No doubt, 2021 was a tough year, and the Covid-19 pandemic did not make things any easier for entrepreneurs. Many businesses, including big hotels, closed shop. For good. Some startups were wiped out even before they took off, and a good number were in survival mode.
But 2022 promises a myriad of opportunities for budding entrepreneurs. Depending on whether you are risk averse or are a risk taker, here are some of the ways to make money in 2022.
Stanley Kisaka, an economist and a consultant who advises companies on budgets, says you could consider investing in the stock market, which does not require a lot of startup capital. The stock market enables you to invest in top companies, even if you can’t afford an entire share of the stock. You can also invest specifically in the kinds of companies you believe in, whether it’s environmentally friendly companies or tech-driven firms. While first time investment in the stock market can be scary to a would-be investor, there are many online trading applications which offer to invest your money at a fee. Beginners could also invest in stocks via mutual funds inside an employer sponsored 401(k) plan. In this kind of arrangement, once you come to an agreement with your employer, contributions will automatically be deducted from your pay check, and the money is invested broadly across the stock market.
Bills and Bonds
If you are not at all willing to take a risk with your money, Kisaka advises buying treasury bills which pay upfront, making your income guaranteed.
“Consider buying a treasury bill which you can get even for as low as Sh50,000, or a treasury bond, which now go for even Sh100,000 or Sh200,000. You can buy these through the Treasury’s online savings bond portal. Treasury bills take 21 days to mature, while treasury bonds run for two years, others five years and above,” explains Kisaka.
Money market fund
A money market fund is an investment that is sponsored by an investment company. Once you put some of your money in an investment company such as an insurance firm, for instance, the firm will invest the money on your behalf.
If you are very conventional, Kisaka advices you put your money into a savings account with a reputable financial institution, where you will start getting returns based on the interest that bank is offering, but says that here you would get very low returns. If anyone gives you very high rates for a fixed deposit, he advises against investing there.
Cross border trade with DRC
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently joined the East African Community. The new membership presents many opportunities for entrepreneurs. DRC is a market of 90 million people and is the largest transit destination. The EAC membership means that cross border traders will now conduct business under lower tariffs. Non-tariff trade barriers will also be much less compared to previously.
This year’s elections
The general election is due to be held this year, and with it comes a number of opportunities to earn quick money. You could, for instance, consider venturing into the printing and branding business where you can print t-shirts, umbrellas or hats commonly used for publicity during election campaigns. Aspirants will invest loads of cash to have their pictures and names printed on custom T-shirts.
If you have strong graphic design skills, you can also make good money designing posters for political aspirants. Marketers and advertisers could make money selling ad space on TV, radio, print or billboards. You could also make money enrolling as a digital marketer for a political aspirant. Social media is a powerful tool when it comes to reaching a mass audience, and because politicians know this fact, they are often willing to pay good money for a skilled social media marketer.
Mastery of social media marketing, email marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, content creation and web development can be an important tool in the arsenal of any modern political campaign. You could also make money through bulk SMS service which politicians rely on to reach several people at once. The profit per unit SMS may be small, but you’ll make a lot of money through sending bulk SMS to many people. You could also venture into the transportation business to ferry aspirants and their followers across different locations as they look for votes. You could also make money offering security to aspirants. Candidates making regular public appearances require security as they have to make their way through large crowds and interact with different people. As the security detail, you would be required to take on roles such as crowd-control at campaign events or offer private security to candidates, dignitaries and other key individuals during campaigns.
Start a business
Kisaka says that another brilliant investment option for the new year could be starting a business. There are many profitable businesses you can start in Kenya without a lot of capital. These include eateries, cyber cafés, retailing business, entertainment and recreation businesses among others.
“Whatever you chose, make sure you get into a sector you understand well. The only challenge with starting a business is that you are in it for life and cannot cash in and out like the stock market if you make a mistake,” argues Kisaka.
About 60 percent of Nairobi residents live in rented houses, and this figure is set to grow, presenting an opportunity for real estate developers. This will also provide an opportunity for mortgage lenders/peer-to-peer lending platforms, as well as real estate brokers. With as little as Sh50,000, you can also invest in real estate through crowd funded real estate. The way it works is that you team up with other real estate investors, pool your money together, and buy some real estate. You become a partial owner of the property. Any profit made from selling the real estate, or earning income from ongoing rents, would come back to you.
Kenya still imports more than 90 percent of its edible oil requirements. The country processes only 4 percent of its milk. Fish supply deficit is close to 500, 000 tons a year, while that of meat is about 300 metric tons. Agriculture remains the backbone of the economy, therefore you can never go wrong when you invest in feeding the nation.
Peer to peer lending
You could also consider lending money as a form of investing. High as the returns could be, this form of investment is also very risky, because returns are only as good as the character of the person you are lending to. To lower this risk, you could lend out your money in small instalments to many different people.