Why SME Jobs are Great Starting Points for Graduates

  | 9 min read

Should you consider SME jobs as a fresh graduate?

You just left campus and you are among the multitude of fresh graduates scrambling to get through the huge, imposing iron gates to some of the largest corporations in Kenya. Upon getting to the glass door, you find it tightly locked with the guard occasionally opening the door for one or 2 people who probably have appointments, so you wait, and wait, and wait…..Maybe you should quit altogether and consider SME jobs which are less competitive and can offer great platforms for launching a rapidly-growing career. SMEs (Small and medium enterprises) have been on the rise in the last decade owing to an improved economy.

According to a report by the Entrepreneur’s Toolkit, the SME sector alone provides employment for a whopping 80% of the population. This indicates that the sector is a huge employer and if you are finding it hard to be among the 20% employed by the government and large corporations, it is time to adjust your sails.

Additionally, the sector absorbs up to 50% of job seekers who are not looking to get into farming activities and it grows at a rate of 12-14% per annum, meaning that SME jobs are not in short supply. This sector also receives a lot of support from the government meaning that that Small or medium enterprise might just play in the league of giants, which you so badly want to get into, in a couple of years. SMEs are also on a growth path and this means that they are always looking to hire new people as they expand.

With this in mind, here are some of the great career reasons which make SME jobs very attractive for those who just graduated and are looking to grow their careers rapidly.

More responsibility, more learning and growth

SMEs do not have many employees performing very specialised tasks. This means that the few employees on board get to take on more responsibilities than those in large corporations who perform more specialised tasks.

This provides a very good chance for fresh graduates to learn as SME jobs and duties are very flexible. Employees take on many responsibilities which improve their skills and make them more competent than those who hold specialised roles in large organisations. Additionally, the nature of the jobs keeps changing which means that you will learn constantly, which keeps you  more engaged to your work and gives you lots of satisfaction with your job.

Since these are growing businesses, you also get more control over projects, giving you the freedom to make more decisions, learn and grow. You also take more initiative which creates room for creativity and innovation. This growth in skills and competencies is what will help you rise through the ranks or even get a job in the large corporations. This is very rewarding for those who do not like the idea of getting stuck in one position, doing the same thing for too long.

Faster promotion

As stated earlier, it is easy to get a promotion in an SME as you get to do more work and grow with the organisation. In large corporations, promotions are slow and very hard to come by. These are companies that have solid structures and rigid opportunities, as compared to SMEs which still have a huge potential to grow.

SME jobs provide fresh graduates with faster promotion opportunities which may not be present in large companies. This rapid growth is motivating and is a direct reward for all the hard work you put in to ensure that there is rapid growth for the company. If you are motivated by the rapid growth of skills and position, you might want to take SME jobs more seriously.

You get to sharpen your problem-solving skills

SMEs have small budgets and this calls for innovation and creativity in order to stay afloat. SME jobs sharpen your entrepreneurial skills and you get to learn how to make the most out of what you have, by constantly looking for ways to solve emerging problems, creatively.

These problem-solving skills have the ability to catapult your career as you prove that you are an asset and that you are capable of tackling emerging problems in business, which are always bound to arise. This is a skill you can always utilise on your next job.

Your ability to solve arising business problems will help the company grow and your effects will definitely be felt in the industry, setting the stage for you so that you can get good recognition, which can lead to other job offers.

Shorter decision-making bureaucracy

Large corporations already have a set standard of doing things and a small decision may take weeks or months to be approved and implemented. The decision-making bureaucracy can be draining and can lead to frustrations especially if you are trying to implement something that increases the company’s competitiveness in the market.

SMEs have shorter decision-making channels and you can easily have great ideas implemented within a short period so that the business can maximise its profits and operations. This way, you feel encouraged to be more creative and actively look for solutions because you know they matter. Nothing boosts your morale than knowing that your ideas matter and they make a difference.

Shorter induction period and more hands-on experience

The induction process in a large company can be long and draining and it can even take weeks. You get the meet departmental heads, directors and other people you will be working with then you are trained on how to use systems and this process can be tiresome if not overwhelming.

