Starting a business in Kenya is one of the easiest ways of generating extra income for you and your family.  However, many businesses require you to have a set of skills or experience for you to run them effectively. When you don’t have a lot of skills or are just starting out you may be wondering: what are some of the best businesses that I can start in Kenya as a beginner?

In this article, I will give you 50 ideas of businesses that you can start as a beginner in Kenya and a shortlist of requirements and costs to start it.  

Can you start a business as a beginner?

First of 12 answers the question of whether beginners can actually start businesses in Kenya. As a beginner,  even though you have no formal training or a lot of experience the business you want to start, you probably have Personal experiences and Talents  that allow you to thrive in a particular area. 

When you don’t have a lot of skills or experience in running a business,  the kind of business you choose should be something that you have a natural talent for and that you are interested enough to put in the amount of time required to Excel in it. 

 So the answer is yes.  You can’t start a business in Kenya as a beginner and thrive in it even though you may not have years of experience in the business you’re interested in. 


Even though it’s possible to start a business with no training at all, all businesses require a lot of work and will only succeed if you put in the effort required to get them to success.

50 Business Ideas for Beginners in Kenya

1. Web Design

Capital RequiredKSh. 0If you have a Laptop (Plus the client will give you a deposit  before you start
Skills Required To StartVisual DesignCan Be learned on the job
Equipment RequiredLaptopInternetYou can borrow a laptop from a friend or use the Cyber Cafe
DifficultyHardYou will Need to be a fast learner since you will need to gain skills quickly as you design your first website.You will need to be patient & determined to make it in this industry.

The Web Design business is one that you can get into with very little initial skill or experience.  There are thousands of free tutorials online that will allow you to learn how to design a website quickly and you can start delivering your websites to your clients in a matter of days. In the beginning you will not know how to design websites effectively but you can use the thousands of free templates available to start. 

Pros & Cons of Starting a Web Design Business in Kenya

– Easy to Start- Few Equipment Required- No Inventory Management – Free Learning Resources Available- No operating cash required since the client pays Some money in advance before the website design process starts.- You can do it from anywhere– Very competitive- You will be competing with International market- Requires skill to get big jobs

If you’re ready to start doing web design  as a business, check out our website You have all the tools you need to start our web design business and we will help you get set up once you’re ready to start designing your first website

2. Blogging

Capital RequiredKSh. 995You will need to register your blog online
Skills Required To StartBasic Writing SkillsCan Be learned on the job
Equipment RequiredLaptopInternetYou can borrow a laptop from a friend or use the Cyber Cafe
DifficultyModerateYou will need to put in a lot of work to build up the content and promote it.  There are a lot of online tutorials on both and if you’re willing to do the work, you can succeed

Blogging is a great way to earn extra income  is a good business to start in Kenya. you will earn through ads  and affiliate marketing. For you to start his business is how to write and use a computer. 

 a writing about things people are interested in it will attract them to your website and as a result  and in comes from ads. 

Pros & Cons of Starting a Blogging Business in Kenya

– Easy to Start- Few Equipment Required- You can Write to the Global Audience- You can do it from anywhere– Very competitive- You will be competing with International market- It will take time to get a sizeable audience

Need to start writing,  you will need to register your blog online and you can do it at hostpoa for just KSh. 995

3. Graphics Design

Capital RequiredKSh. 0As Long as you already have a Laptop
Skills Required To StartA basic Understanding of DesignCan Be learned on the job
Equipment RequiredLaptopInternetGraphics Design SoftwareYou can start off by using the free Software like  Inkscape or Canva and spend your first earnings to buy Affinity Designer (KSh. 5,000)
DifficultyModerateThe difficulty in this business is learning to be a better designer and  dealing with clients

You can land a graphic design job even as a beginner and learn to be a graphics designer as you get clients.  there are a number of online graphics design tools like Canva that allow you to create graphics for free and  it has thousands of templates where a beginner can start from.

Also thousands of tutorials and training videos where you can learn different styles of design as you get clients.

