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Starting a business is a leap of faith even in the best of circumstances. We at Kuza Biashara are focussed to encourage these daring small business owners who have the potential to innovate and change the world by contributing to the nation’s economy and livelihood.
About Kuza Biashara

About Kuza Biashara

Starting a business is a leap of faith even in the best of circumstances. We at Kuza Biashara are focussed to encourage these daring small business owners who have the potential to innovate and change the world by contributing to the nation’s economy and livelihood.

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Setting a mobile restaurant business in Kenya

Setting a mobile restaurant business in Kenya

Since its debut in 2008 in the US when the country’s labour market lost over 8.4 million jobs, the mobile restaurant business has continued gaining momentum the world over as a cheap way of running an eatery without necessarily having to cater for the high physical location costs.

The business is also known as the mobile food truck business is now gaining ground in Kenya especially in Nairobi where residents are increasingly preferring food deliveries closer to their work stations or homes.

Assuming the requirements to start this business are almost the same as any other restaurant with a specific location such as Sh120,000 equipment costs and Sh50,000 for licenses (Single business permit, food and hygiene license and food handler’s certificate), the mobile aspect makes it a bit different.

Here, one will need a truck, a large vehicle with a kitchen to make and serve food. The truck should therefore be designed in a way it makes operations easy and just before you consider this lucrative business, here are some factors to consider.

 

Setup costs

This includes one-time costs and costs that can vary by location because, for instance, costs for setting a mobile eatery at the CBD will certainly vary from any other place in Nairobi.

But, focusing on truck design first which is a one-time thing, you can start simple in a small bicycle or motorcycle with an extended cart.

This, according to Marf Limited, a company that designs and fabricates mobile restaurant trucks, comes with an approximate budget of Sh200,000 cost of the truck itself with installed solar power for a small refrigerator, fitted fryer and grill and a gas cooker.

However, this might not be enough as the image which is key should be achieved by ensuring top-notch hygiene by ensuring food preparation surfaces are made of stainless steel.

Nevertheless, as the business picks, one may see the need for expanding into larger trucks with bigger space to accommodate the increasing number of customers.

This can mean moving to a food truck, food trailer and food cart which comes with a budget of between Sh200k and Sh1.5M fabrication costs.

You can also opt for a locally sourced second-hand truck or pick-up due to ease of spares access for fabrication which can cost less depending on your menu and the size of the truck or pick-up for the kitchen space and equipment.

Remember, importing a small truck can cost up to Sh1.8M and you still have to part with clearance costs. Yes, importation is always the bottleneck as the customs is not always a walk-in-walk-out.

Future of mobile restaurant business

According to the 2016 Kenya Food Market Report (Restaurant in Kenya), the restaurant business in Kenya has been growing rapidly over the last couple of years and the mobile food truck business is no exception.

Indeed, investors in the food industry are slowly setting up mobile kitchens using food trucks to reach more customers.

Munchies, a product of Mobile Foods of Kenya Ltd, is one such mobile food restaurants in Nairobi which started in 2017 and kicked off operations in January 2018.

Today, the restaurant has employed seven young people who entirely run the business as well as providing skills training.

World over, the industry continues to grow. For instance, it is expected to close in on $1 billion dollars in annual revenues within the United States alone.



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Thriving mandazi business that needs only Sh1,000 to start

There are many small businesses that one can start using a small capital in Kenya especially in Nairobi and make it a booming venture with time.

One of them is cooking and selling mandazi either along the busy streets of the city, at bus stations or at a strategic location in residential areas.

Unless you want to set up a fairly big business, a small mandazi business do not need a license from the city council, instead, with just Sh1,000 capital you can make up to Sh1,500 a day and expand with time.

However, just before letting all systems go, you need one more thing- studying your prospective customer’s way of life and purchasing power.

On normal weekdays, Nairobians like waking up early to prepare for work and escape traffic jams which see them spend much on fare hence they will be taking their breakfast early or passing by at your cooking point to buy.

In this, you need to wake up earlier than them by around 4:00 am or at latest 5:00 am to begin operations and be able to catch with them.

Most mandazi sold in Nairobi goes for Sh5 or at most Sh10 and studying your customers’ purchasing power will help you know the quantity and quality of the product you need to make for fair pricing.

