Blog business

10 Businesses You can start tomorrow

Practical Tips to Grow your Small Business without making major changes
Practical Tips to Grow your Small Business without making major changes

Are you tired of that 9-5 job you’ve had for the past few years? Or you probably have too much time in your hands that you feel it’s time to venture out and start your own business.

The truth is, 9 to 5 jobs can get monotonous and you are limited when it comes to how much money you make and the amount of control and flexibility you have.

For some reason though, most people shy away from entrepreneurship since It seems so complicated and too risky. When we think about where we’ll get capital, how we’ll find clients, it gets overwhelming so you are always procrastinating and using the excuse that you are not ready.

However, it doesn’t have to be that hard. Here are 10 businesses that don’t require too much capital and that you can actually start working on tomorrow;

 

1. Photography

Professional photography is one lucrative business that fortunately does not require too much capital. You only need to invest in a good quality camera. To start with you can get a good professional digital camera for anything between Ksh.15, 000 to Ksh.20, 000. With good contacts and top notch photography skills, you can get a lot business from weddings, birthdays, graduations, funerals and any events.

Photography
Photography

 

2. Boda Boda

The boda boda business is one of the most popular businesses in Kenya especially in the informal sector. In a day, most boda boda operators take home between Ksh. 2,000 – Ksh. 3,000 or more depending on their location of operation and how good business was that day. Boda Boda operators in urban areas tend to make more money due to the high cost of living and more demand. You can hire someone to operate the bike daily on an arranged agreement, as long as you get your cut at the end of the day.

Boda Boda
Boda Boda

 

3. Online Courses

Are you an expert on something? Do you have knowledge or a skill that is highly sought after? Do you have a great personality? Then you should consider starting an online platform where you offer courses on your area of expertise. The truth is that people will be willing to pay for something that will add value to their careers and lives. All you need is a website, great content packaged in a way that is easy to consume and a great digital marketing strategy.

Online Courses
Online Courses

 

4. Farming

Farming is one of the easiest, most popular ways to make extra money. With a small piece of land, you can invest in farm products that attract a lot of market and profit. Vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, cabbage, sukuma wiki and carrots have a ready market and they don’t need to be planted on large scale. Some of the areas with the best soils for farming are Kiambu, Kakamega, Rift Valley and Kisii.

Farming
Farming

 

5. Selling Breakfast and Lunch in offices

Who says you need a restaurant or stall to make it in the food industry? Most people who work in offices located in urban areas don’t like going too far to get food, so why not bring food to them? The good thing about this business is you can cook from home and deliver the food to various offices. All you need to do is foster great relationships with senior management of the offices near you so that they allow you to sell food to their staff. For this business, you need a capital of Ksh. 1000 to Ksh. 5000.

Selling Breakfast and Lunch in offices
Selling Breakfast and Lunch in offices

 

6. Web Designer

Online marketing is hotter than ever with every small business needing web presence. Creating websites is a skill that you can learn online and if you have an IT background, you are better placed. To start, you can start freelancing by offering to create a website for close friends and family as you grow your networks and establish yourself.

Web Designer
Web Designer

 

7. Wedding Planner

Are you a hopeless romantic? Do weddings excite you? Are you a regular on all your friend’s wedding committees? Then it might be time to take that to the next level and make money of it. Getting into wedding planning however requires a lot of networks from florists, photographers, caterers, fashion designers just to mention a few. Once you have your contacts, start off by planning a wedding for someone in your inner circle, get a mentor and grow from there.

Wedding Planner
Wedding Planner

 

8. Baking Cakes

Unlike the past when cakes were reserved for special occasions, cakes are the signature delicacy for all events today. From small office celebrations, launches, birthdays, graduations and weddings, the cake business is booming. This business does best in urban areas such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret and Kisumu where there is high demand.

