Small scale sellers optimistic business environment will remain stable in 2023

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 11 – Majority of small-scale sellers in Kenya are optimistic that the business environment will remain stable in 2023 despite the ongoing inflationary pressures. 

A survey by online marketplace Airduka found that 75 per cent of small-scale sellers expect the trading environment to be calm over the next twelve months now that risks associated with threats such as Covid-19 and the general elections have settled.

Airduka surveyed a section of sellers listed in its online marketplace to gather the data.

Those sampled are sellers of different products and services, including but not limited to electronics, fashion, gaming, health and beauty, books and arts.

As per the findings, 60 per cent of sellers said they expect their revenues to remain steady in the first half of the year, with growth expected in the second half.

On the other hand, 20 per cent said they expect revenues to drop in the first half, but recover and increase in the second half. The rest remained uncertain.

At the same time, 65 per cent of sampled sellers said they expected demand for their products to remain steady in the first half of the year but grow in the second half.

20 per cent of small scale sellers said they expect growth starting this January and possibly last throughout the year. However, 15 per cent of respondents said they were uncertain.

Commenting on the finding, Airduka CEO Abdul Varvany said most sellers were keen on increasing their marketing efforts to grow the demand for their products and maximise revenues.

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“The good thing is that small-scale sellers are confident about the business environment and are ready to invest into their businesses this year,” he said.

Other factors sellers said would make the business environment conducive in 2023 were favourable weather conditions and rising demand for goods and services across the economy.

However, 70 per cent of small-scale sellers said they were still worried about the impact of inflation on their businesses.

“Even though the rate of inflation seems to have been softening over the three months, sellers are still worried that they could see a repeat of last year. The cost of fuel and food seems to be amongst their highest worries,” said Varvany.

Even so, 30 per cent of sellers were hopeful that the national government would intervene and cushion them against inflation.

Other challenges that small-scale sellers listed as anticipated challenges included the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war that heavily impacted the Kenyan economy in 2022.

The surveyed sellers said they were looking up to the national and county governments to provide a conducive environment to do their work.

70 per cent of the sellers urged the government not to add new taxes, as they were already struggling with inflationary pressures.

“Those we spoke to said they were facing a lot of uncertainty regarding the cost of doing business. Most sellers said they were already paying so much in taxes and licenses and could not afford to pay for more if asked to,” Varvany said.

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