SME jobs, on the other hand, are pretty hands-on and the induction process takes a couple of hours to a day. This gives you the chance to hit the road running and learn as you go. Well, this tends to be more exciting as you gain knowledge and solve problems at the same time, which can also allow you to identify business problems and solve them.

Taking on responsibilities early also helps you interact with your colleagues closely and often leads to success in the long run. You get to make your contribution as soon as you start working and this is what will help you learn much faster and grow.

Teamwork in practice

We all hear that teamwork is the best approach in business and it definitely is because each member brings something unique on board which is great for business. However, this is not so apparent in large organisations where people only tend to work closely with those they are in the same department with. Any other interaction is structured and very rigid, often laden with bureaucracy.

SME jobs are great for those who would rather just walk to their colleague’s desk and request for something or seek clarification. It does not matter that the colleague is in a different department as the idea is to get things done and done as soon as possible. You also get to work closely with people in senior management which is great for your career as you can always learn from them.

The ability to simply walk over to your boss’s desk or colleague from another department helps to create strong teams due to the ability to work closely together. You learn what others are doing and how it affects your work, and you work closely to ensure that things run smoothly. You make the rules as you go.

You can define your own role

Working in a large corporation can often make one feel like a cog in a wheel. Your duties and responsibilities are rigidly defined and there is specialisation. You are likely to hold one job and one job alone. Your role is defined and you are unlikely to get an opportunity to take on other responsibilities. The way of doing things is also tried and tested and this leaves little room for experimentation and can stifle your creativity.

SME jobs are still being defined and responsibilities are taken by those who are able to execute them well. If you are in one department and you feel like you can do a job in another department well, you can go ahead and offer your expertise and get things done. This allows you to define your own job and how you get things done, which can be very satisfying. You also gain more skills which you can transfer later on in your career.

Recruitment is done on demand

This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons to consider SME jobs if you have been tarmacking for a while. SMEs do not have recruitment cycles like large companies. They look to fill positions if and when they arise and this means that you have a good opportunity of landing a job with an SME anytime as compared to large companies.

Your academic qualifications are also of little significance for SME jobs than it is for jobs in large corporations. SMEs are usually interested in hiring people who can get the job done and done well. The focus is on your productivity than your degree.

Shorter application process

Most big companies have long and elaborate application processes that are spread across weeks or months. You might even be interviewed by so many people before finally dealing with your direct manager.

However, SME jobs have relatively short and straightforward application processes in most cases, you will only be required to submit your CV and application letter, after which you will have one or 2 interviews, during which you might even meet your line manager. This process is less stressful and gets you acquainted to those you will work with, quickly.

In conclusion, SME jobs are on the rise in Kenya as the economy expands, creating room for more businesses. If you are a fresh graduate who is finding it hard to get into the large corporations, pay attention to SMEs as they offer great opportunities for you to learn and grow in your career. The challenges experienced sharpen your ability to proactively solve problems creatively, which is important for you to develop your skills.


Brighter Monday is East Africa’s #1 job site, keen on promoting its users’ Career Progression and providing Recruitment Solutions.


  1. Hi,
    Thanks so much for this thought. With the job market becoming tougher everyday, SMEs should be given a consideration as one of the alternatives to tackling the unemployment issue.

  2. That’s definitely a place to start for some of us who have zero experiences apart from the internships that most employees don’t consider as ‘experience’. Kindly give us avenues we could apply to and work ASAP.I am a masters student hence would prefer a flexible job or part-time one so as to make time for my studies.

    Looking forward to your response.
    Terry Muriithi.

    • The avenues are many Terry.
      Start by checking each category of jobs that we advertise on our website through this link http://www.brightermonday.co.ke. You can even go further and google different companies and see if they fall under the smes. If you still need assistance on the same, let us know and we will gladly assist you.


  3. Wow.. Just the information I needed..I’ve been wanting to know more about the SMEs…
    I’m now confident in starting up my career in a SMEs… I wouldn’t mind your help also in knowing these Enterprises… They are not fully known…
    Thanks a lot..

    • Your welcome Garnet,
      We are glad you are well equipped.
      You can access the list from tabloids,or google and the information is well highlighted.


