50 Great Small Business Ideas In Kenya With Little Capital (2022)

Small Business Ideas in Kenya

Your ultimate guide to small business ideas in kenya: Starting a business in Kenya can be tough. Particularly, if you don’t have a clear business idea on the table. Or a robust plan to implement the same.

However, there are tons of brilliant small business ideas in Kenya worth considering. And people are making a good living out of them.

Are you looking for a business idea that will keep you afloat? In this article, I assemble ridiculously 50 practical small ideas with the potential to move your aspirations to the next level.

Want to learn more about creative income generating ideas and how to be good with your money? Visit my YouTube Channel (YB Digital) and SUBSCRIBE for mind blowing content!

50 Best Small Ideas in Kenya With Small Capital.

1. brick making business in kenya.

With the real estate business expanding fast, you don’t suppose bricks are not going to be needed more than ever, do you? Brick molding is easy and takes less time.

Bricks are affordable building alternatives for many real estate owners. Yet, bricks will do the job just as good as the more durable stone.

You don’t have to invest a lot of money or resources to make bricks. All you need may be the right subsoil, and tools such as spades, hoes, and skilled manpower.

The estimated budget for brick making venture is about Ksh.100, 000.

2. Real Estate Business In kenya

The real estate industry in Kenya is one of the most vibrant and fastest-growing. The rising number of real estate companies is testament to the sector’s prospectus.

Real estate involves buying and selling land and houses for a profit. You buy property (in the form of land or house) and rent it or sell it after prices appreciate over the years.

That said, you can buy small plots at fairly affordable prices. Then, carry your development projects on them – for example, build houses or plant trees for agroforestry – after which you may sell them at higher prices.

While the business is better placed to thrive in major towns, it’s still a venture you can try anywhere you are in the country.

3.    Cyber Cafe Business in kenya

In this 21st Century, information and technology have revolutionized the sense of living. Cyber cafes give people the chance to gain this information.

People also get other services apart from access to internet. These include photocopying, printing, scanning, typesetting, movie downloads, among others.

If you open a cyber cafe, you stand a chance to make a lot of money. And the good news is that it doesn’t have to cost you a lot of bucks.

The budget of starting this resource center may cost about Kshs.100,000 to 200,000. So, you can start with a few computer desktops like five. As the business grows, you will increase this number to suit the demands.

In a day, you can make up to an average of Ksh.1,500 to Ksh. 4000. The income, however, depends on which area you are.

4. Freelance Writing

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is a money-making space that many people have overlooked. But the sector is earning dedicated writers thousands of Kenya Shillings.

In this industry, all you need is a laptop or computer, a stable internet connection and of course, your commitment. In general, you may just need about Ksh.20,000 to purchase a computer.

The huge advantage about this business is you can either do it part time to supplement your salary, or take it as a full-time job. Either way you approach it, there are massive profits associated with this business.

Newcomers in the industry can still make up to Ksh.1,000 per day, by starting on a freelance platform .

Also Read: 23 Most profitable Business Ideas In Kenya

5. Soap Making

Soap is required in countless applications at home and catering spaces. As long as you acquire a few basic chemical mixing and handling skills, you are ready to go.

You can begin on a small scale. And with constant improvements in quality, you won’t even notice how big your business will have grown.

Apparently, liquid soaps are the easiest to make, you take shorter time and the costs are also very low. Thousands of men and women in Kenya are doing this.

They then hawk it in town and estates. In addition, they also sell the soap in open air markets to ensure that sales are maximized.

6. Professional Office and Home Cleaning Service

Professional cleaning is one of the booming businesses in Kenya. The business is well-placed to thrive in established towns and cities such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, among others.

The business entails cleaning and organizing office space and homes. Sources claim that as low as Ksh.80,000, you are able to start the venture.

You can decide to specialize in commercial cleaning only or residential. But, definitely, both of them are going to give back awesome returns.

To see your business through, you will need to have the right tools for the job. For example, vacuum cleaners, brushes, brooms, spray bottles, squeegees, etc.

7. Executive Barber Shop Business

Starting a regular barber shop is easy peasy. You will just need to rent a small room, get great seats for maximum customer comfort and good shaving machines.

This infrastructure may cost you between Ksh.10,000 to Ksh.15,000. Depending on the location, you can make anything from Kshs.1,000 or more in a day.

However, if you want to boost your income further, investing Ksh.200,000 gives you the perfect starting point for a standard executive barbering shop. Such a shop offers advanced services including massaging and grooming services like styling and facial maintenance.

8. Small-Scale Poultry Farming

Many rural households keep chickens or other types of poultry in their homesteads. While most people do rear the birds for fun, another group turns the venture into a profitable enterprise.

It is a fast growing small business in Kenya for serious business-minded class. What you need to start  this business is enough space and the passion of caring for them. Of course you need some basic knowledge in order to maintain your flock well.

There are many types of chickens in Kenya. But the most common ones are broilers and layers – for white meat and eggs respectively.

To set up a small poultry business, you need a small amount of money (Kshs.50,000 to Ksh.100,000). Although this also depends on how many birds you’ll be keeping, and which types.

9. Mpesa Shop

Mpesa shops are quite easy to start and run. Yet, the shops are associated with decent returns.

If you want to become an Mpesa agent, then you are required to have a minimum float of Ksh.100,000. But you may as well wish to operate this business at a lower level – a sub-dealer but covered under a licensed agent.

The sub-dealer is only going to need a very small float such as Ksh.20,000 or Ksh.40,000. The Mpesa shop can earn you a profit of Ksh.15,000 per month or more, thanks to the location of the business.

10. Selling Soft Drinks, Fresh Juice and Snacks

Right in the heart of Uhuru Park recreational resource, the sight of vendors selling sodas, juices, and snacks is bold enough to see. But make no mistake, these people make a lot of money.

Just like the vendors, you can take advantage of public points that attract heavy traffic. Especially on weekends. Then have your items in perfect condition and the thirsty passers-by won’t disappoint.

Besides, you may as well decide to set up a fruit juice parlour downtown. There is no doubt you will land so many customers are who are thirsty and hungry.

If you are looking for a business to start with 50k in Kenya, this one is probably one of them.

11. Music and Movie Store

There are not many music and movie stores out there. Furthermore, not many movie enthusiasts have the comfort of downloading the new Season of the “Informer” or “True Detective”.

What this means is that a movie store would sort such people’s needs. All you need to have is a desktop computer or a laptop sitting on a simple desk in a small room with electricity.

The good thing about starting movie shops is the low starting cost. You can start this business with about Ksh.50,000 or even lower and it will be up and running smoothly.

As expected the profits made by selling the movies and music are great.

12. Starting a Small Bakery

bakery business in kenya

Starting a bakery business in Kenya is a brilliant idea to explore. The bakery will need about Kshs.100,000 to Kshs.150,000 to run smoothly.

You should be able to pocket Kshs.3,000-Kshs.5,000 on average per day. However, be sure to station your bakery in an environment where demand for the products is high.

Nevertheless, you can even run it from your home and still make money. The key thing is to reach out to your customers by marketing your brand effectively. And also make sure to bake quality cakes, bread or cookies.

To operate the bakery business properly, you should have the much needed culinary skills.

13.  Selling “Mutumba” Clothes

Mutumba or second-hand clothes business is not a new idea at all. Many small traders are doing this – but still the market demand is extremely high.

So, there shouldn’t be any fret over the competitiveness exhibited in the industry. This business does not have any huge capital requirements.

In fact, with just Kshs.10,000 in the pocket, you are able to buy plenty of stock for the next few weeks. The most reliable source for these clothes is Gikomba Market in Nairobi – this is the largest market in the country.

Selling second-hand clothes is also not difficult. The clothes are cheap and therefore, quick clothing solutions for many families in Kenya.

14. Providing Consultation Service

Universities have been churning out thousands of graduates each year. At the same time, there’s no market to absorb this pool of raw talent.

But since you are an expert in your field of study, you can help people out there. For example, a graduate with an Animal Health background can start offering veterinary services to farmers at a fee.

With the right mindset, precision and passion, it’s not going to take long before you become a true specialist.

Once business owners discover your resourcefulness, they will definitely pay for whatever you ask for. And you can rest assured of constant income.

Ask yourself, ‘’how can I use my degree to provide value to my community at a fee?’’ and offer your services in your local community or show your consulting skills online .

15.  Agricultural Value Addition

One of the pillars of the Big Four Agenda is to promote the Agriculture sector. Agriculture also makes for the highest GDP contribution, according to the Kenya Economic Survey.

Agricultural value addition involves processes that increase the value of original agricultural products. In the end, the overall product appeals to the consumer.

The product is also capable of fetching a higher price. And consumers are willing to match this price as long as the product has the top value.

For instance, you may process milk to make yogurt or sour milk. You can blend ripe fruits to make fresh fruit juice or use peanuts for peanut butter and so on.

16. Pest Control

Pest control is a business with great potential. Pest control can be applied in the cropping and out of the cropping season.

During the cropping season, you can help eradicate destructive pests such as insects, rodents in farms. You can also look for opportunities in commercial and residential properties.

Besides, pest control is on demand with animal farms. Ticks, fleas, and related pests are always a nuisance to the health of your animals.

Additionally, pest control is very common in urban setting and you can start a business to help people get rid of these ‘urgly and painful elements’

To control these pests you may need to combine both chemical based sprays and organic sprays, depending on the demands on the client.

Overall, the business pays huge dividends if taken seriously and done with expertise.

17.  Baby Sitting

baby sitting business in kenya

If you cherish small children, you can start a children babysitting center. Let busy parents trust you with their children as they go out for work or other engagements.

It would make great sense to have a special center for babysitting. However, you could do this right from your home if you don’t have the money to rent or build infrastructure.

The better your services, the more parents you will have on board bringing their children. In no time, you won’t even notice how quickly money can be made.

This undertaking is best suited for women.

18.  Mobile Food Delivery

Mobile food delivery is quickly becoming common in both small and big commercial centers. If you can cook nice food, I think this business can be worth trying.

You don’t need a large amount of money to get into this business. However, you should be good at building relationships.

Since you will be moving door to door, of course marketing your service to other business people and corporate workers in the center, you need to be courteous and well groomed.

Well-cooked food at decent price will attract for you tens of customers. Just make sure that you delivery is consistent both in quality and commitment.

19. Stationery Supply to Rural Areas

The other area with huge business potential is supplying stationery to the most remote areas. Those schools deep in the rural can make for a good market for books, printing papers, revision papers, among other resources.

Your job will include outsourcing the resources from major towns at a cheaper price. Then make deliveries to these schools at a profit.

It is important that you market yourself adequately. Reach as many schools as possible to build a wide customer base.

Once you get established, you can expand the business accordingly.

Note that you need to have a reliable source of transportation. The business is about making lots of movements.

20. Office Supply

Office supply is one of the untapped business ideas in Kenya which can easily earn you good money. Big and small companies are setting up offices in towns.

You can grab the underlying opportunity. In this case, it means helping the office occupants find the necessary office resources and deliver them right at the doorstep.

Some of the things you can supply to offices include stamp pads, files, pens, plastic staff ID cards, business cards, etc. Just get these supplies from cheaper sources and sell them at higher prices that will fetch you good profits.

As usual, you need to market your services extremely well. This is the only better way of winning as many clients to your heart in business.

21. Mushroom Farming

Mushroom farming requires a bit of technical skills. Therefore, a bit of training is required to thrive in the business.

You will learn about the substrate for growing the fungus. You should also be able to tell the conditions required in the room for optimal mushroom growing and where to obtain the spawn.

The marketing aspect needs to be taken seriously. Otherwise, there will be no business sense.

With that said, mushroom farming can fetch huge profits. If you do produce the best quality of the fungus, of course.

Make sure to choose the right species of mushroom to start with.

22.  Motor Vehicle Washing

There is no denying that vehicles are everywhere in the country. And whether it is the rainy season or dry spell, the motor vehicles need to be washed.

You can take advantage of this and open up a car wash. This place should be strategically positioned to attract as many clients as possible.

Besides the open space, you need to buy a professional car wash machine. So, you will need to pay the rent for space and also fork out some money to secure the equipment.

Starting this business may not need a lot of money. Just make it basic in the early stages.

23.  Private Teaching

After schools close, especially for the December holidays, pupils and students are going to idle for two whopping months. You can save parents the scare.

This one does not necessarily need a lot of money. In fact, you may start this venture with zero capital investment.

You can organize to have the students taught from your home or theirs. Alternatively, you can book space in neighboring church or school.

Then you charge the students per each lesson taught.

Just make sure that you clearly define your area of expertise. If the subjects increase, you may need a helping hand.

See other home based online jobs for Moms

24.  Boda Boda/Tuk-Tuk Business

The boda boda business has been around for a while. So has been the tuk-tuk vehicles, thanks to the short travelling demands.

Albeit tough economic times, boda boda and tuk-tuk are small business ideas in Kenya that have sustained a huge chunk of the youth population economically.

The business is said to generate billions of shillings per year. For instance, the sector pumped in a revenue of Ksh.219B in 2017 alone.

This shows you the riches hidden the sector. In general, a motorcycle costs about Ksh.60,000 to Ksh.120,000 depending on the brand of the motorcycle.

The good thing about the boda boda business is that you make up to Ksh.1,000 a day.

25. Sell Smokies and Boiled Eggs

Another widespread business in the streets of busy towns is the sale of smokies and boiled eggs.

Smokies and boiled eggs are on the go snacks that any person can take a bite whether they are hungry or not.

Well, this ready market and the fact that the business is easy to start due to low capital requirements should encourage your next moves. The trolley goes for about Ksh.5,000.

To sell more, ensure that you target the traffic at bus stops, marketplaces and entertainment areas. Be sure to be timely – know which hours of the day sales are made the most.

26. Ice Cream Selling

Selling ice-cream is one of the great business ideas in Keny a that won’t disappoint you. The business venture thrives best during the hot season.

The requirements for this business include a fridge and the ice cream ingredients. Once you are set to go, ensure to do your homework well about the areas you want to target for the sales.

Go to supermarkets, offices, and schools. Plus, visit marketplaces, children playgrounds, and social places. However, one thing is for sure – you will face stiff competition.

This business can fetch you a lot of money once you commit to the task. And yet, you may only need a starting capital of Ksh.20,000.

27.  Selling Cereals

Cereal consumption in Kenya is ever increasing. The demand for rice, beans, groundnuts, maize, and wheat among other grains is high, especially in urban areas.

The business of selling cereals has been around for many years. Today, the prospects are even higher with the cereals.

You don’t need a huge capital investment. With just Ksh.15,000 – Ksh.30,000, you can run a cereals shop.

To ensure that you reap the maximum benefits from these grains, buy them during the high season. The prices are always cheap at this stage. Source for cereals from Nyamakima in Nairobi or other wholesale markets if you choose to involve middlemen.

28. Taking Photographs

You can undertake professional photography and earn money from it. The good thing about this venture is that it doesn’t have to rob your bank to acquire a good quality camera.

Investing in a good digital camera worth Ksh.15,000 can be a good starting point. The   skill is required but it’s not complicated, you just need to be passionate and consistent.

Make sure that you deliver when afforded the job. Sooner than later, all the weddings, birthdays, graduations, funerals among other functions will be yours.

You can make a lot of money, especially on Saturdays and Sundays when most of these events are happening.