Pros & Cons of Starting a Graphics Design Business in Kenya

Easy to StartYou can upsell Printing It’s fun if you enjoy artYou can do it from anywhereVery competitiveRequires skill to get big jobsProfessional Graphics design will require additional equipment & SoftwareYou are competing in a global Market

4. Social Media Management

Capital RequiredKSh. 0If you already have a smartphone
Skills Required To StartBasic Social Media use and PromotionCan Be learned on the job
Equipment RequiredPhoneLaptop (optional)Internet
DifficultyEasyIf you are already familiar with how to get people excited about a topic  on your own personal account, you can promote a business’ products at a fee.

Social media management is an easy business for any young person who already spends a lot of time online.  all you need to do is Focus your efforts on helping a business get noticed. if you’re able to help the business get more enquiries you can charge a fee  or ask for commissions. 

Pros & Cons of Starting a Social Media Marketing Business in Kenya

– Easy to Start- You can get recurrent revenue from the same clients if you maintain them well.- You can do it from anywhere – Very competitive- You need to show results to get consistent work- You will need to be creative constantly

5. Photography

Capital RequiredKSh. 50,000For a second hand camera
Skills Required To StartBasic Photography SkillsPhoto Editing SkillsCan Be learned on the job
Equipment RequiredDSLR Professional CameraFlashLaptopThe laptop will be useful to help you edit the photos after the photoshoot
DifficultyMid level of DifficultyIt will take you a bit of skill to do this business well but 

Photography requires passion and commitment for you to venture into business as a photographer and for you to be successful in photography business you need specific tools such as camera (which can be borrowed or second hand camera) and  photo editing tools such as Canva or photoshop and most important is promotion as a business which can be done through social media handles such as facebook, Instagram and pinterest. 

Pros & Cons of Starting a Photography Business in Kenya

– Flexible work schedule.- Make money using skills you enjoy doing.- You meet a lot of people during events shoot. – Expensive photography tools.- Income can be inconsistent.- Many clients don’t know what they want.

6. Food Office Delivery

Capital RequiredKSh. 50,000To get equipment and get stock of food ingredients
Skills Required To StartCooking great meals  & dealing with peopleYou will also need marketing skills.You will need to have a sufficient level of skill here
Equipment RequiredGas, Kitchen equipment, Packing containers

The profits you make on this business are low per plate but if you can get a large customer base, you will do well.

You can do this business from home and deliver to the offices.

Pros & Cons of Starting a Food Office Delivery Business in Kenya

No overhead expenditure like rentYou will need to convince people to deliver food to them and this may be initially be difficult
You can work from home for most of the timeThe margins are low per plate and you will make good money if you are delivering to a large customer base

Very competitive

7. Second-Hand Clothes

Second hand clothes selling business is a business that one you can start at a fair price and it should also be in a visible area where you can be able to catch the attention of the customers. 

8. Selling Handbags

Capital RequiredKSh. 20,000To buy the initial stock.
Skills Required To StartSalesSocial MediaCan Be learned on the job
Equipment RequiredPhone

This is a lucrative business to start but will have a lot of challenges since the market is saturated with a lot of sellers. 

Having a good network of people will be an advantage for you when you are starting off.

Also, Having digital marketing experience will help you reach clients easily.

Pros & Cons of Starting a Handbag Selling Business in Kenya

Handbags are cheap if you buy them in bulkThey move quickly if you have the right target market
Trends Change and you may end up with dead stockDebts from clients may weigh down your business

9. Selling Watches Online

Capital RequiredKSh. 40,000 To buy your initial stock and run a facebook/instagram campaign
Skills Required To Start– Sales- Stock Management- MarketingThis is a simple business to start if you understand how to do marketing
Equipment RequiredPhone/CameraComputer(optional)Phone or camera to take photos for Social Media

This is a relatively easy business to start since it does not require special skills to get started. However, it is tricky since it has a lot of competition with many people getting started with this business.

You will have an advantage if you have a large customer base of friends who can help you do marketing.

