A detailed guide to profitable small business ideas in Kenya: As a famous saying goes; never put all your eggs in one basket, this saying is not only philosophical but packs a profit footprint to income diversification.
A significant fraction of the employed fraternity would wish to have a side hustle besides their regular 8-5 job. And without a doubt, this is a huge step towards attaining financial success.
There are numerous benefits to doing a side business. You get extra income, you can sense some kind of financial independence, and in extraordinary times of pandemics like the world-ripping COVID-19, you might never feel the pinch of pay cuts or layoff threats.
However, one massive hindrance to starting a business is inadequate capital resources. This is the reason why you’ve got to think about small business ideas.
Even with this in mind, aspiring entrepreneurs still grapple with which small business ideas in Kenya would crunch the expected numbers. And it’s normal.
Could you be in the same dilemma also?
Well then, I’ve got you covered in this post that details some 20 unbelievable small business ideas in Kenya. You can do them from any part of the country thanks to the abundant peace and serenity.
All you need to have is some little cash, and you will be on the go.
20 Best Small Business Ideas in Kenya
1. Selling Shoes and Handbags Business
It might appear quite taxing starting a shoe-handbag business by word of mouth. The truth, however, is that it’s not that difficult as it sounds.
You don’t need to stock fancy, high-class models to sell. You can start small, with mitumba collections.
Then as you grow in the niche, start expanding out to sell brand-new luxury designer outfits.
You can get supplies from Gikomba Market at pocket-friendly prices. For instance, Kshs. 5000 can be a great starting point for a sizeable shoe and handbag business.
The good side of this business is that the market is there. You just need to be consistent with quality deliveries, and you can make sales above Ksh. 1000 – Ksh. 3000 per day, depending on your location.
2. Start Online Writing Business
Online business ideas are many and plenty. Just one of them is online writing, which involves creating written content for websites and other online-based businesses.
Although the business idea has spread out fast in the country (and many young people are making quite a kill), there is still a considerable shortage of online content writers. As long as your writing prowess is up there with the best, you are sure guaranteed of writing gigs.
The essentials for a successful writing career are a computer and good internet speed. We’ve already talked about skills, of course.
In principle, you will need about Ksh. 10,000 – Kshs. 15,000 for a computer/laptop. Then use your smartphone for internet connectivity via hotspot or tethering, and you’ll be good to go.
As for the proceeds: it’s possible to make over Kshs. 1,000 a day for a start. If you’re really good and are always improving, bigger catches are just on the horizon.
3. Selling Drinks and Snacks
It’s pretty straightforward that people will need to eat and drink. If you live in populous neighborhoods, you can take advantage of the potential market.
You can put up a small kibanda for doing the whole ‘production’ thing. Make chapatis – as a native Kenyan, you probably know that this is a hot cake snack – and cakes, chips, among others.
Have freshly-blended fruit juice in some cold store. Stock up some black tea and coffee. If you couple this menu with a good site organization, you can be assured of an influx of customers.
Matters costs, you may only need about Ksh.4000, while profits could be around Ksh.1000 in a single day.
4. Offer Cleaning Services Business
People want their compounds clean. They want their houses, offices (for the case of organizations), their surroundings, and even clothes clean and neat.
This is a booming business in major cities and towns in the country. For a start, do the work yourself or with the help of a few like-minded.
This cuts down the starting costs and maximizes your proceeds. Also, you may need to hire some cleaning equipment and machines as opposed to buying – it’s the cheapest way of starting.
Depending on scope of the task and what you’re cleaning, you can make anything from Ksh.250 to Ksh. 5,000 per work session.
5. Social Media Product Marketing
If you are a fan of social media stuff, it’s a great place to start pocketing some passive income. All you need is a strong fan base.
Right on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can advertise products of different brands. Each ad viewed and clicked by your followers may attract a specific amount of commission.
Be sure to strike deals with genuine brands selling authentic products.
6. Forex Trading Business
Here is another one of the contemporary online business opportunities in Kenya you can try out – forex trading. Nowadays, forex is the new business in town.
It entails trading of various currency pairs on online marketplaces by mainly making predictions. It is a risky business, but it carries a huge potential when expertly executed.
But fast forward, ensure you get adequate training. There are lots of training resources in soft and hard profiles you can learn from.
7. Selling Chia Seeds Business
The Africa Chia Seeds Market is fast expanding. And that impact is already being felt in our backyard – Kenya.
Chia seed’s popularity owes to the plant’s wide range of benefits – from boosting libido to raising a body’s immunity against deadly conditions like heart attack and stroke.
Unbelievably, just a kilo of chia seeds that goes for about Kshs.500 at farm gates could fetch up to Ksh. 200,000 in a single harvest in three months!
8. Start a Children Daycare
Many people today are down on the road looking for daily bread, yet they are mothers with young children.
You can opt to offer child care services to help them. If you thought that housemaids are already a solution to this, you’ve not had to know how disgruntled most parents are about maids.
How do it: as long as you love small children around, find a great spacious room. Start from there – if this would be your home, fine, but ensure the minimum hoe daycare standards are met.
You can charge about Kshs. 5,000 a month. Nonetheless, this purely depends on location and your personal conditions.
9. Car Wash Business
It would be unfair not to mention the car wash business as one of the small business ideas in Kenya fetching profits at the moment. And it doesn’t seem to stop any time soon.
