Today’s Kenyan economy needs you to have more than one income source. Or should one income source be for paying taxes and the others for upkeep and savings? Ooh… just kidding. Jokes aside, do you know there are profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya?
Well, I will unveil 33 profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya. Depending on your commitments, you can either do part-time or full-time business. These businesses can also help curb the high rate of unemployment in Kenya.
Therefore, brace yourself to learn businesses you can do to salvage your family from extreme poverty. The businesses are expandable, meaning you can grow them into something big.
I shall also share the best tips to ensure your business’s success. In addition, if you also need mentorship through your small business, you can book a call with us so we discuss more.
Top Profitable Businesses To Start With 50k in Kenya Today
1. A Barbershop (Kinyozi)
A barbershop is among Kenya’s most profitable businesses to start with 50k. You can learn through YouTube tutorials or local barbershops if you need to know how to shave.
To start a barbershop business, you need at least two shaving machines, power extensions, towels, combs, a music system, mirrors, and at least two comfortable chairs. These items will not cost you more than 30k. You can use the remaining 20k to pay rent for business premises and licenses such as health and business permits.
If you have hair-making experience, you can start a salon business with 50k in Kenya. To start a salon business in Kenya, you need a blow dryer set, comps, artificial hair and weaves, and cosmetics.
These items can not cost you more than 30k, and you can use the balance for paying rent and licenses.
3. A Retail Shop
You can start a retail shop for daily use commodities with 50k in Kenya. Depending on location, you can break even within a few months.
When budgeting your 50k, you can start with essential commodities like sugar, rice, wheat & maize flour, cooking oil & fat, salt, tea, soaps, and basic snacks. Depending on your location, you should also spare at least 15k for rent and licenses.
4. Mitumba business
Mutumba retail is among the most profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya. Second-hand clothes and shoes have huge margins if you target the right clients.
You should start by visiting the Gikomba Mitumba market in Nairobi early in the morning. You can specialise in kids’ clothes, young teens, and adults. Alternatively, you can have all sets of clothes and shoes for all ages.
With the Mitumba business in Kenya, you can either start a shop or move from town to town during market days. You can compare the cost of paying rent and license and market tickets and transport to see what works for you.
5. Groceries Shop
People take groceries daily, which creates the opportunity to start a grocery store in Kenya. The good thing is you can begin a grocery store with 50k in Kenya. All you need is to find a good source of fresh groceries from the firm.
Do your research on where you can access stock near your business. It will be an added advantage if you are in a position to produce the groceries on your farm.
People think that farming is for uneducated people, lol! But do you know that we have millionaire farmers who have invested their time and efforts in producing the food we eat daily?
Take, for example, the maize farmers selling a bag of dry maize at 5k. Therefore, if your land is near water, you can 0lant groceries and sell them.
You can invest 50k in seeds, chemicals, fertilisers, and labor. Afterward, you can sell your produce at a profit.
7. A Mali mali shop
In Kenya, we term most household items as Mali Mali. You can start a Mali Mali shop with 50k. The best place to source your products is Kamukunji in Nairobi. You can get plates, cups, flasks, spoons, sufurias, carpets, curtains, etc., at an affordable price at Kamukunji.
Depending on location, you can spare at least 15k for rent and licenses.
8. A cyber cafe
Can you operate a computer and offer simple and complex online services? You can start a cybercafe, preferably near colleges and universities.
Here you can offer services like TSC, Helb, printing, typesetting, design, and other online services. In addition, you can also upgrade your skills to provide more services.
You only need one desktop computer or a laptop and a steady Internet connection. A desktop or a laptop can cost at least 25k. You can use the balance to pay rent, get a business permit, and buy stationery.
9. Packaging bags business
With 50k, you can start selling non-woven packaging bags, khakis, sacks, and nets. Following the NEMA plastic papers ban 2017, non-woven bags have become the new business in town.
You have most likely met people hawking these bags in different towns. With 50k, you can research and open a wholesale store in a town with a supply gap. You can source the stock in the Nairobi industrial area.
10. A cereals stores
The Cereal business is a profitable venture you can start with 50k in Kenya. The good thing about this business is that you will have a steady flow of customers, especially in areas with less rain, like eastern and northern Kenya.
You can start with a sack of maize, Ndengu, beans, and cowpeas. Depending on your location, the stock should cost at most 40k. The remaining 10k will be for rent and a business permit.
11. A small eatery shop
If you are close to industrial areas or near colleges and universities, you can start a small hotel to sell to workers and students respectively.
When buying in wholesale stores, you will need a few plastic tables and chairs, plates, spoons, cups, and jugs, which should be at most 15k.
In addition, you can start by buying a bale of wheat and maize flour, 20lts cooking oil, beans, and ndengu. Purchasing the items wholesale saves you some money. You can buy groceries like potatoes, onions, beans, ndengu, maize, tomatoes, etc.
You can find a good cook who will prepare delicious food as you sell.
12. Ladies clothes
Women will always want to look smart. As a result, most ladies sometimes buy clothes due to their colleagues or friends. Remember to include innerwear too.