You will also have an advantage if you know how to do digital marketing so that you can get your name out there

Pros & Cons of Starting a {Business Name} Business in Kenya

– Easy to get started – low Initial Capital Requirements– Very competitive Market- The market is mostly for men and the stock may not move fast

10. Jewelry & Accessories 

Capital RequiredKSh.  20,000To buy your stock.
Skills Required To Start– Marketing & Sales- Inventory ManagementCan Be learned on the job
Equipment RequiredSmartphoneTo market the jewelry on WhatsApp groups
DifficultyEasyCan be started without a lot of skill and you can learn on the job

This is an easy business to do and you can start by marketing to your friends, family and WhatsApp groups. The fact that the business is easy to do means that you will encounter a lot of competition with other people who are like you.

It requires little capital to start but the styles get out of date quickly which means that you will have challenges disposing of stock if it grows old.

Pros & Cons of Starting a Jewelry & Accessories  Business in Kenya

– Easy to get started- Large customer base since almost all ladies wear jewelry and accessories- Easy to find wholesale prices for jewelry in Kenya.– Very saturated market with a lot of competition.- Styles get out of date quickly and you may be left with outdated stock that cant be sold

11. Block Making (Interlocking Blocks)

Capital RequiredKSh. 90,000The price depends on the size and  type of the machine.
In Kenya, Makiga machine has built a strong reputation that rates it among the very best in block making.
The price can come to as low as 60000
Skills Required To StartHow to use the block making machine. Can Be learned on the job
Equipment RequiredMakiga Block making Machine

This is an interesting business to try out. There is constant need for construction materials and offering a cheaper way of building a house is something that a lot of people would prefer.

Pros & Cons of Starting a Block Making Business in Kenya

Mobility – Having a portable equipment means you are able to deliver services at your client’s premise.Initial cost of equipment will be high 
Low manufacturing cost
The cost of raw materials is relatively low as you only require readily available red soil with little bit of cement. one bag of cement sufficiently stabilising 50-60 blocks 
Interlocking blocks are not currently widely used so you might get challenges in convincing someone to use them
Continuous growth in the building industry with the need of affordable housing. Starting a brick making business and incorporating the use of Makiga Block Making machine makes you fit for the current market. You may need to hire staff to assist in the block making and this can be daunting for a beginner.
Environmental friendly venture
Unlike other methods of making fire bricks, Makiga Interlocking blocks do not require the use of firewood to cure. 

The manufacturing process is easy.
The stabilised soil blocks are easy to make since they can be prepared at the construction site

12. Event Planning

Starting capitalKsh. 60,000
Skills requiredGreat organization skills.Flexible attitude.Leadership skillsYou will need to know how to deal with difficult clients and employees. 
Tools requiredPhone.

Event planning takes good coordination skills and requires acquisition of licence, financing your business, hiring the right personnel and other aspects of getting your business up and running

Pros & Cons of Starting Event Planning Business in Kenya

Requires little equipment or initial investmentYou need a long contact list in your network to do the work well. 

13. Car Wash

Starting a carwash requires identifying the best location with good drainage system and easy acquisition of water. You will also need to find appropriate tools such as car wash water pump and water tanks for storage of water just incase shortage of water is encountered.

Starting capitalKsh. 30,000.You can get new high-pressure car washing pumps at Ksh.30,000. And even more less than that up to Ksh.10,000. Second hand pumps
Type of serviceBody washing.Interior cleaning.Engine cleaning.Underwash.Dusting.Underwash.Waxing.Before starting the business you have to find out the type of services you are going to offer to your customers so that they can find a reason to be coming to your car wash services
RequirementsWashing machine.Water tank.Water supply.Good Location for the service.Having the best environment with best drainage system is the best and also not forgetting having the required tools.

Pros & Cons of Starting Car Wash Business in Kenya

Easy to start.Easy to maintain.
It depends on the seasonal weather.Machine downtime can lead to loss of business.

14. Pool Table

Starting a pool table requires a best location where you will install a pool table and be able to reach many customers who are pool game lovers.

