Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How to Invest in the Nairobi Stock Exchange

The Nairobi Stock Exchange or the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) as it is officially referred to is your one-stop shop for publicly traded Kenyan shares and bonds. Whether you are a foreign or local investor, buying shares on the stock market is simple, fast and straightforward.

Let me walk you through the process.

Stock Buying Instructions

Step One – Stock Purchasing Due Diligence

The first thing you need to do before you invest in anything is to carry out some due diligence. Due diligence refers to undertaking comprehensive research before you commit money. In the case of Kenyan stocks, you need to establish several issues, namely:

  1. How big the company is, that is, market capitalization.
  2. Revenue, profit and margin trends
  3. Competitors and Industries
  4. Price-earnings ratios (PE) in conjunction with price-to-book (P/B) ratio and the price-to-sales/revenue ratio.
  5. Management and share ownership
  6. Balance sheet in comparison with the competition, specifically:
    • Overall level of assets and liabilities
    • Overall level of debt
    • Amount of long-term debt
    • Debt-to-equity ratio
  7. Stock price history
  8. Stock options and dilution possibilities
  9. Company's future outlook
  10. Industry-wide and company risks e.g. pending legislation that will affect the company negatively, legal cases etc. In essence, carry out a worst-case-scenario analysis.

The above information is available from online sources such as the Nairobi Securities Exchange website where you can find various statistics, view live and historical data, and download a few investor guides. Also, most companies listed on the securities exchange have websites with sections dedicated to investor information where you can also download annual company reports.

Step Two – Find a Stock Broker

After conducting due diligence, identify a stock broker. As is the practice the world over, Kenyan securities are purchased via a broker. Many stock brokers have portals that allow you to buy stocks online in Kenya. Please see the list of licensed Kenyan stock brokers.

Talk to the broker and ask for their professional opinion regarding step one above. What do they think about the company you want to invest in? Do they concur with your findings or do they have a different opinion? Listen carefully to what the broker has to say before you place a buy order.

Step three – Open a CDSC (Central Deposit and Settlement Corporation) Account

All publicly traded shares are held electronically in CDSC accounts. Opening a CDS account is free at most brokerage houses. Do this by visiting your broker's office or downloading the forms from their website. You will need to attach the following:

  1. A recent passport-size photo
  2. A certified copy of your driver’s license or passport
  3. A certified copy of a tax return or utility bill

Once the broker receives the documentation, your account will be activated. As soon as your account is active, you can begin making buy and sell orders.

Stock Buying Tips & Warnings

  • Stocks are bundled in minimum lots of 100 shares in the main market. If you want to buy less than this, you can do so on the Odd Lots board.
  • The NSE market opens Monday to Friday from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Trading begins at 9.00 a.m. and ends at 3.00 p.m.
  • The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) regulates the amount of fees that can be charged for trades. The fee for trades below 100,000 Kenya shillings (Convert with Google Currency Converter) is capped at 2.1% and 1.85% for amounts above. Many brokers will negotiate a lower fee for high volume trades.
  • The rules specify that dividends must be deposited to your bank account AND NOT the trading account. Foreign investors can arrange to have their dividends wired to accounts outside Kenya.

Suggested Reading

Nairobi Securities Exchange

Capital Markets Authority

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List of Kenyan Stock Brokers

Are you looking to buy shares on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)? The following is a list of NSE member firms currently licensed by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA). The list includes their email address, website URL, telephone contacts and physical location

