The survey conducted by Viffa Consult revealed that the agricultural sector had the best returns followed by construction and real estate, media and entertainment, business service and education.
The wholesale-retail industry dropped from number 3 in 2020 to number 7 in 2021 reflecting the growing risk to external shocks as demonstrated by Covid-19.
With the effects of Covid-19 ravaging a majority of sectors in the country, Kenyans have embraced the need for side hustles to diversify their sources of income.
The sudden loss of income or decline in disposable income in some cases has resulted in people shift to setting up a business either full time or part-time.
Data from the Registrar of Companies shows the business names registered between April and November 2020 rose by 58.5 percent to 65,782 compared to 41,490 in a similar period last for 2019 indicating the fastest jump in decades.
Viffa Consult interviewed a sample of Kenyans running side hustles to come up with a list of the most lucrative side hustle industries.
The leading side hustle age bracket in 2021 was 30-40 years which also experienced a 42 percent increase between 2020 and 2021.
This could be explained by the loss of formal employment by mid to senior-level managers or salary cuts due to Covid-19, a majority of whom are between 30 – 40 years.
Respondents engaged in side businesses of age brackets 26 – 30 years and 41 – 50 years experienced a drop of 16 percent and 14 percent respectively.
While most Kenyans establish side hustles to supplement their salaries, others operate side businesses to invest their disposable income and as part of their retirement plans.
Side business investments also offer cash in case of personal emergencies.
Sectors that experienced a surge between 2020 and 2021 attributed to Covid-19 are; education (online learning and homeschooling support), construction and real estate and business services.
â€œ85 percent of respondents indicated that their side business was profitable while 15 percent indicated that their side business wasnâ€™t profitable,â€ the report read.
89 percent of respondents indicated that their side business improved their level of income while 11 percent indicated that their side business didnâ€™t improve their income level.
According to the report, 92 percent of respondents indicated that their side hustle improved the performance of their day job while 8 percent indicated that their side hustle had little impact on the performance on their day job.
Best performing side hustles sectors in Kenya.
Construction and real estate
Media and entertainment