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Most Lucrative businesses to start with 100k in Kenya

ByBizhack Editorial

Feb 18, 2023
profitable businesses to start with 100k in Kenya

Last updated on March 2nd, 2024 at 05:44 pm

Starting a business in Kenya can be daunting and challenging, as it requires a lot of dedication, hard work and capital. However, if you have a budget of 100K or less, there are many lucrative businesses in Kenya you can start with 100k or less and still make a good living.

When it comes to the most lucrative businesses to start with 100K in Kenya, the options are quite vast. Here are some of the most popular and successful businesses that you can start with a budget of 100K or less.

What are most profitable businesses to start in Kenya today with 100k as starting capital?

With a capital of 100,000 Ksh, various business opportunities await. You could venture into the Boda Boda business, invest in fish farming, start a wines and spirits shop, or establish a butchery or bakery. Additionally, opportunities lie in photography, operating a milk dispenser, running a nail parlour, or dealing in Mitumba clothes. Consider starting a fashion house, an electric shop, or importing and selling ladies’ shoes. A small salon, fruit juice and pudding business, or becoming an Uber driver are viable options. Alternatively, explore opportunities as a tutor, drop shipper, or freelancer. Open a retail store, invest in real estate, or embark on the path of online entrepreneurship to make the most of your capital.

How profitable are businesses start with Ksh100,000 in Kenya? What is the market?

1. Become an Online Entrepreneur

There are many ways you can become an online entrepreneur in Kenya; one is to start a blog in any niche. If you have 100k you can start an online business in Kenya, such as an online store, a consultant, or a professional website. All these online businesses are profitable in Kenya and require less capital. There are many ways you can earn from your online business For instance, if you can sell a course, have a product, monetize content through ads, or do affiliate marketing to become an online entrepreneur in Kenya, Identify a niche, conduct research, take courses online and learn new skills, create a business plan, network and make friends, and finally advertise your business.

2. Invest in Real Estate

Real estate is one of the most profitable investments in Kenya. With just 100K, you can purchase a small property in a good location and earn a profit by renting it out or by reselling it.

3. Become a Freelancer

Freelancing is becoming increasingly popular in Kenya and offers great potential for success. With just 100K, you can start your own freelance business and offer your services to clients. You can specialize in web design, graphic design, copywriting, or any other service that you are skilled in.

4. Start a Food Business

Food businesses are very popular in Kenya and can be a great way to make money. With a budget of 100K or less, you can open a food truck, become a caterer or start a small restaurant.

5. Open a Retail Store

If you have an eye for fashion, you can open a retail store with a budget of 100K or less. You can find great deals on clothing, accessories, and other items and resell them to make a good profit.

6. Become a Dropshipper

Dropshipping is becoming more popular in Kenya and can be very profitable. You can find a dropshipping partner and start selling products without having to handle any of the stock or shipping.

7. Become a Tutor

You can start a tutoring business with a budget of 100K or less. You can offer tutoring services in a variety of subjects like mathematics, English, and science.

8. Become an Uber Driver

Uber is a very popular and profitable business in Kenya. With just 100K, you can purchase a car and start making money by driving people around.

9. Start a Mitumba business

Mitumba business involves selling second-hand clothing and other items. It is a popular business in many African countries, where you can start with a small capital of 100,000 or less, providing affordable clothing options while also promoting recycling and reducing waste.

According to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the value of mitumba went up to 9.2 billion in the first half of 2021 from Sh5.1 billion in the corresponding time in 2020. On the other side, the Mitumba Consortium Association of Kenya reports that at least Mitumba businesses employ 2,000,000 Kenyans directly. World Bank data show that 5.7 percent of Kenyans were unemployed in 2021, up from 2.8 percent in 2013. Because of this high unemployment rate, I think the Mitumba business is important to Kenya’s economy.

