A Meeting with the Commercial Attaché in Köln – Investment and Entrepreneurship

Oliver Otieno KonjeA couple of days ago…cough cough, ok weeks ago the commercial attaché from the embassy in Berlin was visiting Köln on official visit and he met up with a few Kenyans to discuss Investment and Entrepreneurship. The meeting was spontaneous so the turn out wasn’t as good as it would have been considering it was in Cologne but a lot of ideas were shared and as always, I’m going to share with those of you who didn’t show up.

Define your goal or you will score everywhere

Regardless of what brought you to Germany or how you got here, make sure you define your goals and what you plan to achieve. Students should strive to achieve their qualifications as they may come in handy even when they return to Kenya. Defining your goals will help you make decisions and avoid mistakes. Ask yourself, “Why I’m I in this country and What do I plan to get out of living here?”

If you plan to return to back home, think of what your plans are. Make investments that ensure when you return you will live in dignity.

Germany, UK and the US are some of the few countries where Kenyans get value for their money ensuring them to invest in Kenya.

Investment in education can change not only an individual but also a family, a town and even a country. If you can, look into helping to educate the less fortunate back home.

For those looking to get into entrepreneurship in Kenya:

  • Get ready to burn your fingers, not all investments will bring profits and that’s normal
  • Look into demand and supply for products. As a diasporan in Germany, you stand at an advantage of having 2markets with different demands and supplies. Look at how these 2markets favour your profits. Pick items that are easily supplied in Kenya but in high demand in Germany and trade.
  • Network with serious business people from back home who’re willing to work with you in the field you have chosen.
  • Don’t do anything based on trust, follow the legal route. Avoid getting in oral contracts and instead look into written contracts where in case of anything you can go to court.
  • If you plan to start a business in Kenya, plan for something that brings return to your investment and not just what everyone is doing or what sounds hip at the moment.

According to an article, “Wer jetzt in Kenia investiert, ist fast konkurrenzlos” by the DTJ who had an interview with members of the Kenyan Businessmen Association, said that this is the best time to invest in Kenya. Not only is the infrastructure improved but Kenya offers a gateway to a huge market through it’s membership in the EAC and the COMESA. Current sectors that are booming and need investors include: Renewable Energy sector, Transport sector (rail, road and ship technology), communication sector, agriculture and livestock farming sectors.

This is an amazing time to be an investor in Kenya, so bite the bullet and get into the market.


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