200+ Business Ideas in Kenya

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A business is always the best alternative to the ever elusive jobs. However, the success of the business depends on very many factors and most businesses have already failed even before day one. Both big and small business ideas in Kenya tend to fail, if poorly implemented.

A research by the Harvard Business Review studied thousands of failed businesses to determine the main reason for failure. The researchers eventually concluded that, aside from poor execution, most businesses failed because the business idea was simply not profitable. Because of this, we have compiled the best 200 business ideas in Kenya that we could find.

These business ideas for Kenya are listed based on the initial capital outlay required. Capital is what sets businesses apart. Although certain businesses can’t be put up without access to large amounts of capital, it is still very possible to start a very profitable business with very little capital.

Some of the ideas that will be listed can be executed with even as little as Sh.5000 and less. Additionally, the post will gradually introduce the big money ideas that have been used by business professionals around the world to secure their wealth.

The post is divided into a number of sections depending on the amount of capital you have access to. Feel free to scroll to the section that provides ideas that suit your budget.

  1. Sh5,000 and below
  2. Between Sh5,000 and Sh20,000
  3. Between Sh20,000 and Sh50,000
  4. Between Sh50,000 and Sh100,000
  5. Between Sh100,000 and Sh500,000
  6. Between Sh500,000 and Sh1M
  7. Between Sh1M and Sh5M
  8. Sh5M and above
SEE ALSO:  Top 5 Business Ideas on the Lions' Den

[bctt tweet=”If you can dream it, you can do it”]

SH20,000 and Below

  • Mandazi
  • Selling Boiled and Roasted Maize
  • Smokies and Boiled Eggs
  • Tailoring
  • Milk bar
  • Photocopy and printing service
  • Fruit vending
  • Mobile phone repair
  • Mtumba

Between SH20,000 and SH50,000

  • Liquid detergent
  • Run a popcorn machine
  • Furniture business
  • Tuk Tuk
  • Motorcycle BodaBoda
  • Professional shoe shine service
  • Mpesa agency

[bctt tweet=”Failure isn’t failure unless you don’t learn from it.”]

Between SH50,000 and SH100,000

  • Selling Cereals – Capital: Sh100,000
  • Children entertainment
  • Start an online shop
  • Start a blog
  • Graphic Design Service
  • Cyber café
  • Movie shop
  • Kerosene Pump
  • Electric Appliance repair
  • Rearing poultry
  • Commercial buildings cleaning business
  • Bank agency
  • Debt collection
  • Posho mill
  • Laundry business

Between Sh100,000 and Sh500,000

  • Fabrics – Capital: 200,000

This is a very popular business that requires very minimal capital to start up but some level of know-how. You profit from buying fabric in bulk and subdividing into smaller dimensions for sale to tailors. In spite of the small profit margins involved, tailors use hundreds of meters of fabric in a month. Fabric sold in Kenya is purchased from Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria.

If you are going to aim for quality, then Uganda and Nigeria provide the best quality.

  • Catering business – Capital: Sh.200,000

Catering deals with the organization of popular events such as weddings, church events, birthdays etc. Requires a minimum capital of around Sh.200,000. Major expenses include equipment cost and licensing fees. However this is only a capital injection and the recurrent costs are very low per month.

To succeed as a caterer you have to perfect your people skills.

  • Video game shop
  • Cereals – Capital: Sh.100,000
SEE ALSO:  20+ Websites to Find Jobs in Kenya

Cereals such as dried rice maize and beans are fast-moving products especially in residential areas. Can start up with around Sh50,000 for a smaller market.

  • Welding – Capital:400,000
  • Pharmacy
  • Mobile Phone Sales
  • Butchery
  • Chicken and chips eatery
  • Grocery
  • Butchery
  • Bookshop
  • Car wash
  • Barbeshop
  • LPG gas refill
  • Courier service
  • Beauty salon
  • Baby care service
  • Wines and Spirits
  • Water bottling plant

[bctt tweet=”In every success story, you will find someone who made a courageous decision “]

Between SH500,000 and SH1M

  • PR Consultancy – Capital: 500,000
  • Charcoal Retail
  • Tent and chair rentals
  • Soft drink distribution
  • Bakery
  • Waste Recycling
  • Car Wash
  • Professional massage service
  • Fast food e.g chips.