NSE Member Firm Website Contact Details & Physical Location
ABC Capital Ltd abccapital.co.ke IPS Building, 5th floor,
P.O. Box 34137-00100
Tel: 2246036/2245971
Fax: 2245971
Email: headoffice@abccapital.co.ke
Afrika Investment Bank Ltd afrikainvestmentbank.com Finance House, 9th Floor,
P.O. Box 11019-00100
Tel: 2212206 / 2210178/2212989//343639
Fax: 2210500
Email: info@afrikainvestmentbank.com
ApexAfrica Capital Ltd apexafrica.com Rehani House, 4th Floor,
P.O. Box 43676- 00100
Tel: 242170/2220517
Fax: 2215554
Email: invest@apexafrica.com
CBA Capital Limited cbagroup.com CBA Centre Mara Ragati Road Junction, Upper Hill,
P.O. Box 30437-00100
Tel: 0202884000/+254 20 2884000 / 365, 0711056365
Fax: 0202734616
Dyer & Blair Investment Bank Ltd dyerandblair.com Pension Towers, 10th floor,
P.O. Box 45396 00100
Tel: 3240000/2227803/4/5
Fax: 2218633
Email: shares@dyerandblair.com
Equity Investment Bank Limited equitybankgroup.com Equity Centre, Hospital Road, Upper Hill,
P.O Box 75104 – 00200
Tel: +254-20-2262477 Mobile: +254-732-112477/+254-711-026477
Fax: +254 20 2711439
Faida Investment Bank Ltd fib.co.ke Crawford Business park, Ground Floor, State House Road,
P. O. Box 45236-00100
Tel: +254-20-7606026-35
Fax: 2243814
Email: info@fib.co.ke
Francis Drummond & Company Limited drummond.co.ke Hughes Building, 2nd floor,
P.O. Box 45465 00100
Tel: 318690/318689
Fax: 2223061
Email: info@drummond.co.ke
Genghis Capital Ltd gencap.co.ke Prudential Building, 5th Floor,
P.O Box 1670-00100
Tel: 8008561, 2337535/36, 2373984/968/969
Fax: 246334
Email: info@gencap.co.ke
Kestrel Capital (EA) Limited kestrelcapital.com ICEA Building, 5th floor,
P.O. Box 40005-00100
Tel: 251758/2251893,2251815,2250082
Fax: 2243264
Email: info@kestrelcapital.com
Kingdom Securities Ltd kingdomsecurities.co.ke Co-operative Bank House,5th Floor,
P.O Box 48231 00100
Tel: 3276940/3276256/3276154
Fax: 3276156
Email: info@kingdomsecurities.co.ke
NIC Securities Limited nic-capital.com Ground Floor, NIC House, Masaba Road,
P.O.Box 63046 – 00200
Tel: 2888 444 / 0711 041 444
Fax: 2888 544
Email: info@nic-capital.com
Old Mutual Securities Ltd oldmutual.co.ke IPS Building, 6th Floor,
P. O. Box 50338- 00200
Tel: 2241379, 2241408
Fax: 2241392
Email: info.oms@oldmutualkenya.com
Renaissance Capital (Kenya) Ltd rencap.com Purshottam Place ,6th Floor, Westland , Chiromo Road,
P.O BOX 40560-00100
Tel: 3682000/3754422
Fax: 3632339
Email: info@rencap.com
SBG Securities Ltd sbgsecurities.co.ke CfC Stanbic Centre, 58 Westlands Road,
P. O. Box 47198 – 00100
Tel: 3638900
Fax: 3752950
Email: sbgs@stanbic.com
Standard Investment Bank Ltd sib.co.ke ICEA Building, 16th floor,
P. O. Box 13714- 00800
Tel: 2228963/2228967/2228969
Fax: 240297
Email: info@sib.co.ke
Sterling Capital Ltd sterlingib.com Barclays Plaza, 11th Floor, Loita Street,
P.O. Box 45080- 00100
Tel: 2213914/244077/ 0723153219/0734219146
Fax: 2218261
Email: info@sterlingib.com
Suntra Investment Bank Ltd suntra.co.ke Nation Centre,7th Floor,
P.O. Box 74016-00200
Tel: 2870000/247530/2223330/2211846/0724- 257024, 0733-222216
Fax: 2224327
Email: info@suntra.co.ke

Source: Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)

Ngenye Kariuki & Co. Ltd and Discount Securities Ltd are under statutory management and hence not included in this list.

Suggested Reading
Nairobi Stock Exchange Listed Companies
List of Investment Banks in Kenya
List of Investment Advisers in Kenya
List of Real Estate Investment Trustees in Kenya (REIT)
List of Authorized Depositories in Kenya

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to Advertise your Business Online using Google

Kenyan businesses spend billions on advertising every year. Most of this money is channeled through advertising agencies and ends up with radio and TV networks. Advertising on radio and TV has traditionally been the best way to get the word out about your product or service. Unfortunately, it is also quite expensive and businesses need massive advertising budgets to use these platforms. A 30-second ad on TV will cost a minimum of 30,000/= depending on the TV station and the time of day. Primetime advertisements are the most expensive.

Print media will also set you back a couple thousand bob. A short three-sentence ad in the leading dailies will cost you about 10,000/=. Quarter page adverts cost an average of 45,000/=. Magazine and billboard ads are also out of reach for the average SME.

So, how can you cost-effectively advertise your business? The answer is online advertising.  via Google or more specifically, Google AdWords.

What is Google AdWords?

Google AdWords is Google's online advertising program. This is what propelled the company into one of the most valuable companies in the world. You must have seen the advertisements browsing websites. Businesses pay Google to run ads on sites such as this one. With Google AdWords, you can reach new customers and grow your business on a modest advertising budget.

Introduction to Pay Per Click (PPC) Marketing

Google AdWords is run on on a PPC model. Pay-per-click is an advertising model where you only pay for the ad when someone actually clicks or taps on it and visits your website. Depending on how competitive your industry is, you can pay anything from a few pennies to a several thousand bob per click. But, the average PPC cost for most industries in Kenya is less that $0.3 per click (as at May 2014) which is about 25/= at today's exchange rates. Working with this figure, one can estimate that to bring 100 people to your website every day and view your product offering, you would need to spend an average of 2,500/= every day.

The actual cost of a click is determined by a bidding process where all bidders interested in a specific word, known as a keyword, place bids. The highest bidder gets their ad placed highest on the sponsored section of the Google search results page for a search for that keyword or phrase.

Online Advertising with Google Example

Let's say, for example, that you own a shoe shop specializing in imported women's shoes. You will begin by creating a website and have a nice landing page where you will direct your website visitors.

Next, create a Google AdWords account. You will need a Visa or MasterCard Internet enabled debit or credit card in order to pay Google for the ads. Talk to your bank to activate your card for Internet purchases. Alternatively, read my article, how to get an Internet enabled MasterCard in Kenya.

Keyword Research with the Keyword Tool

The next thing you need to do is to carry out some keyword research. In your Google AdWords account, click on the Tools menu and scroll down to Keyword Planner. 

Click on Search for new keyword or ad group ideas. In the Product or Service field, enter your keyword phrase to get new keyword ideas which you can bid on. In this example, the keyword phrase is "ladies shoes". Make sure you select "Kenya" from the list of countries. You can even target a specific city or town. Enter your website's landing page, product category and sub-category. The landing page is the URL your viewers will arrive at when they click on ads leading to your site. For this example, I chose to use the broad category "footwear" to get a long list of possible keyword ideas. You can experiment with different sub-categories and also specify the date range. In this example, the date range is the last 12 months.

