Last Updated on 16 January 2020 by Gertrude

Small business ideas for Kenyans to make half a million profit per month

What’s a small business?. Shopify’s definition of what a small business means will open your eyes.

And what are the best small business ideas for Kenyans to start?

A small business idea is a business that’s not capital intensive. Meaning a business that doesn’t require a lot of equity to start and you can start from the comfort of your home.

Also, a small business doesn’t employ more than 500 employees. 

What are the best remarkable and epic small business ideas for Kenyan to start to bring in half a million in profit per month?

The best small business ideas for Kenyans include the following  

  1. Food Truck 

A food truck business isn’t small business-friendly in terms of initial capital because of purchasing the truck.

A food truck costs between $10,000 or more meaning a million shillings or more depending on the truck’s age among other costs. The profit margins after the initial set-up are attractive ranging from $5000 or more.

Another pro tip for starting a food truck business as a Kenyan buy/scour eBay for a food truck or you can buy a second-hand truck in car sales websites like or on hire purchase. 

2. Coffee Shop 

Another great small business idea for Kenyans is starting a coffee shop. To start a coffee shop you have to have a business plan with some essential topics like marketing, funding and expanding.

Learn how to find the BEST BUSINESS LOCATION, how to find the best business location as a Kenyan entrepreneur. See the best coffee shop business plan by following what made Java great coffee shop business of all time. Now, think about Starbucks as well. 

You can diversify the coffee shop business by having weekly/monthly subscription coffee shop samples for your customers. 

3. Bakery 

A baking business requires you to know how to bake. It’s essential for you to choose a niche for which baking you will be doing.

For example, if you know how to decorate cakes, you can decorate cakes for babies/newborns. Or you can bake bread only so you will be known as a bread expert. 

4. Cooking Classes 

Are you a chef or do you know how to cook some sumptuous meals for yourself or family/friends? It’s time to take these skills to a mass of people who will appreciate your foods.

Kenyans all over love to eat some good food, I believe it’s all humans, food brings diverse people around. You can start as a specialised chef like a chef dealing with fried chips and chicken.

If you are conversant with foods from other regions like Indian curries or Jamaican meals, go for it. If you have lived in us a long time and love barbecue foods, you can teach the classes. 

Also, you can start a youtube channel or cooking classes on youtube or teachable and other online teaching platforms and help others learn how to cook. 

Are you ready to take a cooking class and are you ready to teach one as a Kenyan? Check out these awesome online culinary classes

5. Ice Cream Stand 

An ice cream stand is a small business idea for Kenyans during the summer months. Contrary to belief, though Kenya is a tropical place, the climatic conditions are making it a bit colder.

But for the hotter months, which are the most, you can help others quench thirst with ice cream. To start an ice cream business, look for the best churners and coolers.

And also ask yourself where will you be selling the ice cream in farmer’s market like this one. And you can organise your ice cream business into a youtube video teaching others how to blend ice cream flavours.

And you don’t have to stick to ice cream branch out to healthier ice cream options and smoothies or drinks that quench thirst. 

To start an ice cream business

6. Hot Dog 

Hot dogs are sweet and mellow in the mouth. A great small business idea which can be combined with a food truck. You see with a food truck, you can have different foods you provide like smoothies, hot dogs. 

To prepare the perfect hot dog don’t do bread and sausage plus a topping of mustard and ketchup. Get creative, learn how to make a hot dog that stand out like these youtube videos. 

Find a stationery place like on a busy street or in a mall. To start a hot dog stand find a diverse of recipes and then the drinks and a small sitting place or area of operation. 

You need

7. Product Reviewer 

A product reviewer is a small business idea which requires a start-up capital of almost zero. why/ because you already have most of the electronics within your home.

You need to know the specifications of electronic goods and what each of the seemingly hard specs means to an average consumer. This means if a product says, 220 kV, what does this mean simply to a consumer.

You can review hot selling goods like mobile phones and new releases like iPhone 11, google pixel 4, or juice extractors, bench presses among other products. I love this youtube channel that does product reviews 

8. Home Food Delivery 

A home food delivery business means having a car or a motorbike as a start-up initial capital cost. I prefer a car because of some rainy days.

Now, you also need to collaborate with one store that doesn’t have delivery to its customers. Be the best delivery service there is in the industry before you expand.

The delivery business is marred with angry men/women especially in delaying food orders. So you have to get organised. 

9. Book Keeping 

Do you love mathematics? Are you great at numbers in other words? A bookkeeping business means you knowing how to balance your client’s money in terms of income and expenditure and losses. You may need to look into taking classes to help enhance your knowledge. 

To start a bookkeeping business, read the following books first and know how to write freelance contracts. But know how to scout for work on freelancing job sites like Fiverr Upwork or LinkedIn. Also, you can create blog posts on bookkeeping and personal finance because these are two related fields. 

10. Digital Marketing 

The field of digital marketing is getting lucrative as we approach 2020 and the world is realising the opportunities online. A digital marketer simply means a virtual business or using the internet to help connect businesses.

