Starting a business in Kenya is a challenging yet rewarding venture for entrepreneurs who take the risk. It takes time, dedication, and resources to build a successful business. In Kenya, entrepreneurs have many opportunities to start a business, make a difference, and achieve their dream of freedom. However, choosing the right business to start can be daunting. In this article, we will provide you with a list of the top 10 best businesses to start in Kenya.
The ideas come from our experience in running businesses and market research. We have selected the top 10 businesses based on the following criteria:
Profitability: The business should have the potential to generate significant revenue.
Customer Demand: The business should cater to a large customer base and have a growing market demand.
Ease of Starting: The business should be easy to start with minimal capital and resources.
Barriers to Entry: The business should have limited competition, and the entry barriers should be low.
State of the business environment in Kenya
Kenya’s business environment offers both opportunities and challenges. According to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report, Kenya ranks 56th out of 190 countries. The country has made significant strides in improving its business environment, especially in areas such as starting a business, registering property, and protecting minority investors. However, challenges such as corruption, inadequate infrastructure, and bureaucracy still exist.
The list of the top 10 best businesses to start in Kenya
E-commerce is one of the fastest-growing industries in Kenya. With a rapidly growing population of internet users, e-commerce offers significant potential for entrepreneurs. The industry includes online marketplaces, classifieds websites, and online stores. Some of the popular e-commerce businesses in Kenya include Jumia, Kilimall, and Masoko.
To beat out the competition we suggest that you start small and focus on one line of product. For example, you can start an e-commerce website for selling beauty products only. Niching down to a specific line of products enables you to become an authority in that area. By becoming an expert in your niche, you can differentiate yourself from larger, more generalized retailers and build a loyal customer base.
If you currently have a business, create a website and start marketing your website and products through Social Media and Google.
Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy. The country has a vast agricultural sector, which offers numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs. Some of the popular agricultural businesses in Kenya include poultry farming, horticulture, and dairy farming.
Here are some of the advantages of starting an agriculture business;
Access to Land: Kenya has a significant amount of arable land, with around 48% of the country’s land area being suitable for agriculture. This means that there are plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs to start farming businesses, whether on a small or large scale.
Favourable Climate: Kenya has a tropical climate, which is ideal for growing a wide variety of crops, including fruits, vegetables, and grains. With the right agricultural practices, farmers can achieve high yields and quality produce, which can be sold in local and international markets.
Supportive Government Policies: The Kenyan government has put in place various policies and initiatives aimed at supporting the agricultural sector. This includes subsidies for inputs such as fertilizers and seeds, tax exemptions, and other incentives to encourage investment in the sector.
High Demand for Agricultural Products: With a growing population and increasing demand for food, there is a large and growing market for agricultural products in Kenya. This means that there is plenty of room for entrepreneurs to start businesses that produce and sell food crops, livestock, and other agricultural products.
3. Cosmetics Business
Kenya’s beauty industry is growing rapidly, with rising demand for skincare, haircare, and other personal grooming products. Entrepreneurs can start a cosmetics business by importing and distributing quality products or by producing and selling their own line of beauty products.
4. Spare-parts Sales
The number of vehicles has increased tremendously in the last 5 years and there is a growing demand for spare parts for vehicles of all types. You can start a spare parts business by importing and distributing quality products or by setting up a shop where customers can purchase genuine parts for their vehicles.
5. Landscaping Business
As the number of homeowners in Kenya increases, there is a growing need for landscaping services to maintain private gardens and lawns. Entrepreneurs can start a landscaping business by offering services such as garden design, lawn maintenance, tree trimming, and irrigation systems installation.
6. Hardware Business
With a growing construction industry, there is a high demand for hardware products such as building materials, tools, and equipment. You can start a hardware business by importing and distributing quality products or by setting up a shop where customers can purchase construction materials and tools.
7. Computer Sales
With the rise of technology, everyone from students to professional workers needs a computer. As a result, there is a growing demand for computer products and services. You can start a computer sales business by importing and distributing quality products or by setting up a shop where customers can purchase computers, accessories, and software.
8. Food and Beverage
Everyone needs food. The food and beverage industry in Kenya is growing at a steady pace. With a growing middle class and urbanization, there is an increasing demand for processed foods and beverages. Some of the popular businesses in this industry include fast-food chains, restaurants, and cafes.
However, the location of this kind of business is very important. Before starting a food and beverage business do thorough research on the location and make sure you launch your business in an area where there are plenty of people who can afford your meals and beverages.
9. Health and Wellness
Kenya’s healthcare system is undergoing significant changes, with an increasing focus on preventive healthcare. The health and wellness industry includes businesses such as pharmacies, gyms, fitness centres, and wellness centres. Some of the popular businesses in this industry include Goodlife Pharmacy, Smart Gyms Junction, and Twiga Foods.
If you consider going with the option of a gym or fitness centre make sure you start it in a middle-class area because not all people can afford to pay gym membership fees otherwise you might struggle to get customers.
10. Education and Training
The education and training industry in Kenya is growing at a rapid pace. With an increasing demand for quality education, there are numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs in this sector. Some of the popular businesses in this industry include private schools, training centres, e-learning platforms, and bookshops.
11. Renewable Energy
The renewable energy industry in Kenya is growing at a rapid pace. With a significant focus on sustainable development, there is a growing demand for renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. Some of the popular businesses in this industry include M-KOPA, Azuri Technologies, and BBOXX.
12. Real Estate
The real estate industry in Kenya is growing at a steady pace, driven by factors such as urbanization and a growing middle class. Some of the popular businesses in this industry include real estate agencies, property management firms, and construction companies.
To start a real estate business we advise you to identify the area you want to focus on and then build a network of contacts and establish a strong online presence to attract clients. To attract customers, entrepreneurs can offer competitive prices, high-quality services, and excellent customer support.
13. Technology and Innovation
Kenya has been at the forefront of technological innovation in Africa, with a thriving technology industry. The industry includes businesses such as software development, mobile app development, and technology consulting. Some of the popular businesses in this industry include Cellulant, Craft Silicon, and Andela.
Starting a business is an exciting venture that requires careful consideration of the industry and the business environment. In Kenya, there are numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs to start a business and make a difference. In this article, we have provided you with a list of the top 10 best businesses to start in Kenya based on profitability, customer demand, ease of starting, and barriers to entry. We hope this article has given you some ideas on businesses to consider starting in Kenya. Remember, starting a business is a journey, and with hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn, you can build a successful business in Kenya.