Also, a 2021 report by the Mitumba Consortium Association of Kenya estimates that 91.5 percent of Kenyans buy second-hand clothes. Therefore, because of the high demand for mitumba clothes, it means that there is a huge gap and opportunity for this type of business. For example, the latest data from KNBS shows that Kenya imported 53,979 metric tons of second-hand mitumba clothes in the quarter of 2023. This is an increase of 30.6 percent compared to 41,314 metric tons in a similar quarter in 2022. All this information explains the profitability and the opportunity entrepreneurs can start with their capital.

So, how does an entrepreneur venture into a Mitumba business in Kenya with a capital of 100k or Sh100,000? If you have Sh100,000 and want to start this business, you first need to have a good plan. You also need to learn and understand the right skills and strategies you can implement. For example, by contacting one of the Mitumba business gurus, Mr. Bonface, we found some inspiring insights and opinions to share with you. Mr. Bonface owns three Mitumba stores. One is in Busia, while two others are in Kisumu County. We asked Mr. to share some insights and ideas on how he would use a hundred thousand Kenyan shillings as capital if he wanted a second-hand business.

Mr. Bonface said that having a successful Mitumba business means having good plans. For example, you need to figure out what type of clothes you want and where you will source them, which is important. Here is a blueprint of how Mr. Bonface would plan to use the 100k capital to start this business:

  • Buying stock Ksh 30,000
  • Renting space: Ksh 20,000
  • Mannequins and cloth hangers: Ksh 30,000
  • Miscellaneous Ksh 20,000

To start a Mitumba business, find reliable Mitumba suppliers; for example, Maria Mitumba bale wholesalers are among the top-rated. Next, find high-quality clothes based on what you want to focus on.

10. Boda Boda business

Boda Boda Business is one of the most profitable businesses you can start with 100,000 Kenyan shillings. The boda boda business employs over 1.5 million youths in Kenya, and the number continues to grow over the years. The boda boda industry contributes about Sh202 billion ($1.8 billion) to Kenya’s economy annually, according to a report by the World Bank. According to a study by Car and General, it is reported that boda bodas provide more than one million direct jobs for riders, who can earn less than Ksh. 1000 a day. The report estimated that each rider can make nearly Sh. 1000 per day from around 15 rides, which translates to a daily income of Ksh. 1 billion or 365 billion annually for the one million registered boda boda riders in Kenya. The boda boda industry is still expanding and has many opportunities. The best boda boda motorbikes in Kenya are the Bajaj and Boxer, which are the most popular. The price of motorbikes in Kenya is between Sh. 97,000 and Sh. 750,000.

Read Also: What business can I start with 30k capital in Kenya

12. M-Pesa agency shop

Even though we had mentioned that the M-Pesa business is among the worst and most risky businesses in Kenya due to heavy theft surrounding the business. Conmen around M-pesa should open your eyes and stay alert and ready to deal with such issues. However, the M-Pesa business is a profitable business that an entrepreneur in Kenya can do with very little capital. In the financial year 2023, M-Pesa revenue grew by 8.8% to 117.19 billion, supported by increased usage and the growth of chargeable transactions per month. M-Pesa remains the biggest revenue contributor, currently accounting for approximately 40% of service revenue. I am using all this data to show that there is still an opportunity in the M-Pesa business.

According to Safaricom, there are over 160,000 M-pesa agents countywide. Also, Safaricom reported that over 30 million active Kenyans were using M-Pesa monthly on March 10, 2022. Because of these data and facts about the M-Pesa business, it is therefore a very lucrative business for Kenyans thinking of starting an M-Pesa shop and earning commissions. For example, Bizhack Kenya interviewed one of the M-Pesa agents, Mr. Robert. Mr. Robert is one of the M-Pesa agents who started the M-Pesa business in 2020 and has earned huge profits. This M-Pesa shop owner was interviewed by Bizhack Kenya to learn and share his experience doing M-Pesa business and possible benefits. Mr. Robert said that he had a capital of Ksh. 100,000 and therefore divided the amount to budget for the business expenses. For example, Mr. Robert used Ksh. 60,000 to buy an M-Pesa float and used the remaining amount to pay rent and purchase an M-Pesa merchant line.