29. Craft Online Courses

The job market is oversaturated apparently but more experts (graduates) are being released from Universities and colleges. What this means is that there’s lots of expertise lying dormant out there unused.

You can use your expertise to create useful content and package them as online courses. This may require you to have a personal website or blog on which these resources may be posted.

If the quality of the content you offer is top-notch and consistent, people will be willing to pay any amount to get it. One thing you need to master is digital marketing – have a clear, result-oriented strategy for this, and create your own online academy .

30.  Open a Coffee Shop

Coffee shops are not that expensive to start as many people think. Unlike in the past decades when coffee brews was a reserve for foreign visitors, Kenyans are liking the beverage.

And this presents a huge market for coffee prospectus. You can set up a small shop along a busy street, or marketplace, near a college or university.

For this business, you may only need to spend between Ksh.3,000 to Ksh.5,000 to start small. You probably have heard about Java House Africa.

Java began as a small coffee shop. But today the business has risen to be one of the most successful stories of all time in the industry.

You only need to offer unmatchable service on a consistent basis. And you will be up there in a few years.

31. Selling Women Handbags

ladies handbags business in kenya

Selling women handbags is one of the fast growing, small scale businesses in Kenya. Women are naturals when it comes to fashion and overall groom.

You can get your supplies from places like Eastleigh where prices of these products are affordable. However, as you advance, consider getting your stock from Uganda, China, United Arab Emirates or the U.S. Then open a boutique for bags in your estate.

Alternatively, use your Facebook pages or Instagram platform to advertise and market these bags. Make sure that the quality is top-notch and irresistible for potential customers.

32.  Selling Baby Diapers

Baby diapers are a must-have necessity nowadays. Take advantage of large estates where you live and sell diapers from door to door. Of course, having located houses with babies.

As long as you find a reliable supplier with good prices, you will make money selling this baby product.

However, the competition is stiff from the mainstream shops. Although this may not be an issue if you are willing to go an extra-mile and provide the customers with better services.

33. Set Up a Laundry Business

This business idea can do well in urban settings. It involves offering cleaning services for clothes, footwear, among other forms of wear at a fee.

As expected, town dwellers can be extremely busy. This translates to big workloads when it comes to doing laundry and other home-based chores.

Make sure that you set up the business plan very clearly. Also, complete the necessary procedures including the legal dimensions of the business.

You will need to purchase the right laundry equipment. Then market your services to let customers know that you are out there to offer them timely solutions.

34. Sell Airtime and Newspapers

Another great idea is selling airtime. All you need to do is find a supplier – you can get the stock from Safaricom, Airtel, and Telecom.

To get something considerable from the business, you need to do wholesale. This business does not come with huge returns.

This means that you may think about selling newspapers alongside the cards to supplement the income. Or any other venture that’s profitable.

35. Save Shares in a Sacco

Saccos enable Kenyans to save money. The money you invest is going to generate interest (in the form of dividends) after a certain period of time, usually a year. This is called passive income.

There are thousands of Saccos in the country. It is super-important that you open your account with a reliable one.

Once you have an account with them, you start saving. After about six months or so, you may qualify for a loan three times the money you invested.

Besides enjoying the benefits of dividends, you can use the loan money to start another business in the field of your choice.

36. Repairing and Maintaining Computer Desktops, and Laptops

Nowadays, computers have increased considerably in number. You can take advantage of the scope and make money.

However, you need to have the right skills in computer repair and maintenance. So, either you are a computer guru or you are willing to undertake a short course.

In this business, you may land fat deals with schools, hospitals, individuals, and even local stores.

37. Start a Video Game Lounge

Gaming is thought to be one of the best ways to pass time or spend your leisure time. If you are an urban resident, this could be worth trying.

The gaming industry is preoccupied by largely young people. And the urban location is the perfect place for the much needed traffic.

Purchasing a full gaming lounge might be expensive. So for a start, you may decide to work with, for instance, a two-station gaming lounge with just two TVs, or even only one TV with multiplayer couch coop games .

Alternatively, you can opt to buy a second-hand system. You will thousands of shillings.

38. Tailoring

Tailoring is not the job for the uneducated only. If your hype follows fashion and trendy designs, tailoring is going to be an exciting undertaking for you.

You just need the basic tailoring skills and you’ll be ready to go. You don’t have to worry if renting a space in a marketplace or busy street doesn’t materialize.

Starting your operations right from home is a great way to break this barrier and also save the rent expense.

39.  Try Manicure and Pedicure

Manicure involves treating and painting hand nails. Pedicure is done on the toe nails in a similar process.

Naturally, women will form the large pool of your customer base. So, it is important to have dynamic products for the service.

With stable, quality services, this business can be very rewarding in the long run.The services can be perfectly offered in salons and barbershops.

Make sure to set up the business in a strategic location. This is one of the businesses that rely entirely on traffic.

40. Repair Mobile Phones

There are probably thousands of mobile devices in your current location. Whether it is a smartphone, or a mulika mwizi, you’ll find a good chunk of them with a few functional issues.

However, this is a trade for guys who have the correct skills. Or if you are a natural, that’s still fine although you will definitely need some basic training.

For people to trust you with their devices, you must show unrivaled workmanship. Mobile phone repair is a potentially well-paying venture – you can set your own prices and people will still pay.

Even without hardware skills, you can also help smartphone troubleshooting on the software side.

41. Landscaping and Gardening Service

When it comes to landscaping and gardening services, not many companies are into this space. Thus, it is arguably one of the small business ideas in Kenya that you can tap into.

Landscaping involves shaping yards and planting flowers, trees, and shrubs. This gives the flowerbeds and garden a sleek, high-appealing plan.

Before embarking on landscaping, you should have trained for the job. Landscaping is no freeman’s business.

In terms of income, the job pays really well.

42. Certified Trainer

There are many jobs out there that need professional trainers. Companies are looking for experts in specific fields to train their employees to improve performance and post better results.

Areas in demand of training include customer service, safety measures, managing stress among others. You can specialize in any of these areas.

You can even work as an online trainer by offering your skills on a freelance working platform .

43. Land Brokerage

One of the most zero-capital ventures from which you can reap serious profits is the selling of land on behalf of the land owner. This can be referred to as land brokerage.

The biggest advantage of this business is that there’s no capital input. Just identify the right seller of the land and get a buyer for it.

You get the commision on the principal amount at which the land is sold.

44. Plan Events and Parties

Whether it is birthdays, weddings, or religious events, planning has become a crucial part of the overall success. And it is not an easy skill.

Because of the stress involved, and the energy needed in the process, talented planners are very much needed. You can grab such opportunities and offer your services at a fee.

45. Offer Career Counselling Services

You can also provide career counselling services to students in colleges and high schools. The advice is about guiding these students in their career paths.

This is a business you can start without any capital. All you need to have is the right expertise.

46. Consultancy Services

Consultancy services, just like the career counselling, depend on the pool of knowledge you have. What this means is that you must be good in your field of expertise.

That’s how you win the trust of your clients. If you produce great results, you can ask for any price for your services, and can even offer your services on an online marketplace .

47. Online Marketing

Today, online business ideas are turning to be huge income earning businesses in realtime. Online marketing is playing a huge role in this.

It is a powerful marketing tool to sell any business to the world. You can become a digital marketer a nd help grow businesses by selling them on social media, email, among other online platforms.

48. Creating Websites

Many companies are seeking to establish their online presence. This means that such businesses will be needing their own websites.

If you have an IT background, you can use the skill to help create websites for these companies and get money in return.

49. Sale and Repair of Solar Panel

The usage of solar panels in Kenya is widespread. Yet, more companies are still flooding the market with more of these products.

Given that most of the country’s power grid has not covered many homes on the ground, you can buy solar panels at discounted prices and sell.

You can also repair the faulty panels if you have the technical knowhow.

50. Collect Garbage from Households and Homes

Garbage collection is not fun, and not easy. Very few people are doing this work; but that’s where it gets juicy.

You can take advantage of the relatively low competition to provide your garbage collection service. Just walk around households, and ask to dispose of the garbage on their behalf.

If you charge a good fee, you can earn high profits from the proceeds.

51. Start an E-Commerce Shop

Following the emergence of the internet services, ecommerce business has been on an upward trajectory. Many businesses are selling their products online.

You can come up with a high-quality product and sell it in an online store . As long as it solves the shopper’s problems, it won’t be long before you start earning lots of cash.

Examples of ecommerce shops you can sell your products include Jumia Kenya , Kilimall , etc.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are numerous small business ideas in Kenya. All of these ideas are implementable.

It is now upon you to make a choice. Be sure to choose wisely and get moving it to the next levels.

Hopefully, this guide was useful to you. All the best in your next ventures!

There are many business ideas for women in Kenya and everyone can find the right one for themselves. Examples include soap making, freelance writing, professional office and home cleaning, hairdressing, babysitting, and more.

There are numerous business ideas that young entrepreneurs can consider in Kenya. Some of the best ones include starting a food truck or catering business, creating a mobile app, offering graphic design or web development services, providing virtual assistant services, launching an e-commerce store, and starting a social media marketing agency.

Michel is an experienced blogger, youtuber and content creator in general. He has generated plenty of passive income streams, ranging from cents to four figures monthly income. His passion is sharing solutions to problems he encountered, to spread knowledge and make the world a more educated place.

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50 Best Business ideas in Kenya You Can Start Today

By: Author Tony Martins Ajaero

Home » Africa

Do you want to start a business in Kenya with small capital? If YES, here are 50 best small business ideas & investment opportunities in Kenya for youth .

There are loads of facts and figures that make the Kenya attractive as a business destination. This is because of the vast human, natural and material resources that the country possesses. Here are some very lucrative business ideas to look at;

Best Small Business ideas in Kenya

Real estate.

In large urban centers, towns and rural communities there is an overwhelming interest in land and small plots. In almost every community in Kenya, owning a piece of land has been a coveted investment and with increasing population, this has become even more urgent.

You are almost assured 100% that you will make very huge gains in this business. If you have access to a larger capital base, you will make much more by buying and developing the land then selling it off. This can work very well in the out skirts of Nairobi such as Kamulu, Joska, Isinya, Ngong, Kiserian and other towns where land is still inexpensive.

Child Care Centers

With increasing cases of insecurity from house helps who abuse or sell babies, many parents are opting to take their non-school going children to child care centers. Many middle class parents in Kenya have working mothers and fathers who leave home as early as 5:30 am and get back home as late as 7:00pm, thanks to perennial traffic holdups in our roads, especially in Nairobi and Mombasa.

Taxi Cabbie

Taxi cabs are probably one of the oldest forms of transportation within African cities and towns. They are preferred by higher income earners for short and long trips within the city although cab fares can be much higher than motorcycle and tricycle taxis.

While taxi cabs are known to pick customers off the road, private hire taxi cars serve customers who make a prior booking (especially via telephone). Although many taxi cabs in the cities are operated by their owners, there is a growing trend of private taxi cab companies on the continent.

E-Commerce stores

By providing a platform for all these people to sell their items, you will make good money. Come up with an online store such as jumia, pigiame, rupu etc. Ask people to place their items for sale at a small fee and market this platform vigorously.

Your platform should have categories for example cars, real estate, households, electronics, furniture, clothes, gift items, jewellery, books, foods, services etc. complete with beautiful pictures for easy navigation.

Vending Machine

Kenyans are busy people and many of them would like to buy things quickly and move on. You can meet this need by installing a vending machine for stuff such as water, milk, juice, soft drinks, snacks, sweets, cigarettes, newspapers etc.

This business idea in Kenya will best work with items sold in small compact forms. Shop around for the appropriate vending machine and locate it in a strategic position such as a busy residential area, near busy bus terminus, near a college or school etc.

Event and Party Planning

Every day, week, month and year, Kenyans are partying. Company and religious entertainment events, weddings, birthdays and many other events are taking place everywhere all the time. Planning and holding parties can be a very stressful undertaking.

Many people who are throwing these parties and events could be busy and may desperately need others to plant and execute for them. Generally this work goes for a flat fee, depending upon the size of the party. By targeting at least 2 or 3 parties or events in a week, imagine what you will make in a year.

If you are good at solving issues or if people always come to you for help on certain areas. Well may be it could be time to offer your services to people out there at a fee. Businesses need consultants who can help them realize their mission and visions.

Individuals want help with the problems in their lives. People are willing to pay you if you can help them stay focused and work their way towards achieving their goals.

If you are good at a particular subject or area, you can also teach others at a fee. Thus could be students, business people or employees. You stand a good chance of making money with this business idea in Kenya. You could choose to do it face to face or online.

Government Contractor

Many youth and women have won tenders worth millions of shillings to supply stationery, grade roads, offer services such as cleaning or repairs and many others. With the creation of county governments in the new constitution, servicing tenders will be a major business idea in Kenya. All you need to do is to register a company and look out for these tenders in the daily newspapers.

Janitorial Services

Residential and commercial buildings must be regularly cleaned . With many companies and county governments now outsourcing their cleaning needs. For buildings and business premises, the opportunity is in offering cleaning services.

With a few cleaning tools and shampoos, you can negotiate with owners of these buildings and businesses to clean their premises at a monthly fee. You can charge as much as Sh100,000 or even Sh500,000 depending on the size of the building.

Garbage Collection

Garbage collection services by local authorities collapsed in Kenya decades ago. This service is now provided by private individuals and private entities. For residential areas, the major opportunity is in the collection and disposal of garbage generated in the houses.

Walk around and sign homes to collect garbage from at a fee, say Sh500 per house per month. With thousands of Kenyans having built their own homes in Nairobi and its outskirts and also in other major towns, this business opportunity in Kenya is limitless.

School and College

Every year, thousands of children sit for national exams in Kenya but only a few get admitted to secondary schools or universities. The demand for schools and other colleges in Kenya outstrips supply. Year after year, thousands of school leavers are unable to get places to advance their education.

Qualified and experienced teachers in all subjects and competent school administrators are readily available in Kenya. Hire a few of them and provide quality equipment and facilities and you will attract thousands of candidates.

Agric Value Addition

Kenya’s economy is essentially still agri-based and looking around almost every single home in rural Kenya and many urban homes, there is some sort of agriculture going on. Food is and will always be in demand all over the world.

Agribusiness is therefore one of the biggest business ideas in Kenya. You can never go wrong if you add value to agricultural produce and sell. For example, instead of just selling milk, turn it into mala (sour milk), yoghurt or cheese. You will fetch much better prices in the market.

Bakery and Fast Food

From wheat flower, to corn flower, and to other forms of flour, Kenyans just love to eat baked meals. This is one of the reasons why you may want to consider starting a bakery business. Before you start out it is vital garner all the necessary information that you will need along the line.

Poultry Business

Starting a poultry farm might appear easy but starting it as a business too is something entirely different. This means that you are not only just a chicken farmer but an entrepreneur as well. Starting this business you would need to define your target market.

And the part of the chicken industry you intend to go into. The chicken industry has two main parts; Layers, where the chickens bred also lay or produce eggs , or Broilers, where chicken are bred mainly for meat.


Delving into the fish farming business means that you must have knowledge about the business. Why is this important you just might ask? This is especially important because you do not want to come across as a dullard who is in business. You can start out by carrying out a thorough research on the internet.

