The Origins of Nairobi Connect Business Directory
At the start of 2020 the world as we knew it and the way we do things changed overnight. Covid-19 brought businesses, economies and the world to its knees, but it brought many of us closer together, fighting a common enemy. With the world becoming more and more dependent on the internet for living our daily lives, the need for businesses to have a strong online presence has never been greater. Furthermore, as we are also all well-aware, the business environment in Kenya is currently under immense pressure.
Local businesses are suffering
Before the Covid-19 pandemic came about, the Kenyan economy was already distressed, trying to emerge from the weakest decade of growth under the previous administration. Months of lockdown restrictions since March 2020 have forced thousands of local businesses to permanently shut their doors – destroying decades of hard work in a matter of months. According to Business Tech, over 2000 local business liquidations were recorded by the end of 2020 and a further 1000 businesses were liquidated in the first half of 2021. The table below shows the number of liquidations according to industry, indicating that the finance, insurance, real estate and business services sector was hardest hit.
Many business owners have had to pay months of rent and wages without being allowed to make sales – either depleting most of their savings or taking on additional debt. Luckily, some businesses have survived and some, in the right place at the right time, have even thrived. These were generally businesses who supplied products or services that were in higher demand as a result of Covid-19. Others who had a good customer base, strong online presence or could transition easily to remote working also benefited.
Customers searches online keep increasing
With customers in lockdown for months, it was only natural that they would gravitate towards online means to find products or services. In 2020 customers searched the web for businesses more than ever before – a sure sign of what can be expected for years to come. Kenyans are also becoming more and more comfortable with trusting online sources of information, something which has been slow in comparison to other countries. It is clear that the greater the online visibility of your business is, the higher your chances of conversions will be – now as well as in the future.
According to a global survey of internet users aged 16 to 64, the average internet user spends 6 hours and 43 minutes online each day – this equates to more than 100 days of online time per internet user per year, or roughly 40% of our waking time!
Sustainability is no longer optional, it is mandatory
With increasing expectations on corporate responsibility and transparency becoming more prevalent, the need to act on sustainability is being recognized by businesses. Good intentions are no longer good enough and companies are expected to make strong commitments to sustainability. Investors are beginning to actively divest from companies with poor sustainability performance and financing options for these companies are also staring to dry up as banks feel the pressure from global organizations.
Customers are also becoming increasingly aware of sustainability. Consumers are starting to look for more than good quality, often looking for products and brands that align with their social and environmental values.
“There is accumulating evidence that consumers are impacted by the perceived sustainability of [a] brand, and further, that consumers are willing to pay a premium for products from a sustainable brand over a non-sustainable competitor brand.”
Dr. Matt Johnson, Professor at Hult International Business School
Online directories are gaining popularity
Online business directories have existed for many years – replacing our printed Yellow Pages ages ago – but continue to gain popularity. Online directories have become a quick way for consumers to connect with businesses, review products or services, find businesses with specific features, check trustworthiness and much more. At the same time, they have become highly advantageous for businesses by offering cost-efficient online marketing, boost in online presence and search ranking, customer engagement, increased sales, building a reputation and reaching target customer groups faster.
Nairobi Connect Business Directory was born out of need
The need to support struggling local businesses as well as the call for promoting global sustainability, gave rise to Nairobi Connect Business Directory, our exclusive and feature-rich directory and community. We have made it our mission to provide a comprehensive platform where local businesses can advertise themselves, grow their network and excel in providing quality services and products. Our vision is to become the largest local community of its kind, where businesses can thrive, consumers can rest assured that they are supporting sustainable businesses and our planet ultimately benefits from their actions.
Thank you for supporting local businesses!