There are over 100 small and profitable businesses to start in Kenya with little capital.Since we know in our country you must start small,any business started this way and with a lot of focus end up being an empire.
Business is all about managerial skills and and customer service.It does’t matter whether you have a business proposal or not,it doesn’t matter whether you obtain your capital through bank loan or saving,it doesn’t matter whether you started with Sh 1,000 or Ksh 1 million,what matters is your vision,determination and customer service,also important is the business location.
We have a list of several business recommendations for aspiring Kenyan entrepreneurs,and we belief the one you’d pick would go along way into meeting your aspirations.
- Selling second hand/Mitumba clothing
This is the kind of business that many Kenyans don’t bother to venture in , but it’s lucrative. In Kenya, Mitumba business does not require a lot of capital as compared to other businesses.If you have as little as Ksh 1,000, you can comfortably start selling second hand clothes (mitumba).The amount can be higher if someone intends to sell in bulky.
It’s cheap because you don’t require a license to start; what you need is to identify a suitable location to operate your business,the supplier, then pay the city council for operating a business in their jurisdiction.
If you are jobless,even if you are a degree holder,this is the business you can try in the meantime as you wait for a suitable opportunity.
For those operating from Nairobi,you can get the suppliers from Gikomba market or Eastleigh. These are the most famous places for the products.
Profits for Mitumba business can feed you as well as remain for other projects.I have interacted with friends who operate Mitumba business in Nairobi,Kisumu,Kisii,Nakuru and Mombasa.Several of them confessed that profits never disappoint.In fact not even one make less than Sh 500 per day
We have seen several success stories from hawkers.Many people start this business due to desperation but they end up making it in life.What you need is to identify a product whose demand is high in your location,then identify a supplier.Some of the best products you can hawk include umbrellas,traditional medicine,water,Mitumba clothes,biscuits and toothbrush.
Hawking is the type of business you can start with as little as Sh 500 but make huge profits without your neighbor noticing.Running this business is also very easy since it doesn’t require hidden costs.
A hawker in Nairobi makes as high as Ksh 2,000 per day but the business depends on the weather and where you are operating from.
Especially during rainy season,hawking umbrellas in Nairobi and Mombasa is ideal.You can make a kill during this season.
- Shoe shining
Some shoe shiners are now landlords as the PhD holders struggle to make ends meet.Starting this business is not hard since it only require a license from the City council,a seat, brush and shoe polish.The capital required for this business is less than Sh.5000 if you are outside Nairobi and Ksh 20,000-Ksh 50,000 if you are within Nairobi.
Being a shoe shiner in areas like Nairobi is a blessing since you can make as high as Sh.10,000 per day.
Shoe shiners who operate near Kenya Cinema,Westlands,upper hill,Bus Station,Koinange street,Mombasa CBD and Kisumu are extremely rich,but you won’t tell.
- Operating a Salon/Berber Shop
This business is underrated but handsome rewards.In Nairobi ,for instance ,there are salons which charge up to Sh 50,000 per head but the normal charges are Sh 600 per head.You only require skills,strategic location and consistence.
You can start the business by visiting clients in their homes and then later look for a physical location where clients can easily trace you.
The capital required to start a salon in Nairobi depends on location and the size of your business.Rent for a standard single room in Nairobi,outside city centre, goes for Ksh 8,000-Ksh 15,000 per month.You are also required to buy equipment to run the salon,which will cost you approximately Ksh 100,000
A Berber shop on the other hand is very easy to start and require a capital of less than Ksh 30,000.Depending on the location, a Berber shop can fetch up to Ksh 2000 per day.
I once operated a Berber shop,but outside Nairobi,and I was comfortably getting a net profit of Ksh 15,000 per month.
- Owning a Boda Boda
The business has become very popular in Kenya since Uhuru Waived taxes charged on importing Motorcycles,this created opportunities for thousands of jobless youths, consequently reducing crime rates in Kenya.To operate this business, you need a capital of less than Ksh 100,000.
A single motorcycle costs between Ksh 40,000-Ksh 120,000.This is what you need,primarily,to start this type of venture.And since the business is booming,regardless of the county you operate from,not a single day will pass without realizing a net profit of at least Ksh 1,000 per day.
- Owning M-PESA Shop
Mobile money transfer is here to stay and this process is only possible if M-PESA services are available.It started with a small number of people and has since grown to be the backbone of our society ,today we have over 100,000 M-PESA shops in Kenya.
If you intend to start this business, don’t be discouraged because even if you are operating in a crowded environment ,you’ll still make profits.Opening M-PESA shop requires at least Sh.100,000, but if someone gives you their line,then Ksh 50,000 is enough to start the business.
- Poultry farming
Who doesn’t like chicken?
If you have a small farm, then think of starting this business because you will reap big.You can start with 10 chickens and improve with time.