Freelance Writing

It’s very possible to become either a full-time freelance writer earning a living, or to be a part-time freelancer supplementing a regular paid income. Another role is to simply do it for fun or to build up a broader portfolio of skills. In this article, you’ll get the basics on what it takes to ease your way into freelance writing as a career or to be put properly, turn your writing hobby into a career that doesn’t affect your day job .

Pest Control Business

If you are thinking of starting a business that can guarantee you steady income, then one of your options is to consider starting pest control business .

Pest control businesses is a business that is involved in removing or eradicating potentially harmful insects, rodent and reptiles from, farms, commercial and residential properties. These days more than ever before in the world, more and more people are conscious of eradicating things that might bring ill health to them. So you will find that it is a very good business to start.

Disc Jockey

Employ your compilations of music from a variety of eras to please every generation in music. The wedding DJ can make or break the event. If you have a lot of energy, knack for detail, love for music and personality, this could be the perfect role for you.

Some DJs also serve as the wedding planner . By learning both trades, you can make yourself more valuable to your clients.

Vehicle Towing

Obtaining a license to start or operate an automotive towing business can be a frustrating task since auto-towing licenses are heavily regulated. Some operators of towing companies forego the license entirely and don’t provide towing services to the general public; instead they only subcontract their services on an exclusive basis to car dealers and property managers.

Cooling Van Business

Kenya is a relatively hot and nobody wants to drink warm drinks; you can tap into this idea by starting a cooling van business. You will ice drinks with your cooling van, this business is mobile and with the right marketing strategy you will have a wedding to attend every week.

Tricycle Transportation

The opportunities for the tricycle transport business are enormous. This stems particularly from its unique features and advantages.

Its portable nature, route flexibility, convenience for charter service, maintenance efficiency, durability/life span among others adds up to its tremendous business opportunity. The establishment and creation of new route for tricycles across the state is a contributing factor.

The car rental career is a very lucrative career, especially when you are located in a strategic place especially a city with huge population, commercial centers and entertainment outfits . However, I must point out the fact that a car rental career can be capital and management intensive. The vehicles you hire to customers must meet higher safety standards before you can provide them for hire.

Travel Agency

The travel industry is a big industry within the tourism industry but it is still within the transportation business. The major players is this industry are the transportation companies (Airline, Cruise and Shipping companies and other transporters) and a special category of people that work behind the scenes to ensure that travelers are comfortable on their trips and get value for their money.

With the booming tourism industry in Kenya, this will be a lucrative business especially if you extend your nest to the internet so that individuals can make reservations online.

Car Washing

Cars get dirty and need regular wash but most people have no time to spare. Driving to the car wash to get your car professionally cleaned is much easier and faster than spending time washing it yourself. Starting a car wash requires having an open space and some money for the necessary equipment .

Auto Mechanic

All over the globe, the auto repair business is such that is important. This is because of the need to have cars fixed. One of the things that must be done before even commencing this type of business is learning all that is required to be known in the auto repairs business.

This means that you will be required to go and garner some good skills in this light. This business is even more profiting in Kenya due to the conditions of cars imported into the country.

Solar Panel Sales and Repair

With the abundance of sunlight in Kenya, you can start a business in this field. The solar panel repair business isn’t for everyone.

This is because it has a very technical aspect that requires lot of patience and handwork. If you do not have a penchant for technology, then you may want to look elsewhere. However, if you do have a passion then you will excel in this trade.

Mobile Device Repair Business

People would always encounter issues with their mobile phones and that is why you can pick the trade of a phone repairer up. First rule of thumb before starting out is to acquire phone repair skills. This is so because you will need to be at the top of your game to attract the best clients that can pay a premium for the service you render.

New and Second hand cloth business

The clothing store (boutique) industry comprises of small retail stores that sells a limited range of clothing and accessories.

The industry is defined as single-establishment stores only. Clothing stores (boutiques) can be strictly designer based (i.e. only one designer’s collection is sold there), or they may sell a mix of designers’ labels (brands) that are specifically catered to the local market.

Selling Insurance Policy

The idea of creating a niche to grow your book of business for insurance agents is certainly not a new idea. However, It is often heard from insurance agents wanting to find their niche market, but unsure of where to start.

Chemical Merchant

Demand for certain chemical product far outweighs the supply in Kenya; you can make turn this into a profitable opportunity by importing the chemical to meet the needs of your local market. Simply find out about the products, connect with manufacturers in foreign countries, and seal the import deal with them.

Similarly, you can make money by exporting chemical products manufactured in your country to foreign countries where there is huge demand for those products.

Cement Manufacturing

Cement manufacturing business is yet another business that an entrepreneur should consider starting in Kenya. Starting a cement production plant might be capital intensive, but one thing is certain, you aren’t going to struggle to sell your cements especially if you are selling at a competitive price. If you have a solid capital base, then you should consider opening your own cement manufacturing plant.

Soap Making

Soaps are part of the products that are manufactured from chemical products and they are used for washing and for bathing. No doubt there is a large market for soaps and the industry is still pretty much open for as many people that are ready to start their own soap making company.

So, if you are looking for a simple business to start in the chemical industry , a business that requires few weeks or months of training and one that you can start on a small scale, then you should consider going into soap making business.

Start an entertainment Lounge

There are a lot of expatriates in Kenya, especially in Nairobi; and these expats (Kenyans included) definitely need a place to wind down in the evenings and on weekends.

You can cater to these needs by setting up an entertainment hotspot such as a hotel, bar, restaurant , cinema, casino, fast food joint, night club , etc. In fact, the list is endless. Just choose an entertainment business you are passionate about and give it a go.

Sell Recharge Vouchers

Sell Recharge cards, the lower denominations to friends, colleagues and family and make some small cash for yourself, it doesn’t cost anything to start at least with 5,000 shillings or even much less.

Private Security Outfit

You can setup your own security guard company , train able-bodied men and women, deploy them to companies that need to protect sensitive infrastructure and make your money. It is as easy as ABC but you must bear in mind that your business needs to be license with the assigned regulatory authority.

Laundry Services

This business thrives well in any economy – recession or not. There’s a large market to cater to, as many Kenyans are busy with their day jobs and have little or no time for laundry . To start a laundry business, all you need are a washing machine , pressing irons, and a few other items. So, it’s very easy to start, but very lucrative.

Brick Moulding Business

The real estate market in Kenya is growing. Demand for cheap homes is on the rise. Bricks are cheap to produce and thereby providing a cheaper building option. You need Brick making machine, enough sub-soil, spades and labor, etc to start brick making business. Training in brick-making before you invest will come very handy.

Appliance Repairing

Fix your customers appliances and other electronic equipment. Many Kenyans have both electrical and electronic appliances that they want to fix; you can tap into this business and make good money.

Computer Repair and Sales

With the increase in sales in computers and laptops, scope of repairing services will automatically grow in Kenya. Computer repair and maintenance service is good business idea to start in Kenya. Additionally you can also provide computer cleaning services.

E-Book Writing

If you enjoy writing and you know the technique of making e-book, then E-book writing is one of the best business ideas for women. You can start selling these E-books from your website, blog or from Amazon also.

Employee Training/Professional Certification

The demand for specialized employee training is enormous and it is increasing. Mostly required employee training courses are on customer service , money handling, working place safety measures, stress management etc. Normally these training courses conducted on employer’s site. One can operate this business from home location.

Internet Café Business

You can start an Internet café business with many other add-on services like, printing, online researching, and other computer services. This is a money spinner in Kenya, as people always want to surf the net. You can position your internet café in a very busy area.

Start a Driving School

Every year, anxious teens that have attained the driving age requirements and even adults alike, who don’t know how to drive; approach driving schools to learn how to drive. If you are looking for a steady source of income in the automotive industry , then one of your options is to open a driving school; a place where you can teach people how to drive.

Selling Snacks and Drinks

Snacks are everyone’s in between meals they come in handy at the office, in school, on special occasions such as parties, meetings, conferences, seminars and so on.

Soft drinks usually accompany them as well just think of selling egg rolls, sausage rolls, donuts and other tasty light snacks especially cakes. These can be sold in schools and in busy places such as bus stops and commercial areas along with milk, mineral drinks, yoghurt and so on.

Mobile Store/ Office Supply

People who work in offices finds it difficult to go out to the market to buy certain things like Wrist Watches, Shirts, Ties, and Perfumes. You can decide to help busy [people do all their shopping. You will be doing this at a fee. So you have to work out what your service charge will be. This is so that you can make some good profit.

Private Lesson Teacher

How about teaching children after school? Many parents are busy and can’t afford to pay home teachers, you can organize a small after school lesson from home and charge just a little less than home teachers and make some cool money you know? You will have to choose your area of expertise.

Gardening and Landscaping

Turn your clients’ backyard into a breathtaking panorama. Doing this business require a lot of training and creativity. So you will have to undertake some research and trainings so that you can do your best to attract the best of clients at all times.

Advertising Campaign Developer

You can plan and build creative online campaigns and content for your clients— from successful social media campaigns, apps, mobile contests, video, email distribution, search engine optimization, online media ad buys or a mix of all of the above.

Creating Music Videos

People will always be in love with music and good music. This is why you can consider opening a music related business . Nowadays, lot of companies look for music videos for brand building activity. Artists and singers also look for music videos for promotion. You can try this creative work if you enjoy doing so.

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Growth Strategies 101

40 Businesses to Start with 1k, 5k, 10k and 20k in Kenya

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Profitable and Untapped Small Businesses to Start in Kenya with Little or No Money

Starting a business can be a tumultuous journey and a big risk, but it is absolutely one that’s worth taking.

The absence of capital should never stop you from dreaming, there are so many businesses that can be started with practically no money.

This article will look at 40 small businesses that can be started in Kenya with small budgets of 1k, 5k, 10k and 20k. Most of the ideas discussed are internet-based due to the financial limitations. It is very difficult to build a physical business if you don’t have enough money to cover rent, employees, inventory, utilities, etc.

The internet is the best place to start a business on a budget .

If you have no prior experience with online businesses, don’t be frightened, it’s not as complicated as it seems. You’re not going to be writing code or anything like that. Don’t let the ‘fear of the unknown’ become a hindrance.

Related : How to get a free website, domain, hosting and business emails

Top 10 Small Businesses to Start with 1k in Kenya

The 1k budget will be used to get a professional business logo from Fiverr . A logo is the first step to instilling confidence in customers by showing that you’re a credible business.

Here are the top 10 businesses to start with 1k in Kenya:

1. Editing, proof reading and beta reading

If you are great at catching typos and grammatical errors, editing/ proofreading other people’s work can be a great side hustle for you.

Similar to editors, beta readers are people whose job is to read and critique other people’s unpublished writings. Fiction writers use them a lot before publishing new books.

A great place to find work as an editor, proof reader or beta reader is on freelancing platforms like Upwork , Guru and Freelancer .

2. Resume writing

A lot of people seek professional guidance with their CVs before applying for jobs. You can find resume writing gigs is on Upwork , Guru and Freelancer .

In order to thrive doing this job you’ll need to be good at highlighting relevant experiences and skills, optimizing text so that the resume will stand out against others, and keeping things short and concise.

But it doesn’t take very long to write a resume in most instances, so you could potentially take multiple orders per day.

3. Virtual assistance

Virtual assistants are self-employed people who provide technical and administrative assistance to busy individuals through the internet.

It is such an in-demand service, and the advantage is that you get to decide who to work with and how much to charge for your time.

Some common virtual assistant tasks include bookkeeping, editing reports, data entry, responding to emails, etc. You can find clients on freelancing platforms.

4. Social media management

Many companies get overwhelmed by the amount of work required to keep their social media pages active. But especially in today’s business climate, social media is everything! So businesses can’t really afford to not have active social platforms.

That’s where you could come in if you have an understanding of how social media works and how to get attention for social media profiles. Many businesses would jump at your offer to manage their accounts.

Some tasks of a social media manager include posting regularly, increasing the number of page followers, engaging with users, etc. You can find clients by simply reaching out to various companies to see if they would be interested in your services.

5. Ghostwriting

A ghost writer is a person who is hired to write a book, speech, article, song and many other forms of written content on behalf of another person who takes credit as the author.

Ghostwriting is a fantastic business opportunity for people who are good with words. A short book that would take about 6 weeks to write can cost upwards of $10,000.

And ghostwriting for others can also teach you a lot about the craft, potentially opening up opportunities for you to write and publish your own works someday.

6. Tax preparation and book keeping

If you’re good with numbers, you can offer your services to small businesses as a tax preparer or a book keeper. The great thing about such a business is that clients will be paying you on an ongoing basis, it’s not a one off service (particularly book keeping).

By building relationships with multiple clients and being able to depend somewhat on always having work you can really obtain a lot of financial security.

Furthermore, the better of a job you do, the more likely it is that a client would suggest you to one of their friends. It’s common for this type of a “snowball effect” to occur in book keeping, so oftentimes you just keep getting more and more clients.

7. Data entry

Data entry is another fantastic business opportunity you can start with no capital whatsoever. You can find work by either reaching out to small businesses to pitch your services, or by advertising on online freelancing platforms.

Many people find data entry to be a tedious task, but if you’re someone who enjoys small details and precise work then you might find that data entry is the perfect job for you.

Just make sure that you have sufficient knowledge of softwares relating to data entry, as well as basic typing skills.

8. Drive other people’s cars on Uber

If you have a driving license, some years of driving experience, and a good sense of direction, then this can be your perfect side hustle.

You might be surprised at how many people need a lift to get around, and either don’t like driving or simply can’t drive themselves. So not only are you making some money, but you’re also providing an important service as you do so.

9. Child care services

This is great business for people who are good with children. Many parents often get held up with commitments and need help babysitting. You can either turn your home into a daycare or go watch the kids from their homes.

This is yet another example of where reputation can be a huge factor in getting more jobs. If you do a good job babysitting one person’s kid then they’re likely to suggest you to a friend, therefore giving you more business.

Just make sure that you have enough people skills to deal with the parents as well as the kids, because their opinion of you really matters in this industry.

10. Dog training/ walking

If you’re good with dogs then you can take a short online course to learn how to train them. Just like with child care services, you can choose to either train the dogs from your home (if you have enough space) or from the clients’ homes.

Dog walking is another service you can offer to busy individuals who have no time to take their dogs out for a walk.

And this is perfect for people who enjoy being around animals and are good with them. It might also be the perfect solution for people who don’t have great social skills since you’d mostly be dealing with pets and not their owners.

Top 10 Small Businesses to Start with 5k in Kenya

Use the 5k budget sparingly on branding materials such a business logo from Fiverr , business cards and brochures. You can print them small quantities just for a start, and then the remainder of the cash can be spent on online ads. Also make sure to get a free website to showcases your products/services.

Here are the top 10 businesses to start with 5k in Kenya:

1. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the most common ways to make money online. You simply refer customers to the affiliate companies, and they send you a check for the referral.

The earning potential is limitless as you keep getting paid as long as you keep referring customers. Some high paying affiliate programs include Bluehost, Shopify and ClickFunnels – some paying as high as $100 per referral.

2. Freelancing

A freelancer is a self-employed person who offers his/her skills to companies without being tied to them long term.

Any marketable skills you have e.g. graphic design, web design or writing can become your source of income when you present them as a service that people pay for. Clients can either pay you an hourly rate or a fixed amount of money based on the type of work you’re doing.

