60 Decibels Research

At Balloon Ventures, our goal is to build the world’s first financial institution dedicated to Good Jobs. This is crucial because in countries like Kenya and Uganda, over 80% of women and youth work in the informal sector. This employment is overwhelmingly insecure, low wage and unsafe. This traps people in poverty. 

Our solution is to support local entrepreneurs to grow Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as research shows that SMEs create the bulk of decent work in larger economies. 

But as we’ve grown we’ve increasingly asked the question – “What is a Good Job?”

This report, kindly supported by Argidius Foundation and Citi Foundation, makes a huge contribution to answering that question. We partnered with 60 Decibels to interview 422 employees of SMEs in Kenya and Uganda to ask them what they want in a job. 

Many interesting insights came out of this research, but above all 3 things were discussed time and again regardless of gender, age and location. People want a job:

1) That’s contracted and secure

2) That pays a living wage

3) With opportunities for learning and growth

Perhaps these aren’t surprising insights, but the strength of views from 13,000 hours of interviews provides real clarity for organisations like ours that focus on this impact. 

Going forward, we’ll link all our loans to these 3 areas, offering clients incentives (e.g. larger loans, reduced interest rates) if they provide jobs that meet this criteria of “Good”. Financial institutions have huge potential to do more to positively influence the markets in which they invest, and we’re excited to model this at Balloon.  

Read the full report here