University Students Venture Into Business For Fear Of Unemployment


The high rate of unemployment has compelled university students to venture into businesses than waiting to be employed.


Unemployment has snatched the hopes of many graduates. It is even worse during this period of the pandemic where companies are laying off employees and the economy doing not so good.


The unemployment rate in Kenya was at 2.98 percent in 2020. This includes those who are ready to work but cannot find jobs, those who lost their jobs and workers for whom there are no jobs because the labor supply in their industry is larger than the number of jobs available.


University students have therefore decided to venture into businesses as they continue with their studies. They have businesses which operate near the campuses. Their target customers being the fellow students.


Food business, video games (Play Station), Mpesa shop and clothes top the list of the businesses owned by these campus students. These businesses thrive highly near universities.


These university students have the fear of graduating and not landing a job. They figure, having a business that will boost their income even after school is a good decision.


They get the capital to start their businesses from the HELB loans which is disbursed every semester. Part of the HELB loan goes to the school fees account and some is sent to the students account as upkeep. The upkeep is what they plough back into the business with hopes of regaining it through profits.


However, sometimes they are encountered with obstacles which draw them back. Most of them run the businesses without licences. This has exposed them to exploitation from city council and even worse, closure of their businesses.


More than 50,000 students graduate every year. Some of the lucky ones land jobs whilst others knock on interview doors in vain till they give up. Job hunting is not an easy task. You either brace yourself for “we need someone with 5 years experience” or “don’t call us, we will call you.”


It’s not once nor twice that we’ve seen graduates standing next to highways with placards written their high academic qualifications, looking for jobs. Also, there are those that end up in careers that are opposite of what they studied.


Such situations can really mess up with the mental health of an individual. The hopelessness can easily sink one into depression.


It is unfortunate to have burned the midnight oil, graduate with first class honours then end up jobless. It is frustrating, if not devastating.


The government should structure a concrete plan for the large number of graduates every year. They should create opportunities for the fresh graduates so as to help reduce the rate of unemployment.


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Mr. Ogonji is a highly professional and talented journalist with a solid experience in covering compelling stories, reporting facts, and engaging audiences. He is driven to uncover the truth behind today's most pressing issues and share stories that make a genuine impact.