Whereas I am an entrepreneur and I wish that all would be as I am, I appreciate that not everyone can nor needs to be one. As columnist Adema Sangale detailed in her Sunday Nation article last weekend, the science of entrepreneurship is that nine out of 10 start-ups fail (Illusion of Entrepreneurship: We can’t all be Queen Bees January 27, 2019).

That statistic is hard to ignore. Yet many people think that “entrepreneurship alone” is a solution to our economic problems. I believe that one faithful employee is able to do more for his or her family and country than nine failed entrepreneurs. However, there is no shame in failing in an entrepreneurial venture. And there is no shame in being a faithful employee. Feeding your family and building the nation with a God-given opportunity to earn an income and create wealth is the object of both the entrepreneur and employee.

The next question then is: How do we supply the 500,000 jobs a year that politicians keep promising us? I beg to turn this question around and ask: What value are those already in employment creating for their families and the economy? Many of those in employment are simply net consumers of income rather than creators of wealth. Here is where I make the distinction between a faithful employee who understands the power to create wealth provided to him or her by the opportunity to work and those who merely attend employment to get money. The majority of our employees live from “salary to salary”. They make no savings, no investments and spend all their money on lifestyle expenses. These expenses add no value to the employee’s net worth and only ensure they retire back to poverty upon expiry of the employment period.


The heart of the issues raised by Ms Adema in her column is “employability”. All the bees in the hive are employable from the queen to the worker. Each has a responsibility to add value to the “hive economy” until death. However, many of our people are looking for jobs, but are not willing to work. The heart of employability is the character to create value or solve a problem. Unfortunately, education programmes do not teach us this virtue that entrepreneurs understand fully.

Check the lives of Njenga Karume, Richard Branson, Simeon Nyachae, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and other successful entrepreneurs. You may decry their lack of education, but then you will be missing the point. These people were all willing to work to create wealth.

We can advance this nation much more and faster with a generation of faithful employees than an “illusion of entrepreneurship”. If two million employees developed the habit of saving Sh100 each month, they can pump Sh2.4 billion back into the economy each year! Instead of occupying ourselves with the “illusion of entrepreneurship” lets humble ourselves and be faithful with every opportunity we get!

Allan Bukusi, a leadership consultant and author of ‘How to Prosper in Employment’