Businesses Kenyans Can Start With Little Or No Money 

  • digital journalist John Mbati at work digital journalist John Mbati at work
    Kevin Korir
  • Vagaries of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy have seen many Kenyans engage in all kinds of survival tactics and business activities to make ends meet.

    Despite all the gloom, the Kenyan entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive and kicking. Some hardworking and innovative citizens are able to set up businesses with very little or no money at all. 

    Some of the business ideas that Kenyans have set up with little or no money at all are the ones in the service industry. A perfect example is offering cleaning services and grass-cutting business among others. Besides little or no money required, these businesses would require almost no skill to start and run. 

    With the advent of the internet, one can advertise, for example, their cleaning business, on social media, having to only spend the cost of internet service. 

    An image showing an internet connection cable
    An image showing an internet connection cable.

    According to GM Cleaning services, one can start a cleaning business with barely any capital, and one can even start the business themselves, if they have money to pay employees, before expanding and acquiring employees later.

    GM cleaning company advises that one use social media to acquire their first client, and to make sure they have a uniform before approaching their first client; a uniform helps create a brand where clients and the market can identify you with.

    One can also start a business with little to no capital, by selling their talent. One such example would be a physical trainer, a handyperson, and house painting among others. Individuals who have skills in these areas, for example, would require little to no money to start a business synonymous with that domain. 

    A lot of clients would be happy to provide painting materials if a painter requested so, and getting the first client would help them acquire more clients in the future with a little bit more ease.

    People advertising their expertise in the streets in the hope of getting clients.
    People advertising their expertise in the streets in the hope of getting clients.
    Citizen Digital

    Other types of businesses that one can start and require little capital would be internet-based businesses. Such businesses include online writing, affiliate marketing, a blog website, selling used items online, and even starting a Youtube channel based on one's talents and skills, creating content.

    In the contemporary world, many Kenyans have made a business out of Youtube channels and eventually using them to advertise for big corporations. 

    Many YouTubers collaborate with each other, and carry out online advertising campaigns for companies, earning a real living from it. Numerous individuals use Youtube to expand their businesses, especially by offering online courses and charging a fee.

    Though challenging to get one's name recognized in the world of online courses, individuals who chart that territory get significant success even with few clients by creating a loyal base.

    With online writing experiencing a boom in Kenya in recent years, Kenyan youth have turned to the online business, making millions from it, and only requiring an internet connection to start their business.

    Another less economically demanding business, though challenging to start, is a consultancy business that has also been on the rise, with the most consequential requirement being extensive knowledge of the consulting topic and little to no money to start.

    Individuals who want to start a consultancy business will be seeking to sell one thing to their clients – knowledge. This means that little investment capital is needed to start a consultancy business, as one can start with no employees and eventually expand by hiring employees in the case that their business becomes successful.

    Kenyans can also make a living from a resale business with little start-up capital. One can start a resale business, selling used goods, either from their own used commodities and used goods or selling them on behalf of others and retaining the profit. 

    A resale business of used commodities would need one to utilize social media to sell, including a website, Facebook, and Instagram page. This would incur very minimal costs in executing. 

    Given the accelerated competitiveness in the job market in the country, Kenyans can use alternative methods to start a business, relying on little to no capital.

    Jobseekers queue on Wabera Street, Nairobi, as they wait to be interviewed by The Sarova Stanley on May 26, 2018.
    Jobseekers queue on Wabera Street, Nairobi, as they wait to be interviewed by The Sarova Stanley on May 26, 2018.