List of Businesses to Start With 1 Million in Kenya

ByTristram Ouma

May 19, 2023
List of Businesses to Start With 1 Million in Kenya

Last updated on March 2nd, 2024 at 05:36 pm

This list focuses on businesses you can start with 1 Million in Kenya.

Are you looking for a successful business to start with 1 million in Kenya? You’ve come to the right place. Starting and running a business can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to getting things off the ground.

Money is a major determining factor of success and can quickly become a roadblock if you don’t know how to maximize your resources.

Luckily, with 1 million shillings, you can start a number of profitable businesses in Kenya.

From small brick and mortar stores to internet-based businesses, there are lots of options when it comes to knowing which business you should start with 1 million shillings.

I’m here to help you out so that you can make informed decisions on which businesses are worth your capital investment. In this article, I’ll give you an overview of some of the best businesses that you can start with 1 million in Kenya.

1. Real Estate Investing in Kenya

Real estate investing is a great way to make money and gain passive income. With 1 million KES, you can jump into this lucrative industry in Kenya. Some of the most popular properties to invest in are residential and commercial buildings, land for development, or even agricultural land for leasing or resale.

You can also consider engaging in property flipping, house hacking, rent-to-own schemes and more.

These strategies involve buying an investment property that needs some work done and then completing basic repair work before reselling it at a higher price.

This can be quite lucrative if you have a good eye for spotting potential deals and the desire to do some hands-on work.

Another real estate option 1 million KES will give you access to is buying rental property. This involves finding a property that offers potential rental income, renovating it as necessary, and renting it out to tenants so that you receive monthly payments from them. You’ll need to consider proper maintenance of the property as well as who will manage the tenant process.

But overall, real estate investing could be one of the best investments you make with your 1 million KES.

Also Checkout: Where to Invest 500k

2. Import and Export Business in Kenya

With the right plan and strategy, an import and export business can be very profitable in Kenya.

Since, the country has a large population with a rising purchasing power, making it an attractive destination for international investment.

Additionally, Kenya’s economy has been growing steadily, making it a great place to set up an import and export business.

Here are some of the benefits of starting an import and export business in Kenya:

  • Access to emerging markets in East Africa: Kenya is centrally located between other emerging economies in East Africa, providing access to these markets.
  • Low cost of doing business: Kenya’s low cost of labor makes it cheaper to do business compared to other countries in the region.
  • Supportive government policies: The Kenyan government has invested heavily in infrastructure, making it easier for entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground.

If you are looking to start a business with 1 million KES, then an import and export business may be the right choice for you. With proper planning and execution, you can make your 1 million KES go a long way.

3. Agriculture and Agribusiness in Kenya

There are many different agribusinesses you can start in Kenya with just 1 million. Agribusiness is a great choice for entrepreneurs, as it involves producing and selling food products to consumers.

Here are some of the top agribusinesses to consider in Kenya:

Crop Farming

Crop farming is one of the most popular agribusinesses because it involves growing a variety of crops such as maize, wheat, sorghum, cassava, groundnuts and yams. You will need to invest in the necessary land and equipment such as tractors and seedlings.

Livestock Farming

Raising livestock can be a very profitable business if done correctly. There are several types of livestock you can raise in Kenya such as cows, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry. You’ll need to invest in the necessary land and equipment for housing and feeding the animals.

Fish Farming

Fish farming is also another lucrative option in Kenya since there is a huge demand for fish from both local and international markets. You’ll need to invest in an appropriate location for your farm and acquire the necessary equipment such as tanks or ponds for raising fish.

Agriculture remains one of the most profitable businesses to start with 1 million shillings in Kenya – so why not give it a try?

4. Manufacturing in Kenya

If you’re looking to start a business in Kenya with 1 million, manufacturing is definitely an option to consider. Kenya has a steady and growing demand for manufactured goods, leading to opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of this market.

Benefits of Manufacturing in Kenya

Manufacturing in Kenya is attractive for several reasons:

  1. Low operating costs: electricity costs in particular are lower compared to other countries in East Africa.
  2. Tax incentives: the government offers tax breaks and other incentives for new businesses.
  3. Accessible infrastructure: roads, ports and airports are well-developed, making it easier to move product around the country and the region as well.
  4. Skilled labor supply: there’s a growing skilled labor force which means you can access quality employees with the right skills.

Manufacturing everything from electronics to garments can be a great way to make use of your 1 million investment—so why not give it a shot? With careful research and planning, you can capitalize on this market opportunity and make your million go further than ever.

5. Technology Companies and Startups in Kenya

Maybe you want to take a risk and start your own business in Kenya with one million? With the tech industry booming in Kenya, you have plenty of opportunities.

For example, you could develop a software or app to solve an existing problem. There’s also enough room for startups tackling the challenges faced by businesses in growing their ventures. Some industries that are particularly attractive include agriculture, e-commerce, transport, and finance.

You could start an IT consultancy and provide services such as:

  • Cloud computing
  • Network security
  • Web development
  • Software engineering
  • Mobile application development

Or become a digital marketing specialist offering services like:

  • SEO optimization
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Online advertising

With 1 million KES, you could get the necessary licenses and permits for establishing your business. You’d likely also be able to cover the cost of legal advice, rent for commercial space and fund your first few projects – giving yourself plenty of bang for your buck.

6. Service-Based Businesses in Kenya

There are many service-based businesses in Kenya that can get off the ground with relatively low capital.

Here are some ideas for service-based businesses that you can start with Ksh 1 million in Kenya:

Tailoring Business

With the proper equipment and training, starting a tailoring business in Kenya could be a great option for entrepreneurs looking to break into this sector. Tailoring is an in-demand service and the start-up cost is relatively low. You can use your Ksh 1 million for equipment (e.g. sewing machines & furniture), marketing and advertising, and training (if needed).

Car Rental Business

There’s always a demand for car rental services in Kenya. With Ksh 1 million, you could buy two cars to rent out for corporate clients or individual travelers. You’ll need money to cover registration fees and insurance costs, as well as funds to hire staff members who will take care of the day-to-day operations including handling customer inquiries, making sure the cars are clean and operational, and collecting payments from renters.

Web Design Services

Kenya is home to numerous successful digital services companies offering web design services. Web designers usually build websites from scratch using coding languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript etc., or they might use various web development platforms like WordPress or Joomla. To start this kind of business, you’ll need a computer with enough processing power to handle large files; software such as Adobe Creative Suite; marketing materials; office space; and money for advertising your services online and offline.


High-return investments are possible in Kenya with just one million shillings. But with great potential comes great risk, because it’s not only a big sum of money and the entrepreneurial spirit that is required, but knowledge and experience to make smart investments.

That’s why it’s important to do thorough research and be strategic on how to best allocate the money in order to maximize returns while minimizing overall risk. By considering the elements listed above, and with a little bit of luck, you’ll be able to generate massive returns and grow the wealth of your business.

With the right focus and execution, 1 million shillings can be enough to start a business in Kenya that is sure to succeed.