Do you know ladies can borrow money to ensure they look good? Well, now you know, and that’s a business you can start with 50k or less. Just go to Nairobi in Gikomba or Eastleigh market to look for cheaper ladies’ clothes and innerwear to start your business.
13. Diaper shop
Do you know the Era for nappies and liners is long gone? Today’s mothers prefer diapers because of ‘class’ and probably less time to wash those nappies.
Although most retail shops also sell diapers, you can specialise in diapers, sanitary towels, tissues, baby wipes, and cosmetics.
However, you should choose a good location, preferably in the Estates and near maternity hospitals.
14. A gas refill store
Almost everyone in the middle class in Kenya is using gas for cooking. The reasons are apparent. Gas is cheaper, clean, and fast than other fuel options.
Therefore, you can choose a location with a vast population, like Estates and other small towns, even in rural areas.
A capital of 50k is enough to start a gas refill store. You can start with 6kg and 13kg gas cylinders. A 6kg gas cylinder can cost between Ksh.3000 and Ksh. 4500, while a 13 kg gas can cost about 5k to 7k.
You can get stock worth 30k and use the rest for rent and licenses. If you are capable, you can offer free delivery services within your town, attracting more clients to your business. With time, you can upgrade your business.
15. Blogging business
Blogging is a very profitable business you can start and earn passive income. You can create a blog in less than 50k in Kenya.
Start by taking a course to teach you how to create a blog and content. I’m offering a course to teach you how to start a successful blog in Kenya.
Enroll today and unlock your potential to reach the world and earn passive income. The course goes for Ksh. 3000, a discount of 40% from Ksh. 5000. You will also need more Ksh. 5000 to buy a domain name and hosting for your blog.
You can use the rest of the money to hire professional writers and market your blog content.
However, like any other investment, it will take some time to start seeing some results from your blogging efforts. Most bloggers take at least 3 to 6 months to earn money from a new blog.
16. A milk bar
A packet of milk is becoming unbearably expensive, pushing Kenyans to find cheaper alternatives like cow milk.
You can find a dairy farmer, order daily milk, and sell it in your milk bar. For long-term benefits and growth of your milk bar business, you can buy and rear good dairy cows for milk production.
With your cows, you can also capitalise on the fat from the cow milk, which you can also sell. In addition, you can also add other products such as yoghourt and Mala milk.
You will have to keep high standards of cleanliness and obtain the necessary licenses and business permits.
Honey manufacturing is among the most profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya. You can begin beekeeping if you have a large piece of land, preferably in rural areas and far from houses.
With a capital of 50k, you can buy high-quality beehives, fence the designated area, and install the hives. That can cost up to 30k.
When harvesting honey, you can use the remaining 20k to buy and brand plastic containers.
It will take 4 to 6 months for a new hive to produce enough honey for harvesting. After harvesting, a KG of honey costs between Ksh. 800 and 1500 depending on location.
18. Fashion design
Fashion design will never be outdated as new fashion wear constantly pops up. If you know how to design clothes, you can start a fashion design business with 50k in Kenya.
A complete sewing machine can cost about 14,000. In addition, you can buy kitenge and other materials to start designing children’s, men’s, and women’s clothes.
You should also spare around 15k for the license and rent. Remember that choosing a good location is the best thing to get maximum clients.
19. Web design and development
People are taking their businesses online, and that’s an excellent opportunity for web developers. If you have the basic IT knowledge, you can train on coding to design apps and websites.
The good thing is you can take free online classes on platforms like Codecademy.
You will need a laptop and a steady internet connection, costing between 25k and 30k. In addition, you can work at home or get a store in town to operate from there. To get clients, you should do marketing on your social media and other digital platforms. Some new developers also create websites for free to build their portfolios, which is essential in this business.
However, instead of added costs of rent and licenses, you can start by working from home and later go to town stalls.
Have you noticed how birthdays and celebrations like anniversaries have flooded our streets? Well, more and more people are celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, product launches, promotions, etc.
These events require cakes, and you can make good money from a bakery business. You will need an oven, mixer, pans, bowls, etc. These items and the ingredients can cost up to 30k. You can use the rest of the money for licenses and rent.
You can create social media accounts and a YouTube channel to market your products and services, and eventually, you can also monetise your channel and start earning money.
21. Furniture Business
If you have carpentry skills, you can start a furniture business. Kenyans love to refurbish their houses with smart seats, tables, and beds. In addition, with more businesses opening up, you will have clients to install shelves and counters for them. Furthermore, most offices also need office furniture, which you can supply.
With 50k, you can buy tools such as saws, hammers, files, timber, drill, sanders, etc. You can also spare some cash for rent and license.
You can take smart pictures of your products and market them on Facebook and other social media platforms.
22. Home/wedding decor
This is another profitable business to start with 50k in Kenya. You can learn basic skills of decoration on YouTube tutorials. Afterward, you should get the necessary materials and decorate your home. Your home will be a sample of your work which you can share with your potential clients.
You can also decorate events like weddings for friends and family at a small fee as you learn your business.
Build your presence on social media and market your home decor services.
23. Motorbike repairs and spares
The bodaboda business is a good business that has employed thousands of youth in Kenya. Research shows that there are over 1.5 million bodaboda riders in Kenya. These statistics show that more bikes are on the road and wear and tear is inevitable.