Baking Cakes
Baking Cakes

 

9. Tailoring

If you have a passion for fashion, creating fashion designs and some basic tailoring skills, you could consider taking some tailoring lessons and making it a full time business. A basic sewing machine will set you back Ksh. 15, 000 – Ksh. 20, 000 and to start, you can work from home before getting your own shop/stall.

Tailoring
Tailoring

 

10. Selling Ice-cream

The hot season is back, guess what that means, there is more demand for ice cream. To start a simple ice cream business, you need a fridge and basic ingredients and you’re good to go. You could start a simple ice cream joint in your estate or target specific places such as outside supermarkets, offices and colleges. However, expect a lot of competition. Like many small businesses in Kenya, once you are all set up and have a steady stream of customers, expect three, four people to come set up right next to you.

Selling Ice-cream
Selling Ice-cream

 

Final Word: Starting a business is not easy but it doesn’t have to be so complicated either, If you’re willing to put in the work, learn new skills and focus on turning your passion into a profitable business. Think big but start small.



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Blog business

Need Funding for your Startup? Read This

NEED FUNDING FOR YOUR STARTUP?
NEED FUNDING FOR YOUR STARTUP?

For the past few years, most Kenyans have been warming up to entrepreneurship with a huge number of startups being launched and a majority of employed Kenyans having their side hustles.

However you’ll agree with me that one of the greatest challenges facing entrepreneurs when starting out is access to capital. You also can’t rely on bank loans in Kenya due to high interest rates and having to provide collaterals.

An opportunity that most Kenyan entrepreneurs haven’t fully taken advantage of though is the public funds provided by the government for helping young entrepreneurs get their startups up and running. These funds also come with limitless benefits such as zero interest on loans and business training.

So far, the government has set aside more than Ksh. 25 billion for the sole purpose of creating a culture of entrepreneurship among youth and women in Kenya. Still, not too many Kenyans are taking up these funds and early this year, the government rolled out a sensitization campaign to encourage people to take advantage of the funds.

If you are looking out for capital for that business idea, here are the top 3 government funds you can tap into;

Uwezo Fund

Uwezo
Uwezo Fund

Are you a registered youth or women group keen on starting a business or expanding your existing business? Then the Uwezo fund is for you. This fund is administered at the constituency level through the Constituency Development Fund.

At the constituency the fund is run by the Constituency Uwezo Fund Management Committee which determines the amount of money to give to a group. Each qualified group is eligible to an interest free loan of between 50,000 – 500,000 Kenya shillings. However a 3% administration fee is charged.

To apply for the Uwezo fund here are the main requirements;

  1. Be a registered youth or women group, preferably active for the past six months with evidence of minutes of your meetings.
  2. Be organized in form of a table banking (chama) structure where members make regular contributions. Evidence of this contributions will also be required.
  3. Have a bank account in the group name, with the bank statements to prove it.
  4. The group must be based and handle their operations in the constituency they intend to borrow funds from.
  5. You must also get a recommendation from your local chief.
  6. Provide photocopies of ID’s and KRA pins of group members.

You can apply for Uwezo Fund by downloading the application form on their website or visiting the Uwezo Fund Management Committee offices in your constituency.

Women Enterprise Fund

Women Enterprise Fund
Women Enterprise Fund

For the longest time, Kenyan women have been marginalized when it comes to financial inclusion. Major challenges Kenyan women have faced include lack of capital, limited access to markets, fear of loans, financial illiteracy, religious and cultural factors and lack of collateral.

It is for this reason that the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs initiated the Women Enterprise Fund to provide accessible and affordable credit to support women start and expand their businesses.