Starting CapitalKsh. 50,000.This is a calculated amount that can be able to buy a pool table plus its requirements
RequirementsPool tableSticks and ballsSocial room/Gaming room.New pool table comes with balls and sticks hence its considered to purchase a new pool table rather than a second hand pool table 

Pros & Cons of Starting Pool Table Business in Kenya

Independence.It can go along with other businesses like a bar.
It takes a lot of time to recover the starting capital.It’s hard to maintain after loss of balls and breaking of sticks. It’s hard to find the best location for your business.

15. Movie Shop

Movie shop requires best location for easy visibility by customers and starting a movie shop business requires you to have a licence from given bodies, a shop, Basic equipment and up to date movies and series that you will be selling.

Starting CapitalKsh. 135,000.This amount caters for everything for you to have a complete and successful running business
RequirementsPowerful computer.Blank DVDs.Furniture.DVD Duplicator.Movie posters.
All these are the basic requirements for one to start 
Required SkillsComputer packages skillsThe person working in the movie shop should be having the computer packages skills and well conversant with Computer as well..

Pros & Cons of Starting Movie Shop Business in Kenya

It’s easy to maintain.It’s easy to start.Sometimes it is limited by computer breakdown.You may lose customers if you don’t provide what is needed and up to date.

16. Juice Parlor

Juice parlor business consists of blending fruit products to a juice form and to start this you need to have a constant supply of fruits that you will be using to produce the juice and a cool and visible place where you will be able to attract more customers.

Starting capital.Ksh. 20,000.This capital will help you Find the fruit products and also set up a good fruit parlor and also purchase the requirements.
Types of juices.Mango juiceApple juiceOrange juiceLemon juiceThere are many types of fruit juices they just vary with the type of fruit that it has been used to make it.
Requirements.Blending machine.Licence.Constant supply of fruits.Good and cool location.The place where you will contact the business from matters a lot.

Pros & Cons of Starting Juice Parlor Business in Kenya

Easy to start.Easy to manage.You can move to profitable locations.Smaller Menu.Sometimes mobile parlor are affected by weather conditions.

17. M-Pesa Agent

For one to own an m-pesa agent shop you have to meet certain requirements set by safaricom such as Certification and permits or licences.

Starting CapitalKsh. 100,000For one to have an mpesa you should have mentioned amount which is minimum
RequirementsShop indicating mpesa agentSpecified phones for mpesa


Pros & Cons of Starting M-pesa Agent Business in Kenya

It’s easy to start.Can be done alongside other businesses.Low operating expenses.
Fraud customers can lead to Money getting stolen.Profit share.Insecurity.The business has also become more difficult to succeed in due to competition

18. Rabbit Farming

Rabbit requires you to find a good place where they can use as a homestead and conducive environment for them to survive. You also have to find them food that will sustain them. You also have to find them a marketplace with a trusted customers.

Starting capitalKsh. 20,000.This capital can be used to in installing rabbits homestead and buying few small rabbits that can be used as a start.
Requirements.Homestead.Food. Market.Skills in rabbit farming.Before you venture into the market you need to make sure you have enough rabbit stock that will keep your business running continuously

Pros & Cons of Starting Rabbit Farming Business in Kenya

Easy to start.Easy to maintain.Independence.During harsh weather conditions it makes it hard to find food for the rabbits.It’s also hard to find the market for selling the rabbit

19. Barbershop

Starting a barber shop requires good skills in shaving and being able to extra services that come along barbershop. Starting this business is easier since it doesn’t cost a lot to get the necessary equipment for running a barbershop and all it needs is setting it up at a place where it’s visible to the necessary customers.

Starting capitalKsh. 50,000.This amount caters for purchasing starting tools and basic requirements.
RequirementsShop in the best location.Shaving equipment.Furniture.Skills in shaving service.All this will lead to a successful barbershop

Pros & Cons of Starting Barber Shop Business in Kenya

Easy to start.Easy to maintain.Poor skills and services in shaving can lead to few customer turnout.Competition from other barbershops.

20. Fruit Vending

Starting a fruit vending business is quite challenging when it comes to supply of products and it therefore has to have a loyal supplier that will supply you with products throughout or if you are lucky to be your own supplier the better.