3. Consultation

Many people have issues they need resolved, and you may have the answers they’re looking for. You can build your consultation service around an area that you’re skilled at, for example finance or marketing, and then advertise your services online.

Keep in mind that consultation gigs are easier to get if you do have some sort of proof that the advice you’re giving is worth the money.

For instance, testimonials from previous clients, success stories, or even your own story of your success in the industry you’re consulting about could go a long way in getting new gigs.

4. Online coaching

If you have profound experience in a certain area, or you simply just enjoy working with people, then you can become a coach. Depending on your experience, you can be a life coach, a fitness coach, career coach, dating coach, etc.

This job is great for financial security because if your clients like you then they will probably keep paying for your services long term. So as you build a solid recurring customer base, you’ll be able to depend on a certain amount of money coming in.

5. Tutoring

If you are knowledgeable in a certain academic area, then you can become a tutor. You can either offer your services from your home or go to the students’ homes. Use your 5k budget to print brochures and business cards.

People who have good social skills are especially great at this job because they can put their students at ease and make the experience a lot easier. Plus, the more your students like you, the more likely they are to hire you again or suggest your services to friends.

6. Personal training

This is the perfect side hustle or even full time job for fitness enthusiasts. A lot of people need help losing weight and getting in shape so you are guaranteed to find clients. You can train them from their homes or accompany them to a gym.

And a lot of personal trainers have also found ways to move onto other platforms. They write blogs about fitness, sell custom workout plans, and even make YouTube videos on the topic.

7. Graphic designing

If you have a creative mind and you’re good with Photoshop or similar tools, then you can become a graphic designer. There’s no shortage of design jobs freelancing platforms like Fiverr .

You might be hired to design things like logos, banners, graphics for clothing, or even tattoo designs! The possibilities are endless, and you’ll always be creating something new.

8. Build websites

Building an entire website from scratch is a lot easier than many people imagine. Platforms like Wix and WordPress have eliminated the need for coding knowledge and made it possible to build fully functional websites using drag-and-drop builders that anyone can use.

There are countless YouTube tutorials that cover the subject profoundly.

Search Engine Optimization , or SEO, is the practice of improving a website’s ranking on search engines like Google to make it easier for people searching to find them.

Many growing companies spend fortunes on SEO, it’s a highly marketable and in-demand skill that you can easily learn through YouTube tutorials and online courses.

10. Tour guide

If you know the ins and outs of your city, and are well versed with its history, then you can become a tour guide. It’s a great part time job as well as an opportunity to network with people from different parts of the world.

This career path is also perfect for people who would like to stay a bit more active, and who don’t particularly like office jobs. When you’re a tour guide, you’re on the move constantly!

Top 10 Small Businesses to Start with 10k in Kenya

Split your 10k budget between branding materials such a logo from Fiverr , business cards and brochures, and online ads.

Some of the businesses ideas may require specialized equipment, but they should still fit within your budget. Also make sure to get a free professional website before launching.

Here are the top 10 businesses to start with 10k in Kenya:

1. Sell stock photos

If you are good at photography, you can sign up to be a contributor on stock photo platforms like Shutterstock , and get paid a commission every time someone buys your photos.

You don’t need expensive equipment for this, a decent smartphone camera can do the job. Use your 10k budget to buy some inexpensive props to help enhance the quality of your photos.

2. Drop shipping

Drop shipping is a product fulfillment method where sellers doesn’t own stock of the products they’re selling online. Whenever someone places an order, they simultaneously order the product from a supplier and ship it directly to them.

You’ll need an e-commerce website where you can publish all the different items you’re selling. Use the 10k budget on Google and Facebook Ads to get people to your website.

3. Sell outsourced services online

Selling outsourced services is similar to drop shipping in the sense that you are advertising services that you don’t necessarily have the skills or resources to fulfill.

Whenever a client pays you for some work, you simply outsource the work to a freelancer, and keep the margin on top. Fiverr is a great place to find cheap freelancers to outsource to.

4. Start an “outsourcing” agency

Many businesses are constantly looking for ways to cut down their costs while increasing efficiency.

An outsourcing agency is a company that provides third party services such as IT, accounting, human resources and marketing to other companies as temporary contractors. This helps eliminate the need for fulltime employees.

This is a great business to start with a small team. Make sure that you have a presentable website and some marketing materials such as brochures and business cards.

5. Make organic soaps

A lot of people are very demanding when it comes to the soaps they use. You can make organic soaps that cater to specific needs.

The soap making process is very easy, you can find numerous tutorials online. The great thing about such a business is that you are guaranteed lots of repeat business since soap tends to run out fast.

6. Create a course based no something you’re good at

Online teaching platforms like Teachable can be used to create and sell courses on almost any topic, including musical instruments, art, cooking, mathematics, etc. Teachable alone has millions of students who are actively looking to learn new things.

Most people have a natural skill for something or an interest that they’ve cultivated, and if you’re one of those people then this is a great opportunity to turn something you’re passionate about into something you can use to make money.

7. Gardening and landscaping

If you have a passion for plants, then gardening and landscaping could be your gig. You can offer your services to homeowners and spend time working in their gardens, and as your business grows, you can employ more people to help with the physical work while you only focus on marketing.

Just make sure that you take plenty of photos of the jobs that you do. This is one career in which having a great portfolio can really set you apart from the competition and result in you landing new jobs.

8. Errand services

A lot of people are often too busy to run their own errands. An errand business can be operated with just a phone and reliable transportation. Use your small startup budget to print brochures and business cards that can be distributed in your neighborhood.

For this type of service though, you’d have to be able to successfully complete many different types of errands. Examples may include picking up dry cleaning, grocery shopping, or taking someone’s car to get washed.

9. Grocery deliveries

Shopping is a chore that many people don’t have time for, and the idea of having groceries delivered right to their doorsteps can be appealing.

You don’t need to own stock of the groceries, you simply partner up with a nearby store, and anytime somebody requests for a delivery, they act as your supplier.

10. Handyman/repair services

If you’re good at repairing things then you can start a handyman business.

Print some brochures that explain the various areas you specialize in, for example plumbing, furniture assembly, or electrical work, and distribute them in your neighborhood. Use your 10k budget to buy the various tools you’ll need.

Top 10 Small Businesses to Start with 20k in Kenya

A 20k budget is more than enough to help you start a small business in Kenya comfortably. Use it to get a logo from Fiverr , business cards, brochures; as well as on online ads to help get your first customers.

You’ll also need free professional website before launching your new business in Kenya.

Here are the top 10 businesses to start with 20k in Kenya:

1. Voice overs

A voice over artist provides audio recordings to clients based on a diverse set of needs. Such recordings can be used in presentations, advertisements, movies, video games, etc.

It’s a great business to start if you have a unique ‘radio voice’. The main piece of equipment you’ll need is a quality microphone.

Especially as things like animated YouTube videos, audio books, and podcasts are becoming more popular, the demand for voice overs is going up. You’ll have no problem gaining clients with this career.

2. Start a podcast/ YouTube channel

If you love sharing knowledge and are great at telling stories, then starting a podcast or a YouTube channel is definitely for you. As your channel grows, so will your income from ads and sponsorships.

Your smartphone camera may be good enough for the videos, however you may also need a tripod and a quality microphone.

3. Interior designing

If you have an eye for design then you can start an interior design business. You don’t need a large upfront budget, only a decent website to showcase your work, and a small marketing budget for online ads.

This is a great job for creative and artsy people, and the career can really be a great outlet for them to get that creative energy out. If you do really love interior design then your passion for the job will come across to people, and that kind of enthusiasm for your job can be a great selling point.

4. Forex trading

Forex is a global marketplace where one currency can be traded for another. Traders look for opportunities to buy a currency when its value has depreciated and then sell as soon it hikes for profit.

The most popular exchange for forex trading is IQ Option . You get a free practice account with a $10,000 deposit to play around with. Once you feel confident, you can deposit your 20k to start trading.

5. Crypto day trading

The cryptocurrency market is similar to the forex market. Although Bitcoin is the most popular crypto, there are hundreds of others that can be traded online on Binance .

Day traders look for opportunities to buy crypto at their lowest and then sell as soon as their prices hike for a quick profit.

You can get started by buying bitcoin with your 20k budget on LocalBitcoin , and then transfer it to Binance to begin trading.

6. Real estate brokerage

Real estate brokers link buyers and sellers of a property and then get paid a commission. It’s a great business with an incredible earning potential. Some of the wealthiest people in the world are in one way or another involved with real estate.

Your 20k budget can be used for scouting vacant properties and online marketing. There are numerous ways to find clients as a real estate broker.

7. Vehicle brokerage

A vehicle broker links buyers and sellers of cars and then gets a commission from the sale. People are always looking to buy or sell cars at any given moment, it’s a business with no shortage of clients. Your budget can be invested on a website, business cards and online marketing.

And a great thing about commissions off of items like cars is that they can be quite hefty. Meaning that if you get enough large commissions at once, you could easily afford to take some time off occasionally when you have enough money put back. There tends to be more flexibility with this job than with some others.

8. Rent out a room in your home in Airbnb

Airbnb is an online marketplace where people can lease out rooms in their homes to budget travelers. It can be a great source of passive income if you’ve got spare rooms in your house (for example when your roommate has travelled or kids have gone to boarding school).

If you are concerned about security, Airbnb provides up to a million dollars insurance to cover any potential damages caused by guests.

9. Buy and sell niche products

Niche products are products that appeal to small groups of people with specific interests. For example, workout supplements appeal specifically to body builders and fitness enthusiasts.

They are great products to sell because they generally don’t have much competition, unlike mainstream products like mobile phones and TVs. Do some research to find niche products that you can buy with your 20k budget and then sell on online marketplaces.

10. Party promoter

Do you know someone who owns a bar, club or venue? You can negotiate a fee with them, and in exchange, you help attract people to their venues.

This is a great business to start if you have a large social network that you could reach out to. Your budget will be entirely spent on marketing the venue/event that you’re promoting.

Related: Profitable Business Opportunities for Youth in Kenya


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Top 10 Lucrative Business Opportunities to Start In Mombasa

Mombasa, also known as county 001 is the second largest city in Kenya. As of 2019, the county had a population of 1.208 million with most of its people residing in the city.

Mombasa is famously known for its luxurious hotels, world-class beach resorts, and its historical significance.

It is the most popular tourist attraction and a good place to do business both for local and international entrepreneurs. Here is a list of business ideas you can venture into in the region.

1.      Real Estate

Because many Kenyans recognize the value of having vacation destinations where the sun shines almost 365 days a year, real estate in Mombasa is booming.

In addition, the demand for beachfront property in Mombasa grows year after year. Why not buy a piece of property in Mombasa and re-rent it to tourists?

2.       Selling swimming costumes

This is without a doubt one of the best businesses to start in Mombasa, especially if you live near the beach or a hotel. This business can pay you up to Ksh 3,000 per day, especially during peak seasons.

3.      Conduct swimming and gala competitions

Mombasa is a swimming destination in Kenya, but does the country have a great swimmer like Michael Phelps?

You may open a swimming school to teach children and adults how to swim. Swimming has traditionally been identified with Kenya’s “upper crust,” though it is a sport.

Then host swimming galas that bring people from all walks of life together to have a good time. To generate revenue, charge each ticket seat.

Swimming might be organized at the beach or in a sports complex.

In Mombasa County, fishing is a sport or a way to supplement one’s income.

Knowing where the fish hibernate and the ideal times of day to go fishing are valuable skills to have while deep-sea fishing. It will be beneficial to invest in a good boat that will allow you to stay in the water for days or weeks.

It’s critical to find a market for the fish in order to prevent them from withering away, as these tuna fishermen in Lamu claim to toss tons of tuna each year.

5. Tour Guide

Mombasa offers visitors a lot of experiences. The architecture, in addition to the beaches, is a World Wonder.

Buildings as old as the Portuguese-built Fort Jesus, the Gedi Ruins near Malindi, and the Jumba la Mtwana/Jumba Ruins in Mtwapa provide a fascinating historical journey.

Historic Town Mombasa has a number of old British-style residences. You don’t have to stop at structures and the ocean; there’s also the rich culture and nightlife of the coastal people to discover.

The rich, spicy Mombasa cuisine, as well as the Kahawa Tungu, provides an unforgettable tourist experience.

  • Start a travel blog for Mombasa

You can start a blog to share important and useful information about Mombasa. In your writings, you can promote local hotels, restaurants, and local businesses to earn money.

  • Export and Import Business

Mombasa is known for its large ports that bring in and ship goods out of the country. If you can handle the export-import business efficiently, then Mombasa is the place for you to set up your business in 2021.

8.       Butchery

It is a truth that the citizens of Mombasa enjoy eating beef. Owning a butchery will be a great business to start in town, especially if you don’t have much money.

In Mtwapa, for example, the 24-hour economy is the norm, which is why I recommend that you consider establishing your business there.

  • Sell water and beverages

The fact that Mombasa is generally hot and the water is quite saline provides an opportunity for water business in the region.

To ensure that the water you extract is pure, you could invest in a distillation and filtration system.

To increase sales, package the water in appealing bottles and make it refillable for water dispensers.

10.  Beauty and Cosmetics Shop

Residents in Mombasa value beauty, thus a cosmetics shop would be a lucrative business.

Cosmetics stores will do well for you, especially if you open them in congested locations such as Mtwapa, Kisauni, and Likoni.

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Best Business to Start in Mombasa

There are over 30 businesses you can start in Mombasa.Being a tourist destination,you would expect business to boom,and that’s the case for people who have ventured into profitable business.

Starting business in Mombasa is not hard because rental prices are cheaper than Nairobi.The best business to start in Mombasa include hotels and restaurants,selling clean water,selling women clothes and hand bags,selling swimming costumes and wines and spirits business.You can start business in Mombasa town,Malindi,Mtwapa,Likoni,Bamburi or Lamu

1. Hotel/Restaurant Mombasa is a town where most people like having good times through relaxing, swimming and having the best meals.

The town is mostly visited by tourists, both locals and foreigners, and these people carry a lot of cash to spend.

small business ideas in kenya mombasa

The best business to start in Mombasa definitely is hotel or restaurant; you will not lack people to eat at your place.

Mombasa is one of the few towns in Kenya where starting any kind of business is not hard, the county government has made it easier for anyone to start and operate a business in the town.

2. Bar Most pubs in Mombasa operate 24 hours, thanks to the many tourists the city receive each day.

We have interviewed several bar owners in the region and they publicly confess that the business is very profitable. Some of them even quit their jobs to concentrate on their businesses.

There is no single hour you will miss a customer visiting your bar, whether at night or during the day.

3. Beauty &Cosmetics Shop Mombasa residents love beauty so having a cosmetics shop will be a very good enterprise.

Cosmetics shop will work for you very well especially if you open it in congested areas like Mtwapa, Kisauni and Likoni.

4. Salon Starting a Salon is not hard in Mombasa since rent for houses are affordable as compared to towns like Kisumu and Nairobi.

The capital required to start a salon cannot exceed Ksh 100,000 unless you are opening a very executive salon in posh areas like Nyali.

5. Boutique If you have access to Eastleigh Nairobi then, rush to Mombasa and open a boutique immediately you read this.

The business is not fully exploited at the Coast ,and the few who operate boutique business are a lucky lot.