When all these is done, you may start just by using some of your kitchen utensils and equipment which you can set in an open space.

Remember to start small on the first day if it is the first time or a new location. This will give you time to get used to the customers.

With the Sh1,000 capital, you need baking flour, salt, sugar and cooking oil.

For a start, a 2kg of wheat flour that goes for about Sh130, 0.5kg cooking fat of about Sh110 and other small ingredients such as sugar, baking powder and salt which can cost at most Sh100 are necessary.

A packet of 2kg wheat flour can produce over 50 mandazi depending on the size and sell at between Sh5 and Sh10 each. This will earn you Sh250-500 just from one packet or Sh1,250-2,500 from five packets.

It is also important to be thoughtful. Because it is always take-away foodstuff, you may need to arm yourself with some packaging materials such as the used flour packets which sometimes are discarded to use as wrap up materials.

You can also identify some places nearby such as construction and juakali sites where you can sell your mandazi and ensure the whole stock is sold so that you begin with fresh ones the following day.

Nairobians like fresh but cheap food, remember.

Do not stick there, move to 15-20 packets a day depending on the demand and with time you can start serving tea before expanding to cooking some chapatis served with beans or green grams (dengu).

Yes, this is how Mary Wanjiku,38, started her Silger Enterprises, a cake bakery business in Nakuru Town.

After completing her course in food and catering in 2008 but failed to get a job, her mother gave her some Sh1,000 while a friend helped with a modern energy saver jiko.

After buying a pan and a frying spoon she started making mandazi and hawking.

Soon the business became overcrowded and much competition threatened her existence. This is the time she shifted to baking cakes something which is more viable in the area and more earning.

Today, she has employed over 10 youth who help her in her bakery enterprise. “It is good to start from somewhere and be creative along or else you can find yourself out of business in a short while,” advises Wanjiku.



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Siaya Youth Cashing on The Increasing Demand for Fingerlings to Make a Kill from their Hatchery

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Just like any other business, agribusiness also requires a proper calculation of opportunities and profits associated with any commercial farming venture.

In demands a good understanding of market demand, a plan and a budget, record keeping, cash flow and credit management and measuring the performance of the business from time to time among others.

This is what many young people entering into market-oriented farming do not seem to understand. Most of them, upon interacting with a captivating story in the media, jump into farming with high expectation not knowing the high risks associated with agribusiness and how to manage them.

 

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However, for these two brothers, Collins Adika ,35, and Charles Otieno ,34, who are fish farmers in Siaya County, their first move in the venture was to understand what would give them an advantage over their peers. 

The duo who are currently running a 70,000-capacity fish hatchery at Rabango area in the county are cashing in the increasing number of high yielding cage fishing technology in Lake Victoria to provide ready fingerlings to farmers and grow their income.

“The advantage we have is the increasing uptake of cage fishing in Lake Victoria and fish ponds that different CBOs have dug in the area pushing the demand for fingerlings,” said Otieno.

A survey by the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Institute (Kemfri) in the five riparian counties of Migori, Siaya, Kisumu, Busia and Homa Bay showed that the number of fishing cages in the country’s largest freshwater lake had jumped to about 3,696 by last year from 1,663 in 2016 — a 122 percent increase, with more such facilities being added by investors this year.

Siaya had 2,989 fishing cages by 2017, from 383 previously, a 680 percent jump. It is trailed distantly by Homa Bay with 479 fishing cages, Migori (23), Busia (120) and Kisumu (85).

The young brothers had acquired some four ponds measuring 80 by 40 metres from an agro-entrepreneur in the area who had abandoned them to look for greener pastures in the US.

They, therefore, negotiated with him after approaching the owner of the three acres of land where the ponds were constructed.

“When we came from Kampala, Uganda in May this year where our partnership in fish farming with some Ugandans had ended, we found the ponds in a bad situation due to poor management by the farmhands who were left there,” said Otieno.

The duo had to spend two months, June and July to renovate the ponds and divided the huge ponds using cage nets to realize up to eight ponds measuring 40 by 40 metres.

They then reorganized the stock of which majority was comprised of male tilapia fish which were separated from about 200 female tilapias they found and additional 1,000 other females they bought from a farmer at Salgaa at Sh200 each.

