We have been spotting some of the most creative small business ideas in Kenya 2015, browsing through different industries and looking further into the future – finally, here are 10 concepts that we would like to share with you.
We hope that you’ll find this simple guide as inspiring as we do, and that it will help you spark even more innovations in coming years. Of course, if you have some more business ideas that one can start with small capital, feel free to share them on the comment box provided at the tail end of this article.
If you take a brief visit to upcoming residential areas in towns like Nakuru, Mombasa, Kajiado, Machakos and Kiambu, you will notice that there’s potential for professional landscaping business as people seek to improve the curb appeal of their homes. You can offer services like basic mowing, trimming, maintenance or just landscape design.
Basic Equipment Needed
*Lawn Mowers (and riding mowers)
*Manual tools (e.g. spades, jembe, forks etc.)
You can hire one or two assistants who will be helping you when you land big contracts.
9.Yoga Instructor Business
Kenya is fast catching up with the rest of the world as far as embracing the practice of yoga is concerned. Currently, there are few than 200 trained, local yoga youth teachers against an estimated market demand of 1 million. The middle class section of the society (mainly comprising of people who earn between Ksh80,000 and Ksh150,000 per month), is likely to provide the best market for yogis.
Before you start, it is best to work for an established yoga outlet so you can gain more experience in the craft and build a loyal following. Here in Kenya, you can take part in the Africa Yoga project.
Once you’ve built a clientele and are confident in the opportunities the market has to offer, find a good, accessible location and open your business.
You may want to add more services to your catalog e.g. by offering dance lessons, guitar training sessions and Zumba alongside yoga.
8.Collecting & Selling Antiques
Do you have a good eye for spotting old items that remind people of great historical times? Perhaps you are capable of collecting old cupboards, jewelry, watches, TVs, photos, paint-works or even an old Kenyan flag…or even that weird looking flag of Vihiga County…simply anything that anybody who values history would be interested in.
Your work as an antiques businessman is to collect age-old treasures and sell them to people who value history and heritage. Sometimes, if you do a really good job, you’ll find that some museums will approach you offering even bigger deals for your collection. Wow, that must be one of the oldest small business ideas you’ve heard in 2015.
7.Motorcycle Errands Business
Many people lead busy, sedentary lives and they can hardly find time to do some of the most basic things in life. Things like: door pickups of mails, bulk documents, payment of bills (e.g. KRA remittance, NSSF remittance, NHIF remittance), utility bills, personal shopping (laundry, flowers, grocery), application or renewal of licenses (business license, driving license etc.) and any other time consuming duties.
Therein lies an opportunity to start a small motorcycle errands business. With as little as Ksh200,000 you can invest in one motorbike, licenses and marketing. On average you can expect make about Ksh15,000 per motorbike per month after deducting all expenses (including paying the rider). You can make even more as the business grows.
There is potential to expand the business and that is by investing in more motorbikes – hence creating more revenue streams.
You can targets families, small and micro enterprises, construction companies and non-governmental organizations. Aside from building a good reputation and wide clientele you need to invest in the following items.
*Powerful motorbike than can carry over 100kgs – each goes for around Ksh100,000
Errands sounds like one of the good business ideas for a big city like Nairobi…right?
6.Amazon to Kenya (or eBay to Kenya) Delivery Business
Amazon and eBay are the largest online marketplaces in the world. They have products that are cheaper than what you can find in most local stores. Thousands of Kenya flock the two sites every month but they face one problem – the two sites don’t deliver goods to Kenya. As an inventor, you can think of linking up with your friends in the United Kingdom or United States of America to start a delivery business.
Your friends work will be to collect the bought goods in his country and sending them over to Kenya. Your job will be to deliver to the clients door-step. What do you require?
*A physical address in either UK or USA
*Knowledge of custom duties and regulations that may apply to some goods being imported to Kenya
*A simple delivery car or motorbike
On average you would require Ksh100,000 minimum starting capital to take on one of the fastest growing business ideas in Kenya.
5.Supply Home Automation Products
The idea behind home automation business is that most people particularly the growing middle-class section of the society would like to live in “Smart Homes”. A “smart home” is one whereby you can control most activities remotely.
For instance, you can switch on/off the lights with your mobile phone even when you are many miles away from home. Or you can even open/close the gate without being physically near your home.
There are many angles to this business, for an investor like you, and you can tap in to the thriving real estate sector in our country to launch a thriving enterprise. Some potentially popular angles of this kind of business include:
*Remote lighting control
*Fire & Carbon Monoxide control
*Remote control of security cameras
*Remote control of alarm systems
To venture into this business, you may need to import most of the “smart home” tools. You can shop at online platforms such as alibaba, amazon or even eBay. Then you can start looking for market from people who want to automate their homes and increase family safety.