Between 1M and 5M

  • Real Estate Agency
  • Elecrical Hardware
  • Bakery
  • Professional Consultancy
  • Trading shares
  • Milk dispenser
  • Screen printing
  • Gym
  • Mini-supermarket
  • Hardware retail business
  • Designated driver service

5M and above

  • Ad Agency
  • Lease out a vehicle to Taxi companies
  • Uber
  • Taxi
  • Supply building materials
  • Restaurant
  • Matatu
  • Sports betting company

Top Blogs and Forums for Business Ideas in Kenya

  1. Business Ideas 101 facebook group
  2. Wazua

You can also contribute to this list through the comments section below.


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103 Comments

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  3. I have a running business that i need a Financially stable partner. Mobile petroleum vender with new modern trucks.

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  5. Am a campus student looking for side hustles by venturing into a 50k business. What type can you advise
    N.B: Not online business

  6. My brother is now based in Kenya. I think that this article is very helpful for him. Thanks for sharing this. I will share this to him too.

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  8. This forum is very important and if used wisely can redeem many people from the teeth of poverty. Jokers and conmen/women shouldn’t use this forum to post unnecessary post that makes no meaning. I have 500k, and if you know we can start something and change our lives, don’t hesitate to contact. Jokers should not distub.

  9. I want to be importing Cooper scrap and resell in Kenya.. Any ideas on where to buy Cooper in bulk is welcome .
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  10. Hi I am charity am happy to have landed this website. I ve learnt alot though am 29yrs old in business… I would like to read more n more hence forth

  11. I’M LOOKING TO A PARTNER WHICH HE IS WELL KNOWN WITH GOVERNMENTS OFFICES, LIKE MINISTRIES ex….
    MY PROJECT NEED 750,000 EURO TO ESTABLISH A HOLOGRAM FACTORY AND WE WE WILL DO ALL GOVERNMENTS NEEDS FROM JUSTICE, INTERIOR AND DEFENSE.
    OUR SALES TARGET FIRST YEAR 10 MILLION EURO THEN IT WILL REACH 50 MILLION EUROS YEARLY.

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  12. Contact me on 0727136530,am very talented guy with over 7years of experience in ict,my ideal business dream is to start a digital school.but lack of capital has hindered me very much.capital is about 350k.if we can partner with someone i can make it a super biz model, anyone interested can contact me for more details.

  13. Very nice one, i have learned very helpful i had a business of cyber but i didnt do well, i have the tools but i dont have the capital am looking for someone to buy them if your interested please contact me.

  14. Hi, I have a prime idea. It needs 750k to suffice and role out.
    It is in IT field and will surely sell hot.
    If you think we can partner, check me up.
    In a year, it surely will have given back..

  15. Am Titus, I have an acre piece of land that is found in area that is slightly far away from the busy, Lodwar town. I have 100,000 shillings that i wanted to put into use. I have been thinking of starting something similar to children’s entertainment. What activities can i introduce? where can i get simplified apparatus for kids, their cost and so forth. I beg to be guided. Thanks

  16. Hi, Am Tom, i have 400K and a business idea of opening either a Small Water Bottle Business or LPG gas refill. Please advice

  17. Am Njenga. from kiambu in A months time am thinking of starting A biz with 100k any as long as its profitable any idea or partner 0721200910 plz whatsapp or text/call

  18. Hi My name is Tomaso and my idea is a Cyber Cafe at a place known as Kabiria. This is a growing village hood shopping centre and in the next 1 year it will be a fully fledged business area. Only two competitors exist and they are hundreds of metres apart.
    I have five computers and 1 laptop and nine chairs. a few timbers and plywoods for the work stations for the start. the rest of the items need to be purchased including rent, printer,laminator, binding machine, paper cutter, steplars, printing papers including for photo printing etc.
    If interested please contact me through thomascaterinna761@gmail.com/ (facebook & gmail)
    Regards
    Tomaso

  19. Hey am Andrew I don’t have capital but I two agribusiness ideas very profitable rearing a highly demanded animals which matures in five months n got ready market locally and nationaly please if u have like 300k or 4 call me we sit down analyze and we decide.I provide idea u provide capital…0735627150

  20. hi my name is charles i have a nice online business ideal which can generate 10,000 a day profit 50-50,but i need someone to partner with i can give you all details plz sms 0717528409

  21. Very informative.

    What of service businesses like PR & Marketing? How do you make your capital plan?

