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IT graduate strives in the carwash business

The unemployment rate in Kenya increased to 6.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, against 5.4 per cent in the previous quarter. It was also higher than in the first quarter of 2020 when 5.2 per cent of the population aged 15-64 years were unemployed, this is according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

Statistics from the Ministry of Education also indicate that about 50,000 graduates are churned out of institutions of higher learning every year in the country, it is estimated that 2.3 million qualified people have no jobs currently in the country.

In Kenya, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force compared with opportunities available at stake.

One major factor of unemployment in Kenya is the lack of creation of opportunities that can absorb the high number of graduates in the country and KNBS indicates that most youths prefer white-collar jobs as compared to venturing into an income-generating business.

The unemployment rate in the country can be reduced if most of the ‘hustling’ youths were imparted with different technical skills on top of their degrees to enable them to come up with their own business and job creation ideas.

This will also accelerate the achievements of Kenya’s aspiration on labour market needs for a middle income-economy like ours.

An IT university graduate in Bomet town is on the verge of minting cash from a car wash business idea he put into action three years ago when in most cases a majority of his fellow graduates are tarmacking.

Brian Misik, a 29-year-old, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Communication and Technology in 2016, after being unsuccessful in getting employed he decided to open a car wash business an idea that most degree holders would have brushed aside.

Speaking to the Kenya News Agency (KNA) in Bomet, Misik said that securing meaningful employment in Kenya is almost like an incredible thing, but most people fail to opt for self-employment in the informal sector. What if you don’t get any white colour opportunities, he poses as he continues washing a client’s vehicle.

“It’s certain that almost everyone goes through all levels of education to get a job at the end of the tunnel, but where it stands now in our country everyone is learned and the number of graduates keep increasing every year. What happens if one doesn’t secure meaningful employment in the formal sector? Posed Misik.

A business which he started three years ago, with a single pump cleaner and a capacity of handling 20 cars in a day has expanded to three pumps and at least 150 cars in a single day.

Misik informs KNA, his business is no longer a struggling entity but an established Brian Misik Auto car wash Bazar and with four staff, has managed to create employment not to himself only but to three others.

“When I started this business it was a struggle in the jungle, from acquiring the machines to leasing the site, after the three years, my business is stable, I have created employment for three other youths,” explains Misik.

With the average cost of cleaning one car being around Sh250, in a day, Misik’s car wash handles roughly Sh12, 500 on a bad day.

Besides the car wash cleaning business, Misik also does carpet vacuum cleaning whose charges vary from the size of the carpet and the time it takes to clean.

A Vacuum cleaner, also known as hoover, is a device that causes suction in order to remove dirt from floors, draperies, mats and other surfaces that equipment generally uses electricity.

However, Misik says that business too has its ups and downs, resilience and a clear outlook on how a business should be driven in order to make a profit and not losses.

“Business has a lot of challenges. It’s not always smooth, we have huge bills to pay right from electricity, staff salaries, servicing fees, taxes to the County Government and many other dues. But with a proper working business plan, one is likely to take control of what happens,” explained Misik.

Misik’s appeal to the government to curb tax rates on new business small entrepreneurs and also in order to give them a conducive environment for growth, he also urged the government to lend youths with startup loans for business establishment.

“Getting employment is a task of its own, our government should curb tax rates in order to provide a favourable environment for business establishment, this would empower youths at the same time assist in reducing the crime rate in our country,” said Misik.

By Lamech Arisa

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