21 Untapped Business Ideas for Budding Entrepreneurs in Kenya

Do you want to start a profitable small business in Kenya in 2019?

Have you done your due diligence to find out the types of equipment needed for your kind of business; the stocking process, licences involved, capital needed to start, revenue averages and/or consumer behaviour in the industry?

Well, if you have, congratulations and good luck starting your business.

If you haven’t, keep your cool – this post will help you identify new untapped business ideas to pursue in Kenya or in any other African Nation.

You can also purchase our business ideas in PDF to get more information about the best suppliers to work with for success; learn critical success factors for the kind of business you want to start and more…

Below is a list of untapped business ideas to start in Kenya in 2019.

Identify an idea that interests you and mail us for free business advice or request to purchase the guide for Ksh. 500 only.

All the 21 business ideas are in PDF.

21 Untapped Business Ideas for Kenyan Entrepreneurs in 2019

1. Juice Parlor Business

Which type of fruit parlor would you like to start?

  • A street/ mkokoteni / wheelbarrow parlour?
  • Small Informal stalls parlour?
  • A formal street parlour?
  • Hotels/ Restaurants?

Whichever type of juice bar you have in mind, you will need to know the kind of licences involved, the cost of equipment needed, cost of acquiring customers and more.

If you ask me, this business is lucrative and need not so much money to start.

You can start a profitable mkokoteni juice bar with Ksh. 20,000 only. Check out guide for restaurants to see how much you’ll need to start a juice bar in a hotel.

2. Mpesa Sub Agent Business Idea

The Mpesa sub agent business is one of the fastest growing small businesses in Kenya.

A quick view of the business shows super agents on top of the chain, followed by agent aggregators then the sub agents.

Mpesa sub agents operate under the agents.

Simply put, these are the numerous mpesa kiosks you see almost everywhere in Kenya.

As a sub agent, you are required to maintain a minimum mpesa float of Ksh. 30,000.

Your commission will be paid monthly on a revenue share percentage of 80% (for you) to 20% (for the agent).

To make this business sustainable and to actually make profits as an Mpesa sub agents;

  1. How a sub agent makes money
  2. How to Earn the best Mpesa commissions
  3. Operations – running withdrawals, deposits and float
  4. Trends, revenue averages, what influences mpesa revenue
  5. Fraud, actual data from an Mpesa shop and more

3. Mitumba Business Idea – Start Retailing in Second Hand Clothes 

Starting a retail mitumba business is easy.

Just visit the retail market in your town, buy second hand clothes cheaply and resell for a higher price to make profits.

Depending on your seriousness and projections of business, you can start retailing mitumba clothes with as little as Ksh. 100.

However, it will take longer to grow your business.

How then do you ensure that even with the smallest capital your business grows constantly?

Our business guide for Mitumba clothes will give you an overview of: –

  • The process of sourcing mitumba clothes as a small retailer/wholesaler
  • The steps to starting a mitumba business – including location and strategic positioning for the business
  • Competition, margins, suppliers, trends and capital

Other factors outlined in the business guides include: –

  • How to identify mitumba suppliers in Kenya
  • Licences needed to start the business
  • The best stock to have while starting a mitumba business
  • Revenue projections with real business scenarios and more

4. Timber Retail Business Ideas 

Timber and retail business in Kenya is one of the oldest yet still the most profitable business to start.

This is if to go by the uses of timber in our country and the demand alike.

A well stocked timber yard with all the machines required to run the business can cost up to Ksh. 1.5 million to start.

Though not all necessary you will need to have these machines. Not buying some can help in reducing the initial cost of start up.

  1. Timber Treating /Painting Equipment
  2. Band Saw – used to split large pieces of timber to smaller piece.
  3. Lathe Machine – used to hold the timber as it’s spinned to make decorations.
  4. Electric Saw – used to split and cut wood.
  5. Multipurpose Circular Saw and Surface Plane – used to split timber, smoothen (kupiga randa) and even and even to make decorations of sorts.