If you in a women’s group/chama, here are some benefits you are missing out on if you have not yet registered for the Women Enterprise Fund;

  1. Interest free loans – Through the Constituency Women Enterprise Scheme (CWES), women groups can access the Tuinuke loan which is given to chamas at zero interest. A group could have 100% women or 70% women and 30% men. Even though the loan is interest free, the group is required to pay 5% administration fee.
  2. No collateral required – Unlike bank loans, the Tuinuke loan does not require you to provide log books or title deeds. Instead, the women serve as a guarantee to each other.
  3. Financial Training – The WEF fund places great emphasis on financial and business training for women. Actually, getting trained on business management skills by WEF officers is a prerequisite for loan application.
  4. Easily Accessible – You don’t have to incur insane transport costs to access the WEF loan. The funds are decentralized and can be easily accessed through your local constituency offices.
  5. Easy to pay back – The Tuinuke loan can be paid back through M-PESA.
  6. WEF Soko – This is an online marketplace where products of WEF beneficiaries are showcased for purchase. Successful groups are also trained on product development, certification and are linked to local and international markets.

Youth Enterprise Development Fund

Youth Enterprise Development Fund
Youth Enterprise Development Fund

Established in 2006, the main purpose of the YEDF fund is to provide financial and business development services to youth between ages 18 – 35 who are keen on starting or expanding their business.

Even though the fund has been tainted with a number of scandals concerning mismanagement and corruption, slightly over 800,000 youth have benefited from it since its inception.

If you are a young entrepreneur, here are three YEDF loans you can benefit from;

i. Constituency Based Loans – This loan is available to individuals and registered youth groups at the constituency level looking for funds to start up a business. It is also interest free.

ii. Vuka Loan – This is a business expansion loan limited to youth who are looking to expand their existing businesses. It is the only YEDF loan where one is required to pay back with interest. The interest rate had been set at 8% until July this year where the interest rate was dropped to 6% which is still way cheaper than the current bank rates. The Vuka loan is open to individuals, partnerships and youth owned limited companies.

iii. Bid Bond/LPO/LSO Financing – This fund is eligible to youth participating in government tenders. It’s open to individuals, registered youth groups, partnerships and youth owned companies. The maximum amount available for a bid bond is 2 million while for an LPO/LSO loan the maximum amount is 20 million.

 

Final Word – Our government may have its weaknesses but we can’t fault them for not looking out for small businesses and upcoming entrepreneurs.

Have you tried out any of these funds? How was your experience?



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Blog Internship Learning

The homecoming of the #SheGoesDigital Graduates

photo (1)

The #SheGoesDigital program celebrated the accomplishment of yet another milestone as the girls who graduated from the program successfully completed their internship period.  While a majority (around 60%) of them continued in their respective jobs, about 40% of them took bolder steps moving to new challenges, including setting up their own businesses or expanding their already existing small shops.

It was a great re-union for the young women, filled with fun, laughter, bonding and most importantly great experience share. The girls came together at the Kuza Innovation Centre to share their set of challenges, achievements, revelations and appreciations.  During all the three months of their internship, they had so many new assignments, new projects, exploration of skills that they did not know they possessed, changes both in roles & activities, but one thing stayed constant – their zeal to get through & create an impact in the organizations they were working for.  So naturally, when they came together their eyes were filled with excitement of seeing each other (since they bonded so well during the 45 day training period in March – May 2017).  It was great to witness those touching/ emotional moments.

A section of #SheGoesDigital graduates sharing their experiences during the re-union
A section of #SheGoesDigital graduates sharing their experiences during the re-union

The team from Kuza were joined by Ms. Caroline, Resident Co-ordinator of the SITA Program.  It was interesting to understand how the program impacted the young women & their careers, from picking new & relevant skills that they are able to apply to their growing confidence in their ability to do much beyond what they could have ever imagined. The three months at companies from diverse fields gave them so much to learn that most of them were amazed at how much they could implement what they have learnt and on the day of re-union, they learnt so much more from the collective wisdom they brought to the table.

The young women were heard saying how great it feels for them to be able to share tips & tricks that they learnt  about Social Media & Digital Marketing, especially being in the helm of affairs in their respective job positions, given that most of them are working directly with the business owners or the management teams.  We, along with the young women wished the day had not ended as there was so much more to talk about, so much more to learn from each other about the exciting journey thus far and moving on. But as they say, all good things must come to end, so did the day come to an end, with all of them promising each other to stay curious and try new roles, while they remain patient watching their project “seeds” grow into amazing initiatives.

