Businesses To Start With 50k in Kenya: 34 Opportunities

Last Updated on: 27th February 2024, 12:02 pm

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 34 profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya. Depending on your commitments, you can either do part-time or full-time business. These businesses will 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—with commitment of course!

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.

Keep reading.

Top Profitable Businesses To Start With 50k in Kenya Today

1. Start a Barbershop (Kinyozi) Business With 50k in Kenya

A barber shop is among Kenya’s most profitable businesses to start with 50k. You can learn how to shave 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.

2. Salon is a business to start with 50k in Kenya

If you have hair-making experience, you don’t have to ask yourself “Which business can I start with 50k in Kenya?” Of course, 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. Salon business is the best business to start with 50k in Kenya. The services alone will make you rich in a few months of consistency.

3. A Retail Shop

You can start a retail shop for daily use commodities business 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 specialize 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. Business to Start with 50k in Kenya: Groceries Shop

People take groceries daily, which creates the opportunity to start a grocery store in Kenya. The good thing is you can start a grocery store with 50k in Kenya. All you need is to find a good source of fresh groceries from the firm.

A grocery business is among the profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya

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. 

6. Businesses to Start With 50k in Kenya: Farming

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? And there is a notion that the future billionaires will be farmers.

Sometimes back, I interviewed a pixie orange farmer, and the guy is making huge profits in the business. The guy started as a fruit vendor and he ended up growing his fruits, maximizing his returns.

Take, for example, the maize farmers selling a bag of dry maize at 5k. Therefore, if your land has water, you can plant groceries and sell them.

You can invest 50k in seeds, chemicals, fertilizers, 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. 

Malimali is among the profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya

Depending on location, you can spare at least 15k for rent and licenses. I interviewed a Malimali business vendor in Machakos and she’s doing great. You can see how she started if you are interested in starting this business.

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 to start with 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 in 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 cereal stores

The cereal store is among the most profitable businesses to 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.  A small eatery shop is a small business you can start with 50k in Kenya.

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 influence from their colleagues or friends. Remember to include innerwear too. Ladies usually change their wardrobes after a few days or months, unlike men. This idea makes it a good business to start with 50k in Kenya.

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. Businesses to Start with 50k in Kenya: Diaper shop

Do you know the Era for nappies and liners is long gone? Today’s mothers, including me, prefer diapers because of ‘class’ and probably less time to wash those nappies. For instance, don’t expect me to get off the keyboard typing to go and wash my baby’s poop.

Although most retail shops also sell diapers, you can specialize in diapers, sanitary towels, tissues, baby wipes,  and cosmetics.  

I recently interviewed a diaper businessman in Machakos, take a look and I hope you’ll learn a thing or two before starting a diaper business with 50k in Kenya.

However, you should choose a good location, preferably in the Estates and near maternity hospitals.

14. Businesses to Start with 50k in Kenya: 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 gas refill outlet is among the best businesses to start with 50k in Kenya. 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. Businesses to Start with 50k in Kenya: 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. 4000, a discount of 20% 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. Alternatively, you can take time and create your own articles and save the money you could have used for hiring writers.

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.

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16. A milk bar business

A packet of milk is becoming unbearably expensive, pushing Kenyans to find cheaper alternatives like cow milk. That makes a milk bar business among the most profitable businesses to start with 50k in Kenya.

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 capitalize on the fat from the cow milk, which you can also sell. In addition, you can also add other products such as yogurt and Mala milk.

You will have to keep high standards of cleanliness and obtain the necessary licenses and business permits.  

17. Beekeeping

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, fashion design is the best business to start 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 basic IT knowledge, you can train in coding to design apps and websites.

The good thing is you can take free online classes on platforms like Codecademy. Web designing and development is a good business to start with 50k in Kenya.

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 the added costs of rent and licenses, you can start by working from home and later go to town stalls. 

20. Bakery is a business to start with 50k in Kenya

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. As a result, the bakery is proving to be the best business to start with 50k in Kenya if you have excellent baking skills.

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 monetize your channel and start earning money. 

21. Businesses to Start With 50k in Kenya: 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. With 50k, you can buy decorating tools and other necessities in the industry. You can market your business on apps like Balozy, where you can sell your services to clients near you.

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 spare shop near a motorbike repair joint. 

You can acquire stock worth 35k and use the rest for rent and business permits.

24. Businesses to Start with 50k in Kenya: 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 tool 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 start with 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. A brand ambassador is among the businesses to start with 50k in Kenya. 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. 

27. Daycare

Are you a stay-at-home mum, and you can take care of children? Well, you can start a daycare business with 50k in Kenya 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

Photography and videography are among the businesses to start with 50k in Kenya. 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.

31. Business to Start with 50k in Kenya: Dropshipping

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

Selling eggs is among the best businesses to start 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.

34. Phone, Laptop, Desktop Repairs and Accessories

With everyone going digital, there is a great gap in the repair industry. Phone screens are breaking daily, hence calling for replacement services. That makes phone repairs among the most profitable business to start with 50k in Kenya.

If you don’t know how to diagnose and repair phones or computers, you can go for training from an experienced fundi near you. You can pay a trainer from your 50k like 5-10k. After you gain the required skills, you can find a good location with a gap.

To identify a gap in the repair industry, you can navigate the towns with less or no phone fundis. Again you should ask around if the available fundis are honest and reliable.

One aspect to succeed as a repairs gur, you should be honest with the clients. After finding a perfect location, find a good stall which you can pay at Ksh. 5k and a business license of at most Ksh.5k.

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 maximize net profits

The Bottom Line

The businesses to start with 50k in Kenya that 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.

Enroll here:

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