6. Selling Clean Water Water in Mombasa is mostly salty and very few have access to clean water. If you can manage to have a vehicle to transport water within the town and estates ,then you’ll reap big.

7. Operating M-Pesa Shop This is another business you can try at the coast because money in circulation in the city is high.

Starting M-Pesa business requires one to have at least Ksh 50,000 for a float and additional Ksh 20,000 for setting up the business.

With this business,you will be assured of making at least Ksh 1,000 per day.

8.Matatu Business

Matatu business in Mombasa is a very good business since competition is not high as compared to Nairobi.

The town is also secure;your matatu can operate 24 hours without having incidences of insecurity.

Mombasa residents like eating meat-it’s a fact. Owning a butchery will be ideal business in the town especially when you have little capital.

In Mtwapa,for instance,the 24-hour-economy is the norm,which is why I advice you to consider setting up the business in the town.

Selling swimming costumes

This is definitely one of the best business to start in Mombasa,especially near beaches and hotels.You can make up to Ksh 3,000 daily from this business especially during high season.

Bodaboda business

No argument about this.We have done enough research to conclude that the business will not cease to be profitable any time soon.


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30 profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya (top ideas)

The rate of unemployment in numerous countries, Kenya included, is extremely high. One of the solutions to this problem is self-employment, particularly starting small businesses. Fortunately, there are multiple profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya. Always assess the viability of the available options before picking one.

profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya


1. general shop/ kiosk, 2. salon/ barbershop, 3. eggs, sausages, and smokie business, 4. grocery kiosk (mama mboga), 5. mobile money agent, 6. crop farming, 7. milk bar, 8. car wash, 9. selling second-hand clothes (mitumba business), 10. professional cleaning services, 11. fruit vending, 12. motorbike business (boda boda), 13. food kiosk, 14. web design services, 15. nail parlour, 16. electrical supplies shop, 17. professional shoe-shining services, 18. printing and photocopying services, 19. cereal shop, 20. cottage bakery, 21. designer perfume refill shop, 22. lpg gas refill services, 23. selling popcorn, 24. mobile phone repair shop, 25. selling homemade soap, 26. jewellery making and selling business, 27. laundry shop (mama fua), 28. plastics (mali mali) shop, 29. baby daycare, 30. selling handbags, which business can i start with 50k in kenya, which is the best small business to start in kenya.

Identifying a viable business opportunity requires research. It is also important to venture into something you are interested in or passionate about. You do not require millions to start and operate small businesses. Discover the profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya today.

Profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya

There are multiple business opportunities for people to explore in contemporary Kenya . Some require a lot of cash to start, while others do not require too much money. Below is a look at the most profitable business in Kenya to start if you have a starting capital of 50,000 shillings only.

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Many Kenyan households use the nearest general retail shops or kiosks to buy daily household goods, e.g., salt, sugar, maize flour, matchboxes, candles, and much more.

A general shop or kiosk is one of the profitable businesses to start with 50,000, especially if you start one in a densely populated area. You can get stock from a wholesale outlet and sell at retail prices.

Note that you must identify an ideal location and get the necessary licences to start a general shop/ kiosk.

If you are looking for a fast-growing business in Kenya, consider starting a small and simple barbershop or salon with the hopes of growing it into an executive setup.

Small salons and barbershops in populated residential areas or urban setups are likely to establish a good client base, especially if you offer good services and know how to maintain your client base. You can use the 50K to secure cheap premises and to purchase basic hair grooming equipment.

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Selling eggs, sausages, and smokies has gained popularity and is one of the most profitable businesses to start with 50k in Nairobi, Kenya. You need eggs, sausages, smokies, onions, tomatoes, chillies, coriander, charcoal, and a trolley to start this business.

There is a huge demand for fresh vegetables in urban areas. 50,000 is enough to set up a successful grocery kiosk , commonly known as a mama mboga store.

You can use the money to acquire a kiosk space, licences, and initial stock. You should be ready to get up early to get your produce from major markets or directly from the farmers.

Mobile money transfer service shops have taken Kenya by storm, creating great business opportunities for ordinary citizens. Nearly every Kenyan uses various money transfer services, including M-Pesa, Airtel Money, Equitel, and T-Kash.

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If you are weighing your options for profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya, consider becoming a mobile money agent . Ensure that you set up your business in a location with high human traffic and one that does not have many competing businesses.

profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya

Crop farming is the best small business to start in the rural areas of the country. This opportunity is ideal for people who already own land with access to water.

There will always be a demand for food because the population is growing, and people are making healthier food choices. If you do not own land, you can lease some for as little as Ksh 10,000 per year, depending on the location. There are plenty of crops to choose from for your land.

Milk is a commodity that is in high demand in Kenya, especially in urban areas. An entrepreneur who sells fresh and high-quality milk is guaranteed customers and profits.

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Starting a milk bar does not require much. You need a good location, a shop, a fridge, and milk vending licenses . Note that you need a good and reliable source of fresh milk for your bar to succeed. You can use the profit to purchase a milk ATM machine later on.

Cars have become a basic necessity in many households. Most car owners are too busy with their daily schedules to wash their cars at home.

This has created a high demand for car wash services . To start the business, you need a spacious yard that can fit several cars, access to a water source, and a car washing machine.

If the machine is costly for your budget, you can start by handwashing cars before you get enough capital to purchase the machine. You might need a few employees to help you, depending on how many customers you get per day.

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Selling second-hand clothes is among the most profitable businesses that do not require a lot of capital. You can acquire space in a market or hawk the clothes.

Mitumba outfits are always in demand because they are unique and affordable. You can visit big markets like the famous Gikomba to get "camera" clothes or open a bale with 50k.

Professional cleaning is another business idea that is becoming increasingly popular in Kenya. There is a high demand for cleaning services in residential and commercial premises.

To set up a good cleaning business , you need to register your business name, set up active social media pages, and purchase the required cleaning supplies and products. Do a good job because this business thrives when old clients refer you to new ones.

profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya

Selling fruits is another profitable business in Kenya that you can start with as little as 50k. With more people becoming health-conscious, there is a huge demand for fruits across the country.

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People also love eating fruits, especially juicy ones such as mangoes, pineapples, and oranges, during hot sunny days. Your business will always be assured of a good customer base if you select a great location.

You can set up your fruit vending business on the streets or the roadside. You can also deliver the fruits directly to the customers in their offices and homes.

Boda Boda is another good business in Kenya. It does not require much other than a motorcycle or boda boda and a valid riding license.

You can get a second-hand boda boda for between Ksh 30,000 and 50,000 (used). Alternatively, you can get a new one on loan . If you choose the latter, you will have to make daily payments until you clear the loan.

A food kiosk is one of the best businesses to start in Kenya, especially if you enjoy cooking. A local food kiosk is known as a kibandasky .

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When you prepare good and tasty food, customers will come to you. To avoid any problems with the law, ensure you secure a business and health license in a good location.

Having an online presence is a big thing for businesses around the world . Small, medium, and large businesses need websites to make their products and services available online.

If you have web design skills, you can start a web design business. You can also offer other digital services such as digital marketing, social media management, and search engine optimisation, among others.

A nail parlour is one of the profitable small business ideas to explore in 2023. The demand for manicure and pedicure services is high in present-day Kenya.

If you have skills in manicure and pedicure, then this business should be on top of your list. You can opt to run a mobile nail parlour or set up the business in a fixed location.

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profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya

If you have 50k in Kenya, you can set up a small electrical supplies shop . Electrical supplies, e.g., bulbs, batteries, sockets, extensions, chargers, etc., are needed in homes, offices, and manufacturing plants.

You can start small and grow big within no time. If you are an experienced electrician, you can also offer electrical repair services to your clients.

Shoe-shining is becoming a trending business because of the scarcity of jobs in the country. The business does not require a hefty capital investment.

You only need a few items, such as, shoe polish, brushes, and sitting furniture, when starting the business. You can set up a shoeshine stand in a permanent location where customers sit and get the service.

Alternatively, you can choose to go mobile, moving from place to place in search of customers.

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The digital age has not managed to wipe out paper completely. There is an increasing number of people who need printing and photocopy services , including students and professionals.

The start-up capital is not as high as that of a cyber. For this business, the main equipment you need to start is a photocopier, printer, lamination machine, binding machine, and a computer. You need not have particular expertise and skills to start this type of business.

A cereal shop sells dry grains and legumes, e.g., maize, beans , green grams, groundnuts, rice, and more. It is a profitable business to start with 50,000. Everyone needs to eat, and the escalating population growth rate means more new mouths to feed every day.

There is a ready market for cereals even during tough economic times. You can start small and expand your business with time. This business idea requires minimum skills.

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profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya

Starting a cottage bakery is a profitable business idea to explore, especially if you possess excellent baking skills. Cookies, bread, scones, cakes, biscuits, and other baked goods are consumed daily in most households.

The success of this business depends on whether the customers will love what you serve. With Ksh 50,000 in your account, you can set up a cottage bakery and do deliveries to clients.

A designer perfume refill business is a promising business, especially in urban areas. You will first need to identify a supplier to sell you fragrances at wholesale prices.

You can start with 10 to 20 different fragrances with 50k shillings. The secret here is to choose fragrances that are fast-moving to keep the business alive.

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has become essential in most households because it is cleaner and more convenient than charcoal or kerosene. Starting an LPG gas business involves supplying gas.

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Your initial budget will include the cost of premises, licensing costs, equipment, and the first supply of gas stock. This business works best in urban areas. Remember, the profitability of this business depends on your customer acquisition and retention efforts.

Kenyans of all ages enjoy eating popcorn. If you have 50k to invest in a business, consider setting up a popcorn stand in a place with high human traffic. You can buy a popcorn machine, brown bags, cooking oil, popcorn kernels, salt, and other necessities with the capital. Do not forget to get a license.

Starting any business in Kenya is complex and could be costly without adequate knowledge. If you are skilled and knowledgeable in phone repairs, you can set up a mobile phone repair shop .

Before you start, do market research to measure if the cell phone repair business is profitable within your area. You should also choose a strategic location to start a phone repair business.

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Kenyan consumers value locally-made products, making the concept of selling homemade soap appealing. Selling homemade soap combines creativity with a budget-friendly business idea.

Basic ingredients and packaging materials are readily available. You can experiment with scents and colours to come up with unique soap products. Market your handmade soaps online or in local markets to reach a broader customer base.

profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya

Jewellery is a timeless fashion accessory in Kenya, and there is a growing market for both women and men. With 50k, you can source jewellery pieces from local suppliers or artisans at reasonable prices.

Alternatively, you can buy the materials to create unique pieces. Market your jewellery online and offline. As your business grows, reinvest profits to expand your product offerings or consider opening a physical store.

Did you know you can get a washing machine worth about 30k in Kenya? You can get one and start a small laundry or mama fua shop in a densely located area, preferably where middle-income people live. Clients can leave their dirty laundry with you and collect it after you clean it.

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A plastics or mali mali shop is a good business idea for rural and urban areas. You can stock a wide array of plastic products in your shop. These include shoes, utensils, cleaning buckets, dust pans, dustbins, and much more.

Starting a child daycare is one of the best ideas you should consider. House helps have become very expensive to maintain and cases of rogue house-helps have been on the rise.

As a result, many parents prefer to take their infants to daycare centres. You can rent one or two rooms for the daycare business. Remember, you need to have a deep passion for children to succeed in this business.

Women will always want to have the most fashionable handbag regardless of the number of bags they have at home. Selling handbags is an excellent business idea.

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You can choose to sell new handbags or go for the second-hand bags. The best place to source new handbags is Eastleigh in Nairobi. You can source second-hand bags in Gikomba.

You can set up the business in a permanent location or move from place to place selling handbags. If you have Ksh 50,000, you can comfortably start the business.

There are various business ideas you can actualise with 50k in Kenya. Ensure you do some research about your business of interest to avoid making losses.

The best small business to start is one with the potential to earn you great profit and is in line with your skills , interests, and abilities.

There are multiple profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya to earn a decent income. The idea you pursue should have potential for growth and should be something you love.

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DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility! recently published a list of online jobs in Kenya that pay through M-Pesa. The present-day world is massively interconnected, a fact largely attributable to the internet.

One of the most popular trends in today's society is online work. Unlike conventional jobs, working online eliminates the need for physical employer-employee interaction.


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Top 35 Small Business Ideas in Kenya for 2024

In this article, we are going to uncover some fantastic business ideas that you can explore in Kenya. Consider the bustling streets of Nairobi and the stunning vistas of Mombasa. These are not only geographical wonders, but also centres of innovation and entrepreneurial promise. Whether you are a resident dreaming of starting your own business or someone from abroad curious about the opportunities in this East African country, we have got you covered.

35 Business Ideas in Kenya

1. red earth worms business.

Red earthworms can be used as an essential ingredient in the process of vermicompost. There is a good demand for organic fertilizer in Kenya. Vermicomposting is a process of converting organic waste into useful compost. You will need hybrid worms, a warm-dark, and dry environment, waste food, etc to start producing.

Read: How To Start Worm Farm Business

2. Office Supply Business

People in Kenya who work in offices find it difficult to find time to buy necessary supplies. You can help them by supplying them with their requirements right at their office.

3. Small Manufacturing Business

There are a lot of scopes for manufacturing businesses in Kenya. The local market, as well as export potential, can be a driving force for the success of manufacturing units. Below find some profitable manufacturing businesses in Kenya:

  • Soap & Detergent Manufacturing
  • Leather items manufacturing
  • Furniture making
  • Candle Making
  • Packaged drinking water production

If interested to know more about manufacturing business ideas, check out our list of best manufacturing businesses to start on a small scale.

4. Start a Home-Based Online Business

If you are looking to start a home-based online business, starting a blog is perhaps the most wise decision. There are many in Kenya making good money from blogging. Find below our other recommended online businesses to start from home:

  • Establish an online store
  • Provide digital marketing services
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Freelance writing
  • Online tutoring
  • Virtual Assistant

Suggested Read: B est Online Jobs from Home

5. Soapmaking Business

Soap is a fast-moving consumer product and has a good demand in Kenya. Production of soap making is simple and requires very little investment to start.

6. Small Bakery

Starting a small bakery business can be a profitable small venture in Kenya. You need baking equipment (pans, ovens, mixing equipment, cake decorating equipment, and measuring equipment), raw materials (flour, eggs, sugar), consistent recipes, business permits, and licenses, and good marketing skills to start this business. As you make more profits, there is always an option of scaling up.

7. Restaurant business

The scope of profit in the food business is high as the economy of Kenya is growing especially in cities like Nairobi.  You can start a restaurant business . Passion for food is a prerequisite to being successful in this business.

8. Real Estate Business

Many Kenyans have become millionaires from real estate business activities. Start as a broker in buying and selling land plots. One can start a real estate brokerage business in Kenya with investments as low as 5k.

9. Laundry Business

Laundry makes it easy to start a low-cost profitable business. In Kenya, this business has high growth potential. You need a washing machine and pressing irons to start this business.

10. Security Services

Security is a big concern in Kenya. You can set up a security company, employ and train young individuals, and provide security services to institutions and individuals.

Related: Security-Related Small Business Ideas 

11. Computer Repair and Maintenance

With the increase in sales of computers and laptops, the scope of repair services will automatically grow in Kenya. Computer Repair and maintenance service is a good business idea to start in Kenya.  Additionally, you can also provide computer cleaning services.

