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Recent Topicals

Ease of doing business in Kenya

Jul 4, 2017

Ease of doing business is an aggregate ranking method for countries, based on indicator sets that measure and benchmark regulations applying to domestic SME businesses throughout their life cycle. The ranking is done by the World Bank, and tracks changes in the following 11 life cycle stages of a business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and labour market regulation. The countries are then ranked from 1 to 189, 1 being the best. In the 2015 survey, Kenya was ranked 136 out of 189, a marginal improvement from 137 in 2014. This ranking is of use to (i) policy makers trying to improve their economy’s regulatory environment for business operations, with yearly changes in rankings providing some indications on the progress, and (ii) international investors, since it ranks countries relat...

Employee ownership schemes and their effects on firms

Jul 4, 2017

Having recently introduced a share ownership plan for all Cytonn staff, we focus on the topic to demonstrate its importance to growing businesses in the country. At Cytonn, staff have both a grant of shares, at no cost, and a share purchase plan at a discounted rate. Employee ownership schemes are an attractive form of giving employees an opportunity to participate in the ownership and decision making of their company. An employee share ownership plan (ESOP) is an arrangement between an employer and an employee, whereby the employee is granted rights to own a defined number of shares in the company, usually at a discounted price and upon fulfillment of pre-set conditions. A company can implement ESOPs in a number of ways including; (i) issuing shares directly to its employees, (ii) allowing employees to buy into the shares of the company, often at a discount, and (iii) grant its employees an option to buy shares in the company at some future date. For any ESOP, there...

The effects of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit being held in Kenya

Jul 4, 2017

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) is a global forum that brings together business owners, young innovators, educationalists, policymakers, thought leaders and investors from across the globe to support developing regions. Since 2010, the U.S has elevated entrepreneurship to the forefront of its engagement with the world and the GES is a formal annual forum for the engagement. The 6th annual gathering is being held in Kenya on 25th - 26th July 2015, and is being co-hosted by U.S. president Barrack Obama and Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta. This will be the first time that the summit is held in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the decision to hold it in Kenya showcases the country’s huge economic potential. Kenya join’s Turkey, UAE, Malaysia and Morocco as previous hosts of GES. The country is blessed in numerous enviable ways – a great geographical location that makes it a regional hub; great weather; an educated, numerate, literate and welco...

Entrepreneurship, its drivers and challenges

Jul 4, 2017

Entrepreneurship is the capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any accompanying risks. Over the years, entrepreneurship, along with innovation, has carved its role in the economic and social development of the society, transforming the lives of millions of people around the globe.The stand-alone trait that makes an entrepreneur is the entrepreneurial spirit that inspires one from within to be the best they can be. It develops within an individual who demonstrates a true passion for building something great from nothing and the will to push themselves to the limits to achieve their goals. An entrepreneur (i) is always passionate about what they do, (ii) always welcomes improvement in every aspect of their lives, (iii) optimistic about all possibilities, while taking challenges and obstacles as learning opportunities, (iv) takes calculated risks, and above...

The performance of the Kenya Shilling

Jul 4, 2017

Emerging market currencies have been under pressure during the year because of the US Federal Reserve’s announcement of an intention to raise interest rates. The expectation of a rate hike by the Fed has sent capital flowing out of emerging markets, causing a depreciation of most currencies. Additionally, the possibility of a “Grexit” is exacerbating the need for investors to invest in safer regions, such as the US. As expected, the impact of this on the currencies differs from country to country depending on the strength of the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals, with countries that have weaker fundamentals experiencing higher currency volatility. The Kenya Shilling has witnessed a downward pressure against the dollar since the beginning of the year, losing 13.0% YTD to close at 102.5 as of Friday 17th July from a rate of 90.6 at the start of the year. The depreciation of the shilling can be attributed to a number of factors, namely:...