It seemed easy doing a list of 20 businesses you can start with Kshs. 20,000 until I started. But consulting with friends helped a lot. I learnt that the reality of life is that everyone has their place in the food chain. This applies in the world of business too. There are dreamers with the thought and ideas of the businesses to start, then there are those who have started and their ventures are small, then there are the growers who are a little big and grown and finally there are those who are well established and matured over a long time, The top dogs. Check out the ideas we came up with below>>>
1. Cereals Store
Location is key for this business since it runs on volumes. One needs to select a place with a heavy traffic of people. Preferably the low income that don’t shop in the supermarkets for their daily needs. You need to know which cereals (3-5 types) have a higher turnover so you don’t tie your money in lazy or dead stock
2. Fruits & Blended Juices,
You can either sell the fresh fruit or add value to it. You have seen people selling serving peeled variety of fruits. Others blend the fruits and make juices. For some they don’t even need to pay rent, just position yourself on the road sides, do office deliveries or get a cheap ‘kibanda’.
Hawking can also be lucrative depending on what it is and where you do the hawking. Some people sell sweats, snacks, ice cream etc. Others sell high value goods like car and electrical accessories. You see them by the busy walkways and roadsides.
There are those people making foods to sell in the residential estates, walkways and even in offices. You probably know those ladies everyone calls at lunch time to deliver that all important lunch box for cheap. People go on and even venture into the outside catering business
5. Kiosk (Masai shop)
Some retail shops will not cost you so much to start. You know that ‘Maasai’ shop guy in your residential estate. Ask him how much it cost to set up.
6. Used Clothes & Households
You have seen people selling used or new clothes and other household items. For the used ones, it could be the general ‘mitumba’ to those almost new they call ‘camera’. Grab a bundle (bale) and lets get into business
For those technicians that have a skill on making or repairing things, all you need is to be armed with a toolbox and position yourselves near where it is happening. You know those road side mechanics and bike repairs etc? There are also those technicians that even take outcalls.
8. Kinyozi/Salon/Beauty Parlours
Once you have a nice little joint, all you need to set up a Kinyozi/Salon is a few machines and good customer service. There are even some mamas that will set up joint in a ‘kibanda’ in a market somewhere and then business happens. Good thing, most customers bring their material
9. Care Giving
You have all the time and some space in a neighborhood? You can accept babies to be brought for your watch at a fee and you are on your way to setting up a baby daycare center. I have seen also trained medics and care givers freelancing and offering their services to patients at homes and even in hospitals. All you need is the skill, and some tools. How about the right attitude for the job
10. Cleaning Services
With a little capital you can set up a cleaning enterprise. This sector offers enormous potential, from office (including glass walls/windows) and home cleaners, to laundry and dry cleaners, to industrial cleaners of machines to the simple car wash guy. Skill, tools and the necessary inputs are what you will need.
11. Events Management
What goes into event management? Logistics. All you need is to set up and build a good profile for the business. You will need to know people and places as the success of the business will largely depend on it. The beauty of here is your customers will pay a substantial deposit for the job.
12. Courier and Errands
Most growing and established businesses hate the distraction of small errands. Delivery of letters and parcels etc. Busy people would also rather send someone to sort out those small errands for them. Again, it’s a business that depends on knowing people and will thrive on referrals.
13. Pest Control
Fumigation, pest control and extermination services are increasingly becoming big business in Kenya. Customers will range from family homes to offices and big factories. it wouldn’t cost much to buy the equipment and the fist chemicals
With a little capital, you can easily start lending money against small chattels at an interest (sometime way way high). If you are lucky to grow big you then might even lend against conventional collateral (log books). At the shylocking level the business borders on illegality. It’s largely done by people that don’t smile a lot.
15. Garbage Collection/ Recycling
People have lots of problem with garbage disposal right from homes to offices. That creates a business opportunity for the youth. All you need is time and a good understanding with the management of estates and companies with waste products. Usually the people will pay for the bins and garbage papers. You can even get into value addition for the waste. Granted, it is still a cartel (mafia) business even in Kenya
Depending on the skills you have, you can set up a free lancing venture. Ranges from simple photography to teaching all the way to agronomist. If with your accounting skills you managed to do accounting for 30 small businesses at 1k each. How much net income do you have a month?
17. Soap Making
People have been trained in the art (or is it science) making small cottage products. Soaps, shoe polish, cakes etc. The ingredients wouldn’t cost much to get started. You just have to be prepared to sell. It the real job here
18. Tailoring/Dress making
For those with the skill of dress making, all you need is a sewing machine and the job gets started. There is varied things right from repairs, dress making, suits, sweaters etc. Again, for the most of the customers, they bring their material
19. Furniture Making
You could have the skill of a carpenter or not. But you can own a furniture making business. A good toolbox and few pieces of timber get you started. Or you can choose to visit homes and offices to service and maintain the furniture already existing
If you have the land or can lease a piece you can get your farming venture underway. Poultry, rabbits, pigs require very little capital to start. Only that you must budget for feeds and necessary drugs.
As you realize, all these ideas look simple. They are all meant for the starter level. I am sure there are so many better ideas out there. Please feel free to add them up at the comment section below. What determines a business success is a combination of business environment issues and also entrepreneur centered characteristics. We will get to this sooner.
>>> Next we talk of the different sources you can get the Kshs. 20,000 from <<<