Until we meet the next time, #SheGoesDigitalRocks!!

 

Related Article

http://www.kuzabiashara.co.ke/blog/digital-wrap/



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business Experiences

6 Mistakes New Entrepreneurs make and how to avoid them

photo courtesy of www.freepik.com
photo courtesy of www.freepik.com

Everyone has a business idea that if provided with adequate capital, and everything else they require, they will be well on their path to entrepreneurship. However, there is a big difference between having an idea and executing the idea.
A business idea may sound easy and straightforward but most new entrepreneurs are hit with a rude shock of how tough it is to get a business up and running.

Here are six common mistakes new entrepreneurs make and tips on how to avoid them.
1. The ‘I can do it all attitude’
A new business idea is like a baby, you want to cuddle it, stroke it and protect it from anyone who shows up to critic your idea, give you a list of reasons why your idea won’t work or even explain vividly how it will be impossible for you to implement the idea. These often makes new entrepreneurs shy away from sharing their ideas and involving other people in the potential business.
The feeling of, “Since I came up with the idea, I am best placed to implement it and have it come out exactly how I want it,” takes over more often due to pride or fear that bringing in and listening to others will corrupt your original idea. However, instead of helping, this might slow down your implementation or result in you getting stuck along the way.

TIP – As much as it is not advisable to listen to everyone’s opinion about your business, it is important to seek a mentor preferably one who is successful in the same business you want to venture into. Potential customers are also key as they are the ones who will make or break your business, reach them through a market research strategy such as questionnaires to find out how your product will be embraced in the market. All in all, listen selectively sieving out useful suggestions from those that won’t help the business.

2. Focusing more on the idea and not the execution
Every business startup starts with an idea. Now ideas are great, but your potential customers will not buy an idea neither will investors put their money in an idea that doesn’t have an executable solution. Most new entrepreneurs get stuck at the idea stage. They spend months talking about how great their ideas are, how it’s going to make them lots of money and change their lives forever but they never really take the first step of execution.

TIP – Do you have that genius business idea you have been sitting on? It’s time to begin drafting an execution plan. To start you off, ensure you have a business model with a clear value proposition based on current market dynamics, an innovation that does not necessarily have to be new but should have a unique solution compared to what is currently in the market and a growth model that guarantees a great profit margin in order to attract investors. When you have these, take your first step, whether it’s designing your new website or setting up that first pitch meeting with your first potential investor.

3. Being short sighted with your first profit
Depending on the amount of work and commitment you place in your start up in the initial stages, your business might reward you with a huge profit. However, the decisions you make at this stage are crucial for the long term success of your business. As much as you are justified to treat yourself as a business owner at this stage, making financial choices such as taking a fully paid vacation to Zanzibar or buying your dream car could prove costly for your business.

TIP – Growing a business requires setting short term and long term goals. Both goals should help you achieve your overall vision for your business. Some tips on how to use your first profit wisely are;
• Re-invest back into your business based on your strategies.
• Invest in marketing strategies both traditional methods and digital methods based on your target audience.
• Invest in a more qualified workforce in order to have a productive team.
• Investing in yourself by taking more business courses and learning new skills that will better your business

4. Dwelling too much on failure
When it comes to turning your business idea into a startup, it’s not a matter of if failure will happen but when. Failure is inevitable, whether it’s making a wrong business move that suddenly makes you bankrupt, hiring a rogue contractor that ends up damaging your systems or your business partner walking out on you. Whatever it is, it is bound to happen sooner or later and dwelling too much on it won’t make it any better.

TIP – Rather than having a fear of failure, it is important to prepare and plan for it so as to recover much faster. The good news is that once you overcome a failure in your business and pick up valuable lessons from it, you become stronger, your business benefits from it and you set strategies to prevent the same from happening in future.