Click "Get Ideas" to begin your search for keyword ideas to bid on. AdWords will return a graph of search volume trends as well as a group of ad group and keyword ideas. An Ad group is a number of closely related keyword ideas. See the result below.

Look for broad keyword ideas using the AD group ideas tab and specific ideas using the Keyword ideas tab. You can sort the results based on any of the columns. For example, to see ideas with the highest number of monthly searches on Google, click on the "Avg monthly searches" column. Ideally, you will be looking for a keyword with a high search volume and medium to low competition. Unless of course, you have a large ad budget in which case you can go after keywords with a high search volume and high competition. Higher competition means there are many advertisers like yourself interested in that same keyword. In my example, the keyword with the highest number of monthly searches in Kenya was "wedding shoes".

Google suggests that I place a bid of $0.49 (about 40 bob) for this keyword. This suggestion is based on the amount that other advertisers in Kenya have paid on average for this keyword over the last 12 months. The implication is that every time someone clicks on my ad and visits my site, Google will charge me 40 bob. Take note this CPC can vary. It may end being higher or lower based on the bidding results. But, you can specify a maximum CPC and daily spend. For example, you can set your maximum CPC at $0.5 and your daily spend at $5. This allows you to plan your monthly marketing expenditure.

Select a couple of keywords that are a close match to your product and click on the arrows in the Add to plan column. Follow the prompts to begin your marketing campaign. This article is only meant to be a primer on Google AdWords. Full a full tutorial, please see the Google AdWords help page.

Take note that your landing page should contain proper details on how the viewer can purchase your product or service. This could be a call to action such as "Call Us", "Visit our Shop on Tom Mboya" or you could include an online store where users make payments via Lipa na Mpesa or Debit/Credit card and you then make the delivery.

In addition to Google, Facebook also offers PPC advertising with some major ad targeting differences.

The Advantage of PPC Advertising Over Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising on print and broadcast media is like a broad spectrum antibiotic. There is no specificity. Ads are broadly targeted with little room to select ad viewers based on demographics, interests and other factors. PPC advertising, on other hand, allows the same features of traditional advertising but with the added advantage of specific targeting and messaging.

PPC also has the advantage of targeting online users. The average Kenyan youth is now spending at least one hour a day on the Internet. This is almost as much time as they spend watching TV or listening to the radio. PPC allows you to put your product/service offering in front of this market at the lowest cost. 

Create a Website

If you don't have a website for your business, then by this point it must have dawned on you that you cannot use Google AdWords before you create a website for your business. There is no escaping this. Please read my article titled, "how to create a website for my business cheaply" for more on website creation.


Suggested Reading
Mpesa Integration to Website

How to Create a Website for Your Business Cheaply

If you are a running a business and you don't have a website you should be ashamed of yourself. In this day and age when everything is moving online, not having a website is setting yourself up for failure. You need to make it a priority to create a website and there are dozens of cheap website design options these days.

Kenyans are no longer just using the Internet for fun. They are increasingly using it to locate businesses, make price comparisons and for online shopping. So, by choosing to stay offline, you are losing out on potential business opportunities. The cost of a website is no longer an excuse. You actually don't need any money to start a basic website for your business.

So, where do you get a cheap website? Read on below.

Free Website

While I would not recommend this option for any serious entrepreneur, it is better than having nothing at all. Visit Google's Kenya Business Online pages and create an account. Your website address will be something similar to http://yourbusiness.kbo.co.ke. This is not a professional web address but like I said, if you really have no money to invest in a proper website, you can start with this free option. Watch the video below to learn more.

Cheap Website Design

Unless you have basic HTML, CSS and CMS skills, I recommend that you hire a cheap website designer to create a professional looking site for you. Sorry ... you don't know what those initials stand for? ...my point exactly! There are many competent designers in Nairobi who will charge you a modest fee of between 5 and 10k to create a five-page basic website. Search Google using the phrase "Website Design Kenya". You can also try OLX. Insist on seeing a portfolio and a list of references before you hire anyone.

You could also visit any of the following online freelance marketplaces and hire a cheap designer from any part of the world.

A simple five-page professional website will cost you an average of $100 (8,500/=). However, our sister company is currently running a promotional offer where you can get a 5-page website for 5,000/=. This cost includes one-year domain registration and a year's hosting. 

You should also consider hiring a web copywriter to write your site's content. Even if you are naturally a good writer, writing for the Internet differs in many ways from writing offline content. You need to consider keyword placement and density and you have to do so without compromising on grammar. Web copywriters are also available for hire at the sites listed above.

Domain Registration & Hosting

One of the reasons, I said the KBO website is a bad idea is because you don't own the domain, you only own the sub-domain. You should always use a domain name for your website. It is more professional to use "yourbusiness.co.ke" or "yourbusiness.com" as opposed to "yourbusiness.kbo.co.ke". For more about domain names, please read the article, "what is a domain name?"

Register a Kenyan domain name (.co.ke) at a Kenyan registrar. See the list of Kenyan registrars on this KENIC page. If you prefer an international .com domain name, register one at Godaddy.com. Most Kenyan registrars accept Mpesa. You will need a Visa or MasterCard debit/credit card to pay GoDaddy. The cost of a Kenyan domain is about 1,500/=, renewable annually, while a .com domain costs roughly $12 (about 1,000/=) also renewable every year.