  22. Hi am Esther and am looking for a job any job to work and earn money to start my own business I had an auto paint shop but it didn’t pick .the person who was directing me was lying to me about the cost until ikaisha.but know I have learned my lessons all I need is just to earn even if its 100000 to start a new business my number is 0791068092

  23. Hi am Esther and am looking for a job any job to work and earn money to start my own business I had an auto paint shop but it didn’t pick .the person who was directing me was lying to me about the cost until ikaisha.but know I have learned my lessons all I need is just to earn even if its 100000 to start a new business

  24. I am looking for a busy location, preferably the road side to put up a fruit and juice vending business. Please advise on possible and profitable areas.

  25. I am currently in Nyambene region, north of Meru..lots of arable land lying idle.being a diploma in applied biology graduate at Kiambu institute of Sci. & Tech, I am open to managing any food sector production location. Whether a kari kienyeji poultry farm, a stinging nettle farm, mixed farming investment, etc..I am interested conservation,organic eco farming and food security in Africa. Contact Kimaniwdickson @gmail.com
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  26. Inspiring list.
    Food, shelter, clothing are biggest movers. Food category is the promising from value addition, cereal ,herb and vegetable production,fast food, baking..a single entrepreneur can grow a conglomerate by investing in the food sector. Make production your foundation since the food sector is largely unpredictable

  27. In the last few years we noted that some peoples and small companies started to produce small quantities of high quality soap bars.
    If you are interested in this small business, we can help you with our Small Soap Machines.
    We invite you to visit http://www.smallsoapmachines.com and to write us !

  28. I have 1M. Anyone that has passion of something that can lead to profit. I’ll finance, you do the business. At 50-50 profit share.

  29. Hi I have a full bakery bakery equipments (small) for startup and can do very well in an estate .you can bake bread,cakes,cookies. This is complete with milk dispenser and chips fryer and a big new freezer,three wooden nice tables n nine seats,counter n shelves for storage purpose, price is negotiable. Call 0722355496

  30. I have a small capital of 10,000
    was thinking of starting a soap detergent business. any partner interested?

  31. Hello guys,
    I have 30000 and i want to specialise in selling and supplying serials.

    Kindly advise

  32. Have 5M Planning to start my small business,of selling construction equipment spare parts.need your advice email me;

  33. Want to buy land in kenya how much investment required we are from india & what is procedure Is it profitable business

  34. This is great man,i love business,i can feel it in my blood.i have ksh500,000 that i need to invest in a business that can give back in a shorter time,am also ready to take the risk involved.

  35. I have 400,000 and I have an idea of opening a restaurant and serving local Ugandan food during weddings etc. given that money can I get someone to partner with? is that business viable in Nairobi? Please advise me I want to start something unique

    • Hi Margaret am ready to partner with you but in Mombasa not Nairobi because it is cheap here to get a nice place to rent compared to Nairobi and i have my own business of cyber we can put them together if still you dont have someone my number is +254722632683

  36. I have one hundred thousand and I have a business idea of opening a gambling company how can I get partners and is this business viable with that given amount

        • Mpesa is a good business if you have a good business location and sufficient float and cash. Be sure the location enables you to serve at least 70 people per day.Remember it is commission based so the higher the number of people you serve the higher your profits.Total cash required cannot be estimated because we all know good business locations require higher rents and maybe goodwill.

          • what more can you add in an mpesa shop apart from phone accessories. and especially in a place where you are surrounded by butcheries and barber shops

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