This is how in August this year the two begun their Pacho Fish Farm hatchery through which they are also producing fish feeds that they sell to farmers.

Using the Y-Y technology of which they are able to manipulate the sexes of the fish to produce many males fish than females, the duo is sure of attaining over 90 per cent male fingerlings from their fast-growing hatchery.

“With this technology, we are able to provide ready tilapia fingerlings which are about 1.5cm long to farmers in 28 days at Sh7 each,” Said Otieno.

Their main target is those farmers rearing the fish to attain the table size for the consumption of which is 6-8 days of proper feeding attain 500-600 grams for tilapia that goes for between Sh300 and Sh350 each.

Other target customers are the county government and community-based organizations which buy the fingerlings for farmers in the area who have the ponds but do not have enough money to buy the seeds.



Agripreneur Blog

Homa Bay agro-entrepreneur creates Sh200,000 monthly seedlings venture after losing job

Many at times losing a job is associated with shattered future and people always sympathise with individuals whose contracts are stopped expectedly or unexpectedly due to one reason or another.In Kenya, even before the hit of COVID-19 on our economy leading closure of various business sectors, there were massive layoffs of employees by various companies in a bid to manage their bottom lines or to reduce expenditure.

This was as a result of a reduced income or other factors such as the introduction of technology which rendered some positions redundant. 

However, for Bosco Aredha, a fruit and tree nursery seedlings raiser in Homa Bay County, job loss is never his concern. He has created his own which earns him over Sh200,000 a month. Bosco lost his contract in 2006 at a non-governmental organisation when his contract came to an end and there was no longer a space to accommodate him. Luckily, the organisation which was concerned with the integration of tree crops into the community had impacted some skills of grafting seedlings in him. He, therefore, decided to use the skills he had acquired which include fruit tree management, fruit tree propagation and disease and pest identification to create employment for himself.

On noticing that farmers from his area were travelling a long distance looking for fruit tree planting materials with best strains, he decided to set up a grafting farm to be able to feel the gap with a view creating an income.  He started with some mango and orange seedlings, bought some grafting equipment, fenced his two-acre farm after putting up a shade for the seedlings “All this work took me about Sh65,000 worth of investment. This was part of my savings while I was working with the NGO,” said Bosco. 

It was not all rosy at the beginning because with grafting, he lacked scions and he was forced to source the important material from other established farmers in the area. However, persistence and dedication to his work that he has since loved as his main source of income have seen him through.“I always get orders for these seedlings. I remember after about nine years of establishing this venture, an organisation mitigating the effects of hunger and malnutrition in Homa Bay bought 1,600 grafted fruit trees from my farm at Sh200 each earning me Sh320,000 which really encouraged me,” said Bosco.

He decided to use part of the money to expand his nursery, pay for his children’s school fees, home expenses and savings. Today, especially in peak season during rainy season as at now, the farmer says he makes Sh200,000 a month supplying purely grafted seedlings of various fruits to farmers in the lakeside county and beyond.

“During this rainy season, there is a rush by many people to at least plant some fruits. This makes my farm a bit busy hence there is a need for casual labourers whom I hire from time to time depending on the amount of work available,” said the 44-year-old farmer. Though he grafts all manner of fruit seedlings, his highly sought-after seedlings are those of mangoes of which the varieties available include ngowe, parvin, apple mango, chino and sebin vandyke.

He says farmers like the grafted seedlings because they take a shorter period to produce fruits than an ordinary one

 

 



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Youth creates thriving car wash business, beats unemployment challenge

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Every year, at least 30,000 fresh graduates enter job hunting mission yet companies are laying off employees due to what they term unfavourable conditions.
To beat unemployment, Mohammed Ali a Diploma in Business Administration graduate from Don Bosco institute is earning a whooping Sh130,000 per month from automobile cleaning.

He says the idea of automobile cleaning came to him in 2002 after working as a labourer in one of the car wash within Moyale town for two years.

“After my graduation, I searched for a white-collar job but I did not get one. So, I was employed as a labourer in a car wash within Moyale town where I worked for two years,” he said.
He invested Sh64,000 he got from working as a labourer in other car wash centres to start his own automobile cleaning which mainly focused on vehicles and carpets.

