Home Business Ideas 30 Small Business Ideas to Make Money in Kenya

30 Small Business Ideas to Make Money in Kenya

by Biztraction Research
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Are you exploring profitable business ideas in Kenya to start or invest in? As a business consulting firm we researched the market opportunities in Kenya and we would be sharing with you some of the profitable ideas you can start.

Economic Overview of Kenya

Kenya is located in East Africa, with approximately 54 million people. It is known for its diverse wildlife, scenic landscapes, and bustling cities like Nairobi, the capital city.

Kenya’s economy is largely driven by agriculture, which employs about 75% of the population and contributes 33% of the GDP. Major crops include tea, coffee, flowers, and horticultural products. The country also has a significant tourism industry, attracting visitors from its beaches, wildlife, and natural beauty.

Kenya has also experienced significant growth in its manufacturing and services sectors in recent years. The country has a growing middle class, which has increased demand for consumer goods and services. This has encouraged local and foreign investors to set up businesses in Kenya, particularly in technology, telecommunications, and finance.

The business environment in Kenya is generally favourable, with the government implementing policies to attract foreign investment and promote economic growth. The country has also significantly improved its infrastructure, particularly transportation, and energy. 

Photo by Steven Weeks on Unsplash

Profitable Business Ideas in Kenya Agriculture Sector

According to the World Bank, Kenya’s agriculture sector recorded a growth rate of 4.8% in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the global economy. The sector’s growth rate was supported by good rainfall, increased use of fertilizers, and government-led interventions to boost the sector’s productivity.

In terms of exports, agricultural products are a significant source of foreign exchange earnings for Kenya. In 2020, the total value of agriculture exports was approximately USD 6.8 billion, representing a 2.2% increase from the previous year. Tea is the top agricultural export, followed by horticulture products such as flowers, fruits, and vegetables. If you are considering the most profitable business to start in Kenya with 50k or 100k then you should look into the agricultural sector. 

  1. Agricultural exports business

The most popular agricultural products for export in Kenya include tea, coffee, horticultural products such as flowers, fruits, and vegetables, and other crops such as maize, wheat, and sugarcane. These products have a ready market in different regions of the world, including Europe, the United States, and the Middle East.

The government regulates the export process in Kenya through various bodies, such as the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS). These bodies ensure that agricultural products meet the required standards and regulations before being exported.

Incentives provided by the government include tax holidays, duty-free imports of inputs such as seeds and fertilizers, and access to credit facilities.

Estimated cost of starting an agricultural export business in Kenya

In summary, the cost of starting an agricultural export business in Kenya can range from Kshs. 500,000 to Kshs. 5,000,000 ($5,000 to $50,000), depending on the production scale and the export market. Conducting a feasibility study and developing a business plan to determine the estimated cost of starting the business is essential.

  1. Poultry farming

Poultry farming is a popular and profitable agribusiness venture in Kenya and other African countries like Nigeria as the demand for poultry products such as eggs and meat continues to rise. Also, keep in mind that starting a poultry farming business requires significant upfront investment in infrastructure, equipment, and inputs, and it can take several months to generate profits.

Estimated cost of starting a poultry farming business in Kenya

The estimated cost of starting a small-scale poultry farming business in Kenya can range from Ksh 50,000 to Ksh 100,000 (USD 500 to USD 1,000), depending on the size of the operation and the type of poultry you choose. This cost includes housing, equipment, feed, chicks, and vaccination. However, the cost can be higher for larger operations that require more equipment and a larger workforce. 

Estimated revenue for poultry farming business in Kenya 

The profits of a small agricultural export business in Kenya can vary widely depending on factors such as the type of crops or products being exported, the market demand and prices, the production volume, the production cost, and the logistics and transportation costs involved.

However, to give you a rough estimate, let’s assume a small agricultural export business in Kenya exports fresh fruits and vegetables to European and Middle Eastern countries. The business has a production capacity of 10,000 kg per month and sells the products at an average price of $1.5 per kg.

If the business operates fully and sells all its products, the monthly revenue would be around $15,000 (10,000 kg x $1.5/kg). Assuming the cost of production, including labor, inputs, packaging, and transport, is about 60% of the revenue, the monthly profit would be around $6,000 ($15,000 x 0.4).

Please note that all figures are estimates and can vary widely depending on the business’s circumstances. Additionally, the export market can be quite volatile, and changes in demand or prices can significantly affect the business’s profitability.

Estimated revenue for poultry farming business in Kenya 

The profitability of a small poultry farming business in Kenya can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of the farm, the type of birds being raised, the cost of inputs, and the market demand for poultry products. However, I can provide some general information to give you an idea.

Assuming you are starting with a small-scale poultry farm with about 500 birds, here’s a rough estimate of the potential profits:

  1. Revenue: Assuming each bird is sold for Ksh. 400, the total revenue from 500 birds will be Ksh. 200,000.
  2. Cost of production: Cost of production can vary depending on the inputs used, but some major costs include feed, labor, and medication. Assuming a cost of Ksh. 200 per bird, the total cost of production for 500 birds will be Ksh. 100,000.
  3. Profit: Subtracting the total cost of production from the revenue, we get a profit of Ksh. 100,000.

