We will have cultivated a culture where Kenya is a Silicon Valley, and Kenyans are the investors. I want a hub where anyone with a brilliant scalable business (or idea) can come, learn, and get funded. I believe in the potential and creativity of Kenyans. I believe what fails us is funding and lack of exposure to mentors and experts in the business field. I would like to be remembered as one of the pioneers of such a successful program.

The written interview was compiled by Phineahs Munene – Co-founder of Wazo Moja for Njeri Muchina – of Biashara Goals Ventures

Distributed by Wazo Moja on behalf of Biashara Goals Ventures


Biashara Goals Ventures