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15 Most Profitable Businesses to Start in Kenya

Are you looking for the most profitable businesses to start in Kenya? Starting a business in Kenya can be a lucrative and rewarding opportunity, as the nation is known for its vibrant and diverse economy. With a population of over 55 million, Kenya is a large market for entrepreneurs to tap into. From agri-businesses to tech startups, there are many profitable businesses to do in Kenya. Whether you are looking for a low-cost startup or a high-growth venture, here are some of the most profitable businesses to do in Kenya.

1. Car wash

Car washing is a service sector that, if done well, may help you make a living and it is also one of the most profitable businesses to start in Kenya. It entails caring for automobiles, including washing them to make them more appealing and increase their resale value. The key to success is providing quality service, using quality products, and charging a reasonable price. Additionally, having a good location, marketing your business effectively, and providing a variety of services can help increase your profits.

An important factor in determining your profitability is the cost of your start-up and operating costs. You will need to consider the cost of equipment, supplies, rent, insurance, and labor when calculating your start-up costs. Finally, you will need to consider the cost of marketing your business. Investing in a website, business cards, and advertising can help you reach more customers and increase your profits.

A young man cleaning a car using a sponge
Car cleaning

2. Laundry business

Depending on the size of the business and the number of consumers, the laundry business can be successful. It is easily available in many places since almost everyone needs to wear clean clothes. A small firm with a few clients can be lucrative, but so can a huge business with many customers. Many variables influence the profitability of a laundry business, including the cost of acquiring and maintaining laundry equipment, the cost of detergents and other supplies, the cost of labor, and the capacity to provide services that clients are willing to pay for.

Furthermore, value-added services such as pick-up and delivery, stain removal, and dry cleaning can assist increase profitability. Keeping customer satisfaction rates high, can lead to repeat business and referrals, which can further boost profits.

clothes in a laundry machine
Laundry machine

3. Movie shop

In Kenya, there is a significant demand for western films and TV episodes delivered via streaming services thus making it a profitable business to start in Kenya. Unfortunately, ordinary people have difficulty watching movies and TV shows, owing to a lack of a reliable internet connection for streaming from numerous entertainment websites.

Movie shop operations in Kenya can be viable since the cost of acquiring physical media is substantially cheaper than the cost of streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. Furthermore, there is still a substantial market for physical media, since some people prefer the ease of having a movie that they can view anytime they want.

A lady in a movie shop
Movie shop

4. Daycare business

When it comes to businesses in Kenya, this is among the most profitable and successful possibilities or business to start in Kenya. The daycare business can be profitable in many ways. The most obvious way is through tuition fees charged to parents. Fees may be charged on a weekly or monthly basis or may be based on an hourly rate. Daycare centers are in high demand, particularly in Nairobi and other big cities. If you want to succeed in this sector, you must have a true passion for children.

5. Salon/barbershop

The profitability of a day saloon or barbershop depends on the location, services provided, and customer base. Because of the constant flow of clients seeking services such as haircuts, shaves, and drinks, saloons and barbershops may be extremely successful enterprises. Furthermore, to boost their revenue, certain saloons and barbershops may provide extra services such as drinks, snacks, and merchandise. Finally, saloons and barbershops may provide discounts, promotions, and special events to attract more clients and improve profits.

A well arranged barbershop and salon
Barbershop and salon

6. Selling second-hand clothes (mitumba)

Mitumba is a rapidly expanding business that requires little initial investment and generates revenues nearly instantly. Clothing may be purchased at big markets such as Gikomba. If you want to generate a significant amount of money, ensure your prices are realistic and focus on selling goods to a certain target. Finally, second-hand clothes businesses are often able to offer unique items that customers may not be able to find elsewhere. This can result in higher profits, as customers are willing to pay a premium for items that they won’t find anywhere else.

People selling mitumba clothes
Mitumba clothes

7. Bakery business

Bakery businesses can be very profitable and do not require huge finances to start. One can as well start baking from home provided one has all the requirements such as baking ingredients, oven, and others. By offering a variety of quality products, such as bread, cakes, muffins, pastries, cookies, and other sweet and savory treats, bakery owners can potentially earn a good income. Additionally, bakery owners can increase their profits by selling their products to local cafes, restaurants, and retail stores. 