Therefore, you can research a good location and set up a motorbike spare with 50k in Kenya. If you don’t have the skills to repair a motorbike, you can hire someone to teach you. Alternatively, you can set up your spares shop near a motorbike repair joint.
You can acquire stock worth 35k and use the rest for rent and business permits.
24. Car wash
Car wash is another profitable business to start with 50k in Kenya. As more people buy vehicles and motorbikes, the car wash business is improving daily.
The good thing is you can start with 50k, depending on the standards.
You should choose a location in town and near roads where you can easily access customers. You will need an area with steady water because that’s the main ingredient in your car wash business.
Furthermore, you will also need to buy a small tank, 500-1500 litres, which would cost you around 4k to 8k. In addition, you need detergent, a car wash pressure machine, and a drier.
25. Mpesa shop
Although most people operate more than 50k in their Mpesa businesses, you can still work with a starting capital of 50k. However, you should get the Mpesa line first. Some vendors will freely give you one, while others can sell one.
After you get the line, you should find a suitable location like bus stops and busy markets. Depending on your county of operation, you can get a stall to pay 5k rent and a 5k business permit.
You can recover the money once you get a commission. If you make around 50-100 transactions daily, you can get a commission above 15k per month (speaking from experience). You can use the commission to upgrade your working float and earn more commissions.
26. Brand Ambassador
Brand ambassadors are making some good cash in this internet era. To become a brand ambassador, you can start by building your social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. You can spend some cash to sponsor your content for followers.
You also need to take a free or premium course on online platforms. That will help you possess the skills you need to succeed as a marketer. Setting yourself up as a brand ambassador can cost you up to 20k. The good thing is you will not pay rent.
Are you a stay-at-home mum, and you can take care of children? Well, you can start a daycare business to care for other parents’ small kids who are not school-going.
You can get the necessary licenses to ensure parents feel safe leaving you with their little ones. In addition, you can also rent a more prominent room where you can accommodate the children. That should cost you at most 50k.
Most parents bring their children food, so you only need to feed them and change their diapers.
You can spend some cash to buy children toys which they can play with while around. That will give you an easy time as a caregiver. Most daycares charge between 50-100 per child per day.
28. Photography /Videography
If you have high-quality photography and videography skills, you can start that business with 50k in Kenya. You will need a high-resolution camera that will capture outstanding photos for your clients.
You can open a photo studio to help market your business. However, you should also create an excellent social media presence to market your services.
In a physical photo studio, you can also offer other services like printing and photocopying without paying an extra license.
29. Pishori rice business
You can start a pishori rice business with 50k in Kenya. However, you should start by researching where to get pure Mwea pishori rice. Furthermore, you can even travel to Mwea to search for a reliable seller and get their contacts.
If you want to succeed in this business, ensure you don’t blend the pishori with any other type of rice because that will chase away potential clients.
30. Butchery business
A butchery is another profitable business to start with 50k in Kenya. You only need to find a busy location near residential houses and set up your business.
Depending on your county, you need around 10-15k for rent and business permits. In addition, you can use the rest to acquire stock. To be safe, you can start with goat meat since it’s cheaper to buy a goat than a cow.
You also need a small fridge to store the meat if you don’t sell all of it the day you slaughter.
In this digital era, you should embrace and take advantage of technology. You can start a dropshipping business with 50k in Kenya.
The good thing about dropshipping is that you don’t have to own your products. Instead, you sell other people’s products.
32. Eggs selling
You can start an eggs-selling business with 50k in Kenya. You should find a reliable supplier, a farmer. Afterward, you can go to retail shops to ask for orders. You should also have a good means of transport due to the fragile nature of eggs.
Alternatively, you can start an eggs wholesale shop and let your supplier bring the eggs to your shop.
33. Soap chemicals
Selling soap chemicals is another profitable business to start with 50k in Kenya. You should find reliable sources of raw materials in Nairobi and sell them in upcountry towns. Furthermore, you can also offer paid lessons to people and groups who want to learn to prepare soaps, detergents, shampoos, etc.
You should start by acquiring stock worth 35k and use the balance for rent and business permits.
Tips To Succeed in Business To Start with 50k in Kenya
Now, you have the business ideas, you can start with 50k capital in Kenya. But how do you ensure your business will be in the 10% that survives over 10 years, as research says?
Well, I have the tips you should follow to survive in the competitive and tough economic times in Kenya.
- Draft a business plan or hire a professional to do it for you
- Choose a busy and suitable location depending on your business
- Record keeping is a must for any business, even a kibada
- Ensure your business is well branded, showing the theme of the business
- Do lots of marketing to the local social media groups
- Minimise operation costs where possible to maximise net profits
The Bottom Line
The businesses I have discussed in this blog post can help you stay afloat even in tough times. You can also embrace other online side hustles if you are not available for a physical business.
Once you start any business, keep proper records to guide you on your next business moves.
For those who want to venture into blogging like me, I have a premium course to help you unlock your journey as a blogger. I will hold your hand till you start making your first coin, that is, if you don’t give up.