    • Hi Kathleen,
      These company’s are quite many and for you to access them speedily, just simply go to the internet and google the information. They are well highlighted even as far as east Africa.


  4. This can be a very easy way to get a job as we graduate to avoid all the hustle thanks so much brighter Monday for the info

  5. Hey,
    This is the greatest idea I have come across recently,as the sales and marketing job becomes tougher and difficult everyday.SMEs you have the greatest idea in enhancing graduate knowledge in their careers.

    • Thanks Ibrahim,
      We highly appreciate your sentiments. feel free to share you thoughts even to our oncoming articles..your engagement is important to us.


    • Hi Muhanji,
      That is really up to you and what you really want to achieve. The important thing is to objectively weigh the pros of cons of both and then make a decision.

    • You’re welcome Sharon,
      We endeavor to give relevant tips to our readers.
      Keep it brighter Monday for more enlightening career advice.


  6. Its a good advice…bt still where do we get this jobs currently i have been applying for internships and i have not received any feedback…

  7. You are doing a fantastic job to enlighten young people who have freshly graduated and those who are abt to graduate. In may next year God willing i will be out of campus searching for job n I found such article so educating n helpful to me.keep that spirit of educating the youth and more so those who are yet to land their first job

    • Hi Samuel,
      Thanks for sharing your sentiments to us.
      Our pride comes when we know that we contributed to the success of our audience. Keep it Brighter Monday you career partner.


    • Hi Rukia,
      If you have an account with us simply go to our Brighter Monday website and you will certainly find them.


  8. Absolutely correct. I have been interviewed several but all with no luck. Huh! Thnx BrighterMonday to enlighten my mind.

    • You’re welcome Collins,
      Now that you are enlightened make sure that what follows next is for you to implement all what you have learned and your next interview will be a success.


    • Hi John,
      Thanks for your feedback.
      Regarding your question, we do not charge our job seekers for using our job site so let nothing with hold you from applying our jobs.


    • Hi Jared,
      Just make the first step by checking the latest smes jobs advertised on our website then engage in the one you feel you have the talent for or have the qualifications.


  9. Thanks for your unending advice on how someone can thrive on this competitive working environment. Please with some of such SMEs offering such opportunities

    • Hi Ibrahim,
      Thanks for showing interest in our job site.
      As a team, we value your time and as such we will ensure that you get unlimited access to all available opportunities on our website at no cost at all!
      Please use the following instructions to create a BrighterMonday job seeker account:
      – using the the URL below:
      https://www.brightermonday.co.ke/ …… click on the sign up tab to create your job seeker account.
      -Once logged in to your account, please update your profile by clicking on “My Career Profile” (a complete profile should have a 99% profile completeness percentage)
      – Ensure that you upload a fresh C.V on your profile so that employers can get a chance of viewing it.
      – You can also create job alerts by clicking on the circled icon at the top right corner of the page. Select the ‘My job alerts’ option from the menu that appears on your screen.


  10. i have rich experience in sales and distribution from grass roots to management level.please provide me one chance will prove myself

  11. I am an accountant by profession have done upto CPA section IV am looking for a job.Have previously worked in a busy environment but resigned to prepare for my wedding.Would you mind assisting me to get a job.

  12. let me first say thank you,i have been on brighter Monday of years now without landing a job. I need to be in SME

    • Hi Gathitu,
      Thank you for reading
      To answer you, yes you can venture into sme but we are also sorry you have been having bad user experience with our platform but here is the good news..the years you’ve lost can be recovered by just using our platform accordingly.
      For starters, review your account and make sure that your CV is updated. Your Brighter Monday profile also needs to be completed and when applying make sure that you apply jobs that matches your qualifications. We wish you all the best in any field you will decide to venture in.


    • Hi Joseph,

      Thank you for contacting us and we are glad that our services are of value to you.

      To get the job alerts, you must subscribe to the services. Here is a link to guide you: https://goo.gl/lYtUrj

      You can also add us on whatsapp and have the jobs sent to you directly on your phone. ^AN

    • Hi Charles,

      We apologize for responding to this rather late. We did not quite understand your query. Please help us get your query to serve you better. ^AN

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