What you Need to Know about Shylock Business in Kenya


”So he will always come back from his pound of flesh,” Shylock  refers to the business of lending money for outrageous interest rates.It’s origin is drawn from Shakespeare’s, “The Merchant of Venice.” This high risk business has gained popularity over the years ,that those who practice it are easily reach compared to before.Though, not everyone who practices it knows the legal side of it,and other practices involved .So, how does the entrepreneur relate to the customers?On the other hand how do customers relate to sharks?What does law say about it?Most people really do not know why Sharks exist and how they operate,before you get involved do not miss out on the following key aspects;

Why is shy-locking a booming business

Money -lending business flourish because

  • Shylock has much lower interest rates compared to banks
  • They allow a negotiable loan repayment days.`
  • To borrow from a bank one needs a good credit history while,Shylock does not require any history on money borrowing from a client
  • It is safe for defaulters listed by CRB
  • The transactions are quick and requirements are minimal
  • Quick loans loans for business startups and personal needs(offers instant monetary fix)
  • The customer chooses the security or guarantors to give to the shy-lockers.

The risks involved in money lending Business

  • Default debts
  • Non-registered  micro finance businesses are not protected by law
  • Instances where the trust the loan is given on Trust gentleman’s agreement,where the client does not offer security the shy-locker goes to a loose in case of defaulting.
  • Clients may give  stolen or faulty items as security.
  • Borrowing becomes addictive
  • Making friends with the police to scare defaulting clients
  • Cunning clients who give false information about themselves,hence cannot be traced.

What the does the law say about Micro finance business

Most Kenyans have lost their property through Shylock ,and did not how the law can protect them.Since shy-locks in Kenya refer to their business as micro-finance,has the law challenged them yet, on this matter?

  • Contract law-Chapter 23 (3) of the Kenyan Law ,”any debt must be in writing to be enforceable.  Chapter 23 (2) (2)  “no contract in writing shall be void or unenforceable by reason only that it is not under seal.” Hence,most shy-locks provide poorly sketched contracts to clients when they lend out money.
  • Micro-finance Act of 20o6-In Chapter 19 Part 1 (2) of the Micro-finance Act of 2006, a “micro-finance business” is defined as anyone engaged in lending or extending credit at his own risk, “including the provision of short-term loans to small or micro enterprises or low income households and characterized by the use of collateral substitute.” The Micro- finance Act also requires anyone conducting this kind of business to be licensed. In Part II Section 9 (1) (c) of that same act, it states that a license can be revoked and the business shut down if the business being conducted is “detrimental to the interests of its depositors or customers.
  • Licensing-Chapter 19 Part II (4) (1) provides that “no person” can operate as a micro -finance business unless such a person is registered as a company pursuant to the Companies Act and licensed through the Central Bank of Kenya. The penalty for noncompliance, as provided in Chapter 19 Part II (4) (2) is “a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand shillings, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or to both.”
  • Subject Authority– Chapter 19 Part II (4) (i) concerning micro-finance businesses, the Central Bank has the authority to prohibit any “such other activity as the Central Bank may prescribe.” Chapter 19 Part IV provides for Central Bank’s authority to inspect the records and even to intervene in the management of any micro-finance business.

How to Manage a Side-hustle alongside a Full- time employment(8am-5pm job)


Being your own boss is a freedom that most employers yearn to have.With the change in trends most entrepreneurs have sort to serve two masters at ago,(that of being employed and that of having a personal business).So how does one balance between the two? So as to avoid putting more pressure on one entity and leaving the out the other.

This article will,offer possible means on how one can perform in both the two entities without leaving out the other,or without feeling strained.

So What is a side hustle?

side hustle is a way to make some extra cash that allows you flexibility to pursue what you’re most interested in. It can also be your true passion – a chance to delve into fashion, travel or whatever it is you care about the most without quitting your day job.

Here are four ways one can use to maintain his or her side hustle alongside full-time employment:

1.Be Free to Learn Something New

Have a side hustle that benefits you both financially,social-wise and knowledge-wise.It is good to be open minded so as to learn something new.This information could be helpful to you the entrepreneur as you can use it , to add to your professionalism during the 8am to 5pm work hours. Above  all have a sacrificing heart,this will make you achieve a lot in both  your work area and your hustle,you can do away with nights outs to expand your business.Or weekend hangouts for full servicing at your hustle.

2.Focus and Prioritize

It is good to set goals for both your hustle and your work. In order for you to perform well at both entities it is good to set goals prior to time.Having set goals will guide you to know when to take action for both your work and the hustle.One will also minimize on procrastination and grape vine .It will help the individual to be more productive

3.Time Discipline

learn how to use limited time to your advantage.In this case, one should familiarize themselves with the Parkinson’s law,this is the idea that work expands to fill the time available for its completion.Entrepreneurs should avoid giving the excuse of limited time,instead  work on the little time you have to achieve what you can,or what is necessary.Time yourself to see how much task you can complete in an hour.Get to account for your time schedule ,be honest with your self ,because the bigger picture is to see both your business and work flourish.

4.Allow Flexibility

Engage your self in a side hustle that is flexible,as much as your availability on it is concerned. For starters do a side-hustle  that will work out at any time you are out from work,maybe early mornings,lunch hour,at night,over the weekend.So that it doesn’t affect your work timetable.The reality being, everyone experiences busy weeks and slow weeks. In case of a slow week, dive into your side hustle. If it’s a busy week, don’t be afraid to take a breather.You could also set aside your leave days for your side hustle.

