Start any business in Kenya with 5000 shillings – 13 business ideas for you

Due to the hard economic times in Kenya, many people who want to start their own businesses never do so because of lack of enough capital.

So, some never launch their businesses, perhaps losing hope altogether in a business idea they once held so dear to their hearts, or maybe because they think waiting a little while is a wise decision.

Many people cannot access loans from the various financial institutions in Kenya because they fear the lender’s fury in case they don’t honour their part of the contract.

 Note: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on something I recommend and purchase it, I will receive a commission for the sale – at no extra cost to you. 

It even gets harder when one does not have enough money saved to start them off. That is why I decided to write this article and the ebook 10 Things to Look at if You Are Thinking of Starting a Business to encourage you to pursue your business dreams however little amount of cash you may have in your pockets.

What can you do with Kenya Shillings 5000 if you want to start a business?

The money will certainly be used in acquiring the necessary tools of the trade before anything else. A part of it may also be used in marketing your services or products.

So make sure that this money is spent on key tools that will be used in service delivery, production, marketing and selling of your products.

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Examples of businesses you can start in Kenya: 13 business ideas in Kenya you can explore

  1. Coding and selling apps. Sure if you love computers, 5000 shillings would be enough to help you promote and sell addons (for web browsers), create plugins, themes and modules for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, create custom applications for mobile phones, smart phones, tablets etc. Of course you have to learn some computer languages first and be able to deliver stuff that are worth paying for.
  2. Farming. Think about putting land into good use – planting crops and selling the harvest. Think about keeping livestock. Think along the lines of poultry and dairy farming. Sure, you can afford to get some animals with 5000 shillings. You’ll start from down, down the ladder, because that is the only direction that gets people to the top.
  3. Design and painting. Think about interior design, fashion design, graphic design, selling your art, illustrating children storybooks, designing ebook covers, editing photos etc.
  4. Cleaning services. Think of cleaning floors, windows, compounds, cars, clothes, houses, mowing lawns.
  5. Copywriting. Able to create content that can help people win more business? It is time to get started as a freelancer.
  6. Coaching and consulting. Are you good at coaching? Do people always come to you for help on certain areas? Well may be it could be time to offer your services to people out there. Businesses need consultants who can help them realize their mission and visions. Individuals want help with the problems in their lives. People are willing to pay you if you can help them stay focused and work their way towards achieving their goals.
  7. Have you created a product that will help people, quickly and easily, solve a problem? Well it might be time to get it out there. Got a manuscript? Turn it into an ebook, upload it online, sell and continue marketing it. Better yet, you can an ebook and online course / events.
  8. Want to own a shop or supermarket some day? Why not start an online shop (or niche auction site) or start buying a few products and selling them for a reasonable profit.
  9. What is the one thing you are really good at? Ever thought about starting a business along those lines? May be you are good at spotting spelling, factual and grammatical errors. It might be time you considered becoming an editor. Good at fixing computers, phones, cars or anything along those lines? Start offering superior services and charge for them.
  10. Tutor. Are you good at a particular subject? Can you teach others and help them with their problems? There are people out there ready to pay for music and dance lessons. There are so many people who want to learn foreign languages. There are people who want help with technical subjects and you may be the person they need. They have a need, which you can satisfy, and you’re in business when you start making profits. You can even go ahead and have e-courses of your own.
  11. Selling water. There are many people in Kenya that don’t have access to piped water. Some are ready to pay Kshs 5 for a 20 litre jerry can. Once the money starts making your pockets heavier, don’t let complacency bind you to today.
  12. Love cooking? Love baking? There are people in need of cookies and cakes for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and other occasions. You can start a business that offers great food (17 great food business ideas).
  13. Transport industry. Want to be in the courier business. Want to be in the public service vehicle industry? Want to ferry goods to different parts of Kenya some do start with boda bodas and climb up the ladder.
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What you need to start a business with KSh 5,000

So, if you asked me what business one could start with only Kshs 5000, I’d gladly reply, ‘Any business. Because the money doesn’t necessarily dictate the size or type of business you can start.

