In Kenya, The Entrepreneurial Rule Book Works In Reverse: A Country That Hates What Is Right

By Steve Biko Wafula / Published February 14, 2024 | 11:36 am





Welcome to the entrepreneurial safari in Kenya, where the rule of the jungle is not survival of the fittest but survival of the most cunning. Here, the business landscape is not just challenging; it’s a full-blown comedic drama that unfolds daily, with entrepreneurs as the unwilling protagonists.

The entrepreneurial rule book? Oh, it’s enthusiastically thrown out the window the moment you sign your business registration papers. Let’s dive into the darkest abyss that is Kenyan entrepreneurship, where every day feels like April Fool’s, but nobody’s laughing.

The Generous Giver’s Plight

In Kenya, the more you give, the less you receive. This isn’t just a twisted version of a forgotten African proverb; it’s the daily bread for entrepreneurs. Offer your clients the moon, and they’ll ask why not the entire galaxy? The irony is palpable: those you bend over backward for are the ones turning your payment schedule into a mythical creature – always talked about but never seen. It’s as if there’s an unwritten law that the best way to show appreciation for stellar service is by extending the payment deadline to the next sighting of Halley’s Comet.

Read Also: Top Ten Core Reasons Why Micromanagement Is One Of The Top Leading Causes Of Business Failure In Kenya Within The First 3 Months

The Heartless Haggler

Forget about humanity in the Kenyan business scene. Here, you could be on your deathbed, and a client will call to ask if their order can be delivered by lunchtime. The lack of empathy isn’t just shocking; it’s a business model. “Oh, you’re having a heart attack? But will my delivery be affected?” This is the standard, where personal crises are less important than their minor inconveniences.

The Demanding Bargain Hunters

In this thrilling safari, the ones who pay peanuts expect the service of a five-star Michelin chef. It’s a bizarre world where the size of the payment inversely correlates with the size of demands. “I know I’m paying you in exposure, but I want this done yesterday!” is a common refrain. It’s as if by paying less, they own more of your time, soul, and sanity.

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The Betrayal of Brotherhood

In the entrepreneurial savanna, friends are often the predators in disguise, ready to pounce at the first sign of weakness. They’ll cheer for your downfall faster than strangers who, in a bewildering twist, become your unexpected allies. It’s a place where the adage “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” doesn’t quite cut it because here, they’re often one and the same.

The Fair-weather Fans

The Kenyan business scene is rife with champions of convenience. They’ll vouch for you loudly in the streets, but at the first sign of trouble, they’re quicker to cancel you than a controversial tweet. Loyalty is as stable as the Kenyan shilling against the dollar, fluctuating wildly at the slightest breeze of inconvenience.

The Goliath’s Grasp

Big brands in Kenya understand the SME ecosystem’s value as much as a hyena appreciates fine dining. They’ll heap work upon you with the enthusiasm of a child in a candy store, then offer payment terms longer than the credits of a Marvel movie. It’s a world where pending bills could compete with the national debt, leaving SMEs in a chokehold of financial despair.

The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kenya is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a graveyard where dreams come to do battle, armed with nothing but sheer will and perhaps a touch of madness. It’s a place where virtues are tested, and only the most resilient (or the most masochistic) thrive. In this land, the entrepreneurial rule book is indeed in play, just in a language that’s yet to be deciphered by mere mortals. The key to survival? A mix of stubborn optimism, a sense of humor, and perhaps a healthy dose of amnesia about the day’s troubles as you wake up to do it all over again. Welcome to Kenya, where entrepreneurship is not just a job; it’s an extreme sport.

Read Also: The Best Financial Decision: Why The Person You Marry Is The MOST Important FINANCIAL Decision Anyone Will Ever Make




About Steve Biko Wafula

Steve Biko is the CEO OF Soko Directory and the founder of Hidalgo Group of Companies. Steve is currently developing his career in law, finance, entrepreneurship and digital consultancy; and has been implementing consultancy assignments for client organizations comprising of trainings besides capacity building in entrepreneurial matters.He can be reached on: +254 20 510 1124 or Email: info@sokodirectory.com

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