Young entrepreneur finds success in social networking sites
After graduating from university, Barbara Mwamburi thought that armed with an IT degree, the chances of getting formal employment were high.
But after walking from one office to another office, the long search for a job proved unsuccessful.
She decided to start a website where she posted her CV to market herself to potential employers.
Knowing that she was not alone in the employment hunt, she invited other job seekers to post their CVs on the online tracking website accessible to employers at a fee.
“My work is to connect job seekers and their employers within Nakuru. I target the youth between the ages of 18-35,” she said.
Jobseekers post their qualifications into a database that is accessible to employers and it is linked to Twitter and Facebook.
Employers also send in requests that Ms Mwamburi processes and then shortlists suitable candidates for the various posts.
Ms Mwamburi also manages Twitter accounts for hotels in Nakuru keen to reach customers through social networking sites.
Her clients include Merica Group of Hotels and Narcolepsy Kenya, an organisation that creates awareness on neurological sleep disorders.
Utilising skills she had acquired in a class work assignment of creating a website, Ms Mwamburi has now turned her job-hunting online portal into a successful business.
She was recently recognised for her contribution to digital integration in hotel and home management at the University of Pretoria in South Africa where she presented a prototype project.
The 23-year-old also does graphics design.
Ms Mwamburi admits that managing a company’s Twitter account is not easy because the firm you work for is a brand of its own. Corporates also have two different accounts that serve different purposes, the support account and customer care.
“You have to ensure the tweets suit clients across the globe. For example, we are an hour ahead of South Africa, so you have to know what time to communicate to South African customers,” she said.
Asked how she gets her clients, she said the secret is to race to get as many likes, retweets, or followers as possible by posting engaging tweets and learning to maintain influencers—those who have many followers.
For Ms Mwamburi, the growing online presence in Kenya has opened a business opportunity for many jobless tech-savvy youth.
She says managing Twitter handles could lead to employment of many if employers realise the potential of social networking sites.
“I make enough money that can sustain me. The amount of money one gets from online employment depends on the efforts one puts in the job”, she said.
She said that her business is registered under a community based organisation targeting farmers keen on attracting professionals to run their farms as commercial enterprises.
The online tool also targets non-governmental organisations, banks and other companies looking for qualified employees.