So, what profit can you expect as an M-pesa agent? According to Mr. Robert, there are other M-Pesa agents earning as little as Ksh. 5,000, while the average earnings of these should be around Sh20,000 and Sh50,000. However, according to Mr. Robert, your earnings and commissions depend on location and how you transact most often.

13. Phone repair shop

According to Stastica, the number of mobile subscriptions in Kenya was around 65 million, up from 61.41 million in 2020. In 2023, the Communications Authority reported that the number of mobile devices now stands at 66.1 million as of March 31, 2023, up from 62.9 million and 65.4 million in 2022. Therefore, the increase in mobile phone usage means that a repair shop is one of the most profitable businesses to start in Kenya. Because of the large population of Kenyans owning phones, the phone repair business is an opportunity for entrepreneurs who want to invest in the business.

To start a phone repair business, you need to have the right skills and resources. For instance, if you do not have skills in phone repair, you can enroll in a course you can study so that you acquire the skills. To learn about this course, you can apply through an alternative way to start a phone repair business is to hire or employ a phone repair technician to do the service for you, even if you don’t have the skills. To be successful in this business, you need to look for areas with high demand for phone repairs and see what services your competitors offer.

14. Milk dispenser shop

A milk bar is a traditional place where people buy newspapers and fast-food items such as fish and chips, hamburgers, milkshakes, and snacks. A milk bar business is therefore one of the businesses to start with 100,000 Kenya shillings as capital. In Kenya, milk is one of the most highly consumed products, consumed by nearly all households. According to, Kenya has the highest per capita milk consumption in sub-Saharan Africa at 110 litres. The demand, currently at 8 billion litres, is also expected to grow with the population increase.

To start a milk bar business in Kenya. First, you need to buy the right requirements and materials to operate your business effectively. The following are some of the materials you need to set up this business:

  1. Milk vending machines, which cost between Ksh. 70,000 for 50 litres and Ksh. 90,000 for 100 litres ATM. Milk vending machines are also called milk dispensers or milk ATMs. Therefore, it means the same thing.
  2. Find a suitable location with a high population and reliable electricity supply so that your vending machine can operate efficiently without a power outage. A good location to operate your milk bar business can cost around Ksh. 20,000.
  3. Also, find a reliable milk supplier.

Here is how you will budget the Sh100,000 capital to start a milk bar business in Kenya:

  • Milk dispenser/vending machine: Sh70,000
  • License. A mini dairy permit fee for a business whose handling capacity is more than 500kg but not exceeding 10,000 kg per day is free from the Kenya Dairy Board: Sh8000
  • Rent: Ksh 10000
  • Miscellaneous Ksh 12,000

15. Car wash business

A car wash business is among the businesses to start with a capital of Ksh. 100,000 or more. According to an economic survey conducted by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics in 2022, the survey reported that the number of new registered motor vehicles increased by 14.2 percent from 94,128 units in 2020 to 107,499 units in 2021. According to Statista Research Department reports, in 2020, new registrations of motor vehicles in Kenya amounted to roughly 347,000. Of these, motorcycles and autoclyles constituted the majority, or about 246,700 units. That same year, almost 58,000 new registrations of station wagons were recorded in the country.

Similar to the report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the number of newly registered motorcycles and three-wheelers or autocycles increased by 15.4 percent from 252,601 units in 2020 to 291,553 units in 2021. Even though it is one of the most competitive businesses to start in Kenya, it still remains profitable because of the demand for car wash services. The profit margin of a car wash business is 40%, which means that there is an opportunity for this business if you set it up in the right location.

What are the requirements to start a car business with a budget of 100k in capital?

For a capital of Sh100,000, you can buy a car washing machine from Jumia or Jiji, which costs between Sh26,400 and Sh67,550. Other materials needed include shampoo, polish, and other cleaning materials.

16. Butchery

According to, Kenyan meat production is expected to hit 893,200 metric tons by 2026, up from 828,810 metric tons in 2021. This represents a 1.3% compound annual growth rate since 1966. For instance, in 2021, Kenya was ranked 51st, behind Algeria’s 828,810 metric tons. While, according to Stastica, the meat market is expected to grow annually by 10.59% between 2023 and 2028. Also, the meat market is expected to show a volume growth of 6.0% in 2024.