As a media practitioner I tend to ask questions for clarity.On my few Uber rides ,I  came across an Uber driver who shared to me  his working hours on Uber ,to be early mornings and late evenings,so I asked him why does he not work during the day?With his good customer care services he replied that, during the day he is an accountant at Commercial Bank of Africa  (CBA bank)  from 8am to 5pm. With my curiosity,I then asked how does he balance between the two?his appealing response was, he is on Uber from 5am t0 7am then from 6pm to 9pm on weekdays and over the weekends,he now works during the day from 7am to 6pm. I was thrived by how he handles his side hustle and work,to be productive on both ends, and how he has applied all the above principles to make sure he balances between the two entities and above all giving his best to all.

It is good to find a pocket of time to work on your side hustle,the need is to create extra cash besides employment.A side-hustle will make an individual to grow their own business and build a brand for themselves.Sometimes the skills you do and learn at work will help you to maximize more on your business.



Saving 101: Tips on how to save money


The entrepreneurship sphere mostly targets one’s saving ability, one fails to maintain their business due of lack of financial literacy and lasting saving skills they say. If you are thinking of starting a business soon, start saving. Kenya Business Guide spoke to Frank Mwakitakula, founder and CEO of Young Savers Kenya, who shared tips on saving. 

How did Young Savers Kenya start?

Young Savers Kenya is Frank Mwakitakula’s brain child.  I conceived the idea while at Lenana School.  In form three, I had tried all sorts of saving methods to raise some cash from pocket money from my parents and relatives to enable him start a business back at home that would generate income to assist him pay fees but failed. I had conversations with teachers and friends and realized that so many students were facing the same challenge. I also realized that there was a gap in financial literacy and saving habits among fellow students. Some wanted to save but didn’t due to lack of such a platform in school and some saved using traditional methods such as ‘locked tins’. I couldn’t imagine the same happening to millions of students in the country, within East Africa region and the whole of Africa. There was an unmet need, a solution was necessary and could be found; and then the idea came up.  I realized that saving for future investment or any other goal needed a platform, skill, patience and discipline.  The solution would be Young Savers Kenya!

Initially the idea was charity-like, just to enable students save but during the process of developing it, I realized that the idea could actually be commercialized.

What mistakes do entrepreneurs as regards to saving?

Spending first and then saving what remains, instead of the other way round. Money should be considered as part of the expenditure and not some reserve that can be accessed at anytime.  Entrepreneurs must build the discipline required to put a portion of their money aside first before they spend it.

Secondly, poor monitoring of expenses and living outside one’s means. This takes away the money that should have been set aside for the company’s future financial needs.

What are the benefits of financial literacy?

Financial literacy helps a person:

  • Distinguish between personal and business finances.
  • Be a competent buyer of financial services-understanding financial products, their costs and risks, and selecting what is suitable for the business.
  • Anticipate the businesses’ future financial needs under alternative scenarios.
  • Assess the risk to which the business is exposed and prepare appropriate responses.
  • Understand the decision-making process of financial providers and thus appreciate how the business can become credit-worthy or investment ready.
  • Relate the business’ financial needs to the country’s regulatory and fiscal framework – to appreciate the nations regulatory and tax efficiency.
  • Exercise financial management, for instance; to use financial information to analyze business performance and create policies and controls that optimize this.
  • Generate spendable cash and opportunity war chest for the business that would help it take advantage of opportunities.
  • Bring in the dead capital (financially invisible assets like; mental capital, lands without title deeds, undervalued buildings, ideas) within their ventures into the mainstream financial system.
  • Avoid majorities of financially illiterate directors on company boards.

As an entrepreneur, how does one save?

  • Don’t save what remains after spending, spend what remains after saving.
  • Monitor expenses – know what you have spent and how much one has available to spend.
  • Budget – this is the ability to plan one’s spending frequently and accurately as well as to adhere to ones spending plan. This coupled with monitoring expenses will avail more funds to save for future financial needs and prevent the company from running out of cash.

So how does one stay disciplined? 

  • Have objectives and goals – this will enable you have some inside drive to achieve the objective or goal set.  The desire to meet the objective will always keep you on toes to deposit savings so as to achieve it.
  • Reduce unnecessary expenses – some expenses can be foregone and the money instead replaced with savings or rather adds up on savings without struggle.
  • Know how much you have – knowing how much you have or earn will make you plan on the most appropriate amount to allocate for savings without straining or overstretching personal resources.
  • Practice – saving is a skill and can be learnt with proper practice till it becomes a habit.
  • Mindset – It’s all in the mindset.  If you convince your mind that saving is so important and should be part and parcel of your budget, then it will be done with so much ease.

What is the main aim of saving?