This is an estimated figure, and the actual profits can vary depending on several factors, such as market demand, competition, and farm management efficiency.

  1. Fish farming

Fish farming, also known as aquaculture, is a growing industry in Kenya due to its potential to increase food security, create employment opportunities, and improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers.

Estimated cost of starting a fish farming business in Kenya

Based on estimates, the cost of starting a small fish farming business in Kenya can range from Ksh. 100,000 to Ksh. 500,000, depending on the scale of the farm and the location.

Estimated revenue for fish farming business in Kenya 

The revenue from a small fish farming business in Kenya can vary depending on various factors, such as the farm size, the type of fish being farmed, the production capacity, the market demand, and the cost of production. However, here are some rough estimates:

Assuming you have a small fish farm with a production capacity of 500 fish per cycle, you farm tilapia, a popular fish in Kenya. Let’s assume the average selling price of tilapia is Ksh. 250 per kilogram. If you can produce 500 fish in 6 months, weighing 500 grams, your total production would be around 1250 kilograms. So, your total revenue would be approximately Ksh. 312,500 (1250kg x Ksh. 250/kg).

However, you need to deduct the cost of production, which can include expenses like feed, labor, electricity, and maintenance. Assuming the cost of production is Ksh. 200,000, your net revenue would be Ksh. 112,500 (Ksh. 312,500 – Ksh. 200,000). It’s important to note that these are just rough estimates, and actual revenue can vary depending on various factors mentioned earlier. Having a solid business plan and market strategy is important to ensure profitability in your fish farming business.

  1. Dairy farming

Dairy farming is an important agricultural activity in Kenya and has the potential to generate significant income for farmers. The dairy sector in Kenya has significant potential for growth, especially in value addition and processing of dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt. This can provide smallholder and commercial dairy farmers opportunities to increase their incomes and contribute to the country’s economic development. Kenya’s most common dairy breeds are the Holstein-Friesian, Ayrshire, Guernsey, and Jersey. Most smallholder farmers keep one or two cows, while commercial dairy farmers keep between 50 to 100 cows or more.

Estimated cost of starting a dairy farming business in Kenya

The estimated cost of starting a small dairy farming business in Kenya can range from Kshs. 1,000,000 to Kshs. 3,000,000. This cost includes land and equipment, which form a large part of the estimate and can be significantly reduced if you already have land and other means to refrigerate the dairy products. Oxfarm shared a much lower startup cost by focusing only on the core aspects of dairy production. However, these costs can vary greatly depending on several factors, so it’s important to research and create a detailed business plan before you start.

Estimated revenue for dairy farming business in Kenya 

The estimated revenue from a small dairy farming business in Kenya can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the number of cows, milk production per cow, the market demand for milk, the cost of production, and the pricing strategy used.

As a rough estimate, a small dairy farm in Kenya with 5 cows producing an average of 20 liters of milk per day per cow could generate monthly revenue of about KES 150,000 ($1,500) to KES 200,000 ($2,000) if they sell the milk at the current market price of KES 35 ($0.35) per liter. However, this is just an estimate, and actual revenue may be lower or higher depending on the abovementioned factors.

  1. Honey production

The Kenyan government has established various programs to promote honey production and beekeeping in the country. These programs aim to increase honey production and improve the quality of honey through training, extension services, and the provision of modern beekeeping equipment.

Estimated cost of starting a honey production business in Kenya

The estimated cost of starting a small honey production business in Kenya can range from Ksh 100,000 to Ksh 300,000 ($1,000 to $3,000) or more, depending on the scale of the operation.

Estimated revenue for honey production business in Kenya 

The revenue from a small honey production business in Kenya can vary depending on various factors, such as the size of the business, the quality of honey produced, the marketing strategy used, and the prevailing market prices. However, to provide a rough estimate, I can share industry insights and data on the average revenue of honey production businesses in Kenya.

According to a report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) in 2019, the honey sector in Kenya contributed about Ksh 10.35 billion ($95 million) to the economy. The report further stated that the average price of honey in Kenya was Ksh 600 ($5.50) per kilogram, with production costs ranging from Ksh 200 to Ksh 400 per kilogram.

Assuming a small honey production business in Kenya produces 1000 kilograms of honey annually and sells it at an average price of Ksh 600 per kilogram, the revenue would be Ksh 600,000 ($5,500). However, this revenue estimate may vary depending on the quality of honey produced and the marketing strategy used to sell the honey.

Photo by Rohan Reddy on Unsplash

Profitable Business Ideas in Kenya Tourism and hospitality Sector

Kenya’s tourism and hospitality sector is one of the country’s major industries, contributing significantly to the country’s economy. Kenya is a popular destination for both international and domestic tourists, offering a variety of attractions such as wildlife safaris, beaches, cultural tourism, and adventure tourism. The sector employs over 1.1 million people and contributes approximately 8.8% to the country’s GDP. The sector has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a decline in tourist arrivals and a decrease in hotel bookings and occupancy rates.

