Unemployment is a major challenge that affects youth across Kenya. Approximately 800,000 young Kenyans enter the labor market every year and youth unemployment is estimated to be as high as 35%, compared to the overall national unemployment rate of 10%. Furthermore, 80% of unemployed Kenyans are below 35 years old.
To combat this crisis, several youth are forced to become more or less innovative and produce money by using their various skills or starting their own businesses. Yet from that, a new problem arises, the search for clients and customers to successfully drive their self made businesses. One such platform called FiveSok, the Swahili slang for five hundred, encourages employment by enabling youth to sell their skills to interested buyers for Kshs 500-5000.
The platform which launched earlier last year, had on the 7th of February introduced a new upgrade feature that allows people to request for particular services that they are seeking. These requested services are open for anyone to apply, (like tenders). Originally, the FiveSok was designed for experts to just post services that they can do for a certain amount, and for buyers to conveniently find the experts; the ‘Service Requests’ are an important addition and a new avenue for young people to find work.
To buy a service one has to login or register. Find what they are looking for and then send the expert a quick message. Buyers are ensured a large database of experts to select from, and affordable services that have been restricted to a range of between 500 – 5,000 Shillings, of which once paid is securely held until the job has been completed.
Sellers or experts in turn enjoy earning money through selling their skills, talents and services, freedom to work at their own leisure and a payment guarantee upon a successful delivery.