Business Ideas Kenya

Business Ideas in Kenya: Top 20 Best profitable businesses to start in 2024

There are a lot of business ideas in Kenya. As a growing nation with a middle-sized economy, you can set up several businesses that will grow into big enterprises. Business ideas in first-world countries and third-world countries differ in almost all aspects.

For example, a McDonald’s driveway wouldn’t perform so well in Kenya as compared to a sausage and egg kiosk on a roadside. To understand the top 20 best profitable businesses to start in 2024, you must understand the Kenyan economy.

This article will take you through some of the business ideas that do well in Kenya. Let’s dive in.

Business Ideas in Kenya

Business ideas range from one location to another; a travel agency will perform very well in Nairobi compared to Mandera County. This is because Nairobi has a large population, an international airport, and all amenities are within reach.

To get business ideas, you’ll have to travel within the country and understand what is lacking in that particular area. This way, you will be able to identify a problem and offer a solution. Ensure you research widely before starting a business.

Small Business Ideas in Kenya

Small business ideas are businesses that don’t require a massive amount of startup capital. Some of them are:

  1. Consultation
  2. Swimming instructor
  3. Fitness instructor
  4. Content developer
  5. Tutoring
  6. Online taxi business
  7. Selling E-Books
  8. Data entry services
  9. Selling ice cream.
  10. Movie shop

You can start the business with KSh 30,000 or less if you have the equipment ready with you. This is what you need.

  • A computer
  • A small room
  • Internet connection (to download movies)

Ensure you find a suitable location; the densely populated areas are the best. You can earn from Ksh 300 to Ksh 2,000 per day in the movie shop, depending on your client base.

Best Businesses to Start In Kenya

The best businesses to start in Kenya are those that are in high demand. What you do is identify a problem that needs to be solved, and you set up your business. Some of the best businesses to start in Kenya are:

Delivery services

Delivery services are in demand among the middle class and lower middle class. The demand is caused by the diversification of businesses throughout the country. Entrepreneurs with businesses in Lodwar don’t need to go to Mombasa to buy goods. Once they order the goods, they will be delivered to their doorstep.

For starters, you can begin by delivering goods within your locality by foot or bicycle. As you grow, you can purchase or rent a motorcycle. Always ensure you’re punctual and your customer care skills are excellent; this way, your delivery service business will grow at a faster rate.

Car hire services

Kenya is a fast-growing economy. The demand for cars has gone up, pushing the retail prices of second-hand vehicles relatively high. For this reason, many people have opted for self-drive car hire services.

Small cars are charged from Ksh 2,000 to 3,500 per day. The business is precarious if you’re not prepared. Ensure that you have the following.

  • A business permit
  • Insurance to cover damages.
  • A vehicle tracker

When a client approaches your business to hire a vehicle, ask for the following documents:

  • National ID card
  • The original driving license

Check the documents thoroughly, and when you’re satisfied, draft an agreement letter that the client will sign. Also, check for damage when the car is handed over to you.

Always look for long-term clients or companies to hire your cars. This way, your vehicles will be in shape and condition.

Vehicle sales

Vehicle sales are gaining momentum in Kenya. If you’re looking to enter the business, you can sell second-hand cars used locally or import second-hand ones from overseas.

Most people are buying cars for the online taxi business, so ensure you import small-sized cars (1000 cc and below). These are some of the fastest-moving units in Kenya. You can also opt for luxury units, but it’ll take longer before you can sell a considerable number of units.

Car garages

With an influx of vehicles on our roads, there’s also a high demand for garages and mechanics. The Kenyan market has become diverse; right now, we have so many European cars, unlike a few years ago when we only had Japanese cars on our roads.

Some of the available garages deal mainly with Japanese units, which leaves a considerable gap and demand for cars from Europe. If you intend to set up a garage, specialize in repairing European vehicles.

Nanny caregiver

This business does not require a huge startup cost. You only need to be skilled at your job. Nanny caregivers look after children and the elderly in homes or caregiver centers.

This new trend is gaining momentum in Kenya. Many people are held up at work and can’t be available to take care of their elderly parents or siblings. Once you fill in this gap and provide professional services, you’ll set up your caregiver business within two years.

Elementary school

Many parents want to give their children the best education. For this reason, elementary schools have been in high demand. Most public schools are overcrowded and lack basic amenities.

To set up an elementary school that stands out, follow the following.

  • Look for a serene place with a title deed.
  • Professional certificates
  • Teachers (should have a TSC number)
  • Registration certificate

Once you’re done, you can either hire a place or construct the school from scratch.

Home Décor and Design

This deals with designing and decorating clients’ homes. You need high skills and a personal touch. If you’re good at what you do, you’ll get referrals, and your business will grow tremendously

Ecommerce business

One fantastic trait about e-commerce is that you don’t require a physical space where you’ll be paying rent. You just have to find fast-moving products and post them on your blog or social media.