A digital marketer is responsible for creating social media posts/content, knows which posts are viral by studying analytics and knows how to tweak content to suit the audience. 

To start your small business venture as a digital marketer you need to take a course from either a free online university or a from Udemy and even have a certificate to display for greater credibility. 

You can create a digital marketing agency, to begin as a digital marketer, 

You need to sign up for courses. 

Here are the best digital marketing courses for Kenyans to take. 

Read the best digital marketing books 

Where to find work as a Kenyan digital marketer

And if you are a business owner, read this article about why you need a digital marketer and tips on hiring a digital marketer for your business. 

11. Web Design 

If you are familiar with coding and or programming or how Javascripts or CSS/HTML websites work, web designing is a small business you can start with little capital in Kenya.

You can also employ a team of two or three to help you manage inventory and creations. You can create websites ranging from travel, photography, jobs board and lifestyle bloggers.

Learn how to design websites from youtube with free tutorials. The best youtube tutorials include from the WordPress king Ferdy on youtube.

You don’t have to stop at web design, the other hot cake market today is template creation and selling it on places like Creative Market/Etsy/Canva among other graphic design websites.

12. Interior Designer 

Interior design is making spaces livable and lovable. It’s the art of making the colour come together. To become an interior design expert, you can get a degree or a certification online or offline.

The best offline schools in Kenya for interior designers are. Aside from education best to know where to get the best lighting, potting plants, indoor plants. 

13. Makeup Artist 

If you love makeup but don’t know how to apply it, better get into the next drugstore and get one. Drug stores in Kenya include Best lady cosmetics which sells what others call makeup ”mwitu’, fake make-up.

Cheap but effective makeup. Be careful though some many ruin your face. For training, purposes get these makeup and come follow a myriad of youtube videos. The best video tutorials for upcoming Kenyan makeup artists are 

Omabelle Tv

Shalom Blac

Maxine Wabosha 

Jackie Aina

You can also get specialised training in, for example, tattooing eyebrows or eye makeup. The other unexplored area is choosing the correct makeup for the various skin tones. 

15. Homestay Business 

Homestay business is another way of saying starting an Airbnb. The hospitality/tourism industry is the most lucrative yet oversaturated business in Kenya. It doesn’t have to be. You can start a homestay business by reading my book on home staying/Airbnb by purchasing it on Amazon here. 

16. Online Tutoring 

Online tutoring can range from teaching English/Swahili/Maths or any other subject that intrigues you. After creating the courses/modules, host the classes on online classes like Teachable, Thinkific or Udemy or your a host them on your own site and maximise on the profit. 

17. Home Decor 

A branch of interior design that deals with creating lovely living in spaces. A decorator is responsible for making spaces more colourful, hanging wall art or arranging furniture.

A home decorator business in Kenya means having a team who deals with furniture, help in staging for a new client. Or those who help design you for a client. 

18. Currency trading 

Though currency trading has been in the works for long, I always believed this is for conmen/women. If you’re offended, no problem but that’s how I’m feeling.

But that doesn’t mean this isn’t a legit way to make an income-generating half a million per month. Learn more about currency trading and cryptocurrency by following the best courses on currency trading and legitimise your business. 

19. Event Planning 

Are you great with details? Do you love celebrations and when you visit an event you feel, wow they could have done more. Or the colour scheme was too monotone you felt like the hosts were playing it safe.

A great small business to help you generate millions in Kenya is that of organising epic events. To get started in event planning, get these courses and read the following bestseller books. And immerse yourself in blogs on event planning. 

20. Photography 

Photography is another one of the overly done niches around. But choose a niche and learn more about it. To start a photography business, start with what you love to photograph a lot. Is it landscapes, portraits, real estate, kid models or billboards. Choose your liking. 

There are a lot of photography niches not done in Kenya. Or you can tap into wedding photography. Just buy the right photography gear and they include a cool DSLR camera like these ones for beginners.

Or you can begin with your smartphone, though it’s not professional as you hone into photography. You can choose to upload your photos on sites like Shutterstock Pixababy or start an Instagram page for your business. 

21. Fast Food Joint 

A fast-food joint doesn’t mean where you sell junk food. To get into these small businesses as a Kenyan you need to know the untapped niche. And it’s the healthy fast food joint.

Yes, a healthy version because more Kenyans are becoming aware of their health as time goes by. You can start as a franchise or from scratch. Know you’ll need to invest up to 10 million shillings or employ a few hands. 

22. Yoga Studio 

Are you a certified Yogi or know of a particular yoga routine like the ashtanga yoga for losing weight. Starting a yoga studio requires a huge space but not to be discouraged. If you have a big house you can start from within the house or rent a yoga studio.

To maximise on the profits of a yoga studio you can sell yoga mats, yoga clothes and yoga classes which you create online and use affiliate to monetise. 

Start a yoga studio business as a Kenyan by reading the following books. And follow the best youtube yoga instructors to learn about the basics. Or take the plane and hop onto India to get acquainted even more. 