Starting chicken rearing business require a capital of as low as Sh.20,000;what will cost you some money,especially if you are keeping broilers,is the amount required for drugs and chicken meals.
The traditional chickens are easy to rear but they take more than 6 months to mature,but the broilers only take 5 weeks to mature.
If you spend a total of Ksh 50,000 on Chicken,you can make a profit of between Ksh 20,000 to Ksh 40,000.This is after five weeks.The profit increase as you increase the number of chicken you rear.
Farming is one of the best and easiest way of becoming rich in Kenya.If you have a small farm, identify the products that the market require, plant them in the right season.The farm products which fetch a lot of profit include tomatoes,onions,beans,finger millet,cabbages,water melon and carrots.
Starting farming business can require capital of as low as Sh.10,000 and as high as Ksh 500,000 if you will be practicing large scale farming.If for instance you have a University Degree and you are jobless,business can be the best alternative and farming is the best to start with.
Best areas to do farming include Rift Valley,Kisii,Kajiado,Kitale,Kiambu and parts of western Kenya.
The best products to farm include water melon,cabbages,beans,carrots and onions.
- Operating a small restaurant
Owning a big restaurant is not an easy thing especially if you live in Nairobi,but if you have a small capital,say, Ksh 50,000-Ksh 100,000, you can start a small restaurant and grow with time.
Owning a restaurant is a very profitable business ,but you need to have to keenly monitor your employees or you employ a good supervisor.
Nowadays most people prefer fast food restaurants because they generate more profits than other general hotels. If you live in Nairobi or Mombasa, please think of starting a fast food restaurant.
A busy fast food joint within Nairobi can generate profits in the tune of Ksh 10,000 per day,or even more.
- Start Printing and Photocopying Business
This is another good business which you can start near a school or college,or in a crowded environment like Nairobi.
Starting the business will require you to have Ksh 30,000-Ksh 200,000 as capital.
Selling boiled eggs and Sausages
If you are a small entrepreneur or you have very small capital which will not be enough to start a big business,this is where you can start.
To start sausage,samosa and eggs business you need a capital of between Ksh 2,000-Ksh 10,000.
What is surprising is that it’s very profitable;you can buy a single egg at Ksh 10 and sell it at Ksh 20,thus making Ksh 10 per egg.
- Manicure/Pedicure business
Every woman wants to be beautiful,as a result they seek services like manicure and pedicure to look more appealing to the crowd.
You only need basic skills and a capital of less than Ksh 5000 if you don’t have to rent a house.
Owning a Car Wash
As people continue buying more cars ,there is need to have a car wash to make them clean.Since most people don’t have time to clean their cars, you can grab this opportunity to have a car wash so that you can be a solution to their problem.
Car wash business remains one of the most profitable businesses in Kenya but most people are not aware.
In order to begin a car wash, you need source of water and a license from the town council.It’s not so costly but the profits are very high.
Starting this business may require a capital of between Ksh 1,000-Ksh 50,000,depending on location.
- Selling Breakfast and Lunch in Offices
Most professionals who work in major towns are not fond of traveling long distances in search of food,if someone is around to get them food then you become the solution.In order to start this business you need to talk to senior managers in the offices and if they give you an okay then you will start supplying them with food.
The goodness with this business is that you don’t need a huge capital to start.Another advantage is that you can supply food to as many offices as possible thus ensuring that you don’t make fixed profits.
This is one of the easiest business to start and it requires a capital of between Ksh 1,000-Ksh 10,000
- Starting Day Care Business
Day care school most involve taking care of kids who are less than ,say, 5 years.They are becoming very common in towns but the business is not fully exploited.
We are living in an era where more women are joining the corporate world and no one is interesting in becoming a house wife.Since most people nowadays don’t trust house girls they prefer taking their kids to a day care.
The importance of a day care is that the kid can grow faster because they interact with other kids,also the owner of the day care is answerable whenever something happens to your kid.Finally,it’s cheap to take your kid to a day care other than employing a maid.
Due to those facts listed above,there is a high demand for day care services,so if you have an idle room you can easily convert it to a day care business and you are good to go.
The capital required for this business vary depending on location but you require average of Ksh 50,000 to start the business.
- Selling milk
Milk in Kenya is getting scarce each day and the one who starts this business will gain the most.Simply identify someone who can supply you milk then you are good to go.
You only require a fridge to store the milk and a clean room so that you can get customer confidence.
The business does better in towns like Kisumu,Mombasa,Nakuru and Nairobi.
To start Milk business you require a capital of Ksh 30,000-Ksh 70,000.
Please before you start the business ensure that you clear with the ministry of health and also make your place of business clean.
- Starting a general cleaning business
Most people are very busy in town,they don’t have even time to clean their rooms and utensils.If you are in Nairobi ,you can start a company where you employ honest people to do general cleaning in people’s houses.It’s a very good business and very few people have this idea,unless you have read it here.