They can also offer catering services and special orders to customers.  By creating a unique, high-quality product and providing excellent customer service, bakery owners can create a loyal customer base, which can be a key source of ongoing revenue.

 Smiling young woman selling bread in the bakery.
Bread in a bakery

8. Cosmetic business

Cosmetics enterprises are an excellent way to increase your income since they are among the best rated profitable businesses to start in Kenya . This type of enterprise sells cosmetics products such as nail polish and other skin and hair care items. You may also provide beauty services like manicures, pedicures, and cosmetics. With the right marketing strategies and customer service, cosmetics businesses can build a loyal customer base and enjoy long-term profitability.

Various beauty products

9. Selling snacks business

Selling snacks can be a profitable business because there is a lot of demand for snacks, and it is relatively inexpensive to purchase in bulk. Additionally, snacks tend to have a high margin of profitability, meaning that there is a good amount of money to be made from selling them. Finally, there are many different types of snacks to choose from, allowing entrepreneurs to focus on the products that will bring in the most profits.

Different types of snacks

10. Hardware business

Hardware businesses are profitable because they typically sell products with high markups, such as tools, building materials, and other items that require a significant investment to produce. Additionally, hardware stores often provide services such as installation, repairs, and advice, which can generate additional revenue. You can also create a transportation business, specifically providing transportation to customers who buy things from your shop. You may also make a lot of money by working with construction businesses or contractors to supply building supplies for tenders.

Faucets display on shelves
Faucets display

11. Wines and spirits

Provided that you possess the required permits/licenses, the wine and spirits enterprise may be quite successful. It has recently been concluded to be among the most profitable businesses to start in Kenya today. The location of your firm is also very important. Look for areas that can readily attract clients (town centers) and make sure you have excellent customer service abilities.

different types of wines and spirits and glasses
Wines and spirits

12. Taxi business

The cab business is quite profitable, mainly if you own your taxi or drive alone. It might also be a nice side business for individuals who are already working. You may join up for and offer your services on a variety of taxi-hailing applications. The main sources of income for taxi businesses include the fares charged to passengers, advertising revenues, and fees for additional services such as airport transfers.

An old man in black coat waiting for a Taxi cab
A Taxi cab

13. Garbage collection

Garbage collection is a profitable business because it is in high demand. People and businesses need to have their garbage and waste removed in a safe and timely manner. Garbage collection businesses can charge a fee for their services, and they often receive additional revenue from selling recycled materials that they collect. These businesses also benefit from having low overhead costs, as they can often use their trucks and equipment.

Additionally, garbage collection businesses have the potential to benefit from government subsidies, grants, and other incentives. These incentives can help the business to cover some of its start-up and operational costs, allowing them to become profitable more quickly.

Trash collectors
Garbage collectors

14. Cyber café

Cyber café businesses can be profitable in a variety of ways. The location of this type of business is very important as one is required to set up the business in areas where people can easily access it, for example near universities or colleges. One of the most common ways is by charging a fee for the use of computers, printing, typing, photocopying, internet access, and other services. Additionally, cyber cafe businesses can also generate revenue through sales of food and drink, gaming, and other services. Many businesses also partner with other local businesses to offer additional services like printing, shipping, and other services.

Some guys playing computer games
computers in a cyber cafe

15. Poultry farming

Poultry farming can be a very profitable business. It is a relatively low cost to start up, and the overhead costs are relatively low compared to other types of farming. It is a great way to make money from the sale of eggs, chickens, turkeys, and other poultry products. Poultry farming can provide a steady income and can be scaled up to a larger operation over time. The profit potential of poultry farming depends on several factors such as the size of the operation, feed costs, disease control, and marketing strategies.

Flock of chicken feeding on a green field
A flock of chicken

Final verdict

With its vibrant atmosphere, growing economy, and ample business opportunities, Kenya is an ideal place to start a profitable business. With the right idea, hard work, and dedication, you can make the most of the many opportunities available and create a successful venture. So if you’re looking to make a mark in the Kenyan business world, now is the time to get started!


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