  • The main reason for saving is to cater for future financial needs; expansion of ventures, emergency situations, tertiary education, retirements. All this is geared towards achieving financial freedom.
  • Emergency cushion – this could be any number of things; out of pocket expenses or sudden loss of income. You will need money set aside for these emergencies to avoid going into debt to pay for your necessities.
  • Retirement – if you intend to retire someday, you will probably need savings and/or investments to take the place of income you’ll no longer get from your job.
  • Average life expectancy – with more advances in medicine and public health, people are now living longer and needing more money to get by.
  • Volatility and of social security – social security was never intended to be the primary source of income and should be treated as a supplement to income.
  • Education – the costs for private and public education are rising every year and it’s getting tougher to meet these demands. Without money put away in savings and/or investments, you open yourself up to other risks as well.  For example, not having enough money to pay for emergency dental care may force you into taking a loan that your savings might have otherwise covered.

What is the appropriate age for one to start saving?

A newly wedded couple should start saving for their unborn kids. To the kids, the parents should take the responsibility to teach their kids about saving money as soon as they start handling cash such as being sent to shop to purchase something.  This will go a long way with them and will develop that financial discipline as they grow and continue to handle “bigger cash”.  All this will help build an upright well molded child as money as they say is the mother of all social evils.

How to make the best out of a merry-go-round Chama investment group

  • Chama is a Swahili term that means an investment party or group, that has male and female members.
  • The main objective of a Chama when it initially started was for members to meet, talk, eat and contribute a specific amount of money monthly. Each month a person would receive the money and use it for project or whatever investment they wanted to make. This goes on until all member in the group get money and the process starts all over again.
  • The merry-go-round Chama is not only a good saving vehicle but has now become a good borrowing and investment platform. Members borrow money at a small interest rate and the group also decides to invest in projects as a group. 

Whatever type of Chama you belong to, you should ensure it is worth your time and investment. As an investment group or an individual in an investment groups, here are ways to make it worth your while. One can make extra money from the Chama shares one gets. This will help you achieve financial independence status. So what ways can one have an investment from the chama?

Have a shared goal

As members of an investment group, do you have a shared goal of what you what to achieve? It is in human nature to compare and desire what your neighbour has. But is is only wise to learn from others. Milele Alliance is an investment group that through their shared goals, their investment worth now is at KSh 35 million. They started by purchasing two acres of land in Elementaita and Juja and now the pieces of land are being used for collateral.

Powerful vision

Do not have a vague vision that will end up being buried in a report book where nobody knows what really the vision means, what actions is implied and what they stand for. Having a powerful vision means that the vision should have all the 7Cs. A vision inspires action. A powerful vision pulls in ideas, people and other resources. It creates the energy and will to make change happen. It inspires individuals and organizations to commit, to persist and to give their best.

A vision is a practical guide for creating plans, setting goals and objectives, making decisions, and coordinating and evaluating the work on any project, large or small. A vision helps keep organizations and groups focused and together, especially with complex projects and in stressful times.

The 7 C's of a Powerful Vision


How are the activities in your investment group being handled? What do people say about the group? What is the communication chain of the group? Is the organogram clear, are members performing their designated roles? As much as you may develop friendly relationships from your investment groups, it is very important that activities within the Chama are handle professionally. The organisational structure should be respected and proper flow or chain of communication should be established at all times so as to avoid misinterpreted or misguided  information.

Investment goals

What big thing do you what to achieve? What legacy do you what to build? What will you do that will break records and make your group stand out from the rest of the Chamas? Investments must be chosen with a main goal in mind: safety, income or growth. The first thing you need to decide is which of those three characteristics is most important. Do you need current income, growth so the investments can provide income later, or is safety your top priority.

Investment whether for an individual or a chama is an art. Chamas are an investment. Success depends on the choices you make. Choose wisely and have a legacy for people to promote your business.

Photo by Voices of Africa

Doing Business in Elgeyo Marakwet County (Cost of licenses/permits)


Elgeyo Marakwet County is the world’s athletics capital given that thousands of both local and foreign athletes train in the County due to its high altitude. It is also rich in several natural beautiful sceneries like: valleys, escarpment, mountains, waterfalls, natural forests with indigenous trees and wildlife making it an ideal destination for tourism and hospitality investment. Agriculturally, the County produces high quality horticultural produce and cash crops.

Below is what you need to know if you want to invest in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

For a Business Permit, you need:

  • Name of the Business
  • Payment for the permit as per Finance Act
  • Physical address
  • Plot number
  • Type of business
  • Clearance from Nacada Committee
  • Chief letter for business like pool and Gambling

To set up a business in Elgeyo Marakwet County, you need permits/licenses. All costs are in Kenya Shillings.

GENERAL TRADE, WHOLESALE, RETAIL, STORES, SHOPS, PERSONAL SERVICES: Distributors, Traders, Wholesalers, Hypermarkets, Departmental Stores, Supermarkets, Retailers, Shops Boutiques,  Chemists, Agro vet, Butcheries, Personal Service Providers, Kiosks
Charges outside County H/Q (KSh) Charges within County H/Q (KSh)
Mega store, Hypermarket large multi-department Store, Hypermarket with over 100 employees or premises with over 3000 sq.M in a prime location. 21,000 27,000
Large trader shop, retail store or personal service from 21 to 100 employees &/or 300 to 3,000 sq.m / fair  location 7,000 10,000
Medium trader shop or retail service from five to 20 employees &/or 50 to 3,000 sq.m. Fair location 3,500 5,000
Small trader shop or retail service: Up to four employees &/or premises less than 50 sq.m. Far away location 1,750 2,500
Kiosk: Light or temporary construction less than five sq.m 1,200 2,000
Other wholesale – Retail traders, stores, shops and services 1,400 2,000
INFORMAL SECTOR: Hawkers, street vendors and small traders and service providers operating on the street, verandah or temporary building
Charges outside County H/Q (KSh) Charges within County H/Q (KSh)
Hawker  1 person with motor vehicle 1,750 2,500
1 Hawker 1 person without motor vehicle 1,200 2,000
Small Informal Sector Trader/Service Provider: Shoeshine, Shoe Repair, Street Vendor (Newspapers, Sodas, Sweets, Cigarettes Etc.) 600 1,000
Informal Sector trader up to two persons in verandah or temporary building (small kinyozi/ salon/tailoring 900 1,050
Other informal sector operation 700 1,000