Starting CapitalKsh. 5,000-20,000.The amount varies depending with where you are getting your products from.
RequirementsVendor Shop.Fruit Products.Customer service experience.LicenceHaving the best customer service in this business helps a lot to get more customers.

Pros & Cons of Starting Fruit Vendor Business in Kenya

Easy to start.Easy to maintain.Fruits sometimes get destroyed and its not recommended to be sold.Competition from other fruit vendors. 

21. Private Catering

Capital RequiredKSh. 0You will be required to go cook for people in their private events or get togethers so no initial capital required
Skills Required To StartReally Good Cooking SkillsYou need to be the above average cook.
Equipment RequiredNoneYou will use the kitchen equipment at your clients home.
DifficultyModerately Difficult

You will be cooking for people in their family events and get togethers. Unlike a normal catering business, you will be catering to a smaller group of people and you can use their cutlery and equipment for serving.

Pros & Cons of Starting a Private Catering Business in Kenya

No equipment or capital required to startYou need to be really skilled to make it in this business
WIth the rise of the middle class, the demand for these services is rising.Getting a strong customer base will take time
The client can purchase their own ingredients and  equipment and this makes your work easy
You get to do what you love… If cooking is something you enjoy.

22. Popcorn Business

Capital RequiredKSh. 25,000To purchase the popcorn machine, 
Skills Required To StartHow to make popcorn
Equipment RequiredPopcorn machine, packing material

This is a great business

Pros & Cons of Starting a {Business Name} Business in Kenya

This business is really easy to start

23. Weight Measurement Machines

Weight measurement business is among is also easy to set up since it does not require a lot of space to set it up and also it does not require a lot of skills to use the weight measuring machines.

Starting Capital


24. Baking from Home

Baking from home business in kenya can be easy to start and easy to maintain for as long as you have trusted customers.

Starting CapitalKsh. 2,500.This capital will help you get the requirements like baking floor cooking oil and all other requirements since they are not as expensive.
RequirementsBaking floor Oven (Not a must)Cooking oil.Salt (etc) THere are more requirements depending with the kind of baking you want to do as a business

Pros & Cons of Starting Home Baking Business in Kenya

Easy to start.Easy to maintain.You can get trusted customers easily, especially from the family members.You can easily lose your customers if there is any mischief of service.

25. Boda Boda

Starting a Boda Boda business requires the motorcycle as the tool and experience with Carrying of passengers and dealing with them in the best way.

Starting CapitalKsh.50,000.From this amount you can get a well maintained second hand motorcycle for a  start 
RequirementsMotorcycle.Licence and motorcycle experience.Good customer service.For you to be a valid motorcycle operator you need to own a valid licence and have a good experience with handling a motorbike. 

Pros & Cons of Starting Boda Boda Business in Kenya

Easy to start.Easy to manage.
Prone to accident.Safety is not guaranteed.Sometimes there is low income.

26. Tuk Tuk

Starting a Tuk Tuk  business requires a Tuk Tuk  as the tool and experience with riding it and  Carrying of passengers and dealing with them in the best way.

Starting CapitalKsh. 100,000.From this amount you can get a well maintained second hand motorcycle for a  start
RequirementsTuk Tuk.Licence and riding experience.Good customer service.For you to be a valid Tuk TUk operator you need to own a valid licence and have a good experience with handling a Tuk TUk.

Pros & Cons of Starting Boda Boda Business in Kenya

Easy to start.Easy to manage.Prone to accident.Safety is not guaranteed.Sometimes there is low income.

27. Photocopy near a School

Starting a photocopy business requires availability of main components such as the photocopying machine a computer, photocopying papers, printer and internet (Though not necessary)

Starting CapitalKsh. 150,000.This amount is for purchasing all the basic stationary required during the first installation of the photocopy.
RequirementsPhotocopying Machine.Printers.Photocopying Papers.Computer/Laptop.Internet(not necessary)Computer Packages skills.The internet is not necessary cause its a photocopying shop and it should not be mistaken to a cyber.
Skills RequiredHow to use a photocopier & how to deal with peopleCan be learned on the job

Pros & Cons of Starting Photocopy near a School in Kenya

Easy to start.Easy to maintain.Affected by power shortage.Sometimes the income is so little.Insecurity- This comes in when people rob your shop and steal all your equipment.