He spent Sh18,000 to buy a carwash machine, Sh21,000 on one vacuum cleaner Sh1,600 on the water which cost Sh10 a bucket of 20 litres and the rest he used other small equipment such as scrubbing brush and detergents such as soap and shampoo.

Soon the business picked up and he decides to open another branch in Taita Taveta then another in Naivasha along Maimahiyu road in 2006.

“The journey has never been easy because for this business to reach this far, I had to attend training in Spain, China and Dubai to know how car wash business can be improved,” said Ali.
Today the business has grown since he opened the businesses headquartered in Nairobi’s Fedha area in 2017 where he has introduced other services such as carpet cleaning, car interior upholstery and furniture cleaning among others.

He has since started offering all these services in all the company’s branches with increased investment of Sh10m which he used to buy high-quality modern machines and equipment such as three-phase pressure, hot water steam, buffing and vacuum cleaning machines among others.

Ali says these machines have made his life easy as he uses the same machines to offer different cleaning services.

“With this competitive market I had to incorporate both carpet and car wash business so as to cut on costs and maximize on profits,” says Ali who has founded Diamond Brite car wash and carpet cleaning centre in Nairobi.
The entrepreneur now has four branches across the country where he has created 20 youths in all the branches and hopes to open other branches soon.

Diamond Brite car wash team.

Diamond Brite car wash team.

He says he cleans approximately 1500 cars per month where the minimum price for a car is Sh200 earning him around 300,000 gross income per month.
After all, deductions which include paying his staffs, electricity and water bills, detergents among other costs, he remains with a profit of Ksh130,000 every month.

According to a September 2002 study report by International Carwash Association (ICA) on Water Use in the Professional Car Wash Industry, machines such as high-pressure water rinse machine, a high-pressure sprayer and an automated nozzle machine can be used to clean cars, carpets and furniture.

“My customers are my main marketers as they recommend Diamond Brite to potential customers and together we grow.”

Ali says he has constructed underground tanks and backup generators so that at no particular time will any of the services fail to be available.
Another fact making car wash business more profitable and fast expanding industry is the increasing number of vehicles bought in the country as over 7500 new vehicles are introduced on Kenyan roads every month.
Latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that new registration of motor vehicles increased by 12.0 per cent from 91,071 units in 2017 to 102,036 units in 2018. This shows that there has been a significant increase in the number of local car owners.

“It is obvious that almost everyone is driving nowadays and therein lies a potential business,” said Ali.

To supplement his earnings, he offers other services such as night parking and restaurant to bolster the profit margins.

He advised other youths to take up every opportunity that may come their way regardless of how learned they are.

 

 



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Why most small businesses in Kenya barely survive long enough

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) figures, only 10 per cent of SMEs are able to stay afloat after ten years of their start something which has been majorly attributed to lack of the know-how in the running of the enterprises.

Proper information on how to run businesses can avert the death of over 75 per cent of Kenyan SMEs which do not survive barely five years after their inception.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) figures, only 10 per cent of SMEs are able to stay afloat after ten years of their start something which has been majorly attributed to lack of the know-how in the running of the enterprises.
“Most of these SMEs are started with unclear focus due to lack of training or mentorship on various issues such as how to identify markets and management of finances among others leading them to immature closure,” said Victor Otieno, managing director of Viffa Consult, a Kenyan based management consultancy with of developing SMEs in Africa.

Wrong reasons for starting a business
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A good number of Kenyan entrepreneurs have wrong reasons or misplaced reasons as to why they want to start a business. Majority of them start with the primary goal of either to make a lot of money, not to answer to anyone apart from themselves not looking at the fact that this are benefits that come after a longer period of your business being successful.
The best reason one would decide to start a business would be having passion, love and strong belief in the business venture you want to get into. And you have done a proper investigation that your product will fill a market gap.
You need to have determination, patience to be able to make it in the business world. Every time you get a challenge it should give more motivation to grow.

Poor Management
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Many businesses report business failures as a result of poor management as the main reason why their businesses fail. Many new business owners do not have the technical know-how to run a successful business. This ranges from getting the best market for the product at hand, knowledge to run a business this is because a big percentage of business owners just decide to start a business with no relevant experience or having someone to coach them through.
To be able to have a long business lifespan it is advised that young or new upcoming entrepreneurs need to get basic training on how to run a business, one could either go for relevant classes or get professional consultants who will take you through the required steps to make your business successful.
Poor management is not just on the line of not having the required skills; it also encompasses a business owner neglecting his or her business. Every young business enterprise needs a lot of care, planning and control of everyday activities.