TRANSPORT, STORAGE AND COMMUNICATIONS: Maritime & Air Lines, International Carriers, Transportation Co-Operating Taxis-Matatus-Buses-Lorries-Planes-Boats, driving schools, tour/safari operators, petrol stations, storage facilities, cold storage facilities, publishing companies – newspapers, books, text-telephone Co, radio/TV broadcaster, internet provider.

Other areas outside H/Q (KSh) Charges within County H/Q (KSh)
Large transportation company over 30 vehicles 28,000 40,000
Medium transport company from 6 – 30 vehicles 10,500 15,000
Small transportation company from 2 – 5 vehicles 3,500 5,000
Independent transport operator 1,750 2,500
Large petrol filling station over six pumps or with garage/workshop and spares retail shop 7,000 10,000
Medium petrol filling station: 4 – 6 pumps or with garage/workshop or spares retail shop 3,500 5,000
Small petrol filling station up to three pumps and without garage/workshop or retail shop 2,450 3,500
Large cold storage facility with over 1000 sq.m insulated walls, cold production equipment 19,250 27,500
Medium cold storage facility between 100 – 1,000 sq.m 8,750 12,500
Small cold storage facility up to 100 sq.m 4,200 6,000
Large storage facility with over 5,000 sq.m go down/warehouse liquid storage tanks complex 17,500 25,000
Medium storage facility from 1,000 – 5,000 sq.m 7,000 10,000
Small storage facility up to 1,000 sq.m 3,500 5,000
Large communication company over 100 employees &/or premises over 5,000 sq.m 31,500 45,000
Medium communications company from 16 to 100 employees &/or premises from 1,500 to 5,000 sq.m 19,250 27,500
Small communications company up to 15 employees &/or premises up to 1,500 sq.m 10,500 15,000
Other transport, storage and communications 2,450 3,500

ACCOMMODATION AND CATERING: International hotels, tourist camps, lodging houses, restaurants, bars, eating houses, tea and coffee houses, butcheries with meat roasting &/or soup kitchen facilities, membership clubs, nightclubs & casinos.

Charges outside County H/Q (KSh) Charges within County H/Q (KSh)
Large high standard lodging house/Hotel class D with over 100 rooms 35,000 50,000
Medium high standard lodging house/Hotel class D with 41 to 100 rooms 24,500 35,000
Small high standard lodging house/Hotel D class with up to 40 rooms 17,500 25,000
Large lodging house with restaurant and/or bar class B/C basic standard with over 15 rooms 15,750 22,500
Medium lodging house with restaurant and/or bar class B/C  basic standard with 6 to 15 rooms 12,250 17,500
Small lodging house with restaurant and/or bar class basic standard with up to five rooms 8,750 12,500
Large lodging house class B/C basic standards with over 15 rooms 14,000 20,000
Medium lodging house class B/C basic standard with six to 15 rooms 8,750 12,500
Small lodging house basic standard with up to five rooms 5,250 7,500
Large restaurant with bar/membership club with over 30 customers/members 10,500 15,000
Medium restaurant with bar/membership club with 11 – 30  members/customers 5,250 7,500
Small restaurant with bar/membership club up to 10 customers/members 3,500 5,000
Large eating house/snack bar/tea house/outside catering/hotel with no lodging or alcohol served with 20 – 50 customers 5,250 7,500
Medium eating house; snack bar/tea house/no lodging or alcohol served; 6 – 20 customers 3,500 5,000
Small eating house; snack bar/tea house/hotel with no lodging or alcohol served; up to six customers 2,450 3,500
Butchery with roast meat and/or soup kitchen any size 3,000 5,000
Butchery take-away 1,500 2,500
Large bar/traditional beer seller; over 50 customers 5,250 7,500
Medium bar/traditional beer seller; 16 – 50 customers 4,200 6,000
Small bar/traditional beer seller; up to 15 customers 2,800 4,000
Large night club/casino; Over 500 sq.m 17,500 25,000
Medium night club/casino; 101 – 500 sq.m 10,500 15,000
Small night club/casino; up to 100 sq.m 7,000 10,000
Other catering and accommodation 2,450 3,000
AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES EXTRACTION: Production of coffee, tea, fruits, flowers, grain & cereals, forestry, timber, grain storage – Processing, mills and posho mill, timber production, sawmills, coal production, animal breeding, dairy products processing, slaughter houses, butchery, mining and other natural resources extraction activities.
Charges outside County H/Q (KSh) Charges within County H/Q (KSh)
Large agricultural producer, processor, dealer, exporter with over 50  employees 22,750 32,500
Medium agricultural producer, processor, dealer, exporter with 11 – 50 employees 8,750 12,500
Small agricultural producer, processor, dealer, exporter with up to 10 employees 2,800 4,000
Large mining or natural resources extraction operation with over 50 employees 28,000 40,000
Medium mining or natural resources extraction operation with four to 50 employees 15,750 22,500
Small mining or natural resources extraction operation with up to three employees. Includes quarries and small mining operations 8,750 12,500
Other agricultural, forestry and natural resources 2,800 4,000
Posho Mills (all sub county headquarters) 1,500 1,500
 Posho mills in all other areas 1,000 1,000

