Mombasa is the second-largest city in Kenya and a business ideas den in its own right.
According to the 2019 census, this coastal city of Kenya had a population of about 1,208,333 people.
This further sets it apart as a good place to start any small business as the population is also oddly spread across different social classes.
Among the infrastructure already laid out in the region to foster business growth and to facilitate cross-border trade between Kenya, the East African region and the outside world are: –
- An international airport (Moi International Airport) – facilitates the quick import and export of goods from the coastal region.
- Standard gauge railway (providing a fast, efficient and reliable mode of transportation of cargo from Mombasa into landlocked Kenyan towns).
- Improved roads – Has increased social interactions in Mombasa hence more local tourists – stimulating faster economic growth in Mombasa.
- A world-class port – The Port of Mombasa is the key entry and exit point for cargo belonging to a vast hinterland that includes Kenya, Uganda Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, South Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia.
All of these should make Mombasa so great a county to start easily scalable businesses in Kenya.
Why is it that the people of Mombasa still lurk in abject poverty?
Is it because the educated sons and daughters of county 001 only want white-collar jobs?
Or is the myth that they are all lazy people true after all!
In today’s episode of small business ideas for Kenya, we focus on profitable business ideas that anyone can start in Mombasa with as little as 1,000 shillings or more.
Best Business Ideas for Mombasa County.
There are six sub-counties in Mombasa where you can start your profitable business.
The sub-counties include Changamwe, Jomvu, Kisauni, Nyali, Likoni, and Mvita.
Best business ideas to start in Mombasa Sub Counties.
1. Start a restaurant.
If you live in Changamwe, Mombasa and you’d like to start a small business closer home, why not start a restaurant?
Considering the population of this sub-county, the infrastructure, and its location in the county of Mombasa, a small restaurant would be ideal.
2. Start a motorcycle spare parts business.
Like all other Kenyan towns, Mombasa is infested with Boda Boda businesses making it another good place to start a spare parts business in Kenya. Of course after Busia.
3. Black coffee hawking.
Black coffee is one of the best small businesses you can start in the coastal region. This is if to go by the idea that the coffee market is huge in Mombasa and there are few street brewers.
4. Start a Fast Food Business.
If you wish to start a fast food business in Mombasa, think in the line of selling chips, popcorn, and cookies alongside other baked foods.
Interestingly, you may only need 2,000 shillings to get into the business. Not to mention all the equipment you’ll need to make your fast food plus the taxes involved.
5. Beauty and cosmetic shop.
Cosmetic products are widely used in Mombasa – making the beauty and cosmetics business another small and smart business to start in Mombasa with little capital.
With Ksh. 100,000 you can start your small cosmetics business and grow it into a multinational operating from Mombasa.
Here’s an in-depth article on how to start a beauty shop in Mombasa.
If you have good cash and the drive to run your own small business, why not start an executive barbershop in Mombasa.
While the costs might be a little over the top, a barbershop is one of those businesses that will give you a quick ROI if managed well.
Here’s an in-depth post on how to start a barbershop in Kenya.
7. Open a local bar.
Starting a local bar in Kenya mainly just requires the licenses for starting a business and permits for selling alcohol.
Anything else involved in the business would be normal stuff like furniture, bar attendants, trading location, music, and an open door to receive clients. Nothing complicated.
An alternative to a local bar business is to put your money in the boutique business. The trick for success in this business though is not to just focus on your physical store but to rather leverage digital marketing too.
9. Become a Mpesa Agent.
To keep your boutique business afloat, you can also add services like Mpesa and other mobile banking services to it.
To start a Mpesa sub-agent shop you’ll need around Ksh. 30,000 only.
Here’s an in-depth article on how to start a Mpesa sub-agent business in Kenya.
10. Taxi business.
If you have a car and you live in Mombasa, use your car to earn extra income by driving a taxi.
You can also join rideshare apps like Uber, Bolt, Mondo, Wasili, and the rest on play store to get consistent clients and keep your business afloat.
11. Sell swimming costumes.
While there are already thousands of people doing this kind of business in Mombasa, it is never too late to join in.
If you can get your hands on a bale of swimming costumes in Mombasa, use it as your speed boat to financial freedom. Fight for a share of the swimming consumes business market in Mombasa and only leave that you have made profits.
It doesn’t matter that you are not originally from Mombasa. County 001 is cosmopolitan and this goes a long way in how business is also done here.
12. Coconut Business
Mombasa being the home of coconut and coconut products in Kenya, you can start your business in town and center it mostly on hawking madafu rather than matured coconuts.
Ideally, madafus go for Ksh. 30 but you can sell for as much as Ksh. 100 if you get visitors who don’t already know the prices.
14. Start Selling Fish in Mombasa.
Other than selling Mombasa coconuts, you can also sell fish from the ocean to earn your daily bread.
15. Sell second-hand clothes.
Second-hand clothes, best known as mitumba clothes in Kenya is another small business you can start with close to not income in Mombasa.
With as little as Ksh. 6,500 you can buy a bale of clothes and sell for triple the capital within a week.
16. Start a Salon Business.
If you have braiding and other saloon skills and would like to start a small business in Mombasa Kenya, why not become a salonist?
Interestingly, you do not need any capital for this king of business. Neither do you need a physical location if you don’t have the cash to set up.
Rather, you can just braid one client: – a friend, daughter, or relative. Take a picture of your works and advertise on social media.
You can visit clients who have shown interest in their homes and braid them from there.
17. Open gym business.
Considering that Mombasa people are beginning to get health-conscious, you can start your health and fitness business in the county – centered around exercises.
Have trainers who are consistent and easy to relate to – to scale your business.
Here’s a detailed guide of how to start a gym business in Kenya – with cost reviews and equipment needed to start.
18. Start the furniture business.
Just like in all the 47 counties of Kenya, Mombasa is a good place to start a furniture business. This is if to go by the number of people considered to be middle-class earners in that population.
And the other fact that a Kenyan home is not a complete home without luxurious seats, tables, and other furniture.
19. Start a mobile repair shop.
If you have skills in computer and mobile repair, why not start a phone repair shop in Mombasa? You’d be surprised how many clients you get in a day if you are honest in your dealing and consistent in your operations.
20. Sell electronic devices.
Another great business idea to consider pursuing in Mombasa, of course, if you have cash is the electronics business.
You can sell electronic devices such as computer accessories, laptops, mobile chargers, desktops, electric cables, mobile phones, earphones among other accessories and gadgets.
21. Open pharmacy.
Just like all the other small businesses on this list, opening a small pharmacy would be ideal. You can count on profitability if you find a good location. Use strategies like 24-hour operations and/or reduced prices on products with higher margins to attract more clients and to create a rapport with existing customers.
22. Sell Eggs And Smokies.
Hawking smokies and boiled egg is also a profitable business you can start in Mombasa. This business requires small capital to start and can do well in any part of the county.
In fact, you need at least Ksh. 2000 to start.
With this small capital, you can make Ksh. 1500 per day.
23. Start Selling phones and computers.
Another fast-growing business in Kenya is the mobile and computer sales business.
Almost everyone wants the best mobile phone.
Even you reading this blog, you want the best phone, don’t you?
There is a huge market for gadgets. And if you can tap on that market by starting a computer/mobile phone sales business in Mombasa.
Summing It Up
There are several businesses you can start in Mombasa to earn a better living.
You need not wait for employment by the government or by a private firm.
Just pick a business on this list and start doing it as soon as today.