Hosting refers to the server where your website "sits" so that it can be accessed by the rest of the world. You can pay for hosting monthly or annually. The average cost for a small site is about 300 bob a month.

You can register a domain name at any time before you hire the designer though many web design companies offer a complete package covering website design, domain registration, and hosting.

Web Design Tutorial

There is a third option for those willing and with time to learn a new skill. You can teach yourself web design. Content Management Systems such as Blogger, WordPress, and Joomla are extremely user-friendly. Begin by teaching yourself basic HTML and CSS by reading the tutorial at W3Schools.com


Suggested Reading
Mpesa Integration to Website

Monday, May 19, 2014

Illuminati in Kenya: What is Illuminati?

"Come and join the Illuminati in Kenya" reads many online ads. To most people, the word "Illuminati" conjures up images of devil worshipers sacrificing people and conspiring to take over the world. The real truth about who the Illuminati are and their agenda in the world is hazy at best. All the material available online doesn't provide concrete answers and only raises more questions on how to join Illuminati in Kenya.

The History of the Illuminati

According to Wikipedia, the Illuminati was founded in Germany (Bavaria) in May 1776. The group's mission was to oppose:
  • Superstition
  • Prejudice
  • Religious (Read Christian) influence over public life
  • Abuses of state power
  • Discrimination against women in the fields of education and gender equality
The formation of the Illuminati coincided with the "enlightenment period" in Europe where intellectuals advocated the use of reason and science to reform society.

Charles Theodore, the Bavarian ruler at the time, outlawed the group in 1785. The group is said to have regrouped in France and is suspected to have been behind the French revolution.

Today, there are several organizations that claim to be descendants of the original Bavarian Illuminati. Many of these fraternal secret societies use a variation of The Illuminati Order when naming their organizations. Others such as the Ordo Templi Orientis or OTO as it is better known use "Illuminati" as a level within the group's hierarchy.

How to Join Illuminati in Kenya.

Ordo Templi Orientis 

The best known member of OTO was Aleister Crowley (1875 –  1947).

Crowley was an occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist and mountaineer, and, was at one time described by the British press as "the most wicked person in the world". He founded a new religious doctrine which he called The Law of Thelema and reorganized the OTO around this law. The central principle of this law is summarized as,  "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will." The sacred text of Thelema is the Book of the Law (Liber AL vel Legis in Latin) published by Crowley in 1904. Crowley claimed that the book was dictated to him by a formless spirit he called Aiwass.

The technical title of the text in Latin as written by Crowley is, "Liber AL vel Legis, sub figura CCXX, as delivered by XCIII=418 to DCLXVI". DCLXVI are the Roman numerals for the number 666 and XCIII is the number 93 representing the formless spirit Aiwass. When translated to English, the title implies that the book was delivered by Aiwass to Crowley, who is The Beast 666.

How to Join Illuminati in Kenya.

The OTO is known to have very liberal views on issues such as sex and drug use. Crowley himself was a heavy recreational drug user. This video provides a glimpse into the life of Thelemites (Followers of Thelema).

Illuminati in Popular Culture

In popular culture, the Illuminati are depicted as a secret society with nefarious intentions. They are rumored to be plotting a totalitarian world government and are said to continuously seek to influence politics, business and every aspect of human life. Several popular movies and books have cashed in on this theme. The most well known book of this type is Dan Brown's 2000 bestseller "Angels and Demons".
It is alleged that people who join the Illuminati are rewarded with great wealth.

How to Join Illuminati in Kenya.

Do the Illuminati Believe in God?

This is a tough one to answer. The available literature is contradictory. Some groups such as the OTO believe in several deities while others still adhere to the original Bavaria position of a world free of religious influence.

Illuminati in Kenya

There are many rumors about certain wealth politicians, businessmen, musicians and even church leaders being members of the Illuminati. It is not uncommon to hear such claims at Christian rally crusades. It is difficult to verify any of these rumors.

How to Join Illuminati in Kenya.

Illuminati Signs

Again this is found in popular culture and it is difficult to ascertain the truth. Flashing of the following hand signs is alleged to indicate that the individual is Illuminati.

Illuminati Scams

There has been a sudden interest in the Illuminati in Kenya. Many young people looking for a short-cut to riches are actively seeking to join the Illuminati. This could be attributed to the high number of unemployed youth who are willing to do anything to make ends meet. A number of scammers claiming to be the Illuminati have set-up shop in Kenya and are fleecing hapless Kenyans of millions of shillings. Prospective "members" are required to pay membership fees as high as 50,000/= . According to the Nairobian, thousands of Kenyans have fallen for this scam.

How to Join Illuminati in Kenya.

Famous People Alleged to be Illuminati

Many famous people are alleged to be Illuminati. Just about every American president is said to be Illuminati. Famous musicians such as Jay Z, Beyonce and Rihanna are also said to be members of the fraternal order. These rumors are mostly fueled by the said individuals flashing suspected Illuminati signs and in the case of Jay Z, using symbols considered Illuminati or satanic in his music videos. The following are a few images that have fueled the rumors.

Illuminati American Presidents?

Illuminati Jay Z, Beyonce and Rihanna

How to Join Illuminati in Kenya.