Proper management, focus, hard work, top-notch customer service, time and integrity does.’

With this little amount of money, you are going to put in a lot of your time to market and grow your business. The harder you work, the more your initial capital of 5,000 Kenyan Shillings will grow.

Then you will just have to keep reinvesting the money back into your business, slowly expanding your business.

You only want to expand when it makes sense; when you are able to sustain the growth without sacrificing the quality customers have become accustomed to getting from you.

So, starting a business with little capital is going to require a lot of hard work, a lot of your time, a lot of learning and fast execution, and a lot of determination.

You can break even quickly, but remember that most businesses of this kind can take more than a year to start bringing in good profits. So, you are also going to be patient as you consistently work on growing your small business.

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One question for you: Armed with only Kshs 5000, which two business ideas would you consider pursuing? Share your answer in the comments below. Also, check this post and this one for more great ideas.

Download the free PDF ebook 10 Things to Look at If You Are Thinking of Starting a Business in Kenya

PS: If you haven’t yet downloaded your copy of the free PDF guide 10 Things to Look at If You Are Thinking of Starting a Business in Kenya.

Download it now.

55 thoughts on “Start any business in Kenya with 5000 shillings – 13 business ideas for you”

  1. Buying and selling business (spirits sales to bars and clubs door-door) assorted brands by beginning of may 2014…..van sales

  2. i want to start a delivery services around west-lands area what can i do.where by i can purchase goods for my clients deliver then they pay me back.for example i can buy them vegetables,cereals and even going to the supermarkets.For vegetables and all markets related products the orders should be placed 3 days before the d-day and others can be the same day.

    • Hey Grace. Thinking of writing a post on exactly this. It’d be better that way instead of trying to squeeze everything in the comments below. I do believe you’ve already found people already a) interested in this idea you have and, or b) willing to pay you for this service. Right?

  3. Excellent post. These are fine business ideas. Any hardworking person can pick one and run with it to success. Another money minting business idea is hydroponics. Hydroponics is the art of growing crops, e.g. tomato, without using soil. Soil-less farming!

  4. Poultry esp broilers Kenyans have embraced white meat as its healthy and in only 5 weeks you sell them and make your money. Thank you for this business idea its making great returns for me and my family!!

  5. I wish to start a resume writting,cover letter and interview coaching service,whats the best way to market it,am currently doing it in fb,you may check standard cv centre in fb and advice me.

    • Who will use the services you offer? How are you (or your competitors) reaching them now? How can you reach them without spending a lot more than necessary? These are some of the questions you can use to figure out the best way to do this, a way that suits you best. You can then go ahead and create a quality online resource with information your customers/prospects can use – to achieve goals directly or indirectly related to the services you offer – for example a website powered by WordPress. Going directly to your customers (or example, students in college and universities) can also help with initial exposure.

  6. Yes I have gone through your notes carefully and they all make sense.

    I wish to add to list that one can start a House Agency

    I started one along Thika Road Road.

  7. yeah it’s a big up to all the youths for being vibrant and also being full of potential ideas, as for me i have a farming project that i have been undertaking and am telling you it is paying

    • Great to hear that your farming project is paying Benito. Mind sharing a little bit more about it – why you started it, what you like about it, challenges you are facing…

  8. These are very good business ideas and people should be encouraged on starting them. At orakol business consultants, we are there to assist you in all your start up, break even and succession in your business

  9. I have had so many ideas, there was farming coz i have a piece of land, there was making some clothes, there was catering but i never seem to have the time. It gets so depressing when you cant leave your day job and start something.

    If i had an online job ad make some money, and also give me time to start a biz. Any ideas?

  10. I have a passion for personal finance coaching but dont know how to get people. I did one at my work place and the response was overwhelming only that it was pro bono….No charges

  11. Hi,
    i am employed and i want to start a business with sh.5000.Please advise which is the best business to start with since i am always at work and i want to try a small business.