Because of these positive trends and the demand for meat supply, starting a butchery is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to tap into. For instance, the average Kenyan household consumes 15 kilograms of meat each year, as reported in 2020, and therefore the number continues to grow.

To start a butchery business with a capital of Sh100,000 in Kenya. You will first need a good business plan so that you can budget your capital well. The following are some of the requirements you will need with this budget:

  • Rental premises and licenses Ksh 15,000
  • Weighing scale: Ksh 30,000–Ksh 45,000
  • Knives and other accessories Ksh 10,000
  • Meat (stock): Ksh 30,000
  • Miscellaneous Ksh 5,000

17. Fish Farming

Fish farming is one of the most profitable agribusinesses you can start in Kenya if you have a capital of a hundred thousand Kenyan shillings. This is because fish farming requires less capital, especially if you are starting on a small scale. Having a small amount of capital like this will help set up small fish ponds and buy fingerlings. According to a report shared by Commonwealth Secretariat Dr. George Habib, the fisheries sector also plays a significant role in employment and income generation. During the
year 2021, the sector supported a total of 65,000 people directly as fishermen and 70,000 fish
farmers with 149,000 stocked fish ponds.

The sector supports about 1.2 million people directly and indirectly, working as fishermen, traders,
processors, suppliers, and merchants of fishing accessories, as well as employees and their dependents.
Besides being a rich source of protein, especially for riparian communities, the sector is also
important for the preservation of culture, national heritage, and recreational purposes. In 2021, the
Total fish production was 163,702 metric tons worth 30.38 billion Kenya shillings. This was an
8.2% increase in production compared to 151,289 tons worth 26.25 billion Kenya shillings landed
in 2020. The increase in the value was mainly due to the catches from industrial vessels and the
increase in prices for areas with less production based on the demand and supply impacts on the
fish price.

To start a fish farming business with a capital of 100k in Kenya, here is what you can do, according to my expertise:

  • Pond construction: This is the most expensive part of fish farming, as it involves digging, lining, fencing, and plumbing the pond. The cost of pond construction depends on the size, location, and design of the pond. A typical pond size for small-scale fish farming is 300 square meters, which can cost around 40k.
  • Fingerlings: These are young fish that are ready to be stocked in the pond. The choice of fingerlings depends on the type of fish you want to farm, such as tilapia, catfish, or trout. The cost of fingerlings varies depending on the species, size, and quality. A good source of fingerlings is a reputable hatchery or aqua shop. You can expect to pay around 10k for 1000 fingerlings.
  • Feed: This is the main recurring expense of fish farming, as it affects the growth and health of the fish. The type and amount of feed depends on the species, size, and stage of the fish. You can use commercial feed, farm-made feed, or natural feed. Commercial feed is more convenient and balanced, but also more expensive. Farm-made feed is cheaper and can be made from locally available ingredients, such as maize, soybeans, fishmeal, and oil. Natural feed is the cheapest and can be obtained from the pond environment, such as algae, insects, and worms. You can also use a combination of different feeds to optimize the feed conversion ratio. The cost of feed can range from 20k to 40k per month, depending on the feed type and quantity.
  • Equipment and tools: These are essential for managing and maintaining the pond and the fish. They include nets, buckets, aerators, water pumps, pipes, hoses, thermometers, pH meters, oxygen meters, and weighing scales. The cost of equipment and tools depends on the quality and quantity. You can expect to spend around 10k for basic equipment and tools.
  • Other expenses: These include labor, transportation, electricity, water, taxes, licenses, permits, and marketing. The cost of these expenses depends on the location, size, and scale of the fish farm. You can estimate these expenses to be around 10k per month.

Therefore, the total capital required to start fish farming in Kenya in expense is around 100k, with 50k for initial investment and 50k for monthly operating costs. However, this is only a rough estimate and may vary depending on various factors. You should do your own research and consult with experts before starting your fish farming business.