If you want to learn how to start a business, you need to have an entrepreneurial mind. If you can’t develop an entrepreneurial mind, then this article is not for you. It’s as straightforward as this.
No need going through this article if you will not implement everything as I point out. I took my time to research business ideas in Kenya that require little capital to start – to be specific, business ideas that require less than Ksh.5,000.
It’s unfortunate that while there are over 50,000 students graduating from university each year, the current unemployment rate in Kenya is still at 39.1 percent (2017). At this percentage, Kenya seems to have the highest unemployment rate in East Africa. This is a disaster! If you don’t want to be part of the statistics, I have prepared this article specially for you.
I’ll be honest with you mom, it’s tough starting a business. It’s tougher staying in the business and watching it grow. I’ve seen many people start out then going under. There are so many reasons why new businesses fail within the first five years of operation.
5 Profitable Business Ideas That Require Less than Ksh.5,000 to Start
I took some good hours within my schedule to research some of the best business ideas that require less than Ksh.5,000 to start. Let me assure you, mom, that these are by far the most profitable business opportunities if you want to become an independent mompreneur.
#1: Errand Girl
I don’t know about you but this business seems interesting and untapped. While there are many courier services, most of them rarely run small errands for busy people. This is where you come in as an errand girl.
You don’t have to start with a large enterprise using motorbikes or vehicles to run errands. You can start as an individual offering your services to friends and family for a small fee.
Services you can provide include paying bills, delivering gifts, renewing passports, bookings and anything in between. The idea is to help busy people handle their pending tasks. In a busy town like Nairobi, you can generate some good profit targeting people with tight schedules.
#2: Refilling Perfumes
This is a very lucrative business in Kenya. You can either sell in wholesale or retail. The best part is you won’t spend more than Ksh.5,000 to start. The idea is to make trendy fragrances available to many people. Save the money you need to start up and buy a 125ml bottle then repackage it into small quantities say 5ml bottles and sell.
#3: Selling second-hand books
I didn’t do a lot of research on selling second-hand books. There is little data on this but just like others on the list, I managed to gather useful information from people who are running this business. Street book vendors fill the gap for many Kenyans who can’t access public libraries or buy expensive books from bookstores.
If this is a business idea you want to try out, make sure you know where to find second-hand books. You can get them for free from friends and family who don’t use them anymore.
While most vendors sell these books on the streets, a few of them choose to rent them out at a minimum fee of Ksh.50. What happens when someone takes off with the book? Easy, you only rent out to book-hungry Kenyans who have paid a one-off membership fee of say Ksh.250.
It’s easy to find the market for second-hand books but it may be tough getting the books so you can also think of doing trade-offs (exchange a book or two with customers who have the books you can resell). I have done this with a few street vendors when I was shopping for second-hand books for my younger sister.
#4: Making homemade peanut butter
It’s easy to earn some extra money by selling homemade peanut butter. You equally don’t need a lot of money to start out. You don’t have to worry about how to start a business if you enjoy playing around with ingredients. The procedure is quite simple and all you need is roasted peanuts as the main ingredient, sugar, salt, oil and a food processor.
You’ll want to research how to make peanut butter if you don’t know how to do it but it’s easy as ABC. Depending on your target market, you can either package the peanut butter into 500gm jars or 100gm jars.
Most low-income earners do not buy large peanut butter jars sold in supermarkets because of the high price tag. If they are your target market, you can sell them a 100gm jar of peanut butter for around Ksh.100.
#5: Selling Second Hand Clothes
I know, this is a common business but don’t overlook it. Most people in Kenya buy second-hand items like clothes, shoes, and handbags so the market is large. You, however, need to carry out thorough research before starting out.
You cannot target everyone and you cannot sell all types of clothes. Do you want to sell baby clothes or would you rather sell ladies trousers? Find the right location and give the best prices that can assure you great profits. Many people fail to grow in this business because of poor research.
The Fashion Parlour gives you all the information you need before starting a mitumba business in Kenya.
5 Creative and Easy Ways to Raise Capital for Your Business
Ksh.5,000 may seem like a small amount to some people but believe me, moms, it is hard to collect it if you don’t have any source of income.
If you don’t want to learn how to start a business because you don’t have the funds, here are some of the best ways to raise the capital you need.
1. Family and Friends
Your family members and friends are more likely to believe in your vision than any person. Raising Ksh.5,000 from them will not take a lot of hassle. You can either get it as a loan or they may be willing to give it as a gift because they want to see your business grow.
If you want to do it yourself, you can save an amount of money every week for at least one or two months to establish your business. You may not have enough saved but the best part about putting together the money is that it is easy to convince your family and friends about how much you need to top up. Open an Mshwari Lock Savings Account to save an amount whenever you have a few hundred shillings in your pocket.
3. Small Business Loans
It’s okay to use your personal assets to take a bank loan. However, there are numerous options that require nothing more than your Smartphone and social media account. Think of options like Safaricom’s Mshwari, Branch International and Tala that give visionary Kenyans up to Ksh.50,000 to grow their business.
4. Join a Chama
Form a group with friends (sharing a common interest) to save the amount you need to start your business. Chamas are great because you have the flexibility to save the amount you have. You can start with as little as Ksh.50 per week and increase it with time. I recently made a post on Facebook’s Kenya Single Mothers Club on how to start a chama that will give you the results you need after a few months.
5. P2P Lending
Peer-to-peer lending is a great way to get the capital you need to start your business. Peer-to-peer lending networks bring savers and borrowers together thus eliminating the need for a bank. You can get cheap loans with flexible return dates. One thriving P2P lending network in Kenya is Zidisha.
5 Best Ways to Market Your Small Business in Kenya
There’s no need to learn how to start a business if you won’t learn how to market it. Marketing is one of the most important aspects of any business that you cannot ignore.
There are many ways to market your business in Kenya including online marketing, posters, and through radio or TV.
I find online marketing to be the most effective way of getting your business out to the right audience. I’ll tell you why in a few.
Starting a business with less than Ksh.5,000 means that you don’t have enough funds to put on marketing. I will, therefore, show you some of the cheapest ways to market your business.
This is the best way to market your business. The best part is you won’t spend even a shilling to reach the right audience. You, however, need to provide the best services to your first few clients so that they can sell you to other potential customers. When I say the best, I mean providing nothing short of quality services.
2. Social Media Marketing
If you want to reach more clients, you need to stay active on social media. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn let you connect directly with your customers regardless of their location. Upload photos and videos detailing your business and what you do.
3. Have a Website
In this digital age, having a website is mandatory in building your business. Aside from social media, a website is also an excellent way to have an online presence. Your website needs to be attractive and interactive to make it easy for your visitors to navigate and make inquiries. When choosing a web address, ensure it is easy to remember and talks about what you do.
4. Email Marketing
I can also encourage this marketing strategy for small businesses. This strategy requires little to no capital provided you have a list of potential clients. I also love this marketing strategy because it is easy to personalize a client’s message. People like it when you speak directly to them. Besides, personalized emails help influence their buying decisions.
Very few people will take you seriously when you market your small business through posters. This method works well for politicians but if you are ready to take the challenge, go for it.
I would equally not encourage marketing your small business on Television and Radio. This strategy is more suitable for established brands. It is also the most expensive way of marketing on this list.
The list is endless; I cannot exhaust it. I touched on different work-at-home jobs you can start as a single mom in my previous posts. And even with this new article on how to start a business with less than Ksh.5,000 I have not touched on all the opportunities available for you to explore.
Instead of sitting there and complaining about the government, get up, get out and do something.
You are free to add your ideas in the comment section below.