Insufficient Capital

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Having constant cash flow is very important for a business. Business owners need to ensure when they are making a projected cost of a business. Most new business owners mostly do not look at the operating costs of their business. This is because they work on the assumption that their businesses will pick up immediately and they will make big sales not thinking that their business will need some time before they make commendable sales.

The Wrong Location

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Location is an important factor to consider when setting up your business. The wrong location would mean the death of your business no matter how good you run it. Some of the factors to consider when setting up your business is who are your customer, location of your competitors, the security of the area, if your business really relies on human traffic it would be important to locate your business where you could maximum human traffic.
One important thing to note is if your business does not have constant human traffic the ideal location for your business would be at home. This will help you reduce on the rent costs.

Overexpansion
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Expansion of a business does not really translate to business success this is one thing many business owners get wrong. So many businesses go under as a result of expanding their enterprises too fast.
Having an established customer base and constant cash flow is one of the factors to consider before deciding to expand your business. You need to have careful review and research before you decide that you want to expand your enterprise. One really needs to consider if their business will continue to run smoothly before you decide to expand. It would be quite sad if you expand your business only for it to completely run down two-three months later.
Victor continues to add before one decides to take up any business venture, he or she needs to well informed and educated in the sector or get professional help so as to make sure your monetary investment does not go to waste.


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Rewind 2020

2020 has been a tough year, a year that most of us would want to forget. As we look forward to a brighter 2021, we took a moment to pause, reflect and appreciate the support we received from our partners, advisors & well wishers to not only tide through the tough times, but also listen to our hearts and make bold moves.

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We are championing a global revolution in creating youth-led sustainable rural businesses to support and uplift 500 million smallholder farmers. The first to admit we don’t have all the answers, we are bringing together the ecosystem actors onto ONE Network to collaboratively work on this grand challenge together.

We have done the handwork. We have tested & validated the model @Scale under extreme conditions. We are now Future REDI and are looking for like minded partners to walk the path. Join us on our journey to support these communities to Learn, Connect & Grow @Scale.

Wishing you and your family a happy new year 2021. Stay safe and Stay Healthy.



Agripreneur Blog

Become a Successful Agripreneur – Free Scholarship Program

If you are from Meru or Tharaka Nithi, here is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start your own agribusiness and be your own boss by participating in the KUZA’s Youth REDI program.

Who can apply?

  • Age:  20-35 years
  • Prior farming experience: Mandatory
  • Education: Minimum High School
  • Digital Literacy: Digital savvy and willingness to learn
  • Transport: Owns/ can access Boda Boda to commute within your neighborhood to engage smallholder farmers
  • Community: Must have a relationship with at least 100 smallholder farmers
  • Skills: Good Communication & Interpersonal skills
  • Past Experience: Running a small business, preferable
  • References: 2 references from  Key Opinion Leaders or  elders/pastor

What will you get?

  • Incubation & Mentorship on how to set up & grow your agribusiness.
  • A Digital toolkit with good agriculture practices content to offer extension services to smallholder farmers.
  • Support from Mentors who will handhold and walk the journey with you.
  • Subscription to ONE Network that will connect you to all the agri service providers & access special offers.

What do you commit?

  • Your Time and Resources to start and grow your agribusiness.
  • Provide agri extension services to your network of 150 to 200 smallholder farmers from your neighborhood.
  • Digitize the farms/ farmers & capture their demand for products & services.
  • Facilitate agriproducts & service delivery to meet the demands of your farmers’ network & earn commissions.

Apply now :

If you are interested in being part of this Program, fill in your application at

Application Form

and submit by  04 Sep 2020

Program Partners:

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How e-commerce is saving small-scale traders from high rental costs in Nairobi

traffic motion in the city center of Nairobi, Kenya

Today, Nairobi is ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world appearing at position 97 according to 2019 Mercer Cost of Living report.

Rental accommodation which was found to be high is among other services that the survey by the global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and careers used to determine the expensiveness of Nairobi and other cities worldwide.