PROFESSIONAL, TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL SERVICES: Legal Issues, Financial Management, Engineering, Architecture, Valuing, Surveying, Accountancy, Secretarial Support, Data Processing etc, Stock & Insurance Brokerage, Security Protection, Clearing & Forwarding of goods, Bookmarking, Kenya Charity Sweepstakes, Banks, Forex Bureau Money Lenders, Hire Purchase Company, Insurance Company, Real Estate, Developing Financial Company.

Cost per branch
Charges outside County H/Q (KSh) Charges within County H/Q (KSh)
Large professional services firm with over 10 practitioners and/or international affiliation 31,500 45,000
Medium professional services firm from 3-10 practitioners 15,750 22,500
Small professional services firm with up to two practitioners 7,000 10,000
Independent technical operator/1 person acting individually (typist, Accountant, bookkeeper etc.) 2,450 3,500
Large financial services over 25 employees or premises over 300m2 33,250 47,500
Medium financial from 6-25 employees 22,750 32,500
Small financial services up to 5 employees 15,750 22,500
Other professional and technical services 2,450 3,500
Money points/ATMs/money machines separate from branch/office, bank agents (per ATM) 3,500 5,000
Mobile money transfer services e.g Mpesa, etc 2,000 4,000
Cyber cafes
Large cyber cafes/bureaus with over 20 computers/machines 2,600 4,200
Medium cyber cafes/bureau with 6 – 20 computers/machines 1,450 3,500
Small cyber cafes/bureau with 2 – 5 computers/machines 1,000 3,500
Other professional and technical services with 1 computer/1 machine/photocopier 1,000 3,500
EDUCATION, HEALTH AND ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES: Private education institution including nursery / polytechnic / professional training centre / computer management / accountancy / secretarial / technical professions / universities / private health clinics / doctors surgeries / consulting offices of doctors / dentists / physiotherapists / psychologists & other health professionals / herbalists and traditional medicine practitioners / funeral homes / entertainment facilities including cinema / theatre / video shows / amusements arcade / juke box / arcade games / machines arcade / sports club / gym / massage parlors.
Charges outside County H/Q (KSh) Charges within County H/Q (KSh)
Mega private higher education institutions; any type of private university college or higher education institution with over 200 students 20,750 27,500
Private higher education institution; any type of private university college or higher education institution with 100 – 200 students 15,750 22,500
Large private education institution over 100 pupils or fees over KSh 50,000 per year 10,500 15,000
Medium private education institution with 31-100 pupils or fees of KSh 30,000 – 50,000 per year 5,250 7,500
Small  private education institution with 30 pupils or fees of up to KSh 30,000 per year 3,500 5,000
Large private health facility hospitals, Clinic, Nursing Home providing over 30 beds overnight and Funeral Homes 24,500 35,000
Medium Private Health Facility with 11 – 30 beds 15,750 22,500
Small private health facility with up to 10 beds 10,500 15,000
Health clinic, doctor’s surgery, doctor, dentistry, physiotherapist, psychologist etc consulting office no overnight accommodation available 3,500 5,000
Traditional health services; herbalist traditional healer etc 2,500 2,500
Large entertainment facility; cinema, theatre, video show over 100 seats, amusement arcade, games machines arcade, over 10 machines sports club gym: over 50 members  15,750 22,500
Medium entertainment facility from 50 – 100 seats,  4 – 10 machines and 16 – 50 members 8,750 12,500
Small entertainment facility up to 50 seats/up to 3 machines/up to 15 members 5,250 5,250
Mobile cinema operator; 1 person acting individually 1,500 2,500
Other education, health and entertainment services 2,000 2,800

INDUSTRIAL PLANTS, FACTORIES, WORKSHOP, CONTRACTORS: Manufacturer, process and assembly of products, vehicles, machinery, equipment, workshop servicing and repairing. Also including contractors of new buildings, old buildings restoration, plumbing and other services – repair.

Charges outside County H/Q (KSh) Charges within  County H/Q (KSh)
Large industrial plant with over 75 employees and/or premises over 2,500 sq.m 35,000 50,000
Medium industrial plant with 16 – 75 employees and/or premises of 100 sq.m – 2500 sq.m 24,500 35,000
Small industrial plant up to 15 employees and/or premises of 51 sq.m – 100 sq.m 14,000 20,000
Large workshop/Welding service/repair contractor over 20 employees and/or premises of over  50  sq.m 17,500 25,000
Medium workshop/ Welding service / repair contractor with  6-20 employees and/or premises of 25-500 sq.m 7,000 10,000
Small workshop /Welding service / repair contractor with up to 5 employees and/or premises of up to 25 sq.m 2,450 3,500
Other manufacturer/workshop/factory/contractor 2,450 3,500

For further clarification, please contact: Josephine, Director Incharge of Revenue on +254 724 541 664.