OTO Website

Standard News

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Friday, May 16, 2014

How to Garnish Cocktails

Have you ever admired how a mixologist at your favorite cocktail bar in Nairobi goes about preparing your favorite tipple and finishing it off with garnish? A cocktail is garnished to complete the taste and presentation. Many classic and modern cocktails finish off the preparation by adding a citrus peel, olive, fruit wedge, onion or maraschino cherry. This adds to the drink's character while also subtly altering its taste and smell.

Not unlike many other elements of cocktail history, the exact origin of garnishing alcoholic beverages remains a mystery. It is believed that two drinks that were popular a few centuries ago, juleps and cobblers, are responsible for the rise of drink garnishes.

Citrus Peels

Jerry Thomas's 1862 Bartender's Guide is the only surviving reference to citrus peel garnishes. But, the guide makes no mention of the technique to follow. So, one can safely assume that the practice was not in widespread use at the time.

Citrus fruits store most of the scent compounds on the skin hence the widespread use of the citrus peels. Twisting a citrus peel releases aromatic oils.

The big debate is whether the peel should be dropped into the drink or twisted over the drink and discarded. The consensus by mixologists is that the peel should be dropped into the drink. This allows a small amount of the aromatic oils to dissolve in the alcohol while a small amount rises to the top which improves flavor. To avoid pesticide residue, dust and other impurities being introduced into the drink, the fruit should be washed in warm water before use.

Olives, Cherries & Onions

Using olives, cherries and, onions as garnishes date back to the 1800s; the original garnish cherry was the maraschino cherry from Croatia. It was imported to the rest of Europe and the US while preserved in maraschino liqueur. However, the importation costs became prohibitive and bartenders soon began using locally grown cherries and other liqueurs.

Cherries add sweetness to most traditional cocktails but if you can't get cherries, add a single shot of maraschino liqueur or simple syrup for balance.

On the other hand, olives and onions add a slightly salty flavor to various classic beverages. If you find yourself with an unbalanced drink, try a drop or two of salt tincture if you don't have any olives or onions.

Get Mixing

Now that you know why and how cocktails are garnished, why not mix yourself a drink? How about trying out the only cocktail named for its garnish? It's called the Horse's Neck. When prepared correctly the peel of a whole lemon spirals around the entire glass from top to bottom. Drinker's in the late 19th century, probably while tipsy, thought this resembled a horse's neck hanging into the drink.

You will need 2 ounces of bourbon, 4 ounces of ginger ale and a whole lemon peel. Peel the lemon in one continuous motion starting at one end and working your way around so that you end up with a spiral peel. You may need to experiment with several lemons to get the spiral right. Place the lemon peel into a Collins glass. Add ice cubes and pour all the ingredients into the glass. Stir and enjoy!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

How to Get a Part-Time Job Fast

There are several reasons you may want a part-time job. Most people seek part time jobs to supplement their regular income or as a stopgap job (pay the bills) while they seek greener pastures. A part-time job can also help a student earn much-needed pocket money. But, it isn't exactly easy to find a part-time gig unless you know how to go about it.

The first thing you need to do is to carry out an honest assessment of your unique strengths. Take a piece of pen and paper and write down all your skills, talents and attributes. For example, Diploma in X, currently taking a degree course in x, can write well, good with computers etc. Once you have established your strong qualities, begin looking for jobs whose requirements gel as close as possible to your list. The following are good sources of Kenyan part-time jobs.

Online and Offline Job Classifieds

There are tens of online classified sites in Kenya. Some of the most well known are OLX, Brighter Monday, Best Jobs Kenya and Kenyan Jobs. Use the search function in these sites to search for jobs. Type in the search term "Part-time" and click or hit enter to search.

The Nation Newspaper's classified section also carries several part-time job advertisements daily.

Freelance Websites

The next best place to find part-time jobs are online marketplaces. These sites bring together buyers and sellers of services from all over the world. Some of the job categories include:

  • Writing and translation
  • Design and Multimedia
  • Software and Programming
  • Admin Support
  • Legal
  • Marketing and Sales

The following are some of the leading freelance websites globally. Create accounts at all these sites and begin bidding on jobs.

Mall Notice Boards

Several malls in Kenya have huge notice boards where people are charged a fee to run advertisements. Some of the best job notice boards can be found at:

  • Sarit Centre
  • Village Market
  • Yaya Centre

Sell Insurance

The insurance industry hires insurance agents to sell life and general insurance on commission basis. They normally take you some initial training and you will be expected to pass the Kenyan Certificate of Proficiency exams (COP) before you can receive your commissions.

Offer a Service

Depending on your past training and talents, you can offer a service and advertise on sites like OLX. For example, a maths university student can provide holiday tuition services for kids in his/her local estate or village. Look at your list of qualities and think creative ways of monetizing a talent you have, for example, can you play a musical instrument? Teach other people and charge a fee. Are you a good swimmer, post an online ad offering to teach people how to swim.

Tips & Warnings

  • Polish up your CV, you never know when you may need it.
  • InfoHub Kenya is also hiring part-time writers. Check out our job section.

Suggested Reading

How to Prepare for a Job Interveiw
List of job sites in Kenya
Where to find online jobs
5 best paying careers in Kenya
4 networking secrets to get a job

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How to Get Great Logos For Your Business, Website, Blog or Facebook Account

Coca-Cola, Facebook, Safaricom, Kenya Airways ...what do these companies have in common? They have instantly familiar logos. A well-conceived logo makes you stand out. It must be stunning, simple and professional irrespective of whether it is for a business website, personal blog or social media account.