Despite the pandemic’s impact, the government has implemented measures to revive the sector, such as reducing taxes and levies for the industry, providing financial support to affected businesses, and launching a national tourism recovery strategy. Additionally, the government is improving infrastructure and security and promoting sustainable tourism practices to attract more visitors. Some popular tourist destinations in Kenya include Maasai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park, Tsavo National Park, Lake Nakuru, and the coastal towns of Mombasa and Malindi. The hospitality industry in Kenya comprises various types of accommodations ranging from luxury hotels to budget lodges and camping sites.

Kenya’s tourism and hospitality sector has great potential to contribute to the country’s economic growth, create employment opportunities, and promote cultural exchange.

Tour guide services

Kenya is a popular tourist destination for its wildlife reserves, beaches, and cultural heritage sites. Starting a tour guide business in Kenya can be rewarding and profitable if you have the necessary skills, knowledge, and expertise.

Estimated cost of starting a tour guide service business in Kenya

The estimated cost of starting a small tour guide service business in Kenya can range from KES 500,000 to KES 2,500,000 or more, depending on your specific needs and requirements. You should conduct thorough research and create a detailed business plan to determine the exact costs and funding required for your business.

When starting a tour guide business, equipment and supplies such as a tour vehicle, communication equipment, safety gear, and marketing materials are the most expensive cost items. The cost of this equipment can range from KES 500,000 to KES 2,000,000, depending on the type of vehicle and equipment you need.

Estimated revenue for tour guide service business in Kenya

The estimated revenue from a small tour guide service business in Kenya can vary greatly depending on various factors such as the business size, the number of clients served, the pricing structure, the location, and the quality of the services provided. However, I can provide some general information and estimates to give you an idea of what to expect.

According to research, the average revenue for a small tour guide service business in Kenya can range from Ksh 500,000 to Ksh 2,000,000 per year. This estimate is based on a business with a small team of tour guides serving a few clients weekly, charging around Ksh 5,000 to Ksh 10,000 per tour.

However, the revenue potential can increase significantly if the business can expand its operations by offering additional services such as transport, accommodation, and meals. 

Safari tours

The safari tour business in Kenya is highly competitive, with many tour operators offering a wide range of packages and services to cater to the diverse needs of tourists. Many tour operators also offer customized tours that can be tailored to suit the individual preferences of their clients. The Safari tour business in Kenya is a major industry that attracts millions of tourists annually. Kenya is known for its beautiful national parks, wildlife reserves, and game reserves that offer some of the best safari experiences in the world.

Estimated cost of starting a safari tour business in Kenya

Starting a safari tour business in Kenya can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000 or more, depending on the size and scope of your operation. It’s important to do thorough research and create a detailed business plan to determine the exact costs and financing options available to you.

Estimated revenue for safari tour business in Kenya 

The estimated revenue for a safari tour business in Kenya can vary greatly depending on various factors such as the business size, the number of clients, the length of the tours, the services offered, and the marketing strategy employed. However, according to industry estimates, the average revenue for a safari tour business in Kenya is around $50,000 to $100,000 per year.

Car rental services

Starting a car rental service business in Kenya can be a lucrative venture, as there is a growing demand for transportation services in the country. The car rental service business in Kenya is growing due to the increase in demand for private transportation by individuals and companies. The car rental industry in Kenya offers a range of vehicles, from economy cars to luxury cars, which can be rented daily, weekly, or monthly. 

The car rental industry in Kenya is competitive, with both international and local companies operating in the market. Some major players in Kenya’s car rental industry include Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Sixt, and Budget. These companies offer various vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, vans, and luxury cars.

Estimated cost of starting a car rental service business in Kenya

The cost of starting a car rental service business in Kenya can vary depending on several factors, such as the number of vehicles you plan to start with, the type of vehicles, the location of your business, and other operational expenses. The cost of starting a car rental service business in Kenya can range from Ksh 500,000 to Ksh 10,000,000 (USD 5,000 to USD 100,000). Doing a detailed feasibility study is recommended to determine the specific costs for your business.

Estimated revenue for car rental service business in Kenya 

The average revenue for a car rental service business in Kenya can vary widely depending on factors such as location, size of the business, types of vehicles offered, and the demand for rental services in the area. According to a report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Kenya’s car rental and leasing industry generated a total of KES 17.8 billion (approximately USD 160 million) in revenue in 2019. However, this includes both short-term and long-term rentals and leasing services. A small car rental business in Kenya may earn around KES 100,000 to KES 500,000 per month (approximately USD 900 to USD 4,500) in revenue. In contrast, larger businesses with a fleet of vehicles and a wider range of services can earn several million Kenyan shillings per month (tens of thousands of US dollars).

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