7 easy ways to raise capital to start a business


Putting your money where your mouth is important, this article will give different means of raising capital to start a  business.

Many people always have ideas. They all seem to be great, but very few put their ideas into practice by coming up with a business. To the many left out brilliant ideas the excuse is always lack of capital to start up a business. Here are ways that one can make capital to start a business.

1) Personal Assets

Mostly belongings you can do without. It all goes down to how much ones can sacrifice. The hope here is always to get better versions of your assets once your business brings profit. It depends with one’s risk appetite. As much as it looks logical to sacrifice, not everyone find it easy to let go of their assets. Hence, people may opt to offer their assets as security to bank loans.

2) Savings

It is always good to do it yourself. Put together an amount of money from your income. It may add up to the capital you need to establish a business. At times your savings may not be enough but it helps to attract more capital since it will be easy to convince family, friends, the bank and other ventures that the money you have and what you need to top up for your business.

3) Crowd funding

It goes back to self. How far can one go in terms of networking, sensitization and convincing crowds of people? With the help of social media one can channel money from social media, open forums can also be a source of acquiring cash. This method helps the entrepreneur to get small money from different sources. An example would be how the activist Boniface Mwangi is using social media to fund his campaigns for a political seat in Starehe constituency in the coming elections.

4) Partnership

One can get a partner who has money to contribute to the business, or come together with a partnership where you all contribute on skills and money needed to start the business. “Billionaires never have a business called ‘mine’. Are you in cooperation with others such that you can get out and that business will run smoothly? Great minds don’t compete, great minds pull together,” says Architect John Kithaka, CEO and founding member of the Fountain Enterprise Programme (FEP) Group of Companies.

5) Small business grants and loans

Looking for capital to fund your business can be a full time job on its own. At times running to the bank with your business plan may not guarantee that you will get a loan. However, all is not lost for Kenyan entrepreneurs. There are options like: M-Shwari from Safaricom, Uwezo Youth Fund, Vision Fund Kenya among others that offer financial support. Do not let  opportunities like these by pass. However, it is good to know the difference between grants and loans. Grants do not attract interest and are not to be repaid Loans attract interest and are to be repaid within the stipulated time.

6) Family and friends

Your family and friends will determine the future of your business since they have a strong influence over you. Those close to you are more likely to believe in your vision and listen to you, and be willing to offer financial support and see your business grow. It could be a gift, a loan or an equity investment in the business. Each have pluses and minuses, and each should be recorded in writing. In many cases, a legal document. An example is Eric Muthoni, founder of Stawi Foods Kenya.When he started his business, Stawi Foods, he was only 25 years old and fresh out of university. He didn’t even have any money to start a business so he borrowed from his family.

7) Angel investor

An Angel investor is usually a former entrepreneur or professional who provides starting or growth capital in promising ventures, and helps also with advice and contacts. Unlike venture capitalists, angel investors usually operate alone (or in very small groups) and play only an indirect role as advisers in the operations of the investee firm. They are deemed to be ‘angels’ in comparison with grasping investors who are termed ‘vulture capitalists.’ Also called business angel.

KCB’s Lions Den simplifies to entrepreneurs how angel investors work. They get a link for entrepreneurs to apply, present their business plans to their panel (which is full of professionals from different careers – most of them are CEOs of their companies) and they get their business sponsored on an appealing business idea. To attract an angel investor, have an attractive business plan, unique business service, and work with your close networks.

One may use either path or all of the ventures to get capital the goal is always to see your business grow.

Photo by: NerdWallet







The process of getting a work permit in Kenya


Bob Paterson, a Canadian national, has lived in Kenya for 17 years. During that time, he has acquired eight work permits in Kenya.  The first three permits were as an employee of a multi-national based in Kenya, and the last five were as an individual investor. The company he worked for was sold and he decided to retire and to live and work in Kenya. He shares his experience getting a work permit.

Over the course of getting these five work permits, there have been lots of issues and some significant improvements in the processing.  It used to be a very manual system with filling out applications and handing them in along with a lot of documentation at Nyayo House and then having to go down to immigration and see if there was any progress.

Now, it is much more automated and if my recent experience is any indication, a lot faster. In fact it took only 12 calendar days from the time I submitted all the paperwork (yes you still need a host of documentation) to get a work permit approved.  From approval to getting the actual permit only took another 12 calendar days, two of which were the delay in getting my payment for the work permit recorded in my file.

So, what is the process?

  1. Register on e-Citizen.  To register with e-citizen you go to https://accounts.ecitizen.go.ke/login

This is the web site that handles just about all interaction with the government from renewing your driver’s license to getting a Kenyan passport.

Create an account.

It used to be a very manual system with filling out applications and handing them in along with a lot of documentation at Nyayo House and then having to go down to immigration and see if there was any progress. Now, it is much more automated.

Create an Account as a Foreign Resident

In many of the subsequent steps will also require you to have an electronic photo of yourself. You also need a number of hard copy passport size photos for other parts of the application.

In the next steps you need to enter your Alien Registration number and your first name. It will then ask for your e-mail address and the system will send you an e-mail which you must verify. You then provide your phone number and the system will send you a text message that you also need to verify. It will then ask you for a photo so you need to have an electronic photo of yourself. In many of the subsequent steps will also require you to have an electronic photo of yourself. You also need a number of hard copy passport size photos for other parts of the application.