12. Adventure Club

Kenya is famous for safaris. You can start an adventure club providing training in mountaineering, scuba diving, surfing, or caving.

13. Advertising Campaign Developer

You can plan and build creative online campaigns and content for your clients— from successful social media campaigns, apps, mobile contests, video, email distribution, search engine optimization, online media ad buys — or a mix of all the above.

Related:   Highly Profitable Advertising Business Ideas

14. Baby Sitting 

People who like children and have a lot of leisure time in hand can easily start a babysitting business. Babysitting is simply taking care of other children in the absence of their parents. This home-based business is simply offering your clients peace of mind about their child in terms of qualifications and security. Good money-making business for women entrepreneurs in Kenya.

15.   Business Startup Instruction

Business startup instruction is one of the most profitable and trending home business ideas without investment. If you have years of experience in entrepreneurship and have an idea about the industry you may consider starting this business. This business demands adequate knowledge and expertise in the specific field with a mind to help others.

16. Career Counseling 

Career counseling is all about providing the right advice to the students in their career path and to the jobber who is looking for better career alternatives. With proper expertise, you can start this home business without investment. Having a career counseling degree is a plus in this business.

17. Do Small Tasks Online

There are plenty of online freelance websites that offer small jobs like surveys, viewing advertisements, and different types of micro-jobs. Check out our list of top micro job sites that offer legitimate earning opportunities. Furthermore, people in Kenya can earn from these opportunities without any investment.

18. Consulting  

If you are an expert in a specific field, you can initiate providing consulting services to the company or any individual. With true passion and adequate knowledge, anyone can start this business.

19. Content Developer

Producing quality info-based content that engages prospects and customers is the biggest content marketing challenge businesses face today. You can work here. You can initiate this business in your capacity or you can go for establish an organization for delivering quality content to your customers.

20. Copywriting 

Freelance copywriting is one of the most profitable home-based business ideas that need very little startup capital to initiate. With good writing skills and knowledge of grammar, any individual can start this business.

21. Brick Making Business

The real estate market in Kenya is growing. The demand for cheap homes is on the rise. Bricks are cheap to produce thereby providing a cheaper building option. You need a Brick making machine, enough sub-soil,  spades, labor, etc to start a brick-making business. Training in brick-making before you invest will come in very handy.

22. Creating Music Videos 

Nowadays a lot of companies look for music videos for brand-building activities. Artists and singers also look for music videos for promotion. You can try this creative work if you enjoy doing so.

23. Direct Mail Service Consulting

Generally, community businesses prefer to have direct mail services. Those who are targeting mass like restaurants,  auto service shops electronics or gadgets shops, and general interest retail stores. This is a way of advertising where results can be measured quickly and easily.

In starting this business you will only need to have a computer with internet and phone. You can initiate this venture from your home location.

24. E-Book Writing

If you enjoy writing and you know the technique of making e-books then E-book writing is one of the best business ideas for women. You can start selling these E-books from your website, blog, or from Amazon also.

25. eCommerce Consulting 

Nowadays all small and big businesses are looking to tap the internet audiences to sell their product or services. Individuals having expertise in online marketing, e-commerce , and e-communications may start this business in Kenya from a home location.

26. Employee Training

The demand for specialized employee training is enormous and it is increasing. Most required employee training courses are in customer service, money handling, workplace safety measures, stress management, etc. Normally these training courses are conducted on the employer’s site. One can operate this business from a home location.

27. Barber Shop

If you barbing skills, consider opening a barbershop in Kenya. You can start a barbershop with an investment below Ksh.10000 in Kenya. Other than the shop rent, you just have to buy a hair clipper, mirror, and other barbing essentials.

28. Sell Second Hand Clothes

The sale of second-hand clothes locally called mitumba is at an all-time high now in Kenya. The best part of starting this business is that you don’t need much investment and no such skills are required.

All you need is to source clothes that are widely found in markets in cities like Nairobi and a good retail location to sell. Individuals doing this business in Kenya are making an average of more than 500 shillings a month.

29. Car Rental Business

Though the Boda Boda motorcycle business is still a good money-making opportunity in Kenya, the car rental business is growing fast. Companies like Taxify are doing good business here. If you have money to invest in buying or leasing a car, this business will be profitable here.

30. M-Pesa Business

M-Pesa business is now a booming industry and most people in Kenya looking to start a business consider M-Pesa. However, you need a substantial investment to start this business. Even though this business is crowded, still a lot of potential for making money exists in many corners of cities and towns of Kenya.

31. Wholesale Business

For those interested in the wholesale sector, consider these lucrative options:

  • Wholesale Agro-product s like sourcing fresh produce directly from farmers and supplying to local markets or restaurants.
  • Bulk Eco-friendly Products like biodegradable packaging materials and sustainable alternatives.
  • Import and Distribution by identifying unique products from international markets and becoming a wholesale distributor.

32. Renewable Energy

There is a growing demand for renewable energy solutions. You can start a unique renewable business like small-scale solar product manufacturing to meet the needs of off-grid communities.

33. Health and Wellness

The health and wellness industry is on the rise, fueled by a growing middle class. You can explore this untapped market by starting a holistic wellness center that offers services like yoga, meditation, and nutritional counselling.

34.  Rabbit Farming Business

Rabbit farming is a good small business idea that you can start in Kenya with little money. You will need the right breed of rabbits, pellets, well-constructed rabbit hutches, and labor to start this business.

35. Delivery Service

Kenya boasts a sizable amount of tech-savvy population. Hence it presents a fertile ground for launching a delivery service business. You can offer on-demand delivery services for individuals and businesses or introduce subscription plans for regular users and businesses requiring frequent deliveries.

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About the Author: led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their businesses.

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Top 10 small business ideas to start in Kenya

With so many business opportunities in the informal and Juakali sector, Kenya stands as a vibrant hub of innovation, culture, and economic growth. With a rapidly expanding economy, a burgeoning middle class, and a diverse range of industries, Kenya offers a fertile ground for aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their visions into reality.

This article serves as a compass, guiding individuals towards ten compelling business ideas that hold the promise to not only meet local demands but also tap into the global market. From harnessing the rich agricultural heritage to pioneering tech-driven solutions, and from embracing sustainable practices to catering to the ever-evolving wellness aspirations – the Kenyan entrepreneurial landscape beckons with a multitude of opportunities. Here are some top to small business ideas that have the potential to shape Kenya’s future entrepreneurial narrative.

  • Agricultural Ventures: Kenya has a strong agricultural sector. You could consider starting a business in poultry farming, fish farming, dairy farming, or even growing high-demand crops like vegetables or fruits.
  • Eco-Tourism: With Kenya’s stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife, eco-tourism is a great option. You could start a safari business, nature tours, or even establish an eco-lodge.
  • Online Retail: E-commerce is growing rapidly in Kenya. Start an online store selling products like clothing, electronics, or artisanal goods, taking advantage of platforms like Jumia, SokoPlus or your own website.
  • Mobile Money Services: Kenya is known for its pioneering mobile money system, M-Pesa. You could develop related services such as financial management apps, mobile banking solutions, or even offering training on digital financial literacy.
  • Real Estate: As urbanization continues, there’s a demand for affordable housing and rental properties. You could invest in real estate development or property management.
  • Agri-Processing: Processing agricultural products, such as turning crops into packaged snacks or producing fruit juices, can add value to raw materials and create employment opportunities.
  • Health and Wellness: With a growing middle class, there’s an increasing demand for health and wellness services. You could start a fitness center, wellness spa, or healthy food delivery service.
  • Tech Solutions: Develop software solutions to solve local problems, such as an app for traffic updates, waste management, or online education platforms.
  • Education and Training: The education sector always presents opportunities. You could start a tutoring center, vocational training institute, or offer online courses in various subjects.
  • Renewable Energy: Kenya has vast renewable energy potential. You could invest in solar panel installations, develop biogas systems, or even set up a small wind farm.

Remember, before starting any business, it’s crucial to conduct thorough market research, assess the competition, understand the legal and regulatory requirements, and create a solid business plan. Each business idea comes with its own challenges and opportunities, so choose the one that aligns best with your skills, resources, and passion.

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10 Profitable One-Person Business Ideas to Try in Kenya


Depending on one income stream, especially employment income is increasingly becoming a challenge for most people in Kenya today. It is natural to try your hand in business, especially given the praise the majority of society gives to risk-taking entrepreneurs - even at the lowest possible level. 

One challenge for anyone thinking of starting a business today besides capital is figuring out whether to partner or go at it alone. Many people are increasingly wary of partnerships since there is no scarcity of  horror stories of people being swindled by family or friends . 

Also Read: 7 Things to Know Before Starting a Business With Your Family

‍ If you are considering running your business solo, there are numerous benefits to it as well as a wide range of ideas to explore. Below are 10 solopreneur ideas to try in Kenya today. 

1. Tutoring

If you have a specialty that you can share and the capacity to teach, tutoring is an ideal one-person company startup that you should consider starting.

Tutoring will typically not require much capital to get started - you will, however, need to be appropriately qualified to land gigs. You will normally receive your payment directly after the session. 

Tutoring children is especially rewarding, and if you land the right clients, money is plentiful, plus you may not need any certification. The hours are usually appropriate because classes are typically taught in short bursts and are not held late at night to fit into the kid’s schedules. 

Adults might also require tuition in different fields such as languages or practical skills.

While word of mouth is often sufficient to secure a tutoring job in your area, you can also reach out to your social media contacts to market yourself further.

2. Venturing into the Food Industry

The food industry is always growing. It requires some good capital, not only for the operational costs but also to obtain the necessary licences. You will need a business permit from your local county government and a certification from the health and sanitation board within your locality. Although some people might try to operate without these, it is best to comply with the set guidelines for smooth and ethical operations.

Your eatery could take different dimensions depending on your specialty. You can either have a fast food joint, fresh fruits and juice parlour, a whole food eatery, or a pastry shop. Depending on your choice, you can move on to calculate the capital required before you embark on the business.

When talking of pastries, I know several people who don't have physical locations but prepare everything in their homes. They take orders from different clients online and deliver as required. 

Their businesses have grown thanks to satisfied clients who share the end product with a caption referring to the supplier. In such cases, you might not require licences to operate - it is a grey area. If you are passionate about baking, this might be a good start. You can then grow it as you build your client base.

Outside catering is also another dimension that you can take. Today, many people are trying to simplify their work by contracting other people to provide catering services for their events like the ruracios , weddings, birthday parties, and other occasions. You can always use social media platforms for marketing your business. The next time anyone requires services in your locality, you can receive references.

3. Offering Taxi Services

With the rise of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Bolt within the country, drivers have never been more in demand than right now. Depending on where you reside, you may be able to choose between driving for Uber or Bolt or any other service existing in your locality.

You must have a car of your own, a valid driver's licence, and a smartphone for driving. The vehicle you use must pass a safety inspection before using it. Each ride-hailing company might have its specific inspection parameters. It is thus essential that you get acquainted with such requirements.

If you choose, you can work on your schedule, even working late at night. The amount of money you'll make will vary depending on the amount of wear and tear on the car, the distance you drive, the amount of fuel you consume, and how much you drive. You'll also have to pay a percentage to your taxi service provider.

Depending on your location, you can join different cab companies within the country. You can begin by reviewing some of the best cab companies in the country and specific providers within your locality.

4. Running a YouTube Channel

Creating a YouTube channel is one of the most straightforward side hustles you can undertake from home.

It costs nothing to register a YouTube account, begin posting videos, and eventually monetise your videos after crossing a threshold of subscribers and watch hours - lot’s of hard work and consistency is needed. And patience too. 

You can create videos on diverse subjects such as educational and social content, fashion trends, comedy, or entertainment. There's so much you can do with YouTube. You only need to take some time to learn about the specific requirements that will enable you to earn more.

For instance, you need to have about 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time to qualify for monetisation. You can make more for the clicks an ad in your video receives. Even as you do this, always ensure that the quality of your videos is impeccable. 

Read Also: How to Start and Monetize Your YouTube Channel in 2022

5. Selling E-Books

Every firm, entrepreneur and everyday person is looking for new resources and educational opportunities. So, if you can harness your expertise in a certain subject area, you are sure to have a ready audience that could potentially buy your books.

First, it is wise to entice your potential clients through free guides. Once you have reached a good enough audience size, you can start selling your e-Books and guides.

You can always start with a short e-book of about 5,000 words and grow it based on your clients' needs. You can base your e-book on so much depending on the prevailing trends. One way of creating your e-book content is by expounding on some of your blog posts if you are a blogger. 

Your word range could be 5,000 to 20,000 words for a medium-sized e-book. You can make up to ksh.1,000 from such. When considering where you can sell the e-books, you can work with Amazon, one of the best-selling platforms you can tap.

6. Blogging

With your laptop or desktop, internet connection, and a passion for writing, blogging can be one of the easiest startups you can run from the comfort of your home. Once you optimise your blog and have sufficient traffic flowing to your site, you can tap on the existing passive online incomes , such as affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing involves marketing products from other companies within your blog. Next, you can make money through advertisements. There are two ways of earning; first, you get paid through cost per click, CPC. For every click an advert receives, you will get some payment. The other method is through cost per 1,000 impressions. For every 1000 views the advert gets, you will receive some amount.

The third way of earning is by offering freelance writing, web designing, virtual assistance, consultation, and training. Finally, you can sell some online products such as ebooks, online courses, and workbooks.

7. Data Entry Services

Like blogging, data entry requires minimal startup costs. Today, you can almost entirely operate your data entry business online. With your computer and internet connection, you can be right on track.

The best target market for this business is large corporations since you won't run the risk of missing out on your payments after working. It is also essential to focus on a specific niche as that may give you a leeway to bargain for better payment rates. 

You can, for example, focus on the health sector. You may need to learn more about the industry to ensure that your services align with your client's needs.

8. Mobile Beauty Therapist

Convenience is what many people are seeking today. Picture the time of the month when you need to do your hair or nails. Instead of leaving the comfort of your home, you only make a phone call, and a beauty therapist comes to your aid. This business option is open to anyone who prefers house calls to being stationary in one place.

Operating as a mobile beauty therapist saves you the cost you would incur in renting some working space, apart from the flexibility and opportunity to keep a maximum profit. You can advertise your specialty on Facebook, LinkedIn, Jiji, or any preferred platform.

9. Home Décor Services

Most people today turn their talents into businesses. With a slight professional boost, they turn out to be the best people in the field. Although professionally, I had a friend who used to offer home décor services; she was a business student. She charged for every hour she could spend in a client's home, especially for new clients. For her frequent clients, she billed cumulatively.

Over time, she could charge more since she had a combination of her business skills and interior decoration. The business is quite flexible as you can schedule your working hours as it seems convenient to you.

10. Personal Training

If you enjoy working out or participating in sports, this could be a fantastic business possibility for you to pursue. The idea involves specialising in physical activity or a specific type of clientele, or both, and rising to the occasion.

In sports training and coaching, there are several examples of success. Other coaches have successfully expanded their businesses to include sports camps, sports schools, and, in some cases, an indoor soccer league, among other ventures.

People who are not necessarily the best coaches but are exceptionally skilled at marketing their services to potential clients have achieved significant successes in this sector. Decide to invest a small amount of time developing a killer website and learning the basics of digital marketing.


