Kenya recorded a decline in business registrations in 2021, after a surge of start-ups occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. According to data from the Registrar of Companies, new company registrations dropped 4.6 percent to 136,633 from 143,152 in the previous year.
In addition, the number of new company names registered fell by 4% to 90,458 from 94,115 in 2020, while the number of private firms fell by 5.8% to 46,175 from 49,037. This comes when the economy has recovered and many Kenyans have returned to work.
Many Kenyans were affected by the financial slowdown experienced at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic when even more employees lost their jobs, while others were forced to take pay cuts. As a result, many people turned to entrepreneurship for alternative sources of income.
Hotels, restaurants, and clubs were largely affected by curfews and lockdowns meant to curb the spread of the virus. The Education and tourism industries, as well as sports, agricultural, transport, manufacturing and arts sectors were also hit.
The highest number of registrations was recorded in the third quarter of 2020 when 29,941 business names were registered and 15,681 new companies were registered.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the economy has grown by 11.9 percent and 9.9 percent in the quarter ending in June and September, respectively.