Once that is completed then you now have an eCitizen account

2. The next step is to apply for the appropriate work permit. This is done via the Foreign National Service (eFNS) portal.  https://fns.immigration.go.ke

Here you click on Apply.


You then sign into eFNS with your ecitizen ID (your email address) and the password you created in the previous eCitizen sign up.

You will then be asked if eFNS can access your basic information from eCitizen. You click allow.


This is now where you start the real process of applying for a work permit. You start with Submit Applications.


In the Summit Applications it lists a lot of different applications you can complete. The work permit one is the first one.

The next screen gives you the list of permits (7 of them) that you can apply for. Click the Learn More button and it will show you the requirements for the permit and the documentation that you need to submit with your application.

It is a good idea to print out this page so you can them ensure that you have all the documentation (which needs to accompany a print out of your on-line application).  There is a processing fee of KSh 10,000 for all applications along with a convenience fee of KSh 50 (while it is convenient to do this online, there really isn’t any other choice for the KSh 50 isn’t so much for convenience as just another way for the government to get some extra money).

Once you have the print out of requirements, you then hit the apply button.  That brings up the application form that you need to complete. After you complete your application, you can review and/or print it.  You also have to add an electronic picture of yourself. Be sure to print out a copy of your application as it needs to be submitted in hard copy at Nyayo House.

READ ALSO: Unpacking Kenya’s corporate culture

After your application has been submitted electronically and it has been registered, you now need to pay for the application. Go to the payment icon (on the dashboard) and click Invoices and Payments.  You will see your application with a note indicating that it is not paid. Click the payment icon under the Action column and a payment screen will appear.

You can pay for the application in a variety of ways, Equitel, Mpesa, bank transfer, Credit/Debit card and RTGS.  A couple of things to note. Bank transfer is only available from certain banks. Check your bank is listed. If you use a Credit/Debit Card there is a 3% premium charged. This is true even if you are using a debit card where there is no added cost to the government. The advantage of using a credit card is that it is immediate. If you use RTGS, you have to wait for it to be processed at the government end.

Once your application has been paid for, you have to take a hard copy of your application and all the required documentation and a copy of your receipt of payment for the application to Immigration at Nyayo House. You queue at Counter 8 and submit your documents. You don’t get a receipt there but they process it and give you an electronic receipt in your eFNS account.

READ ALSO: Movable Property Security Rights Bill 2017 becomes Law

When your application is finally approved you get an e-mail from eFNS.  You then have to pay for the work permit. The process is the same as for the application but obviously using a credit card is more expensive. RTGS works but it takes about two days to be reflected.

After paying, you need to take the receipt of payment along with two copies of an insurance bond to Nyayo House and a copy of the receipt for the bond and hand them to the Cashier. It then takes between five and 10 calendar days for your permit to be ready. You then need to go back to Nyayo House to Room 16 to pick up the permit.

You can then go and get your Re-entry permit (allows you to enter Kenya without a Visa).  If you have dependents you should fill out the Dependents application in eFNS and pay for the KSh 2000 (plus Ksh 50 of course).  You will also need an Alien Card for yourself and your dependents. You apply for that using eFNS as well. You need to take these applications and receipts of payment to Nyayo House. If you forget to make one of the applications online then you have to do that and return to Nyayo House. Submitting and paying for the Dependent Re-entry pass and the Alien Card registration prior to going to pick up your permit will save you at least one extra trip to Immigration.

READ ALSO: 12 deadly offenses that will earn you a fine from KRA

The Alien Card registration requires you to submit the application (which you do online), two passport pictures, your receipt for payment a copy of your current alien registration card and a copy of your work permit. For dependents, you need the application, the payment receipt, a copy of your alien card, a copy of your reentry permit from your passport and a copy of the principles work permit (the website doesn’t mention a few of these but if you don’t have all of this then you can’t get to the next process.

You start with Counter 4 (don’t forget to get a ticket for Registration when you enter) after it has been checked you then hand it in at Counter 3. They will then call your name and you will then be fingerprinted in Room 15. Depending on how many folks are, then this can take some time. I have found that getting there before 8:30am reduces the wait time considerably. The actual production of the Alien Card takes about eight weeks. You are given a receipt and anyone can pick them up for you when they are ready.

READ ALSOGet Started

While this seems cumbersome it really isn’t. Versus the old system this is much more efficient and rather than having to go to Immigration 5-7 times, this system only requires four visits (submit your application, submit your payment and bond, pick up your permit and get your Re-entry permits, and submit your application for your Alien cards and finally picking up your Alien card.

Do you have any hacks to share? Email us on: kbg@hss.co.ke

Doing business in Kenya? This is what you need to know about Kenya’s corporate culture


If you are run a business in Kenya, one of the things you must understand or at least try to appreciate is the corporate culture. The KENYA BUSINESS GUIDE spoke to Tazim Elkington, a Paradigm Shifter, trainer and writer who works with organisations to support them in finding their balance and vision.

Who is Tazim Elkington?

Tazim is the embodiment or living example of an inspiring and authentic life being lived. I define myself as a “paradigm shifter” credited with motivating, stimulating and encouraging many groups and individuals in society today with my unconventional strategies to living a more fulfilled and rewarding life.