To start a company requires at most Ksh 5,000 but you can make good money with absolutely no sweat.
- Selling Ice-cream+snacks
Ice-cream business is a lucrative venture in major towns in Kenya, especially during dry periods.Most people who engage in this business don’t want to reveal the secrets to others because they fear competition.
If you have a fridge,you can comfortably start the business without any sweat,but ensure the business is close to the main road.
To start Ice-Cream Business, you require a capital of between Ksh 20,000-Ksh 70,000.
Soem of the best places to start ice cream business include near schools and colleges,in Shopping Malls and Supermarkets,besides busy roads,near offices and near hospitals.
Professional photographers are happy people,they travel a lot and enjoy more than an ordinary person.
The business requires just a camera or a smart phone.
Some of the areas where your services are required include schools,weddings,funerals,graduation ceremonies,church services and birthday parties.
With only Ksh 10,000 you can purchase a camera and start the business o the go.
- Printing T-shirts
This is a perfect business for social functions and colleges.You can obtain a machine to do the business in you location.Imagine buying a single t-shirt at Ksh 150 and after printing it you sell at Ksh 700!
A sewing machine costs less than Ksh 20,000,so it means starting the business require at most Ksh 30,000.
- Selling cereals
Cereals are in high demand in towns like Nairobi,Mandera,Lodwar,Mombasa and Kisumu.This is a wonderful opportunity for you if you reside in these towns.
You can start the business with a single sack of beans,maize and finger millet.A small business require a capital of less than Ksh 30,000 but if you manage to trade in large scale you need more than Sh 200,000
Selling cereals is extremely profitable in Kenya,especially if you know where to find the products cheaply.
Owning a grocery is among the few business which is profitable in every town in the country.This entails selling vegetables and fruits.With just Ksh 10,000 you have your own grocery,but you must be prepared to have at least Sh 50,000 to have a meaningful grocery in Mombasa and Nairobi.
Two year ago,a woman who owns 4 butcheries in Nairobi bought an apartment in Eastleigh worth Sh 80 million:everyone was surprised.That’s when I realized the business is good.
- Electronics shop
Though starting a big electronics shop may require at least Ksh 1 million,if you have Sh 100,000 you can start one in village towns.
- Selling Mandazi and Chapati
Every morning,you have seen people selling mandazi besides the road.Start today and see how you can make money.
- Selling movies,DVDs and CDs
Never wait to be told that in this generation of Whatsapp,Facebook and Twitter,this business is very profitable in major towns.
- Cake making business
Cake making business is the best business to start in town.Unlike some time back where people relied on bread,nowadays several people love buying cakes for celebrations and breakfast.
Cake making business brings at least Ksh 3,000 per day.The profit can be as high as Ksh 20,000 per day.
The best towns to start this business include Nairobi,Kisumu,Thika,Nakuru and mombasa.
A garage in Nairobi is a lucrative business,that can make you a millionaire within a short time.The business only require space and at least Ksh 200,000 for capital.
- Buying and selling plots
Nobody should cheat you that you need millions to start this business.There are places in Kenya where you can buy land with as little as Ksh 20,000.Such areas include Bomet,North Eastern,Transmara and many parts of Rift Valley.
Since land does not depreciate,you can start buying small parcels of land,keep them and sell after some months.
- Online shop
Starting online shop like Jumia,Killmall and Kaymu requires even less than Ksh30,000.What you need is purchase a nice template for your website,then identify the supplier of your product,send a proposal to the supplier,look for clients from social media and you are good to go.One secret,which I know you don’t know is that you don’t need capital to sell electronic products.Once the supplier develops confidence in you,he can supply you for free and pay after selling the products.
Blogging pay.For your information,several bloggers in Kenya earn more than Ksh200,000 per month,and to make it more interesting,they are not taxed.
If you have passion,you can earn from home millions of dollars as your peers struggle to seek opportunities for white collar jobs.
- Putting graffiti on matatus
If you are gifted in graphic design,this is one business you must venture in.To put graffiti on a single matatu in Nairobi is Ksh 70,000.
- Real estate agency
You don’t need capital to start this business.It requires an individual who can sweet talk owners of apartments and plots where you are given responsibility to manage them.Real estate agency is a very nice business.
- Farming tomatoes,carrots,watermelon,sugar cane and cabbages
If you have a plot of more than half an acre,please venture into this business-it pays
- Importing second hand cars
Importing a single second hand car from Japan through SBT Japan can cost you Ksh 500,000 but you can sell it at Ksh 900,000,making almost Ksh 500,000.If you have Ksh 1 million,then you can start the business.
- Tent making
Tent making is another emerging business where you make tents and let them for occasions.Alternatively,you can buy tents and let them to people who have events.