Other requirements for starting a timber yard business in Kenya include: –

  • Getting a single user business permit
  • Passing Fire Inspection and getting the license
  • Getting equipment licenses
  • Kenya Forest Service License
  • Finding the cheapest timber suppliers
  • Understanding the business and more

5. Agrovet Business Ideas in Kenya

On average, you only need Ksh. 400,000 to start a well stocked agrovet in Kenya.

The business is one of the most lucrative around if Kenya being an Agricultural country is something to go by.

But what really do you need to start an agrovet business in Kenya?

Are there strict laws making this business hard to crack in Kenya?

Well, there and many other questions around licences, location identification, suppliers, competition and more… are discussed in our business idea guide for starting an agrovet in Kenya.

6. Wines And Spirits Retail Business in Kenya 

On average, you only need Ksh. 300,000 to start a wines and spirits retail business in your home town in Kenya.

This capital will cater for: –

  • Stock
  • Employee salary
  • Licences – Alcohol drinks licences, business permit, public health permit, medical permit…
  • Rent
  • Equipment including – glaces, chairs, DSTV, counter, shelves…
  • And more

Find out if this is the best business for you to invest in by reading our review on: –

  • How do deal with local authorities while running a wines and spirits business
  • Dealing with competition
  • The best location to start this kind of business
  • Wines and spirits suppliers – get the best rates
  • And more

7. Milk Distribution Business Ideas

Buzeki became one of Kenya’s billionaire by selling milk. Google that statement.

So what does a milk distributor do?

A milk distributor is the link between the milk processor and the retailer.

As a distributor you should understand the local market in terms of location of retail outlets, retailer behavior, consumer behavior and size.

In addition, you need keep an eye on local trends that might affect milk consumption such as population growth and preferences.

In this guide we help you: –

  • Understand the market
  • We put you ahead of the game by showing you what is required to become a milk distributor
  • We take you through the capital process and help you break down the operations
  • Even more important, the guide will show you all the milk companies in Kenya with direct contacts

8. Local Bar Business Ideas in Kenya.

To start a local bar business in Kenya you’ll need to have at least Ksh. 700,000 for starters.

But make sure you don’t invest blindly. Take your time and figure out if you can handle the intensity involved capital wise.

In your budget, key in salaries for a manager, supervisor, waiters, security guards, cashier, accountant, bouncer and DJ.

Also key in the taxes, rent and maintenance cost.

With the location that you have in mind and the local prices of drinks, do you see yourself cracking the business?

Get ahead of the game with our in depth business plan for local bar business in Kenya.

9. Chemist Retail Business Ideas in Kenya

By law you need to be a pharmacists or a pharmaceutical technologist to own a pharmacy in Kenya. However, you can also partner with a pharmacist if  you neither have a degree in pharmacy or a diploma in pharmaceutical technology.

But is that all you need to own a successful business in Kenya? No!

Other requirements include: – PPB licences, company registration, business permits, among other requirements.

For a well stocked small pharmacy business you need an average of Ksh. 500,000 but you can spend more if the location is high end.

10. LPG (GAS) Retail Business Guide 

Demand for LPG in Kenya is estimated to be about 60,000 metric tons annually.

Other bodies put it at 100,000 or 200,000.

Most of the LPG consumed in Kenya is imported from Bahrain and the Middle East and comes by sea. However there is LPG coming into the country from Zambia and Tanzania, some of it through smuggling.

This has made it difficult to know the exact amount of LPG that is consumed in the country. But, tell you what, there is a large market that you can still target and get money from.

Learn more about this business.

11. Supermarket Business Guide – How to Start a Mini Supermarket in Kenya 

Would you like to start your own supermarket in Kenya?

The business could be a mini, medium or a large scale supermarket with everything under one roof. Or justs a Mega wholesale store serving specific products.

How about you acquaint yourself with the business guide for supermarkets before you start planning?

Here are a few important guidelines to help you find your baring

  1. Equipment
  2. Product and categories
  3. Inventory management
  4. Security
  5. License
  6. Premises
  7. Supermarket supplier contacts
  8. Profits for supermarkets
  9. Challenges in the supermarket business

12. Photocopy Business Ideas in Kenya 

I don’t have to say that photocopy businesses have become extremely necessary nowadays. The digital age has not managed to wipe out paper completely which is why in busy towns, you see a photocopy business on every street.