  12. Sounds good, for my case is different.

    I just gets lots of money even 200,000 at once, my fear is have never done anything so far!! , the word i picked from your writing is (don’t. Wait to start something) I’m going tray these out the ire count on you thanks.

  13. Atieno from so desperate in which business to venture into with a start up capital of

    50000ksh.pls help with an idea thanks.

  14. I think keeping improved kienyeji chicken is a good idea……they grow fast, ever in demand……..start with 20 of them purchasing 1 week old between 100-130 shillings, by a 70kg of feeds which will take them for the next 1 month and 2 weeks, leave them now to free range. You can now give them leftovers and within the next 4 month you sell them to hotels, schools, market etc and from the sales purchase other chicks that outnumbers the first purchase and with time your flock increases. N.B…KIENYEJI CHICKEN IS EVER IN DEMAND LIKE NOW DECEMBER IS APPROACHING, nobody will satisfy the demand so grab opportunity now.

  15. I was going through your advice and am impresed with the ideas. I have knowladge in auto repair and service, have been talking to people in the same bisiness of auto repair, but the advice they are giving me is discouraging they are talling me it will take me 5 yrs down the line to be recognised by customers. Am thinking of starting small autoshop . Advice me on how to start with 10k.

    • if i had the knowledge on autorepair,this is the way to go.i believe it pays and its advantage is that the advertisement is through the word of mouth.just dont think about the income first,you only need that one trustful customer.
      my business is the buying and selling one but i so believe that service provision with honesty handsomely pays.

  16. I did poultry farming in kitale with broillers .the problem is that the capital is more than the profits..bearing in mind the food consumption and less market

  17. Hi? im Emily and in Eldoret. Im planning to start a poultry business by hatching chicks and selling them. The problem is that, i dont have the cash at hand to purchase the machine. im planning to go for a loan becoz the kind of the machine goes for about 200,000/ . on the other hand , im afraid , where will i be getting the customers to buy the chicks so as to be able to repay the loan in time? pls kindly advice me coz im confused. i dont know what to do and im totally financialy poor. hoping to hear from u soon. thanx.

    • Hi Emily. Getting the loan, paying it back and getting a market for your chicks. To get the market for your chicks, you need to talk to a lot of people, ask questions and learn: farmers in your area, veterinary officers, agricultural officers, sellers of everything related to chicken – you will find enough answers. Saturday Nation also has a magazine called Seeds of Gold, that connects buyers and sellers, among other things.

      As for the loan, one may argue that starting with a lesser amount would be ideal. But then again who really knows. It all depends on your input and how you put all that amount into use. You can also talk to Caleb Karuga of Wendy Farms who also sells day old kienyeji chicks on or 0728 92 69 66.

  18. Iam comfortable with two kinds of busines
    the “kienyeji”kuku kind of busines n also farming bt afta all tha lesons i ave learnt from this site am quite dtermined,focused,positively impacted with a new busines spirit am now goin for the kienyeji kuku.thanks for ua lessons

  19. Hey guys i wud like to step into the business field in 2015 am currently working but wanna be my own boss …..i got atleast 50,000 …any ideas would be highly appreciated.

  20. Hi, I love baking but with the current situation, things are thick. I’ve tried doing cakes for shops but it’s not making profits. I want to try the eggs/smokies business but my shortcoming is the trolley, if I could get one for hire

    • Hi Judith

      Congratulations on keeping things moving forward even with the challenges you are currently facing.

      So, some questions to help you with this:

        Who in your area makes these trolleys? Where do other people in the egg / smokies business get their trolleys? Have you talked to them if they would be open to renting out one to you?
        Do you know other people already doing the same business and asked them how they acquired their own trolley? Have you asked if they could help you find one you can rent or buy?
        Who repairs these trolleys? Have you approached some and asked them if they can connect you with owners that can sell / lease one to you?

      I hope these questions help.

      Let me know how it goes.



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