Last Updated on 26 September 2019 by Gertrude

$50 Businesses to Start in Kenya

  1. Are you one to believe that you need a lot of capital to start a business? Well, you only need $50 or Ksh.5000 Kenya shillings to begin a business.

You grow these business ideas into a multi-million venture. Remember, a business needs someone to start small with it then grow it big. There’s no small amount when you’re a determined entrepreneur.

In fact, you need to know how to market/promote your products/services to your customers. And you also need to identify your target market and what they’re missing.

Ask yourself, what’s the need I’m trying to fulfil with my business? And how am I going to convince my would-be customers to buy from me? How am I going to communicate about my product/service to my customers?

You’re also going to ask about your niche market and how to keep developing products to cater to my niche market. Do you know how to find your niche market? Find out the details in this detailed Guide on How to Work/Start an Online Business.

A niche market is your specific/target market. And you’re going to ask yourself, what do my customers like to shop for? Where do they shop and why? What car do they drive?

Can my customers afford my services/products? And what area of the world do they come from? Are they from a specific clan/tribe/race? What does this clan/tribe/race lack and how am I going to reach to them to get my services?

Learn about niche marketing in this guide below.

So, what are the businesses one can start with $50 dollars in Kenya? And from the comfort of their home?

The following businesses are doable with $50 or Kshs.5,000:

1. Grocery

Think of stocking your stall (kiosk/kibanda) with lots of cabbages, sukumawiki (kales) and spinach, potatoes, onions among other vegetables. Food used on a daily basis within the Kenyan household.

Customers flock grocery stores instead of going to the farmer’s market every evening after work. Because grocery stores offer the convenience of goods availability. Ensure to have a well-equipped stall so that customers don’t go elsewhere looking for goods.

After paying for the council fees which ranges from 30 shillings to 60 a day, you’re sure the stall will pay you back in no time. The profit margins depend on how fresh your goods are and your location. With kibandas, customers are paying for the convenience, make sure you offer them value for their money as well.

2. Githeri 

I have a mum who successfully incorporated the kiosk business and githeri (maize and beans) helping her educating her children to university level. Don’t add ”concoctions” in your githeri.

Let the githeri cook naturally without magadi, that way your customers eat food as they’d cook at home. Every cup is sold at 20 shillings and if you establish yourself and business well, your customers will buy daily. It’s affordable and you offer convenience by ensuring their supper gets sorted.

3. Chai 

Kenyans love tea and starting a tea business requires some thermos to keep the chai hot. And make sure to cook with extras like mandazi or chapati.

And don’t cook transparent tea, prepare tea and sell to conductors who leave so early in the morning and other passengers. Use clean water as well and offer sanitised food so your customers trust your products.

4. Babysit

If you are a stay at home Kenyan mum and not making money from the comfort of your home with your neighbour’s kids, you’re making a mistake. Women don’t love to sit at home these days.

So, what are you waiting for? Capitalise in on working women and start charging a premium. Don’t take the day babies only, niche out to women who work at night or go out on late date nights and charge them twice more.

Learn more about a daycare business and making lots of money from it in this article on Tips to Starting a Lucrative Daycare Centre/Business in Kenya.  

Use the $50 dollars to advertise or create flyers for your business or print them if you don’t have a home printer. I teach classes/courses on How to Use Canva for Your Business for Kenyan Women in Graphic Design.

5. Shaggy Mats 

Women love to spruce up their homes with cute carpets, I mean, who doesn’t? You don’t need to buy the carpets in the supermarket if you don’t love how they look. You create one and sell to others by getting into the shaggy mat business and its big business in Kenya.

You buy a rug base for 1000 shillings and yarn for 500 shillings plus a latch-hook for less than a 100 shillings. Latch hook your way to an income. Increase your income by creating courses for other women/men like how these Kenyan did.

Want to know how to get into the shaggy mat business in Kenya? Watch my YouTube video.

6. Organise 

Do you dislike clutter or clutter annoys the hell out of you? Well, do you know how to organise like Marie Kondo? The Kon Mari Way of organising? You start with clothes and end up holding your clothes to your chest if they don’t spark joy, put those clothes in the ”giveaway dustbin”.

You don’t need money to start, you need to show before and after pics. Use the 5,000 shillings to advertise.

7. Blog 

The blog industry isn’t a well-explored niche in Kenya. I have yet to meet a blogger who has become sensational in Kenya. Now, explore these niches. You don’t need a whole lot of money to run a blog, you need a niche.

Then purchase a domain name and start a Facebook/Instagram page for your blog. Now, explore Pinterest for traffic and start making money by signing up for affiliate marketing programmes like Amazon, Clickbanks, Airbnb.

8. Etsy Seller

Are you a handcrafter? Do you love handmade goods? You don’t need money to start an Etsy store, you need to use the $50 to advertise your Etsy store.

Sign up for your Etsy store and start making money here. And there are a lot of courses on how to make money with Etsy.

9. FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) 

What’s FBA? It’s simple, buying inventory for your business then sending the inventory to Amazon and they sell the stock as if it’s coming from you.

They keep the goods in their warehouse and once a customer orders for them, they get the goods as if coming from you. An Amazon store costs $39 to start and the inventory depends on your budget but mostly, $500 of inventory is a necessity.

10. Teach Skills

What skill do you have? Did you know you can use your skill to make money? You need 5,000 shillings to market your teaching skills.

11. Bottle Decor 

Do you have glass bottles lying around? What do you intend on using them for? Did you know you need only bottle, paint and a paintbrush? Market these bottles as

12. Hand Sew Market Totes 

Since the ban on plastic bags in Kenya, the market tote industry exploded. You don’t need a sewing machine to start, you need a needle and fabric and marketing/advertising money.

13. Make Gift Bags 

Make gift bags with a brown paper bag and sell them during seasons when you decorate them.

14. Dropshipping 

A dropshipping business requires only an online store and money to advertise/promote whatever you’re selling. You need an app like Oberlo to find the ”hot products”. And Ali Express

Categories: Startups




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Online Businesses / Online Work in Kenya