For deliveries, you can find a reputable company to deliver products to your clients, or you can do it yourself.

Web design

Most of the businesses in Kenya have an online presence. There is a high demand to create and run these websites. Companies and institutions lack people with the skills to develop a website and maintain it.

Advertise your services online and physically in companies, schools, and parastatals. Amazingly, you don’t require capital to start the business, although your skills have to be top-notch to get referrals.


YouTube channels are gaining popularity in Kenya. Starting a YouTube channel is relatively easy. You just need the following.

  • A camera (you can use your smartphone).
  • A microphone
  • Editing software
  • Consistent content

I have to say that running a YouTube channel is no walk in the park. You need consistent content every day. You don’t have to create content from scratch; you can do voice-overs or redo other YouTube content in a new way.

Some of the profitable niches on YouTube are:

  • Tech Videos
  • Gaming
  • Product Reviews
  • Tutorials
  • Storytime Videos
  • Vlogs
  • Food
  • Fashion
  • Beauty
  • Healthy Living & Weight Loss
  • Travel
  • Animals
  • How To videos
  • Humour

If your niche picks up and you get continuous subscribers and views, stick to the niche and continue improving it. YouTube will make you a fortune.


Kenya’s top 20 most profitable businesses

In this category, we are looking at business ideas that require little capital but have a higher profit margin. We won’t be listing businesses undertaken by parastatals or multi-national companies. Let’s get started.

#1 Bakery

You need to have the necessary skills to open a bakery shop; otherwise, you will have to hire professionals to bake for you. Baking is classified under food and beverages, and for this reason, you’ll need the following.

  • A business permit
  • Food handlers’ certificate

The business is profitable because you’ll be dealing with weddings, birthdays, and graduation celebrations.

#2 Restaurant

Restaurants are in high demand not only in the capital city but in other counties. The road network has opened up the country, which has led to an increase in domestic tourists. This has led to a demand for quality eating and resting joints.

If you’re looking to enter into business, look for busy areas that lack basic amenities. Some towns have got a high population but lack good restaurants. Many clients will seek your services if you set up a good restaurant.

Although the initial startup cost might be high, the results will be worth it in the end.

#3 Cyber café

A cybercafé allows you to browse the internet and get online services that you can’t access with your smartphone. A good cybercafé will require a startup capital of around Ksh 300,000.

Cyber cafes work best in town centers or in places near busy institutions such as colleges, universities, and government offices.

To open a cyber café, you’ll need the following:

  • A business permit
  • Computers (you can start with six)
  • Stable internet connection
  • A colored printer
  • A photocopier
  • Stationeries
  • Laminator
  • Chairs and partition boards

If you have the necessary skills, you can operate the business independently. If you don’t have the skills, feel free to employ a cybercafé attendant.

#4 Barbershop

Skilled barbers always have loyal clients. Setting up a barbershop doesn’t require a lot of things. Due to the change in market dynamics, you’ll have to hire another employee for head wash and massage.

For barbershops, you only need the following:

  • A business permit
  • Chairs
  • Shaving machines
  • Mirrors

If your barber’s services are perfect, people will travel from far to seek your services.

#5 Second-hand clothes (Mitumba)

Second-hand clothes in another big industry in Kenya. Many families have benefited from this venture. It has fewer risks and higher returns, and it doesn’t matter whether you’ll sell the clothes in Nairobi or in other counties.

All you need is enough money to buy a bale of clothes. Most of the bales are sold at the Gikomba market. Once you purchase the bales, you can either sell them there or transport them to another location.

#6 Motorcycle (Boda-Boda) Business

Some routes are never covered completely by PSV buses, and that is where motorcycles make most of their money. The lowest amount charged is usually Ksh 50.

You don’t need to buy a motorcycle to start this business. You can begin with a hired motorcycle and, after some time, purchase your own bike. The business requires you to have a valid motorcycle driving license.

DO READ – BODA BODA Registration Certificate Download

#7 Motorcycle Repair

In Kenya, we have many motorcycles. All of them need spare parts and repair. If you can open a motorcycle repair shop that offers quality services, then you’ll have a large client base and higher returns.

The business doesn’t require much; it just needs enough space for the repairs and also sells spare parts that will be replaced after repairs.

#8 Blogging

You can start publishing your self-published content online. This can be the writing of photography. All you need is a computer and stable internet access. Blogging is a profitable venture that doesn’t require money to start. However, you have to be consistent to see results.

#9 Recycling

You can opt for plastic or glass recycling. What you do is that you open a shop in an open location where people can see it. People will then bring the damaged or old plastics for recycling.

You can either opt to recycle it yourself or take the waste to an industrial area for recycling. The recycling machines are pretty expensive, and you’ll have to dig deeper into your pockets to afford them.

#10 Children’s Daycare

As parents go about their duties, they’re left with no choice but to employ a housekeeper to take care of their children. A housekeeper is expensive to employ compared to daycare, where you pay from Ksh 50 to Ksh 200.