28. Ice Cream Business

Ice cream business is the easiest form of business to start and maintain since at some point it does not require a shop.

Starting CapitalKsh. 20,000.This amount varies depending with how you are going to contact your business and where.
RequirementsThe Ice cream preparation products.Freezer.Customer service skillsYou can even find portable cool boxes that you can use to conduct your business.
Difficulty to startEasy

29. Selling Women’s Tops 

Capital RequiredKSh. 10,000To get the initial stock
Skills Required To StartSales & MarketingCan Be learned on the job
Equipment RequiredNone

This  business can really pick up if you know what ladies are looking for and you have a large network. Ladies generally buy clothes more frequently than men and you are likely to get a lot of repeat business if you have unique and high quality stock.

Pros & Cons of Starting a Women’s Tops Business in Kenya

Easy to startMarket is very crowded and there will be a lot of competition
Easy to find stock with good pricesTrends change quickly and you may end up with outdated stock
Large Market of regular buyersYou may be pressured to sell on credit and this may hurt your business

30. Cereals Business

Capital RequiredKSh. 100,000+This business is capital intensive since you will need to buy  and store cereals during the high production season.
Skills Required To StartUnderstanding the cereals marketYou will need to do your research before making your purchase
Equipment RequiredA store to keep your cereals

Basically, this business entails buying cereals when the market is saturated and selling when there is a shortage. This business has its risks since you are likely to buy high and sell low resulting in a loss but it’s a business worth thinking about if you are familiar with the market.

Pros & Cons of Starting a Cereals Business in Kenya

Everybody eats so you will always have a marketThere are a lot of players in the industry and you will have competition
Easy to startWill require a high initial capital investment

Grain can go bad if poorly stored 

You are likely to buy your cereals at a high price and end up selling at a loss

Will hold your money for a long period of time and you need to have money that is not from a loan

31. Selling Coffee & Snacks

Capital RequiredKSh. 5,000This will be to buy the initial equipment and ingredients
Skills Required To StartCooking things like Manazi
Equipment RequiredJiko, Portable thermos/coffee dispenser/ containers

This business does not require a lot of capital to start but will consume a lot of time. 

Pros & Cons of Starting a Coffee and Snacks Business in Kenya

Easy to start the business The fact that it’s easy means that you will contend with high degree of competition

People are sceptical about someone selling them food and you will need to get used to getting rejected

32. Freelance Tour Organizer

Capital RequiredKSh. 0Your first clients will give you deposits which you can use to make your travel bookings with your van.
Skills Required To StartNetworking, Sales and MarketingYou will need to be good at convincing people for your first few trips.
Equipment RequiredPhone and Internet
DifficultyModerately Difficult

The idea here is to organize a trip to a popular destination and get people to pay deposits that will allow you to make your bookings

This business will work well if you enjoy travelling and have a network of people who love travelling and are willing to pay you to organize a trip for them

You would organize the trip to some place like Kereita Forest and plan everything like food, transport and fees. You then ask the people who will be travelling with you to pay deposits and once they arrive they will pay the initial amount

Pros & Cons of Starting a Freelance Tour Business in Kenya

You get to travel a lot and take people around places you enjoyDifficult to start without a good rapport with people or good marketing skills.
Requires little equipmentYou will need to negotiate with service providers for you to make a profit
There is huge demand for travel around Kenya

Notable Mentions

We had a really long list and were not able to analyze all in detail so here is the rest of the list.

  1. Copywriting
  2. Vending Machine
  3. Garbage Collection
  4. Poultry Business
  5. Freelance Writing
  6. Laundry Services
  7. Landscaping
  8. Selling & Installing Wallpaper
  9. Real Estate agent
  10. Street Finger Food (Smokies, Kebab)
  11. YouTubing
  12. Security Business
  13. Selling Kitchen Equipment
  14. House Painter
  15. Beaded Items
  16. Manicure & Pedicure
  17. Cleaning
  18. Child Care
  19. Diaper Business
  20. Errands