You may want to consider importing items such as: automated door locks, home automation controllers (e.g. Nexia or Leviton), automatable entertainments systems (e.g. speakers, home theaters), automated gate openers and so forth to re-supply them locally.
Best thing about this idea is that the market isn’t flooded, and with the right kind of marketing you can easily establish yourself as a giant player in a couple of years.
4.Gaming Arcade Business
Now this is the perfect type of a small business idea to start if you live in an environment full of youngsters, students, college goers among others. All you want to do is start a gaming arcade that offers more than just the usual PlayStation and XBOX games. In addition, you can invest in a Foosball table, pool table and automated darts.
This will give your customers a wide array of gaming options to take from you and this potentially means more revenue to your small business.
A Foosball table costs roughly about Ksh150,000 and a simple electronic dart board goes for about Ksh15,000 (as your business grows you can invest in a bigger dart board that goes for about Ksh300,000).
With an investment of around Ksh500,000 you can successfully launch a small sized gaming arcade and grow your territory gradually onwards.
3.Pest Control Business
A small scale pest control business has the potential to provide a healthy income. You can consider two options when venturing into this business. The first option is operating a franchise. In that case, you can approach a bigger pest control company such as Rentokil Kenya and request them for franchisee’s rights. The second option is to go the freelance route – start your own business and nurture it to maturity.
The franchise option is much easier to start but it may not be as lucrative as the freelance option in the long-run (of course, the effectiveness of the business depends on how good you market it).
Here is a simple breakdown of some requirements to consider:
*Make sure to consult the Pest Control Products Board of Kenyna (PCP) for details on registration and rules & regulations of the business
*Acquire the necessary equipment e.g. foamers, bait guns, vacuums, safety equipment and fogging equipment. You can expect to spend about Ksh100,000 for these. If you don’t have enough cash, then you can buy second-hand equipment.
*Spend decent amounts marketing and creating a website that is optimized for Keywords such as “Pest control in Nairobi” “cockroach control in Kenya” etc.
*As the business grows, you can invest in means of transport (such as a motorbike) and even hire more staff to help you handle multiple orders as you focus on expanding your business.
Common pests that pose a big problem in Kenya include: cockroaches, ants, safari ants, moths, wasps, bees, moles, rats, termite and house flies.
And some 2 more bonus ideas…
2. How To Start a Small Butchery Business
Kenyans love meat and you can never go wrong by investing in a good butchery to tap into this potential. But you need to be well armed with enough funds so your business successfully wades its way out of the murky waters of a start-up.
Your competition will come from other butcher shops in your area and some supermarkets that operate deli counters (e.g Nakumatt and Uchumi). A good price alongside quality meat and speedy services are what is required to succeed in this business.
*Location – find a location with high foot traffic e.g. near a matatu terminus
*Licenses – Single business permit (varies between Ksh8,000 and Ksh16,000 per county), health license and medical certificate
*Digital weighing scale, knives chopping boards and of course “gazeti ya kufunga nyama”
You can also budget for start-up capital as follows: Rent (Ksh10,000 est), Worker’s salary (Ksh10,000est), Transport (Ksh5,000 est) and Bad Stock (Ksh10,000 est).
With a sale of around 15 Kgs of meat per day you can plan for a monthly revenue of about Ksh35,000. This might increase as your sales increase.
1. How To Start PSV Matatu Business
Despite its relatively negative reputation, the matatu industry still has opportunities to offer to small scale investors like you and me. A typical minibus goes for about Ksh1million and above and you can expect to incur roughly about Ksh130,000 on branding and installation of seats.
You also need to install a certified speed governor which on average costs Ksh30,000. Other additional expenses include:
*Sacco membership fee – Varies from as little as Ksh20,000 to as much as Ksh60,000
*Licenses – County government license, TLB, vehicle inspection, MCSK copyright license, and advance tax
*Maintenance cost – You can spend about Ksh10,000 on monthly maintenance of the van
*Of course, you need to pay for insurance
Overall, you can expect to spend roughly Ksh1,600,000 just to get the mini-van on the road. You can then expect a revenue of between Ksh5,000 and Ksh14,000 per day depending on market factors.
As our Swahili brothers say “Kazi ni Kazi”. The amount of capital you have, however little it is, doesn’t matter, it is the size of your idea that will propel you to great heights in entrepreneurship. We hope that our list of small business ideas in Kenya will help you either expand your current business or start a new one if you’ve not yet had the chance to start.
Tell us what you think and how you would like us to help you become a better entrepreneur…