To set up a daycare, you need the following

  • A spacious room
  • Professionalism
  • Business Permit

For those starting out without any capital, you can run the daycare from your house before you can hire a room.

#11 Garbage collection

Garbage collection is another profitable venture that is looked down upon by many people. Right now, garbage collection ranges from Ksh 200 to Ksh 500 per month in every house.

To start a garbage collection business, you will need the following:

  • A business permit
  • A vehicle to transport the garbage
  • NEMA (National Environment Management Authority) certified documents

#12 Travel Agency

Kenya is a tourist destination, and starting a travel agency will be the best thing to do. Furthermore, domestic tourism has really grown over the past few years. To set up a successful travel agency, you will need the following.

  • A business permit
  • A tour license
  • Vehicles to transport visitors and tourists

#13 Laundry Services

Many people don’t have ample time to clean their suits, blankets, or carpets. They opt to seek the services of a laundry cleaner. The business venture is picking up momentum, but you’ll need the following first.

  • A washing machine
  • A business permit

#14 M-Pesa Business

Since M-Pesa was introduced in the Kenyan market, the M-Pesa business has been doing well with each passing day.

Ti runs a successful M-Pesa agent shop; you’ll need the following

When a customer withdraws money, ensure you record their ID details to avoid reversals, which are usually devastating to the business.

#15 Motor vehicle spare parts

As more Kenyans buy cars, there is also a high demand for spare parts. Ensure that you stock genuine spares from the respective countries (e.g., Japan, Germany, and the USA).

To operate a spare parts business, you’ll need the following:

  • A business permit
  • An ideal location (in urban centers or near garages)

Some of the vehicle parts that are replaced regularly are:

  • Alternator
  • Air filter
  • Oil
  • Brake pads
  • Battery
  • Timing belt
  • Oil pump
  • Fuel pump
  • Spark plugs
  • Tires
  • Wipers
  • Windows (Windscreens)
  • Side mirrors
  • ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) and brake fluids

If you stock your shop with the above spares, you’ll have daily customers because they are the common parts that are replaced due to wear and tear or theft.

#16 Beauty and cosmetics

This business targets women because they’re continuously improving their skin. If you walk around Nairobi, you will realize that most of the shops with genuine beauty products are always crowded.

Ladies do a lot of impulse buying; if you stock genuine products in your shop, you’ll get loyal clients.

#17 Electronics business

You can start an electronics business either in Nairobi CBD (Central Business District) or on the outskirts of Nairobi and its environs. Electronics are pretty sensitive; ensure that you buy or ship your merchandise from trusted dealers.

Some of the most fast-moving electronics are

  • Mobile phones
  • Speakers
  • Security cameras
  • Projectors
  • Digital cameras
  • Printers
  • Computers
  • Wireless earbuds
  • Gaming consoles
  • Smartwatches

#18 Poultry farming

For poultry farming, you don’t need a big space. Start with a small, clean, well-lit room. Your target should be eggs and meat consumers. Some of the chicken breeds that do well in Kenya are:

  • Layers
  • Kari (improved Kienyeji)
  • Kuroiler
  • Broilers
  • Kenbro

You only require a small amount to start your business. Ensure that your chicks are vaccinated on time to avoid costly expenses in the poultry venture.

#19 Tailoring business

Being a professional tailor will take you places. Some of the established tailors get jobs from non-governmental organizations, government parastatals, and other private institutions.

If you’re good at tailoring, you can start with a small shop. Trust me; you’ll get referrals within the first month when your services are top-notch. Additionally, you can opt to rent a larger room and employ tailors.

You will need the following to start a tailoring business:

  • Garment stitching skills.
  • Pattern drafting skills.
  • Types of fabrics
  • Sewing machine
  • Tailoring skills
  • A business permit

If you’re starting out in the business as a fresher, you can begin at your house and, after a while, rent a space in public.

#20 Photography

Events happen every day, and this is an opportunity for you to start a photography business. But first, you’ll need the following.

  • A powerful camera
  • Editing software
  • Photography skills

One thing you’ll have to prove is your skills. Note that some phones have very powerful cameras, so your cameras have to be top-notch to convince your clients.

Some of the places you can extend your photography services are

  • Weddings
  • Graduation ceremonies
  • Burials
  • Birthday parties
  • Baby showers

You can also photograph nature, cities, and parks and upload them to online sites that pay. Some of the sites that pay you to upload photos are:

  • Adobe Stock
  • Shutterstock
  • Alamy
  • Etsy
  • Fotomoto
  • Crestock
  • 500px
  • Snapped4u
  • Photo shelter


When choosing a business idea, always check your skills first; if you can run the business alone, the better. On the other hand, if you lack the basic skills, be prepared to use funds to employ professionals with the required skills.

Opportunities are always available in every corner of the globe; just take the proper steps, be consistent, and you will reap the fruits of hard work.

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