Despite having passion in a particular field, one must have the right business skills to run a business successfully. Whatever option you pick, you can always start small and grow it over time. Keep your eyes fixed on your long-term business goals, and eventually, you will get where you want.

Ian Job is an articulate writer with over four years of experience in SEO writing, digital marketing and screenwriting. Away from writing, he's probably producing an indie movie if you don't find him mentoring upcoming content writers. You can connect with him on Medium .

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Business Ideas in Kenya: Top 20 Best profitable businesses to start in 2024

There are a lot of business ideas in Kenya. As a growing nation with a middle-sized economy, you can set up several businesses that will grow into big enterprises. Business ideas in first-world countries and third-world countries differ in almost all aspects.

What's Covered

For example, a McDonald’s driveway wouldn’t perform so well in Kenya as compared to a sausage and egg kiosk on a roadside. To understand the top 20 best profitable businesses to start in 2024, you must understand the Kenyan economy.

This article will take you through some of the business ideas that do well in Kenya . Let’s dive in.

Business Ideas in Kenya

Business ideas range from one location to another; a travel agency will perform very well in Nairobi compared to Mandera County. This is because Nairobi has a large population, an international airport, and all amenities are within reach.

To get business ideas, you’ll have to travel within the country and understand what is lacking in that particular area. This way, you will be able to identify a problem and offer a solution. Ensure you research widely before starting a business .

Small Business Ideas in Kenya

Small business ideas are businesses that don’t require a massive amount of startup capital. Some of them are:

  • Consultation
  • Swimming instructor
  • Fitness instructor
  • Content developer
  • Online taxi business
  • Selling E-Books
  • Data entry services
  • Selling ice cream.

You can start the business with KSh 30,000 or less if you have the equipment ready with you. This is what you need.

  • A small room
  • Internet connection (to download movies)

Ensure you find a suitable location; the densely populated areas are the best. You can earn from Ksh 300 to Ksh 2,000 per day in the movie shop, depending on your client base.

Best Businesses to Start In Kenya

The best businesses to start in Kenya are those that are in high demand. What you do is identify a problem that needs to be solved, and you set up your business. Some of the best businesses to start in Kenya are:

Delivery services

Delivery services are in demand among the middle class and lower middle class. The demand is caused by the diversification of businesses throughout the country. Entrepreneurs with businesses in Lodwar don’t need to go to Mombasa to buy goods. Once they order the goods, they will be delivered to their doorstep.

For starters, you can begin by delivering goods within your locality by foot or bicycle. As you grow, you can purchase or rent a motorcycle. Always ensure you’re punctual and your customer care skills are excellent; this way, your delivery service business will grow at a faster rate.

Car hire services

Kenya is a fast-growing economy. The demand for cars has gone up, pushing the retail prices of second-hand vehicles relatively high. For this reason, many people have opted for self-drive car hire services.

Small cars are charged from Ksh 2,000 to 3,500 per day. The business is precarious if you’re not prepared. Ensure that you have the following.

  • A business permit
  • Insurance to cover damages.
  • A vehicle tracker

When a client approaches your business to hire a vehicle, ask for the following documents:

  • National ID card
  • The original driving license

Check the documents thoroughly, and when you’re satisfied, draft an agreement letter that the client will sign. Also, check for damage when the car is handed over to you.

Always look for long-term clients or companies to hire your cars. This way, your vehicles will be in shape and condition.

Vehicle sales

Vehicle sales are gaining momentum in Kenya. If you’re looking to enter the business, you can sell second-hand cars used locally or import second-hand ones from overseas.

Most people are buying cars for the online taxi business, so ensure you import small-sized cars (1000 cc and below). These are some of the fastest-moving units in Kenya. You can also opt for luxury units, but it’ll take longer before you can sell a considerable number of units.

Car garages

With an influx of vehicles on our roads, there’s also a high demand for garages and mechanics. The Kenyan market has become diverse; right now, we have so many European cars, unlike a few years ago when we only had Japanese cars on our roads.

Some of the available garages deal mainly with Japanese units, which leaves a considerable gap and demand for cars from Europe. If you intend to set up a garage, specialize in repairing European vehicles.

Nanny caregiver

This business does not require a huge startup cost. You only need to be skilled at your job. Nanny caregivers look after children and the elderly in homes or caregiver centers.

This new trend is gaining momentum in Kenya. Many people are held up at work and can’t be available to take care of their elderly parents or siblings. Once you fill in this gap and provide professional services, you’ll set up your caregiver business within two years.

Elementary school

Many parents want to give their children the best education. For this reason, elementary schools have been in high demand. Most public schools are overcrowded and lack basic amenities.

To set up an elementary school that stands out, follow the following.

  • Look for a serene place with a title deed.
  • Professional certificates
  • Teachers (should have a TSC number)
  • Registration certificate

Once you’re done, you can either hire a place or construct the school from scratch.

Home Décor and Design

This deals with designing and decorating clients’ homes. You need high skills and a personal touch. If you’re good at what you do, you’ll get referrals, and your business will grow tremendously

Ecommerce business

One fantastic trait about e-commerce is that you don’t require a physical space where you’ll be paying rent. You just have to find fast-moving products and post them on your blog or social media.

For deliveries, you can find a reputable company to deliver products to your clients, or you can do it yourself.

Most of the businesses in Kenya have an online presence. There is a high demand to create and run these websites. Companies and institutions lack people with the skills to develop a website and maintain it.

Advertise your services online and physically in companies, schools, and parastatals. Amazingly, you don’t require capital to start the business, although your skills have to be top-notch to get referrals.

YouTube channels are gaining popularity in Kenya. Starting a YouTube channel is relatively easy. You just need the following.

  • A camera (you can use your smartphone).
  • A microphone
  • Editing software
  • Consistent content

I have to say that running a YouTube channel is no walk in the park. You need consistent content every day. You don’t have to create content from scratch; you can do voice-overs or redo other YouTube content in a new way.

Some of the profitable niches on YouTube are:

  • Tech Videos
  • Product Reviews
  • Storytime Videos
  • Healthy Living & Weight Loss
  • How To videos

If your niche picks up and you get continuous subscribers and views, stick to the niche and continue improving it. YouTube will make you a fortune.

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Kenya’s top 20 most profitable businesses

In this category, we are looking at business ideas that require little capital but have a higher profit margin. We won’t be listing businesses undertaken by parastatals or multi-national companies. Let’s get started.

You need to have the necessary skills to open a bakery shop; otherwise, you will have to hire professionals to bake for you. Baking is classified under food and beverages, and for this reason, you’ll need the following.

  • Food handlers’ certificate

The business is profitable because you’ll be dealing with weddings, birthdays, and graduation celebrations.

#2 Restaurant

Restaurants are in high demand not only in the capital city but in other counties. The road network has opened up the country, which has led to an increase in domestic tourists. This has led to a demand for quality eating and resting joints.

If you’re looking to enter into business, look for busy areas that lack basic amenities. Some towns have got a high population but lack good restaurants. Many clients will seek your services if you set up a good restaurant.

Although the initial startup cost might be high, the results will be worth it in the end.

#3 Cyber café

A cybercafé allows you to browse the internet and get online services that you can’t access with your smartphone. A good cybercafé will require a startup capital of around Ksh 300,000.

Cyber cafes work best in town centers or in places near busy institutions such as colleges, universities, and government offices.

To open a cyber café, you’ll need the following:

  • Computers (you can start with six)
  • Stable internet connection
  • A colored printer
  • A photocopier
  • Stationeries
  • Chairs and partition boards

If you have the necessary skills, you can operate the business independently. If you don’t have the skills, feel free to employ a cybercafé attendant.

#4 Barbershop

Skilled barbers always have loyal clients. Setting up a barbershop doesn’t require a lot of things. Due to the change in market dynamics, you’ll have to hire another employee for head wash and massage.

For barbershops, you only need the following:

  • Shaving machines

If your barber’s services are perfect, people will travel from far to seek your services.

#5 Second-hand clothes (Mitumba)

Second-hand clothes in another big industry in Kenya. Many families have benefited from this venture. It has fewer risks and higher returns, and it doesn’t matter whether you’ll sell the clothes in Nairobi or in other counties.

All you need is enough money to buy a bale of clothes. Most of the bales are sold at the Gikomba market. Once you purchase the bales, you can either sell them there or transport them to another location.

#6 Motorcycle (Boda-Boda) Business

Some routes are never covered completely by PSV buses, and that is where motorcycles make most of their money. The lowest amount charged is usually Ksh 50.

You don’t need to buy a motorcycle to start this business. You can begin with a hired motorcycle and, after some time, purchase your own bike. The business requires you to have a valid motorcycle driving license.

DO READ – BODA BODA Registration Certificate Download

#7 Motorcycle Repair

In Kenya, we have many motorcycles. All of them need spare parts and repair. If you can open a motorcycle repair shop that offers quality services, then you’ll have a large client base and higher returns.

The business doesn’t require much; it just needs enough space for the repairs and also sells spare parts that will be replaced after repairs.

#8 Blogging

You can start publishing your self-published content online. This can be the writing of photography. All you need is a computer and stable internet access. Blogging is a profitable venture that doesn’t require money to start. However, you have to be consistent to see results.

#9 Recycling

You can opt for plastic or glass recycling. What you do is that you open a shop in an open location where people can see it. People will then bring the damaged or old plastics for recycling.

You can either opt to recycle it yourself or take the waste to an industrial area for recycling. The recycling machines are pretty expensive, and you’ll have to dig deeper into your pockets to afford them.

#10 Children’s Daycare

As parents go about their duties, they’re left with no choice but to employ a housekeeper to take care of their children. A housekeeper is expensive to employ compared to daycare, where you pay from Ksh 50 to Ksh 200.

To set up a daycare, you need the following

  • A spacious room
  • Professionalism
  • Business Permit

For those starting out without any capital, you can run the daycare from your house before you can hire a room.

#11 Garbage collection

Garbage collection is another profitable venture that is looked down upon by many people. Right now, garbage collection ranges from Ksh 200 to Ksh 500 per month in every house.

To start a garbage collection business, you will need the following:

  • A vehicle to transport the garbage
  • NEMA (National Environment Management Authority) certified documents

#12 Travel Agency

Kenya is a tourist destination, and starting a travel agency will be the best thing to do. Furthermore, domestic tourism has really grown over the past few years. To set up a successful travel agency, you will need the following.

  • A tour license
  • Vehicles to transport visitors and tourists

#13 Laundry Services

Many people don’t have ample time to clean their suits, blankets, or carpets. They opt to seek the services of a laundry cleaner. The business venture is picking up momentum, but you’ll need the following first.

  • A washing machine

#14 M-Pesa Business

Since M-Pesa was introduced in the Kenyan market, the M-Pesa business has been doing well with each passing day.

Ti runs a successful M-Pesa agent shop; you’ll need the following

  • A deposit of 50,000 to 100,000
  • A good conduct certificate
  • Permit for a business transaction
  • Your National ID
  • Your KRA pin

When a customer withdraws money, ensure you record their ID details to avoid reversals, which are usually devastating to the business.

#15 Motor vehicle spare parts

As more Kenyans buy cars, there is also a high demand for spare parts. Ensure that you stock genuine spares from the respective countries (e.g., Japan, Germany, and the USA).

To operate a spare parts business, you’ll need the following:

  • An ideal location (in urban centers or near garages)

Some of the vehicle parts that are replaced regularly are:

  • Timing belt
  • Spark plugs
  • Windows (Windscreens)
  • Side mirrors
  • ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) and brake fluids

If you stock your shop with the above spares, you’ll have daily customers because they are the common parts that are replaced due to wear and tear or theft.

#16 Beauty and cosmetics

This business targets women because they’re continuously improving their skin. If you walk around Nairobi, you will realize that most of the shops with genuine beauty products are always crowded.

Ladies do a lot of impulse buying; if you stock genuine products in your shop, you’ll get loyal clients.

#17 Electronics business

You can start an electronics business either in Nairobi CBD (Central Business District) or on the outskirts of Nairobi and its environs. Electronics are pretty sensitive; ensure that you buy or ship your merchandise from trusted dealers.

Some of the most fast-moving electronics are

  • Mobile phones
  • Security cameras
  • Digital cameras
  • Wireless earbuds
  • Gaming consoles
  • Smartwatches

#18 Poultry farming

For poultry farming, you don’t need a big space. Start with a small, clean, well-lit room. Your target should be eggs and meat consumers. Some of the chicken breeds that do well in Kenya are:

  • Kari (improved Kienyeji)

You only require a small amount to start your business. Ensure that your chicks are vaccinated on time to avoid costly expenses in the poultry venture.

#19 Tailoring business

Being a professional tailor will take you places. Some of the established tailors get jobs from non-governmental organizations, government parastatals, and other private institutions.

If you’re good at tailoring, you can start with a small shop. Trust me; you’ll get referrals within the first month when your services are top-notch. Additionally, you can opt to rent a larger room and employ tailors.

You will need the following to start a tailoring business:

  • Garment stitching skills.
  • Pattern drafting skills.
  • Types of fabrics
  • Sewing machine
  • Tailoring skills

If you’re starting out in the business as a fresher, you can begin at your house and, after a while, rent a space in public.

#20 Photography

Events happen every day, and this is an opportunity for you to start a photography business. But first, you’ll need the following.

  • A powerful camera
  • Photography skills

One thing you’ll have to prove is your skills. Note that some phones have very powerful cameras, so your cameras have to be top-notch to convince your clients.

Some of the places you can extend your photography services are

  • Graduation ceremonies
  • Birthday parties
  • Baby showers

You can also photograph nature, cities, and parks and upload them to online sites that pay. Some of the sites that pay you to upload photos are:

  • Adobe Stock
  • Shutterstock
  • Photo shelter

When choosing a business idea, always check your skills first; if you can run the business alone, the better. On the other hand, if you lack the basic skills, be prepared to use funds to employ professionals with the required skills.

Opportunities are always available in every corner of the globe; just take the proper steps, be consistent, and you will reap the fruits of hard work.

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small business ideas in kenya mombasa

Five small businesses currently thriving in Kenya

small business ideas in kenya mombasa

Believe it or not, Kenya was ranked as one of the best places to start a business in Africa. There are a lot of opportunities here if you learn to look in the right places.

This is great news because this is a real fact.

Still, it’s true that many people doubt this especially when their own businesses fail to thrive. Part of the reason why things don’t often work out is that there wasn’t enough research done. Many people jump into starting something based on what they see and think is working by copying and the end result is always disappointing.

The first step to being successful in fulfilling a need that people actually want. And you don’t even have to be a zillionaire to achieve your dreams because these five small successful businesses are enough proof:

small business ideas in kenya mombasa

·         Thrift business

Many, if not most, Kenyans love to go thrifting. Most people don’t earn enough money to buy new expensive items all the time and this has become a solution that has been working for a long time.

The good thing with this type of business in the digital era is that you can use online platforms to sell so you don’t necessarily need to deal with the expense of rent and other overheads.

Customers easily find sellers by clicking and swiping and if you check on some of the most popular shops online, you will see how fast items sell.

small business ideas in kenya mombasa

·         Cosmetics business

Kenyan ladies love their hair, makeup and skincare products, that’s for sure. Women everywhere love to look good and there is always demand for these products.

