15 Reasons Why Being An SME CEO In Kenya Should Be Part Of 1000 Ways To Die
By Steve Biko Wafula / Published March 14, 2023 | 12:26 pm
Entrepreneurship in Africa can be particularly challenging for a variety of reasons. One of the main challenges is the lack of infrastructure and support systems for new businesses. This includes limited access to financing, lack of business development services, inadequate regulatory frameworks, and poor infrastructure, such as transportation and electricity.
Habits help entrepreneurs develop the resilience necessary to overcome setbacks and failures. Starting and growing a business is a difficult and often unpredictable process, and setbacks are inevitable. By developing positive habits, entrepreneurs can build the resilience and mental toughness necessary to bounce back from failures and keep moving forward.
Being the CEO of a start-up or small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) in Kenya is a challenging and difficult task.
There are several reasons why this is so, including a lack of access to funding, limited access to skilled labor, bureaucratic challenges, corruption, inadequate infrastructure, regulatory challenges, and high taxation rates.
- Limited Access to Funding: Start-ups and SMEs in Kenya face a significant challenge in accessing financing, which is crucial for their growth and development. Many financial institutions are hesitant to lend to these enterprises due to perceived risks, which limits their growth potential.
- Limited Access to Skilled Labor: Most start-ups and SMEs in Kenya operate in sectors that require skilled labor. However, there is a shortage of skilled labor in the country, and competition for talent is fierce. As a result, these enterprises are often forced to pay high wages to attract and retain the best talent.
- Bureaucratic Challenges: Starting and running a business in Kenya can be challenging due to the complex regulatory environment. The process of registering a business can be time-consuming and bureaucratic, making it difficult for start-ups and SMEs to get up and running quickly.
- Corruption: Corruption is a significant problem in Kenya and can make it difficult for start-ups and SMEs to succeed. Bribery and other corrupt practices can make it difficult for these enterprises to obtain licenses, permits, and other necessary documents.
- Inadequate Infrastructure: Kenya’s infrastructure is inadequate, particularly in rural areas. Poor roads, limited access to electricity, and a lack of reliable internet connectivity can make it difficult for start-ups and SMEs to operate efficiently.
- Regulatory Challenges: Start-ups and SMEs in Kenya face a wide range of regulatory challenges. Regulations governing everything from taxes to labor can be complex and difficult to navigate, making it challenging for these enterprises to comply with the law.
- High Taxation Rates: Kenya’s tax rates are among the highest in Africa, making it challenging for start-ups and SMEs to operate profitably. High taxation rates can also discourage entrepreneurship and limit the growth potential of these enterprises.
- Limited Access to Markets: Many start-ups and SMEs in Kenya operate in sectors that are dominated by established players. Limited access to markets can make it challenging for these enterprises to compete and grow.
- Limited Access to Technology: Many start-ups and SMEs in Kenya operate in sectors that require advanced technology. However, limited access to technology can make it challenging for these enterprises to remain competitive.
- Limited Access to Credit: Most start-ups and SMEs in Kenya rely on credit to finance their operations. However, access to credit can be limited, particularly for enterprises that are just starting.
- Limited Access to Information: Many start-ups and SMEs in Kenya operate in sectors where information is critical. Limited access to information can make it difficult for these enterprises to make informed decisions.
- Limited Access to Support Services: Start-ups and SMEs in Kenya often lack access to support services such as legal and financial advice. This can make it challenging for these enterprises to operate efficiently and comply with regulations.
- Limited Access to Networks: Networking is critical for the success of any business, but start-ups and SMEs in Kenya often lack access to networks that can help them connect with potential customers, suppliers, and partners.
- Limited Access to Resources: Most start-ups and SMEs in Kenya operate with limited resources. This can make it challenging for these enterprises to invest in new equipment, technology, and human resources.
- Limited Access to Education: Education is critical for the success of any enterprise, but many start-ups and SMEs in Kenya lack access to quality education and training programs.
People persevere as CEOs of SMEs and start-ups despite the challenges because they are driven by several motivations and beliefs:
- Passion: Many entrepreneurs are passionate about their business idea and believe that they can make a positive impact in the world by pursuing them. They are willing to persevere through the difficulties to see their vision become a reality.
- Autonomy: Running a small business or start-up allows individuals to have more control over their professional lives, which can be a significant motivator. They can make decisions independently and take responsibility for the outcomes.
- Financial rewards: Entrepreneurs often have the potential to earn higher financial rewards than they would in traditional employment. They are willing to work hard and take risks to achieve financial success.
- Challenge: Many people thrive on the challenge of building something from scratch. They enjoy the process of overcoming obstacles and finding creative solutions to problems.
- Flexibility: Running a small business or start-up can offer greater flexibility in terms of work hours and location, which can be appealing to some individuals.
Overall, despite the challenges of being a CEO of an SME or start-up, the potential rewards and personal fulfillment are strong motivators for many people.
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