It is this high cost of rentals in the capital city especially in the CBD that is forcing small-scale traders to think out of the box by considering e-commerce in place of rental shops.

Aerial 180 degree panorama of downtown Nairobi, Kenya and financial district.

Aerial 180 degree panorama of downtown Nairobi, Kenya and financial district.

“I know of my neighbours who were running a small jewellery shop who are now selling their goods online after packing out last year to operate from home,” said John Mungai who runs men’s cloth business along Tom Mboya Street in the CBD.

He says that most of the shops around charges up to Sh25,000 a month depending on the size and still the traders have to sort out the city council taxmen.

But how are these small-scale traders who have decided to go online operate their businesses and still make good profits?

You will realise that today there are many social media pages with advertisements of people selling goods and services. Most of them are individuals posting shoes, clothes, electronic accessories and cutleries among others.

According to Mungai who also leverage on the power of social media to reach his customers, most of the traders who operate from home post pictures and prices of whatever they sell online on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or WhatsApp groups.

Online Payment.  female using smartphone and credit card

Online Payment. female using smartphone and credit card

These are then seen by both usual or prospective customers who then order and upon payment, home, and office deliveries are done either in person or through courier services especially for clients outside Nairobi.

In this, the traders are not only saving on rental fees but they have also cut on workers’ salary and county council remittances.

Other than social media which is the popular tool the traders are using to reach more customers and make sales, they are also counting on referrals by usual customers who recommend their good to prospective buyers.

“You see, while you operate in these shops there many people whom you come in contact with as the shops are frequented by many city visitors. Some who happen to interact with your goods or services, even if they do not buy, they may at some point recommend it to someone else,” said Mungai adding that that is the beauty of starting from somewhere.

According to Michael Owiti, Business Development Manager at TDS Marketers, an online marketing and web design service firm in Nairobi’s Westlands, eCommerce has given distressed small-scale traders a better business option.

“Before we could see many of them close shops and dispose of their goods at throw-away prices and vanish but today they have found a lifeline online,” he said.  

Furthermore, many entrepreneurs in Nairobi entering in the sales business for the first time have learned the trick and since they might not be having enough cash to set up big shops of cater for rent in the town, they directly opt for social media which has become a wide platform where they can reach many freely or just by spending some little money for product promotional.

No wonder you frequently come across the messages “please retweet, my next client could be on your timeline” on micro-blogging sites as Kenyans seek business.

Trust me, once such people find their footing in online business, certainly they will not go renting shops or go back there if they ever had one before.

Certainly, e-commerce is eating up the rental business slowly in the city.



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Rewarding small businesses you can start with less than Sh10,000

Although some businesses cannot be started without having large sums of capital, it is still very possible to set up a profitable one with very little money.

However, any type of business you may want to venture whether large or small, it is advisable to not to be faint-hearted kind of an individual.

Instead, you have to be patient, consistent, and ready to make losses. Below are some great business ideas that you can try out for a good profit margin.

Smokies and eggs business

Cook hands prepares smoky meat on grill oven, burger cooking. Hamburger preparation process, fast food, bbq

Cook hands prepares smoky meat on grill oven, burger cooking. Hamburger preparation process, fast food, bbq

In this business, you just need less than Sh10,000. If you are a beginner, you need a smokie grilling equipment that goes for around Sh5,000, a supply of smokies and eggs, and some charcoal. 

For smokies, you can get them at the nearest Farmer’s choice shop at Sh330 per packet which contains 22 pieces. 

Eggs, you can get supplies from your nearest shop or source from friends, where normally a tray goes for Sh300 or even as low as Sh280 during peak seasons.

You need a strategic location for this kind of business such as near bus stops and stages, areas around learning institutions, around bars and clubs, near hospitals and industrial areas, junctions, market places, especially in town.

At Sh330, it means every piece goes at Sh15 each which you can sell at Sh25 to get a profit of Sh10. And if you are in a highly-populated area where you can sell like five or more packets, you get very high returns.

If you manage to sell five packets a day, with each packet containing 22 pieces, you will have sold 110 pieces and if you sell each at Sh25, you will make Sh2,750. 

Your expenses for the day can run into Sh1650, averagely. This comprises of kachumbari cost which is averagely Sh100 for tomatoes, onions, and dhania.  That adds up to Sh1750. Total profits from that sale will then total up to Sh2750-1750=Sh1,000 a day.