With as little as Sh 50,000, you can have your business up and running. You can even decide to focus on a specific niche like makeup and skincare products only and grow your business step by step.

If you do enough research and bring in the right products, your customers will catapult profits, especially during event seasons.

small business ideas in kenya mombasa

·         Baby and maternity shops

Baby making weather is music to the ears of Kenyans who run these types of businesses. There are many multimillion maternity shops but the small ones thrive too.

You can decide to focus on thrifted maternity wear to cater for mums on a budget or even start with a few baby care items and toys.

Small baby and maternity shops with unique, affordable and good quality items will do well.

small business ideas in kenya mombasa

·         Makeup services

With the rise of Instagram and other social media platforms, people are becoming more interested in makeup. And since not everyone has the time or knows how to do their brows, contouring and everything in between, there is a demand for good makeup artists.

In this business, your skills will speak for you. Even if your budget only fits the few essential items, you can still run a successful business and maybe train others in future for some extra coins.

·         Fast food business

People are naturally drawn to good food, which makes this another great opportunity in Kenya. This isn’t like having a whole expensive restaurant with staff and heavy equipment because you can even start a small fries shop where you serve customers while they’re on the go.

These small fast food businesses are doing very well and this probably won’t change anytime soon.

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Top 10 Best Towns for Small Businesses and Investments in Kenya

August 12, 2015 Published by: James Keru -->

If you’re planning to start your own business, finding the right place to set up shop is a critical step. We identified 10 towns and cities that are the “hot-bed” of budding entrepreneurs in Kenya. Each offers attractive qualities like: low cost of living, good infrastructure, a great future and most importantly, a well trained workforce.

Please note that despite their popularity among start-up hopefuls, some towns such as Kakamega, Nakuru and Nairobi did not meet the cut due to several reasons. According to data previously presented by The World Bank Group, the three towns are still grappling with lengthy registration procedures and expensive rates which deny growth environment and momentum for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Here now is the top 10 list of great towns for starting a business.

Image Courtesy: Flickr

Located 2 hours to the North of the Capital City, the once sleepy Nyeri town is slowly creeping back to life. And thanks to its low cost of living and a rich agricultural hinterland, the town provides just the perfect recipe for agri-business and agri-based startups to launch and thrive. Large education institutions are also setting up in the area and this is gradually creating housing demand (especially for single rooms). Small business ventures that are performing quite well in Nyeri include: poultry keeping, onion farming, rabbit farming and low-end market real estate. Previous reports by the World Bank ranked Nyeri as 6th best town in dealing with construction permits and 10 best to launch a business from scratch.

Image Courtesy: Safari 254

Although Kilifi rarely features on the local small business news segments, there are compelling indicators that it is a giant in the making. This is brought about by its strategic geographic location on the shores of the Indian Ocean some 60 kilometers away from the country’s main sea-port.

The resort town enjoys relatively cheaper county government rates than its neighbors do, and it enjoys seamless access to the Moi International Airport, Malindi Airport, upcoming Lamu Port and upcoming Standard Gauge Railway line. Already, at least 7 banks have set up shop in Kilifi ready to provide much-needed financing by startups in the town and its environs. Previous reports by The World Bank highlighted Kilifi as the 3rd best place to start a business after Isiolo and Thika. Restaurant business and agri-business (particularly nut farming and exporting) are among the most favorable businesses to start on a budget in Kilifi.

Coupled with its strategic location in East Africa, Kisumu City has witnessed an influx of investments as people rush to benefit from various opportunities. The town is also experiencing the mushrooming of satellite settlements, a sign of growing housing demand following a sharp population increase. A growing middle class and a recent upgrade of road infrastructure in the area have revived the town’s fortunes and it’s high time for small business owners to race to cash in on its strategic location. A previous report by The World Bank mentioned Kisumu as the second best place in Kenya to register a business after Mombasa but the most difficult to survive during the initial stages.

Read More: Kisumu is The Next Big Thing For SMEs: Find Out Why

Image Courtesy: Skyscraper City

Isiolo is gradually climbing to the top position among the top 10 best towns for small businesses in Kenya. Currently, the town dominates the Central and Upper Eastern business environment with its eyes set on a future plan that will see it assume the role of Kenya’s premier resort city. Isiolo is also at the heart of the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor. Early this year, the desert town saw the entry of its eight commercial bank as financial institutions rush to book a space in the city of the future. As a businessman, it’s not hard to see how bright the future of Isiolo is. The World Bank once ranked Isiolo as the second easiest place to start a business after Thika town. The town was however reported as the least favorable place to register property.

Despite the Mombasa County’s move to raise fees for single business permits, parking fees, advertisements and licenses by more than 100 percent, the coastal city still enjoys broad based business reform programs that attract start-ups to its bounds. Mombasa is one of the lucky few towns in the country to have a specialized court for commercial dispute resolution. According a report by World Bank Mombasa is the best place in Kenya to register property.

The county is a hub of sorts and all major offices including NHIF, Kenya Sea Port and Huduma Center have offices there. Mombasa is served by relatively good infrastructure and deliveries from the capital city of Nairobi are made in less than 24 hours by most courier services. The town and county at large are competitive both nationally and globally.

That Eldoret town is growing fast is not in doubt (in fact according to a study a 50×100 plot within Eldoret’s CBD now sells at Ksh100 million as compared to Ksh20million almost five years ago). The speed of the town’s growth coupled by the presence of the Eldoret International Airport provide the tail-wind for growth of a city that suffered badly during the 2007 post election violence. Eldoret was once ranked as the second best place to process construction permits and the 5th best for enforcing contracts according to a report by the World Bank.

Businesses that deal will supply of electronics, stationery and construction materials find the Eldoret market quite attractive.

Any futuristic innovator or investor should not be deterred by the security issues in Garissa. The distant town which is located about 200 kilometers from Kenya-Somalia border offers major business opportunities. The real estate sector of Garissa County is still at infancy stages. Pharmaceutical supplies are also conspicuously missing. Yet the town enjoys relatively good infrastructure and is strategically located next to the ongoing LAPPSET project, Mombasa Port and the NEP frontier. The World Bank once recognized Garissa as the best town in the country to enforce business contracts in and number 3 when it comes to issuance of construction permits for new businesses.

Known for its perfect blend of pineapple and coffee farms, Thika town is reputed world over for its heavy industrial production ventures. It was once named the 78th best destination to do business in the world because it has comparatively less cumbersome procedures especially on property registration. Cheaper rent prices, good road infrastructure and proximity to the Capital alongside future plans to transform it into an Aerotropolis town make it among the most wonderful places for a start-up to set up shop.

Some small businesses that seem to be performing well in and around Thika town include transport business, middle-income real estate, supply of construction material, ICT-based and grocery supplies.

Image Courtesy: SkyScraper City

Narok, a tourist town neighboring the famous Masai Mara Game Reserve, is renowned for its significantly cut bureaucratic red tape in the business environment. The World Bank once ranked Narok the 15th best investment destination in the world just behind towns in Hong Kong, China. Ease of obtaining business license, a resurrecting tourism sector and proximity to the Capital City makes Narok one of the most attractive towns for a small business or start-up to launch.

Some ideal small business ideas for residents of Narok and its environs revolve around supply of imported clothes, supply of cooking gas, supply of spare parts for motorcycles, restaurants and curio shops.

Malaba is a small town in Busia County in the Western part of Kenya. The border town handles 70% of cargo in transit to and from the port of Mombasa to neighbouring landlocked countries of Rwanda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and DR Congo. With completion of the standard gauge railway line, the town will host a train passenger terminal which will further boost fortunes for investors in its environs. Further records show that Malaba collects at least Ksh60 million in revenue every month.

Malaba has often been recognized as the best place in the country to get construction permits and the third best for enforcing contracts. Over the last 5 years Malaba has been competing closely with Narok for the number one position on the ease of doing business list.

Some ideal business ventures for Malabans to embark on include: Wholesale supply of consumables, import of leather products from Kampala to Kenya and fast food restaurants to cater to travelers who may stop over as they await customs clearance.

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Best business to start in Mombasa 2023

This year 2023 there are several best businesses to start in Mombasa. Before you set up any business, know what you expect to earn from it, security situation, cost of rent, demand for that product and the ability of the residents to buy.

Below is a list of best businesses to start in Mombasa 2023:

  • Bottled water

Mombasa being a hot place bottled water is one of the most profitable businesses to do. The business will pull in over Ksh5, 000 daily. All you need is a capital of Ksh250, 000 to Ksh 400,000.Licensing is the major challenge but once you are through, you will find the business easy to run.

  • Wines & Spirit

Mombasa ni Mji wa raha,watu wanalewa sawasawa.Wines & Spirits is one of the best businesses to start and operate in Mombasa. You need a capital of Ksh 150,000 to Ksh300,000.

A busy wines & Spirits shop will yield over Ksh100, 000 monthly.

  • YukTuk Business

Many people in Mombasa use TukTuk to transport goods from one place to another. The business is very profitable. Our research reveal that on average one TukTuk will generate Ksh 2,000 per day. It costs Ksh300,000 to Ksh450,000 to by a TukTuk.

  • Grocery shop

Set up a grocery shop where you will sell vegetables and fruits. Since more than 90% of people in Mombasa don’t plant vegetables and fruits, a grocery shop will be an ideal business.

With Ksh 20,000 you can start a small grocery shop in Mombasa. If your shop has a stock of more than 100k, you’ll be making over 3k daily.

  • Entertainment joint

Start an entertainment joint which has a hotel and bar that operate 24/7.It will do extremely well in Mombasa since people come here to entertain themselves.

You should be ready to spend over Ksh1 million to put up an entertainment joint.

  • PlayStation

PlayStation is also a profitable business in Mombasa. With a capital of Ksh400,000 you are ready to go. There are many idle youths in Mombasa who can be your customers.

One of the businesses excelling in Mombasa is Airbnb. Most people nowadays don’t go for guest houses, they prefer Airbnb where they are not harassed and can cook their favourite meals.

One can start Airbnb business for as little as Ksh20, 000.

You should also consider starting bodaboda business especially if your capital is Ksh 150,000 and below. You will be making over Ksh800 daily. You can’t sleep hungry when you own a bodaboda in Mombasa.

Long distance transport business

Buy trucks to transport products from Mombasa to upcountry. You will receive jobs from the port and other areas across the coast.But this business require heavy capita.

  • Clearing and forwarding business

Try also to figure out how to start clearing and forwarding business. This one is also capital intensive but very rewarding.

  • Sell cereals

Business of selling cereals can also be good in Mombasa. Make sure you sell beans, maize and other cereals which people of Mombasa love.

  • Build apartments

Rental property in Mombasa will be profitable. The demand for the houses is high and in future, prices will skyrocket.

  • MPESA & Bank Agency business

Though people claim that MPESA shops are flooded in Mombasa, there is still room for new businesses. There is no single business which cannot face competition, don’t fear competition.

  • Online taxi business

Most of the tourists and visitors in Mombasa use online taxis—they book the taxis through the Apps.Buy your own Taxi and start making money in Mombasa.

  • Sell mandazi and Chapati within estates

For those who have small small capital of Ksh 1,000 to Ksh10,000 start making and selling chapati and Mandazi within estates.You will start small and later operate a big hotel.

  • Butchery business

Butchery business is also very profitable in Mombasa. Sell goat meat,beef ,fish and kienyeji chicken. But this business require a fridge which is on 24/7.


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    1. General shop/ kiosk 2. Salon/ barbershop 3. Eggs, sausages, and smokie business 4. Grocery kiosk (mama mboga) 5. Mobile money agent 6. Crop farming 7. Milk bar 8. Car wash 9. Selling second-hand clothes (mitumba business) 10. Professional cleaning services 11. Fruit vending 12. Motorbike business (boda boda) 13. Food kiosk

  13. 13 Business Ideas in Kenya From Ksh3,000

    1.Brick Making Business (Estimated Budget:Ksh100,000) The real estate market is booming and people are looking for ways to build cheaper homes. Bricks are relatively cheap to produce and provide a cheaper building option to stones. Requirements: Brick making machine, enough sub-soil, a bit of training, spades and labor.

  14. Best 35 Small Business Ideas in Kenya in 2024 with Little Money

    2. Office Supply Business People in Kenya who work in offices find it difficult to find time to buy necessary supplies. You can help them by supplying them with their requirements right at their office. 3. Small Manufacturing Business There are a lot of scopes for manufacturing businesses in Kenya.

  15. Top 10 small business ideas to start in Kenya

    You could start a safari business, nature tours, or even establish an eco-lodge. Online Retail: E-commerce is growing rapidly in Kenya. Start an online store selling products like clothing, electronics, or artisanal goods, taking advantage of platforms like Jumia, SokoPlus or your own website.

  16. 10 Simple Ideas You Can Start With As Little As Ksh1000 Capital

    4.Making beaded sandals and handbags (Ksh3,870) You need beads. A kilogram of beads goes for Ksh370/= at Kariakor Market in Nairobi. A kilogram is enough to make bead an entire handbag and a small pouch which you can sell for as much as Ksh3,000. This represents a profit of Ksh 2,230.

  17. 29 Best Small Business Ideas in Kenya in with Little Money

    What is a small business idea? A small business idea is a business opportunity with a limited amount of start-up capital. These businesses can be started with little money and can grow to become profitable ventures. Quotex promo code Apply code to get 50% more on deposit Many small business ideas can be successful in Kenya.

  18. 10 Profitable One-Person Business Ideas to Try in Kenya

    Below are 10 solopreneur ideas to try in Kenya today. 1. Tutoring. If you have a specialty that you can share and the capacity to teach, tutoring is an ideal one-person company startup that you should consider starting. Tutoring will typically not require much capital to get started - you will, however, need to be appropriately qualified to ...

  19. Best Business Ideas in Kenya in 2024? Here are the Top 20

    To get business ideas, you'll have to travel within the country and understand what is lacking in that particular area. This way, you will be able to identify a problem and offer a solution. Ensure you research widely before starting a business. Small Business Ideas in Kenya. Small business ideas are businesses that don't require a massive ...

  20. Five small businesses currently thriving in Kenya

    Standard Group Plc HQ Office, The Standard Group Center,Mombasa Road. P.O Box 30080-00100,Nairobi, Kenya. Telephone number: 0203222111, 0719012111

  21. 2024 Small Business Ideas For Millennials in Kenya

    1 Start trading with $1 Earn up to 95% profits Fast payments $10 minimum deposit $10 minimum withdrawal Get $10,000 for FREE to Demo Trade. Earn any amount with the right strategy Review REGISTER Are you searching for the best small business ideas that you can start with as little as KES - 1000 in 2024?

  22. Top 10 Best Towns for Small Businesses and Investments in Kenya

    Small business ventures that are performing quite well in Nyeri include: poultry keeping, onion farming, rabbit farming and low-end market real estate. Previous reports by the World Bank ranked Nyeri as 6th best town in dealing with construction permits and 10 best to launch a business from scratch. 9.Kilifi Image Courtesy: Safari 254

  23. Best business to start in Mombasa 2023

    Below is a list of best businesses to start in Mombasa 2023: Bottled water. Mombasa being a hot place bottled water is one of the most profitable businesses to do. The business will pull in over Ksh5, 000 daily. All you need is a capital of Ksh250, 000 to Ksh 400,000.Licensing is the major challenge but once you are through, you will find the ...