In Nairobi CBD, there is even more than one photocopy business in one building. And guess what? They all make significant profits.

Photocopy businesses have been listed on several sites as easy small businesses to start in Kenya and continue to pop up in every area.

But, is this statement true?

And why is that? Read more 

13. Gym Business Guide for 2019

Is owning a gym profitable?

Gym business isn’t the most vibrant of small businesses to start in Kenya; but owning one is atleast a great place to start in enhancing fitness and wellness within communities.

If managed so well; a new gym can exceed your daily membership and monthly subscription expectations thus becoming just as profitable as any other viable business you can think of.

And the amazing part? Read More

14. Business Guide for Cosmetics/ Beauty Shop

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Cosmetics Shop in Kenya?

Not too much. As a matter of fact, you can even start this business without any investment. At least if your business model involves drop-shipping.

It could also cost you something between KES. 100,000 and KES 2,000,000 depending on your perceived location and the size of the business you want to start.

15. Retail Pork Business in Kenya

There are several forms in which you may start your pork business in Kenya. Big or small. It’s all up to you. You could be creative and figure it out though. But the most common are;

  1. Hawking
  2. Selling pork in butcheries
  3. Barbecue joints
  4. Hotels
  5. Butchery and eateries
  6. Outside catering… etc.

Request a detailed guide showing location, demographics, utilities, competition and survival e.t.c

16. Salon Business in Kenya

Which equipment do you need to start a salon business in Kenya?

1. Sink seat

2. Hair dryer

3. Blow dryer

4. Sterilizer

5. Manicure and Pedicure Sets/Mini Spas

What else do you need? You need a good business plan, you need a good location, good stylists… e.t.c. Read more

17. Business Guide for Executive Barber Shop in Kenya

What do you need to start an executive barber shop in Kenya?

  1. You need licences
  2. You need Kinyozi supplies and equipment
  3. A styling station
  4. A good location
  5. Good stylists
  6. And a functional customer service team.

Interested in starting your own Kinyozi? Request a business guide.

18. Car Hire Business Guide

Capital is no longer a deterrent to young, aggressive entrepreneurs who genuinely want to start small businesses in Kenya.

Perhaps because all genuine investors are willing to fund any viable businesses without hesitation.

Or because there are so many business loans in Kenya – including youth fund – ready to help young entrepreneurs grow. But before you even think about getting funding for that small start-up, how about you find out if you can at least begin without borrowing?

And, what if it is a car hire business -and- you don’t own a car yet, should you be discouraged and opt for a different business?

No! Read more 

19. Business Guide for Beef Butchery 

How easy is it to get into the beef butchery business in Kenya?

What kind of license do you need to be on the good side of the law?

An special equipment needed for specific meat processing tasks?

Use this guide to get all the answers that will help you start and run a successful butchery business in Kenya.

20. Motorcycle Spare Parts Business in Kenya. 

Fast Moving Items in Boda boda Parts Dealership

– Tires
– Tubes
– Rims
– Side Mirrors
– Brake Shoes
– Indicator Lamps
– Spark Plugs
– Front & Rear Sprockets
– Engine oil
– Cables
– Return Springs
– Head Cases
– Dimmer Switches
– Side Mirror Holders

Why you should consider joining this business.

  1. There is demand for motorcycle spare parts
  2. Profit margins are good if you find the right suppliers
  3. You can start the business with as little as Ksh. 100,000
  4. Transparent taxation policies.

21. Car Wash Business Guide

Do you want to start a carwash business in Kenya?

Do you know what’s needed to make the business a success?

This guide shows comprehensive trends for car wash businesses in Kenya – giving emphasis on trends in the car wash business; breaking down revenue and margins for the business, showing pricing, location and all licences involved.

READ  How to Start an Mpesa Agent Shop | Cost Review & Commissions

Comment on this post