22. Pet Business 

Nowadays, if you live in a safe neighbourhood, or middle class /upper-class areas, Kenyans are loving their pets. If you want to establish a pet business, you have to have to license, have a veterinarian close by.

You also have to be an animal lover so you can walk the animals. Provide luxury house sitting for the animals as well and charge per night per dog or per month depending. 

Start a pet business by reading the books below.

23. Daycare Business 

I love children, only to play with them but not the grumpy type. I love to cheer those ones up. But, do you love children, with all their noises and grumpiness and believe children are cute no matter what people say. A daycare business fits you.  

To start a Kenyan daycare business that will generate half a million per month, read this blog post about tips for starting a successful daycare business. It includes a business plan as well. 

24. Content Creation 

Content creation is becoming a booming business not only for millennials but for all generations. I follow older YouTubers who are so much fun and a breath of fresh air.

Check them out. Now, to become a content creator as a Kenyan, you need to come up with content and a content marketing strategy. Meaning how to get the content to as many eyeballs as possible. Content creation doesn’t stop with writing or video creations, it’s being an idea think tank. 

25. App Development 

Are you a lover of all things technology. You can become an app developer by learning how operating systems like ios and app store works. To get your feet wet in app developing, take courses or try to develop free apps like gaming apps. Apps earn well when ads get added to them. 

26. Landscaping 

A landscaping business is shaping the front yards and backyards of your clients. In Kenya, the landscaping business is sort of a poor man’s job but it doesn’t have to be. Some creative landscapers rake in six-figure income and I want you to embrace this and earn more. 

Get into the landscaping business by doing your own yard and reading the following landscaping books. 

27. Dance Studio 

A dance studio like a yoga studio requires space for rent. In Kenya, there aren’t many dance studios and those available are concentrated in Nairobi.

To run a successful dance studio, ensure you offer dance many are interested in, for example, those looking to losing weight.  Start a dance studio today by 

28. Gift Wrapping 

Do you know the gift wrapping season never stops? Someone somewhere is gifted something throughout the year. You can start by watching a number of YouTube videos to learn how to wrap gifts, because, it’s a technique.

Buy a cheap card box and wrapping paper and you’re in business. Now, add a Facebook/Instagram business page to help create the visuals for your business. Gift wrapping, after all, is visual.

29. Music Studio 

As a dance/yoga studio, you can start by having the latest music gadget collection in your library. Allow would-be musicians to use your studio for recording their music. They pay a premium to have access to musical instruments. Some of the most popular musical instruments are

The pianos, saxophones, guitars and trumpets. You can also offer services like songwriting services if you know how to write songs. Or have music ideas. 

30. Clothing Boutique 

The clothing industry is a billion shilling/dollar empire which you can easily start as a small business owner in Kenya. The barrier to entry is minimal but the competition as fierce as it gets.

You can choose a niche which entices you and is unexplored like the costume business or season special business. You can choose to sell children’s clothing or accessories. This industry expands all the time. 

To get into the clothing industry, read the following article on Shopify and these books. 

31. Travel Planning 

Do you love to travel? Do you love to score cheap flights for example? A guy created a whole business surrounding cheap flights and you can too. Not by following his business model but by being unique and original.

The travel business requires you to be unique and different as all other businesses. Travel planning isn’t dead though but if it is, you move on to travelling and enticing your customers by posting pictures and videos of your travels on Instagram/Facebook and Youtube. 

What a list though, don’t you love such long lists providing you with epic and remarkable small business ideas for Kenyans to make half a million shillings per month?. 

To succeed as a small business owner in Kenya and actually make half a million in profit per month or more you need: 

.1. Niche out. All the fields I have mentioned above are oversaturated. Take clothes, for example, every single business street in Kenya sells clothes.

You stand out when you differentiate yourself and differentiating yourself means knowing your niche market.

What’s that area of specialisation you are going to dive into. 

2. Use social media. In all the posts I kept mentioning Youtube, Instagram and Facebook. 

3. Be online savvy. Know how the online marketing world works to help get your business out there. 

4. You can start your small business from home. You don’t need a physical store to get started. 

5. Keep learning. There’s no way you will start your business without learning a thing or two about it. When you keep learning you keep expanding that’s why companies like Amazon and Facebook keep raking in the giant profits.

6. Invest in yourself and business. When working in your business, it’s better to plough in the profits back. Don’t go spending and splashing the cash out in unknown ventures. 

7. Take the leap of faith. It may be a non-tried small business or a little known business idea in Kenya that doesn’t mean the market doesn’t exist. You’ll use the profits in a lot of education and marketing to get your company out there. 

To succeed as a Kenyan small business owner and make profits, you also have to know failure is part of the entrepreneurial process. I love Jeff Bezos on his approach to failure that failure is a learning step. And remember the crazy story about Thomas Edison, he embraced his failure as a learning process. 

What small business idea will you be starting as a Kenyan? 




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