You have worked with many organizations in Kenya in the area of culture. How would you describe the Kenyan corporate culture?

The Corporate culture in most organizations/companies is outdated. They are working from the 20th Century model with all its limitations. No clear set of Values are understood or exist neither are the systems and processes clear for all. Leadership and management are challenged by trans-generational carry forwards and there is a huge gap between employer or top tiers and the rest of the employees. Profit margins are affected or unmet due to unclear policies on performance, delivery and customer service. Training and skills development are not a priority and creating a dedicated work force in a healthy work environment is rare to find. We need to fast forward into the 21st Century with the fact that we are a hub in this Global world.

And the general culture of the Kenyan people?

Culture cannot be described for over 40 million people. Each person firstly has their own personal culture, then the rather mixed up family culture, added to a very vague work culture makes it impossible to answer this question. Add education, religion, social, economic, tribal socialization and you will see the diversity. We have some very outdated belief systems that many Kenyans believe in as well as the deep ingrained conditioning on poverty, silence and greed. These translate into heavy corruption practices right from the top to the bottom. The lack of 21st Century practices as part of the learning and development of human resources create some serious ‘gaps’.

Culture gets so mixed up when we try to understand it collectively. I have sat and listened to five people from the same ethnicity only to hear five different versions of the so called truth about their community. I truly do not believe there is a common culture amongst any particular ethnicity. What I would say is that everyone has a personal culture which they then try to hook up to others who may have some commonalities with.

What is the best part about working in Kenya that you will not see just by walking around offices?

I am not sure how to answer this question as I have not worked in an office in Kenya since 2000. What I do hear when I work with organizations is that the fast paced 10-14 hour days for senior employees is taking them to the edge. No time for family, friends or a life. The rest of the staff are also pushed to work many hours, feel unappreciated and now money is not the only hook as people question what their lives mean.

What are the most common complaints companies in Kenya have about employees?

The gaps between bosses and employees from salaries to treatment. Racial/tribal divides, favoritism, not feeling acknowledged, no training and development programs, long working hours with low pays and finally not feeling secure in their jobs.

For people intending to start a business or have a business that is less than two years old, how do you put systems for a good corporate culture?

Systems and processes must be installed when there is more than one person for a start-up. A good foundation must be laid at the start. Therefore, it is extremely important to have a clear vision for five years with a plan which includes all these cornerstones of starting and creating a progressive company. Clear direction, solid agreements on what this company will stand for and why, customer service commitments, and the list goes on. In short, creating a sound proof culture as the company is being setup NOT when it is two years old. Since every company has a different business idea, processes and systems are customized. It is essential to have experts provide this service for longevity, growth, foundational pipelines and ultimately success.

The issue of corruption is a major concern in Kenya. What drives it?

The poverty mentality whose best friend is greed! Apart from the fact that we do not have a system that has consequences so people get away with whatever.

You are also an entrepreneur, what do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out in self-employment?

I have nearly three decades of working in various industries and businesses and I was very well prepared from the get-go. The best part is my business keeps evolving as I ensure I keep myself current and 21st Century focused with the services I provide in training, learning, development, leadership, management and culture creation.

What advice would you give a foreign company that wants to set up a business in Kenya?

Kenya has an amazing educated and diverse talent. Creating a 21st century model enterprise is absolutely necessary. Vet new employees carefully as there are a lot of people who are not honest in their CV’s. Also consider processes, systems, HR, culture and leadership.

7 ways a Kenyan entrepreneur can overcome business challenges


The narrative about more than 60% of businesses closing in the first two years is scary. Nobody wants to fail. Even when your business crosses the two year birthday, you are told you will be lucky if you get to five years! Instead of gloom and doom, below are seven useful tips that will keep you focused on growing your business. 

  1. Have a positive outlook – difficult situations come as opportunities to investors to learn. Embrace the opportunity by trying new things and focusing on higher goals is a good way to approach it. test your abilities and work with what suites you. A happy face is among may ways of maintaining a positive outlook.
  2. Be open minded – it is good to seek second opinions before making the final decision. As an entrepreneur, the old ways used to handle problems may not always provide the best solutions. “I mentor a lot of young people. These youths are on Facebook and Twitter. I give them advice and tips on how to succeed in business and in life,” says businessman Chris Kirubi.
  3. Define the problem – ask the WH questions (who, where, when, why and how) to find out the root cause of the problem before giving out solutions. Do not assume that the solution is definite. You can change if it does not solve your problem.
  4. Be logical – have a clear plan on how actions or activities should be done. Maintaining a proper chain of communication as an entrepreneur will help you keep track of the strengths and limitations of your business. Back to Chris Kirubi. As much as he owns Capital FM, he works with his employees. He learned to be a Disc Jockey and he also hosts a rock radio show.
  5. Control emotions – having a rational mind set is a way of keeping emotions in check because you are letting your mind to perform your actions. Distant yourself from emotions when taking actions. It is good to take a break and tackle the problem when you are stress free instead of rushing to conclusions.
  6. Visualize solutions – get to tell weather the solutions implied can really solve the problems and what time frame the solution will take, the pros and cons of the solutions, short term and long term goals.
  7. Honesty (get realistic) – the questions of judgement made on the discoveries; have enough time to test the solutions.

Photo by LinkedIn