But, Kenyan logo designers don't come cheap. Thankfully, there are a couple of ways that you can get impressive logos on a low budget.

Hire a Low-Cost Logo Designer

The fact of the matter is that if you are looking for a unique brand that stands out from the rest, there is no tool or code that can magically do it for you, at least not in the most professional way. But, while graphic designers can put a dent in your pocket, there are low-cost graphic designers out there who will do a killer job. Most of these designers are either people starting out on their own and looking to build a client list or fresh from campus and looking to showcase their skills. Such professionals are normally willing to take a low fee as they build their profile. So, where do you find these low budget graphic designers? The answer lies in freelance websites. These online marketplaces bring together buyers and sellers of digital goods. There are several such sites and the industry leaders worldwide are:
Thousands of Kenyan freelance logo designers and others from all over the world register at these sites in search of remote job opportunities. All you need to do is create an account at any of the sites above, follow the instructions to post a job and wait for freelancers to place bids on your job. Within a few minutes of posting a job, you get dozens of bids from all over the world with bid amounts averaging 20$ - $45 (KES 2,000 to 4,500). Some high-quality bids ever offer to create up to six initial concepts and unlimited revisions until you are 100% satisfied. Delivery schedules range from one to three days.

Going through some of the freelancer profiles and the feedback from past clients, one cannot help but be impressed by the talent vis-à-vis the bid amounts for money offered. Also, the beauty with these online marketplaces is that you don't pay the contractor until you are satisfied that the final product conforms to your instructions. All of the sites listed above come with an escrow feature. You simply place the funds into escrow and demand your money back if the contractor performs dismally.

Take note that you will need an Internet-enabled credit or debit card in order to pay for the services. Talk to your local bank and ask them to activate your Visa or MasterCard for online payments. You can also sign up for a Paypal account and link your debit/credit card for better security.


The next best thing to hiring a graphic designer is to learn how to do it yourself. If you want to use powerful software to design your logo and are not afraid of a moderately steep learning curve, then we recommend Gimp. Gimp is the free image creation and editing alternative to the popular PhotoShop. Download and install gimp on your computer. The following Gimp videos demonstrate, in detail, how to create a few logos.

Simple Website Logo

Clean Cut Logo

3D Logo Spherical Text Effect

3D Logo Glossy Metal Text

Free Logo Creation Tools

If you can't afford a designer at all and don't have what it takes to teach yourself design, there are a number of free online tools that can help you create a fairly good logo in a short time. Below are our best picks.


The site has been around for a while and it many more design options. Best of all, their logos are not watermarked. The majority of their styles simulate the look of text carved into a medium. There are close to 2,000 fonts and dozens of textures to choose from. The image generated is stored on CoolText servers for only one hour so you must download it immediately.

Free Logo Maker

Free Logo Maker offers an even wider range of tools to create free non-watermarked logos for a variety of uses. Begin by adding text, select a font from dozens of options and align to your liking. There are even options to curve the text. Next, click on the Image tab and select an image from your computer or browse the site's image library to find a suitable image for your logo. Drag and position the image. Once you are satisfied with the image, download it to your computer.

Flaming Text

This service is free for personal and academic use. By signing up, you can save your logos on their servers. The sign up process is quick and easy. Enter your email address, choose a password and verify your email. Next, click on Create Logos. There are hundreds of logo patterns and styles to choose from. Change the text, background, color and several other parameters of your logo. Click Create Logo, select Personal Use and you're done! Download the logo at anytime from within your account. See our product below.

The Take-Away

At the end of the day, the most important thing that should determine the method you use to acquire your logo is the final use of the logo. If you are looking for a simple logo for a personal blog or for use on your social media profiles, you can use some of the free tools mentioned. But, if you want a logo that will make your business stand out and improve brand recognition, we recommend hiring a graphic designer.
Have you ever created a logo or had one created for you? How did you go about it? Please share your experience with us in the comments below.

Suggested Reading

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How to Study Faster

Are you in secondary school, college, doing a master's degree or simply studying for a course while working? Whatever the case may be, you can benefit from learning how to study faster. Thanks to technological advancements, there are now numerous applications to help you revise faster and cope with day-to-day tasks.

The following are five apps that will help you study faster.

iStudiez Pro

This application helps you create reminders and notifications for upcoming examinations while also improving your study methods. It is compatible with Mac, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. With this app, you can create colorful schedules and visualize all the information you need to prioritize.

The pro version is available on iTunes for $2.99. You can use any Internet enabled Kenyan debit or credit card to buy it online. iStudiez Lite is free but places a limit on the number of classes you can manage. To use the app effectively, plug your class schedule into the application and follow the instructions to finalize setup.


Evernote is a versatile application that has a wide range of uses. One of these is study and exam preparation. It can make a student's life a lot easier by storing study notes, research and other material such as online resources in one place. Take notes with it while listening to a lecture and sync across all your devices so that you can study on the go.  The application is easy to setup and use. It is free on iOS and Android devices. The premium version costs only $5 monthly or $45 per year.

Dictionary.com Mobile

Every student knows the value of a dictionary to look-up terms and improve vocabulary. The dictionary.com mobile application puts 2 million definitions at your fingertips. It also comes with a huge database of synonyms and antonyms. If there is something you didn't understand from your last class session, just download this app from iTunes or the Google Play Store and install it your phone.