5. Trying to maintain your normal lifestyle
Has your life always involved Friday evening dates with friends, watching and following up all Premier league matches or never missing out on all the latest parties and concerts in town? Well, if you have chosen the path of entrepreneurship, you should be ready to make major changes including working longer hours and focusing more energy on your business compared to your social life.

TIP – One thing entrepreneurship does is make you more focused since you now have this new responsibility, extra bills to pay, investors holding you accountable and people looking up to you every month for salaries. For your business to make it through the first years, you need a strong network of friends to support you. Despite the sacrifices you’ll need to make, always think long term.

6. Thinking you have no competitors
Due to the initial excitement of a new business idea, most new entrepreneurs get carried away by their idea and they think they have no direct competitors or their idea is way better than current solutions in the market.
However, the reality is no matter how innovative your idea is, someone else is most likely to come up with a better idea. The competitive business environment in the 21st Century also makes it quite challenging to monopolize a certain market because once people see how great you are doing, they will quickly pick out your weaknesses and come up with a better product/service.

TIP – To be on the safer side, do adequate research on competition before launching your business. Ensure your business has a better value proposition and your business model fills a gap in the market.



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Blog

Guest: Why You Are Not Getting Invited To Job Interviews

Kenyan job seeker by the road in Nairobi

Let’ talk business. It’s a free market out there. Everyone wants nothing but the best for themselves which means ‘almost’ hardly counts. Let’s talk about you. You are either a good or a tool that employers need for provision of certain services. This only leaves you with one option, package and present yourself as the best. Continue reading



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GUEST: 5 Ways SMB Owners Can Utilize Information Technologies

IT in business
Image Courtesy | Freepik Designers

Modern information technology systems are complicated, but they can also make a huge difference for a small or medium business. They can save time and space by converting records to digital formats, they can automate repetitive tasks, and help in many other significant ways. Continue reading



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GUEST: How To Make Money Online in Kenya Through Legitimate Internet Marketing Platforms

internet marketing
Image Courtesy|Freepik Designers

If there are two groups of people who have really tarnished the name of internet marketing, it is these guys who are doing pyramid-like multi-level marketing in Nairobi and those other guys who are sending spammy referral links that will make you rich overnight. Continue reading



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Experiences

Guest: Start Making Money Building Mobile Phone Apps with These 5 Steps

Shared office space in Kenya
Image Rights/ Share America/ iHub

Do you want to start building apps like a pro? An answer to this question is plain – just become a programmer. And guess what? You don’t need a university degree to become a programmer. Continue reading



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Why Most Successful Businesses in Kenya Are Peculiarly Linked To Nakuru

top businesses from Nakuru

There is something peculiar about Nakuru and I am sure you’ve noticed it already if you’re really keen. No, I am not talking about flamingoes or the simmering Menengai crater. Continue reading



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business

GUEST: He Gave Up Looking For A Job After Hopeless Tarmacking; Today His Business Generates A Ksh5Million Turnover

David Kyalo Afriqque Ventures

With the fast growing rate of unemployment in Africa, coupled with the rising cost of living, many individuals are looking for creative ways to generate income in a bid to make ends meet. And with music concerts and live events gaining popularity, young entrepreneurs are discovering new ways capitalize on this trend. One such entrepreneur is David Kyalo, the Managing Director of Afriqque Ventures. Continue reading



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GUEST: 2 Cute Handcrafts You Can Make On Your Own At Home And Sell For Profit

craft

Crafting can be an amazing hobby for people of all ages. It enables you to release your creativity, create unique gifts for family and friends that are designed specifically for them, and it can also be a fun and interesting business opportunity. Continue reading



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8 Things We Should Stop Taking For Granted

taking things for granted
Image Courtesy/ FreepikDesigners

They say you really don’t know how good something is until you lose it. But as it turns out, more often than not, we take too many things for granted. May be you are sitting there hating your job, boss, family or even the government…but beyond all the negativity, there is always something positive you can choose to focus on. Continue reading



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