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Profitable Business Ideas in Kenya


May 1, 2020

I’ve seen so many people online looking for profitable business ideas they can venture. And I can agree, settling in a profitable business idea is quite challenging. You don’t want to start a business and end up failing terribly. On the other side, you want to start a profitable business with little capital. 

This post will help you raise business capital for your business; however, if you have the money and looking for business ideas, we have your back.

In this blog post, we are going to take you through the most profitable business ideas in Kenya, and you can start with little capital in 2020.

1. Mtumba business.

Selling second-hand clothes is one of the most profitable business you can start with little capital in Kenya. You can kick-start your mitumba business with as little as Ksh 500 for a small scale business and grow. The secret that no one tells you about the mitumba business is identifying your target market. Do you want to sell children’s clothes? Women’s wear? Men’s wear? It is crucial to know your target market and sell it to them.

If you are starting with a small budget, you can identify a supplier near you to cut on costs. The good news is that you do not even need to have a physical store to kick-start your mitumba business. Other major Mitumba markets you can source your merchandise is the Gikomba market in Nairobi, Eastleigh, and Muthurwa Market. You can start selling to your friends and the people around you. Alternatively, you can create an online business by creating a Facebook page and selling your second-hand clothes to people online. Credibility and trust are critical in an online business.

2. Butchery.

Running a butchery is also another lucrative business you can start in Kenya. You need around Ksh 30,000 to Ksh 100,000 to start. To start, you will need to buy a weighing scale, a refrigerator, a chopping board, knives, and wrappers. Another way to reap big in this business is also to sell cooked food. You can sell roasted meat, wet fried meat, and ugali. This will help you boost sales and clear your stock fast.

To effectively and successfully run this business, you need to consider first where you’ll get the supply of meat. Some of the places to source for meat are private and public slaughterhouses.

Another thing is that to operate a butchery, you need to have three essential licenses, a single business permit that costs around Ksh. 10000 (depending on the location of your business) valid for a year, food handling certificate which costs Ksh. Six hundred only valid for six months, and the last one is the fire safety certificate. 

3. Barbershop/ salon. 

Everybody wants to look good and must have his/her hair done; thus, visiting a salon/barbershop has almost become a basic need. This means that a salon is a very great business opportunity one can do. If you’ve been sitting on the edge and wondering whether to start a barbershop, then you should because it is very lucrative. Choose a strategic location for your salon business and get the required equipment. You can hire a trained barber and a hairdresser if you don’t have the skills. Focus on providing excellent services to your clients, and with time, it will boom with repeat clients.

4. Grocery.

The grocery business is also another lucrative hustle; you can start with little capital in Kenya. You can choose to sell cereals, vegetables, fruits, or all of them in one place. It is all about meeting your customer’s needs. There are many successful stories of people in the grocery business. You can start with a small budget and grow your business with time. Identify a place where you can sell your stock fast if you are handling perishable goods like fruits and vegetables. Add creative ideas into your grocery business, like making ready to eat fruit salads for your customers. You can also check into nearby offices and sell your fruits to office staff.

5. M-Pesa/ mobile money agent.

Even though there are M-Pesa shops everywhere in your neighborhood, it is still the most profitable business you can venture into in 2020. There is a massive demand for mobile money services in Kenya, and you can help curb this demand and generate income for yourself. As an M-Pesa agent, you get a commission from Safaricom, depending on the number of deposits and withdrawals made. It also depends on the number of M-Pesa registrations done.

You need at least Ksh 55,o00, to kick-start your M-Pesa business. Ksh 30,000 of this is your minimum required float to operate. Other costs to get you started include a shop/rent, branding, and goodwill. The best way to run an M-Pesa business is to incorporate other services like a shop, a salon, or hardware. You can also offer bank agency services in addition to your M-Pesa business.

6. Agriculture.

This type of business may sound outdated to you, but believe it or not, it remains one of the most profitable businesses one can venture. If you are in a rural area where there is low population, this is the best business for you. You only need a piece of land and capital to start. Crops like tomatoes, cabbage will give you huge profits. You can also start poultry farming. This one, you don’t need a large piece of land to start, small space is enough plus capital for buying chicks, food, and maintenance. Agriculture has and will remain the most lucrative business to do in Kenya; it is the backbone of the economy and contributes to about 27% of GDP.  Think about this as a business. 

7. Car wash. 

Many people today own cars, and they need to have them clean, yet they don’t have time to wash them. The car wash business does not require much capital to start as you only have to buy few pieces of equipment, and as for labor, you can do it yourself if you are not in a position to hire few workers. To get you started, you need to identify an excellent and accessible location. Get a business permit and buy your equipment. You will need a water tank, washing machine, vacuum cleaners, brushes, detergents, buckets, and towels.

The cost of cleaning one car is Ksh. 200 (minimum). Assuming it’s on a bad day and you wash 20 vehicles that will sum up to Ksh. 4000. Is that not a reasonable amount for you per day. In a month, you’ll have not less than Ksh 100,000. What a great business!

8. Freelancing.

You can start a freelance writing business and provide writing services to businesses. Another freelance kind of service you can offer is transcription. You can also offer virtual assistance services and graphic design services. You do not need prior experience or much capital to start your freelance business. And another good thing is that you can work from home or anywhere as long as you can access a laptop and a good internet connection.

9. Cybercafe business. 

Many people go to cyber to carry out critical online activities. Even though many people own smartphones that can access the internet, high charges from wireless internet service providers make them prefer cyber services, which are cheaper. This makes cyber cafe businesses more relevant as the majority of the population does not own computers.

This business requires you to have a reasonable amount of investment to start. You should consider location (it should be close to the main road) for accessibility. A strategically located cyber cafe can be very profitable. The business owner can earn not less than Ksh. 1500 -10,000.

3 thoughts on “Profitable Business Ideas in Kenya”
  1. Great ideas here! I personally am a fan of blogging and YouTube as great ways to make money online! There are so many different niches available for you to build your online business. You just have to get started!

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