Exam Time

This application allows you to create mind maps, flash cards and quizzes online for free. With ExamTime.com, you can create, store and access your study content from one place. This brings organization and focus into your study method. The application is still in beta so many more improvements are expected in the future but so far it has proven to be a really useful app. Stay synced with your study groups, planner, calendar in addition to many other features.


Finally, any discussion about study apps would be incomplete without making mention of Blackboard. This is the most widely used app by universities around the world. It is recommended by many professors and schools. The only requirement for you to use this is that your teacher should also be using it. Some private universities in Kenya are using the app, just check with your institution and lecturer. It is compatible with Android, iOS and Blackberry. Blackboard allows you online access to all your coursework, grades and schedules posted by your instructor. Once you convince your school to start using it, all you need to do is head over to iTunes or Google Play and download it.

Study Drugs
If you suffer from conditions such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), long hours of study may be a problem for you. ADHD sufferers typically suffer attention problems which include daydreaming, difficulty focusing and being easily distracted. Hyperactivity is manifested through fidgeting or restlessness. If you suspect you have ADHD, you should consult a doctor and they can prescribe a drug known as Adderall which will help you focus better.


iStudiez Pro


Dictionary Mobile

Exam Time


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What is Digital TV?

There is a lot of talk in the media these days about digital TV migration and set-top boxes. Recently, we were treated to some drama where NTV, Citizen and KTN took the government to court over the digital migration issue.

A lot of Kenyans, especially in the rural areas, still no not understand what all this talk about digital migration has to do with them, thanks in part to a poor public education strategy by the Communications Authority of Kenya.

Understanding Digital TV

Digital TV is simply the transmission of digitally processed video and audio in contrast to analog television. The main advantage of digital television over analog is that less bandwidth is required. This means that digital broadcasters can offer more channels over the same space. Other advantages include:

  1. High-definition television
  2. The broadcaster can offer other non-tv services e.g.  multimedia or interactivity.
  3. The broadcaster can also offer value added services such as multiplexing, electronic program guides (like DSTV) and the ability to change languages or add sub-titling on a channel. 

International Digital Migration

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has set a June 2015 deadline for all countries to switch over to digital TV. All countries are expected to have complied by then.

How to Receive a Digital Signal

If you do not have a digital TV, you will have to invest in a set-top box. The unit converts the digital signal from the broadcaster into analog form which your TV can then display on screen. Set-top boxes are available at all leading supermarkets and thousands of electronic retailers around the country. See the Digital Kenya page for a list of approved units and authorized vendors.


Monday, May 12, 2014

How to Get a Visa for Dubai

Do you need to travel to Dubai or any other emirate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)? Kenyans need a visa to travel to Dubai for business or pleasure. Visas are not issued at UAE points of entry. You must therefore apply for and get your visa prior to making travel arrangements. Dubai is the largest emirate in UAE and is regarded as the financial capital of the Arab world. It is estimated that there are over 40,000 Kenyans living and working in the UAE. Thousands more take business trips to the UAE each month.

Types of UAE Visas

There are two main types of UAE visas:
  1. 96 hours visa - this is meant for people in transit or those who intend to stay in Dubai for less than four days.The fee is AED* 200 (4,747.96 KES at the time of writing)
  2. 14 day visa -  this is the most common type sought by Kenyans. It is issued to people who wish to spend no more than 14 days in Dubai. The fee is AED 220 (5,222.76 KES)
  3. Tourist visit visa - It is issued to people who wish to spend more than 14 days in the UAE Dubai. It is valid for 60 days and is renewable for up to 90 days. The fee for a visit visa is AED 100 (2,378 KES ) and a visa delivery fee of  AED 10. Your hotel , apartment or travel agent may also levy up to AED 50 in supplementary charges. The renewal fee is AED 500. 
  4. Multiple entry visa - You must have a relationship with a reputable local business establishment or multinational and be a frequent visitor to the UAE in order to qualify for a multiple entry visa. However, you must first apply for the visit visa and travel to the UAE because you can only apply for this type of visa within the UAE. The visa is valid for six months and the you are allowed to stay in the country for 30 days on each visit. The fee is AED 1,000.
Take note that the fees above are subject to change at any time and that the actual fee you pay may be much higher because travel agents and tour operators may add a markup to the fee. Check the actual amount in Kenya shillings using the Google Currency Converter page.

Dubai Visa Application Requirements

  1. Your Kenyan passport must be valid for six months after your planned departure date from the UAE.
  2. You need a sponsor. A sponsor can be your travel agent, hotel in UAE or someone already living in UAE.
  3. Coloured scan of the passport detail pages (last two) 
  4. Coloured Passport Photo size 4.3 cms x 5.5 cms against a white background
  5. Financial records to demonstrate you can support yourself while in UAE. Three months bank statement or payslip will suffice. Alternatively, your sponsor can provide the financial records.

Where to Apply In Kenya

  1. Visit a travel agent. Most travel agents in Nairobi and Mombasa offer Dubai visa processing services.
  2. UAE Airlines such as Emirates and Etihad offer online UAE visa services.
  3. A family member or relative resident in the UAE can apply for a visa on your behalf.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not extend your stay beyond your visa duration. The penalty for overstaying is AED 100 per day.
  • Public consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the UAE.
  • The official religion is Islam.
  • The official language is Arabic.