Plus eggs, your profit will be elevated. Take for instance you sell averagely two trays of eggs per day. That is Sh60, with every egg going at Sh20 translating to Sh1,200 a day. 

The expenses involved for eggs per day are Sh600 for two trays of eggs.  That means, the profit you will make in a day for eggs is Sh600.

Making beaded handbags and sandals

graceful shoes of the bride, studded with shiny beads, stand on the beige floor next to a small white clutch decorated with beads

graceful shoes of the bride, studded with shiny beads, stand on the beige floor next to a small white clutch decorated with beads

This is another business that is unique and female-dominated, though, if you are a man and interested, you are not cut out.

Just a kilogram of beads will cost you Sh370 in Nairobi. For a handbag and sandals, one kilogram of beads is enough.

The selling cost of those sandals and handbag will range from Sh3,500 to Sh4,000.

For a starter, training and equipment costs such as needles and string can be about Sh3,000 and Sh600 respectively.

Wallpaper selling

wallpaper in a flea market

wallpaper in a flea market

 

Selling wallpapers is one of the viable business ideas in Kenya since most of the people in Kenya live in houses with dull painting and they will be willing to spend to make the inside of their houses shine.

As a businessman, you will be dealing with handy wallpapers. You can get this kind of wallpapers from the local wholesalers or get them by importing from other countries.

The cost of ten meters of wallpaper roll can be around Sh1,600. Including other expenses, the total expense of the business might be approximately Sh1,800 to Sh2,000.

After getting the material you can sell that wallpaper roll for Sh3,600 including installation charge for Sh1,500. It can generate double profit and more revenue.

 

 


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Great business opportunities to ride on amid the rising online purchases in Kenya

happy girl with colorful shopping bags sitting with laptop and credit card isolated over yellow

Generally, the idea of starting a business is really exciting for most entrepreneurs.
However, even as many ideas require time, money, and risk, there are actually many ways to start a business that lets you focus less on the logistics and upfront costs and more on getting started.

Currently, due to the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the country and people limiting social contact, online purchases have risen.
According to the latest report dubbed COVID-19 CEMEA Impact Tracker by Visa on commerce for consumers and small merchants in Kenya, there will be 88 percent growth in contactless business transactions post-COVID-19.

Already there is an increase of first-time online buyers in various sectors with grocery reporting 39 percent new consumers while new purchasers of pharmaceutical products stand at 43 percent.

With these rising online purchases in the country during and post coronavirus pandemic, these low-investment small-business opportunities can make a great entry point for you as a beginner or even anyone with a busy schedule as a side hustle without having to drop everything else.

Creating an online boutique

Flat lay of woman clothing and accessories in pastel colors. Modern classic style concept

Flat lay of woman clothing and accessories in pastel colors. Modern classic style concept

This calls for your love for fashion and being ready to share your sense of style online.
In this, you will have to come up with your own online fashion boutique.
Interestingly enough, you do not need to become a fashion designer either but you can simply curate items from other vendors into your own online store.
These items could include shoes, dresses, accessories, swimwear, and more which you can use to build your own fashion brand using one of the several product sourcing apps that you can find online.

You can then model them in your own product photos and create social media posts to enable you to build an online following and become a trendsetter.

This will further enable you to source and sell the products to your various followers or even an affiliate marketer with several brands.

Building a great online audience that you can monetize

Vlogger streaming a live video live

Vlogger streaming a live video live

Great marketers have predicted that going forward, online influencers are going to be one great means through which brands are going to market their products.
There are already such influencers earning good money and maybe you are wondering how to become one.

No capital. You just need to have the skills and the ability to capture and keep the attention of others and turn it to an asset. Yes, many businesses today are willing to pay for this and you will be able to convert it into a business with multiple revenue streams.

You can decide to grow your following on Instagram, YouTube, or a blog or even a combination of different channels and you will have many avenues for monetizing your audience spanning from sponsored posts on behalf of brands to becoming an affiliate marketer selling physical or digital products.

Creating digital products or courses


This is another unique idea in this line of business as you will not incur manufacturing or shipping costs hence your profit margins will always remain high.
Here, you can engage in digital products such as music, courses, and templates by figuring out what makes a good digital product which is useful enough that people are willing to pay to download.

