Hey, I’m Joseph from Kisumu, Kenya. I’m a full-time entrepreneur who seeks to find solutions to the problems facing youths in Kenya.
More than a third of Kenya’s youth eligible for work have no jobs in a business environment where the government is struggling to tackle the country’s acute unemployment problem.
Census data released on February 2020 shows that 5,341,182 or 38.9 percent of the 13,777,600 young Kenyans are jobless, further widening the gulf between the rich and the poor.
This backs World Bank data on Kenya which indicates that the country had the highest rate of youth joblessness in East Africa in 2015 with 17 percent of all young people eligible for work lacked jobs.
Unemployment is a major challenge that affects youth across Kenya. Approximately 800,000 young Kenyans enter the labor market every year and youth unemployment is estimated to be as high as 35%, compared to the overall national unemployment rate of 10%. Furthermore, 80% of unemployed Kenyans are below 35 years old.
This is data before corona-virus pandemic.
With an estimate of over 1.7 million jobs lost as a result of the pandemic, one would wonder;
How many more youths have lost their livelihood due to the pandemic?
It is my view that to tackle Kenya’s high youth unemployment, the private sector, academia, and government must work together to develop innovative business models, industry-relevant curricula, and enabling national policies.
I believe If we can create employment opportunities in our small way, unemployment can reduce.
That's why in January 2019. I ended my employment journey to create more employment opportunities for my fellow youths. I believe that I have the resilience needed to build a business that would open more employment opportunities for the youth in my country. The urge to be part of the solution was in me long before 2019.
I founded Lemaan Business Services in February 2018, a printing company in Kenya oﬀering the full range of print services to a variety of clients operating across many diﬀerent industry sectors. We aim to be a one-stop-shop for all printing requirements; customizing solutions that are tailored speciﬁcally to individual needs, ensuring the best results every time throughout the pre-press, printing, ﬁnishing and binding process.
We have been operating for three years. It has not been easy because we do not have the necessary equipment to run such a business. We’ve been operating more like a broker business. We market, get clients, receive the order then link up with a service provider to fulfill the orders. This method has proven expensive and time consuming.
Please check out our Facebook Page through this link to see what we are doing: https://web.facebook.com/lemaan.ke
7 Challenges we are facing:
1. We are never confident with the quality of work we promise the client during marketing because we do not have control over fulfilling the orders since we rely on other service providers.
2. Profits are reduced greatly since we are acting as a middleman.
3. Our pricing seems to be high compared to the market price since we have to charge an extra fee to get a profit. This hinders us from landing more clients. We are seen as expensive.
4. We regularly disappoint clients because we have to rely on an external service provider who may be handling other clients at the time our order comes in.
5. Our bank statement is not consistent. When we receive money from the client, sometime we fail to make deposits because we need to fulfill the orders immediately. Which means the cash has to go to other service and product providers. This has denied us an opportunity to secure funding from the financial institutions.
6. In some cases we run at a loss especially when the service providers increase prices without our knowledge. To avoid doublespeak by telling the client about the price increase, we choose to protect our image.
7. Due to low profits, we have 3 underpaid employees.
These challenges prevent us from not only enumerating our employees well but we cannot also meet our primary goal of providing more employment opportunities.
It is our plea to well-wishers to help us raise funds to purchase the necessary machines and materials to help us meet our goal.
Access to employment can change the future for millions of unemployed youths and their families.
The funds collected will be used to purchase some of the machines listed below by 28th February 2021.
Epson DTG TP-900F Printer – $10,800
Embroidery Machine – $14,000
Large Format Printer – $7,680
6 Color 6 Stations – $1,500
Konica Minolta – $2,560
Cap Heat Press – $150
Vinyl Cutting Plotter – $500
Exposure Unit – $450
Screen Dryer – $450
Sublimation Printer – $420
5 Mug Heat Press – $350
Flatten bed Heat Press – $380
Marketing – $1,000
Total - $40,240