Innovative Kenyans embrace working from Home!

– High cost of rent in Kenyan capital Nairobi amid drop in internet and phone connection charges as well as rising unemployment has made many Kenyans turn to working from home.

An increasing number of East African nation residents are running offices and businesses from home. Among the businesses run from home are cake making outlets, photography, professional services like accounting and auditing, graphic design and software development.

To have a corporate look, all one needs are a reliable internet connection, a landline phone and business cards. Internet and phone connection charges have dropped in the East African nation, making them accessible.

“I have been working from home for over two years now and I am not going to move out anytime time soon. I have enjoyed every moment of it,” said photographer and video editor Vincent Kwira on Tuesday.

Kwira, who is among tens of thousands of Kenyans running businesses from their houses, is a graduate of commerce but has turned his interest in photography into a business. He shoots events that include weddings, funerals, birthday parties and corporate functions.

“Once I get a client, he gives me all the details he wants including time and venue and the kind of photos he needs. I will then attend the function, do the work and edit from home, print in Nairobi city center and deliver,” he explained.

For videos, he takes clips after shooting, saves them in his computer then edits before delivering to the client.

“Unlike other businesses that wait for customers to come to them, for me my selling point is that I go to my clients. This is because I work from home, and it has worked for me since it shows I care for them,” said the 30-year-old who lives in a two-bedroom house.

He has converted one of the rooms into his office where he has placed three desktop computers. In a good month, Kwira said he attends more than five events, earning up to 2,197 U.S. dollars.

“Right now this is a low season. Most of the events I am shooting are birthday parties. I charge 219 dollars to shoot the party and 440 dollars to shoot a day-long wedding or corporate event,” said the budding businessman, who employs at least three people on need basis.

Joyce Robi, who runs a fashion business from her house in Rongai, southern outskirts of Nairobi, also does not wait for clients to come to her.

“I go to their offices or home to get orders, then sew them at home and deliver,” said Robi who makes more than 600 dollars in a month.

Robi said she was motivated to work from home to follow her passion. “I worked for an NGO in Nairobi and quit after seeing I was making more money on the side,” she said, adding one of her friend, a web designer, also works from home.

Economics lecturer Henry Wandera said that working from home makes a lot of economic sense, though it comes with several constraints.

“You avoid losing several hours in traffic jams, you save on rent that is now not less than 165 dollars for a meter squared room and you are your own supervisor,” Wandera told Xinhua on Tuesday.

“The only challenge is that you have to organize to meet your clients outside your home office because you would not want them to know how you live. Besides, it needs a lot of discipline,” Wandera said, adding that most of those running home offices in Kenya are young people mainly in Nairobi.

“They are creative and daring. They do not have that old mentality that one should leave his house and go to work and then return in the evening. Easy access to internet has helped them,” he said.

Up votes: 0 Down votes: 0
Innovative Kenyans embrace working from Home!
0 votes, 0.00 avg. rating (0% score)