Here’s A Breakdown Of The Capital You Would Need To Start Your Business

business ideas in Kenya

If you are planning to start a business in Kenya or any other part of the world, you might get lost in your own world due to lack of information. To prevent this from happening, we have decided to compile a list of popular business ideas and the amount of capital that you would need to start your dream business venture.

(NB:$1=Ksh86) (Disclaimer: These are rough estimates and actual costs may differ).

Gym & Fitness Center
gym business idea in Kenya

Courtesy: Maciej Dakowicz

Total cost depends with location and type of machines bought. It is ideal to start this type of business in an upcoming middle-income residential area targeting the working class.
  • Low income areas – Ksh300,000
  • Middle income areas – Ksh500,000  to Ksh1,000,000
  • High income areas – Ksh1,000,000 to Ksh 3,000,000
You can start with a small gym and continuously plough-back the profit to scale-it up.

Small Butchery
The cost of starting a butchery in Kenya depends with location and size of the shop. It is advisable to have your butchery located in a place with high human traffic e.g. near a bus terminus or a busy street.
  • Low Income Areas – Ksh100,000
  • Middle Income Areas – Ksh200,000 – Ksh500,000
  • High Income Areas – Ksh500,000 – Ksh1,000,000

Selling Of Second Hand Clothes
Depends with the size of the business. You can leverage on the power of social media to drive-up sales for your merchandise. You can shop for cheap second-hand clothes in major markets such as Gikomba and Ngara markets in Nairobi.
  • Micro-sized Business – Ksh5,000 – Ksh50,000
  • Small Business – Ksh50,000 – Ksh250,000
  • Average-Sized business – Ksh250,000 – Ksh1,000,000

Small Grocery Shop
The cost of starting a small grocery shop depends with the location, size of shop and type of products being sold. Those in Nairobi can shop for cheap supplies in: Githurai 45 and Wakulima Markets.
  • Small Shop – Ksh50,000
  • Medium Shop – Ksh200,000
  • Large Shop – Ksh500,000 to Ksh1,000,000

Mobile Money Transfer Business
We are talking about M-Pesa, Orange Money, Airtel Money and other forms of agency banking. Cost may vary from one provider to another but on average these are the charges.
  • Small Shop – Ksh200,000
  • Medium Shop – Ksh500,000
  • Large Shop – Ksh1,000,000 upwards

Wines & Spirits Pub
Depending with the size and location of your choice, the cost of starting a small wines and spirits pub may vary in the range of:
  • Small Pub – Ksh150,000 to Ksh350,000
  • Medium Sized – Ksh500,000
  • Large Sized – Ksh1,000,000 to Ksh2,000,000

Professional Cleaning Business Company
This is a company that cleans and organizes homes and offices for its clients at a fee. You use high-grade cleaning agents and the latest cleaning techniques to keep your clients’ environment spotless clean. Cleaning business has great potential and you can never go wrong by trying it out.
  • Small Business – Ksh200,000
  • Average Business – Ksh1,000,000 – Ksh3,000,000

Car-Wash Business
Courtesy: SIDAREC

Courtesy: SIDAREC

Again, the viability of this business depends with the location and size of the business. Availability of clean water is yet another of the important factors you should consider.
  • Small Business – Ksh80,000
  • Medium Business – Ksh 150,000 to Ksh500,000

Moving Company Business
This is the business of helping clients move their property from one house to another when e.g. when shifting from one estate to another.
  • Hand-Cart Business – Ksh30,000
  • Small Truck Business – Ksh1,500,000
  • Ideal business – Ksh5,000,000

Popcorn Business
It does not cost much to start a popcorn business. All you need is a good machine, strategic location and excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Roadside Business – Ksh50,000
  • Medium Business – Ksh100,000 (Can be combined with other in-house businesses)

Beauty Supplies Business (Cosmetic Shop)
While highly competitive, the beauty industry continues to flourish all over the world. In this case, we are talking about a small shop that deals with the sale of small items like nail polish, lotions, weaves, body oils and other cosmetic products.
  • Small Business – Ksh30,000
  • Average Business – Ksh200,000

Rabbit Farming Business
This is the business of rearing and selling of quality-grade rabbits. There is ready-demand for rabbit meat provided one knows how to package and market his or her products.
  • Small farm – Ksh30,000
  • Average farm – Ksh100,000
  • Ideal farm – Ksh500,000

Cake Baking Business
This is a fantastic idea for those who love cooking and have a bit of internet marketing skills. You can get some training first to ensure you have what it takes to meet customer expectations.
  • Small Business – Ksh80,0000
  • Average Business – Ksh200,000
  • Fully-fledged Business – Ksh500,000

Simple Barber Shop
You have two options here. Either to start a small barber shop to cater to low income earners or an executive one for the high-end market.
  • Small Business – Ksh50,000
  • Average Business – Ksh500,000
  • Executive Barber Shop – From Ksh1,000,000 upwards

Poultry Farming
This is only a good investment if you are ready to work hard to find ready market for your products. If you are not too sure about where to find market, don’t invest in it.
  • Small Farm – Ksh50,000
  • Ideal Farm – Ksh150,000
  • Large Farm – Ksh1,000,000 upwards

Dairy Farming
dairy farming in KENYA
Dairy farming is quite an engaging affair and it requires you to be adequately prepared. It’s important to research adequately before investing in this line of business.
  • 1 Heifer costs roughly Ksh50,000 to Ksh60,000(Grade)
  • Small Farm – Ksh150,000
  • Ideal Farm – Ksh500,000
  • Huge Farm – Ksh5,000,000 upwards

Professional Photography Business
This is more of a service-based business. You need to be talented, passionate and creative about taking photos if you want to survive in this industry (it’s quite competitive, we should add).
  • Small Studio – Ksh100,000
  • Ideal Studio – Ksh500,000
  • Big Studio – Ksh1,000,000

Courier Business
This is the business of transporting small letters, parcels, flowers etc. from sender(s) to receiver(s). It is easy to start but you might take long to win the customers’ trust. The key to success in courier business is timely delivery and careful handling of packages.
  • Small service (Inter-Estate) –  Ksh200,000 to Ksh500,000
  • Ideal service – Ksh1,00,000 upwards


Hope this brief capital break-down will help you invest in the most ideal business concept.  We would like to hear from you…share your thoughts with us via the comment box.

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