Dubai Visa Resources

*Emirati Dirham

Friday, May 9, 2014

How to Buy Airtel, Orange and YU Airtime Using Mpesa

Did you know that you can top-up an Airtel, Orange or YU line using M-Pesa? PesaPal, an e-commerce platform that works seamlessly with mobile payment services, has made this possible. The ability top-up other network SIM cards using Safaricom's M-Pesa is timely and handy in a number of situations such as:

  • You need to top-up someone's line urgently and they don't use Safaricom and, you don't want the hassle of having to dash to a shop.
  • You have a dual SIM phone and you want to load airtime on your Airtel, Orange or YU line.


  1. On your Safaricom line, go to the Safaricom Menu
  2. Next go to M-Pesa > Lipa na M-Pesa > PayBill
  3. Enter the Business number 220220
  4. In the Account Number field, type:
      • "AIRXXXXXXXXXX" to top-up an Airtel line, where XXXXXXXXXX is the phone number e.g AIR073333333.
      • "ORNXXXXXXXXXX" to top-up an Orange line.
      • "YUMXXXXXXXXX" to top-up a YU line.
  5. In the "Amount" field, enter the value of airtime you want to purchase
  6. Enter you M-Pesa PIN and send.
  7. M-Pesa will give you a message similar to "Confirmed  Ksh 150.00 sent to PesaPal for account number AIRXXXXXXXXXX (i'm using an Airtel example) on 8/5/14 at 12:43PM. New M-Pesa balance is Ksh449."
  8. After about 10-15 minutes, PesaPal will load the target line and you will receive a message from Pesapal stating, "Your payment was processed by PesaPal."

Tips and Warnings

  • You can also top-up an Orange line using Airtel Money or YU Cash, Airtel line with YU cash and YU line with Airtel Money, all thanks to PesaPal. 
  • Be careful not to enter the wrong mobile phone number because once the airtime is sent to the target line, it isn't refundable.


Suggested Reading
List of Airtel Shops

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How to Get Cheap Flights to Mombasa

The cost of domestic flights has been dropping in recent years when compared to road travel. For example, it is now possible to get cheap flights to Mombasa courtesy of several budget carriers operating in the Kenyan airline industry.

Rationale for Taking a Flight to Mombasa

If you plan to drive to Mombasa on business or leisure, you should think twice. More so, if you only plan to be in the coastal city for less than a week and don't need a car. The fuel cost to drive to Mombasa and back in a 1500 cc vehicle currently stands at about Kes 6,000.

This is arrived at by assuming your vehicle is in fairly good condition and that it clocks about 16 kilometers on every liter of fuel. A round trip to Mombasa, which is 1,000 kilometers, therefore requires 62.5 liters of fuel. At an average cost of Kes 95.13 per liter of fuel.

Next, factor in the insane traffic jam that has become the norm as you leave Nairobi and also as you approach Mombasa. You will waste at least two hours in traffic in Nairobi and another two hours as you enter Nairobi, translating into four hours one way and a total of eight hours when you factor in the return trip. Depending on your vehicle, experts estimate that every 10 minutes of idling is costs you between a tenth and four tenths of a liter of fuel. So, idling a small engine car of about 1500 cc for eight hours will cost you between 4.8 and 19.2 liters of fuel.

Your total additional cost as a result of traffic jam will, therefore, range from Kes 456 to as high as Kes 1,825. And, this does not take into account the stress and psychological toll on your body of having to sit in traffic for long hours. This doesn't also take into account wear and tear on your cars tires, suspension, and engine; not to mention the hassle and fatigue of having to drive down to Mombasa. 


  1. You don't need to go to visit a travel agent office or airline office. If you have an Internet-enabled phone or computer, simply begin your search for cheap flights to Mombasa by visiting Travel Start, one of the largest online travel agents in Africa.  Online travel agents offer the advantage easy flight comparisons from a number of airlines.
  2. Click the 'Return' tab for a return flight to Mombasa. Enter the departure and arrival city as shown in the screen capture below. 
  3. You can select the preferred airline or skip that field to get a result from all airlines offering cheap flights to Mombasa. Budget airlines operating on this route include Kenya Airways Jambo Jet and Fly 540. 
  4. Enter the information requested in the other fields and click the 'Start' button. 
  5. For this example, a return ticket to Mombasa from Nairobi costs about KES 13,309 on Jambo Jet. 
So, why drive when you can fly!

Suggested Reading

List of tourist attractions in Mombasa

List of camping sites in Kenya


Travel Start Kenya Online Travel Agency

Monday, May 5, 2014

Infographic: How to write a Business Plan

If you have ever sought business finance from a financial institution, then you know that writing a business plan is a prerequisite to receiving any funding. To be considered for financing, most banks and other financial institutions demand a comprehensive and detailed business plan from which a thorough understanding of your existing or proposed business, your own goals and objectives and your financing requirements can be obtained.

When writing a business plan, focus should be concentrated in some key areas, namely;
  1. The business
  2. The entrepreneurs
  3. The market
  4. The financial management and planning
  5. The risks and rewards.
This is a general guide to writing a business plan but always bear in mind that every business is unique and each plan needs to be tailored accordingly.

All the same, no business plan would be considered complete without the following:
  1. A title page
  2. An executive summary
  3. Overview of the business
  4. Management
  5. The market
  6. Sales and marketing strategy
  7. Financial statements and projections
  8. Legal and regulatory environment
  9. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and threats assessment (SWOT analysis)
  10. Supporting documentation
The infographic below summarizes the process of writing a business plan.

Source: Washington State University

Suggested Reading
How to Write a Business Plan