Today, car washing has extended to include motorcycles. First, you need a reliable pressure washing machine – even if it is low capacity or second hand, a water tank, and a good water source.
Of course, the small but essential items like brushes, squeezers, towels, detergents, and more. Ensure you locate a good site where it wouldn’t take too long before the hustle picks up.
Depending on the type and number of motor vehicles pass by your center, you can make in excess of Kshs. 5,000-Kshs. 15,000 or more. Location and quality of service dictate how much you earn.
10. Garbage Collection Business
Garbage collection is obviously one of the untapped business ideas in Kenya. And the underlying reasons can be perfectly understood – no one wants to associate themselves with queer stuff.
However, the truth is, it’s a bubble of profit-making waiting to be initiated. Garbage is all over the places in residential and commercial setups, so there’s work to do.
What you need to do is to get the necessary permits from the county and NEMA. Together with the landlords’ permission, you’ll be good to start off.
You can charge about Ksh. 200 a week for garbage collected.
11. Barber Shop Business
Starting a barbershop is not going to be a hard nut to crack. The reason is apparent – you are always going to have customers matching into your shop.
This business is sustainable. With a good rapport and excellent skill, you can crunch profits about 30 percent or more on the initial capital you invested.
To start the operation, you may need about Ksh. 20,000 to Ksh. 50,000 in capital to start a basic barbershop.
12. Start Clothes Business
Many people are into selling clothes and is still considered to be the best business to start in Kenya at least due to the ever-growing demand.
You have two great options: buy your stock from Eastleigh in Nairobi or from Gikomba Market. Or any other places you can have them at fair deals.
If you made good choices of clothes, you could be earning up to Ksh. 2,000 per day from sales. Make sure you are consistent with your supply to create trust with your customers.
13. Poultry Farming Business
This can be a hard one, but it can be approached in different ways. There is the option of going exotic – broilers or layers – and then you have kienyeji.
I’ll be dead honest with you. Don’t start with the former as it is not only expensive but also requires high levels of skill injection and expertise, or you’ll lose your entire flock. On the contrary, you can opt for broilers and layers if you have the necessary skills to handle it.
Go the kienyeji route, which is cheaper to start (about Ksh. 10,000 to Kshs. 20,000), and there are much fewer problems handling these chicken compared to the layers and broilers.
14. Put Up a Greengrocery Store Business
Who doesn’t want vegetables or tomatoes or fruits or carrots in your neighborhood? Nearly every household needs these green groceries brought right in the front of their door.
So, if there is none in your residential place, you can already take advantage of the situation. People will love it as long as the supplies are fresh and good.
How much do you need to start? Well, even just Ksh. 1,000 would do. Yet, you are guaranteed to make not less than Ksh. 500 in a day.
15. Brick Making Business
Brick making is a booming business back in rural systems. With the building and construction industry expanding really fast, the market is, for sure guaranteed.
If you are residing in semi-urban areas, you can still do it thanks to the excavated road construction soil. You have two options for making brick – burning clay or by use of brick making machine.
You can always hire a machine. As you build the business, you can buy yours.
16. Video Editing Business
Video editing is a godsend skill that can really fetch you a lot of income if well harnessed. If you don’t have the expertise, but you think you are passionate about learning it, you can have plenty of resources on internet YouTube.
You could even do video shooting of events like weddings, parties, among others. Then edit them yourself.
You can hire cameras – but you must already be good at production and editing. Not so long, you’ll be killing reasonable profits out of it.
17. Make and Distribute Black Coffee
Black coffee is now a staple in many towns and places. It is actually among business ideas in Kenya with small capital.
Just buy a thermos flask with disposable plastic cups. Of course, you will need sugar and coffee itself to start the move.
Once you are done and well-prepared, go to matatu termini or other highly flocked points. You will definitely have customers for your coffee – and they will want it served hot and sizzling while you make profits in excess of Ksh. 1,000 daily.
18. Boda Boda Business
Are you tired of finding out that this business still makes money? It is arguably possible as many people are nowadays writing it off.
Even so, the motorcycle transport business remains to be one of the most potential businesses to try out since the turn of the decade. You can buy a powerful second-hand motorcycle at just Ksh. 30,000.
If you do it yourself, you could end up fetching over Ksh. 1,500 daily with sheer commitment. But you can also give it out to another rider and make between Ksh.400-Ksh.500 per day.
19. Start Academic Writing
It is possible that you just finished high school or college, and you don’t have a glimmer of hope in formal employment. With only a desktop and some internet connection, academic writing can provide a great way out of financial lack.
You can do assignments for other students in college and earn from them. You can also register in online academic writing platforms for gigs.
Academic writing can earn you Ksh. 500 per page. Be sure to choose topics you’ll be able to handle.
20. Cyber Café Business
This business is commonplace in towns and semi-urban areas alike. Although you will need a slightly higher amount of starting capital, about Ksh. 100,000 at the minimum, it’s a great one to get into.
You can buy second-hand printers and computers for a start. Find a nice location with a good electricity supply and adequate flow of traffic.
With little or no competition, you could make anything from Ksh. 2,000 – Ksh. 10,000. Location matters.
There you go: you have some of the best small business ideas in Kenya. Find out and evaluate which option(s) are likely going to help you catch a good kill.
But most importantly, ensure you are comfortable with it. And you can do it passionately. Nothing comes on a silver platter, remember.