The templates should be of help to people keen to level up their skills in a particular field while the music and photos should be original to allow licensing to other creators.
In fact, if you have a talent that can easily be made into a digital product or content, you can start thinking about packaging it into a new stream of income.

Becoming a drop shipper

This is one of the cheapest and quickest businesses to get up and running as you do not have to handle any product but just to make the sales and pass orders on to your supplier.
It is actually is an easy business to start as it is where a third-party supplier stores and ships inventory to customers on your behalf hence it is scalable, hands-off and low overhead.
You can curate products from your multiple suppliers into your own online store and when a customer buys a product from you, the order is sent to your supplier, who then fulfills it on your behalf.
The store can, for example, be named water bowls for dog owners or gear for yoga enthusiasts because you will still need to market the products and up your consumer relations.
Today, there are both local and overseas suppliers you can start working with and build your trust on.
You can start by ordering your own product and gauge the reliability of the supplier and test how the product sells before fully engaging in the business.


Blog

Porridge making and selling, a rare business that can earn you Sh60,000 a month

114. customers enjoying porridge

It is very rare to find food kiosks or someone hawking porridge in town as compared to tea business which very popular. This is because selling porridge is regarded by many as a business that is socially out of the norm but which can see you walk home with up to Sh60,000 a month if done well.

Depending on the scale at which you may want to operate it, porridge business does not require much capital to begin. At Sh20,000 you can lead a thriving venture.

For such an engagement, you need to be on the safe side by acquiring food and hygiene business license which comes with the peace of mind.

Here, a public health officer will have to inspect your business premises to ascertain that it is safe and clean to prepare food. Once you are approved which may cost you Sh5,000, you will be issued a license to operate the business.

114. porridge and githeri

As you grow your business, you will also be required to obtain a food handlers certificate and a fire certificate especially when you increase the number of employees and more customers.

These certificates and licenses will help you avoid any issues with the county askaris.

from here, you will have to move to looking for equipment, strategic location and marketing your product which can be tedious but once the business picks, even your usual customers will be your business ambassadors.

For a start, you will need to balance the remaining Sh15,000 to buy equipment such as some sufuria which can accommodate 10 liters, a jiko, some measuring cups and a thermos flask of about five litres and which can keep the porridge worm for some time.

You will also need some finger millet flour which goes at Sh100 per kilo wholesale price or Sh120 a kilo retail price. On the other hand, you can also buy the grains and take to a posho mill for grinding.

Be careful to start fermenting or adding lemon to make it sour because some customers may not like it so but with time and as the number of your customers increase you may introduce the various flavours to meet their varied needs.

With time you can also start serving your porridge with other foods such as githeri, madazi, chapati, rice/beans and even fried groundnuts which will also increase your income.

The best location for this business is near garages, construction sites and congested areas such as bus stages.

Karen as popularly known by her customers has been making and selling porridge at cross road of Charles Rubia and Acra Road in Nairobi CBD. 

114. porridge

At this point, there is a stage of long-distance buses to Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and DR Congo. There is also some religious activity where the Muslims and Christians engage in religious discussions (muhathara) almost on a daily basis and some garages around as the place is close to Kirinyaga Road.

According to Karen, this has been giving her a good customer base and just from serving porridge (uji) alone, she has nowadays introduced mahamri and githeri.

“I started this business two years ago with Sh4,000. By then, I was making porridge from my house and bringing it here to hawk using some thermos flasks but when the demand increased, I had to sweet-talk the city askaris to let me operate from this base,” said Karen.

She says when she introduces the other products, she had to bring in another person to help her especially in serving customers as she focuses in making porridge and the ‘escorts’.

She sells a tea-sized cup of porridge at Sh20, a plate of githeri goes at Sh40 while mahamris sells at Sh5 each. She has since been making about 40 litres of porridge using two sufurias which accommodate 20 litres each.

In a good month the mother of two says she can walk home with about Sh60,000 gross incomes which after deducting her expenses she remains with Sh40,000 net income.

“The advantage I have is that many restaurants around only sell tea and there are also some hawkers who sell tea around but not many are in the business of porridge hence less competition,” said Karen.

She says that the business is unique and any serious entrepreneur can venture in to make a living.