Self employment ideas in Kenya for KES 10K or lessAugust 26, 2022
These are 13 self employment ideas in Kenya for anyone dreaming of starting a small business or working for themselves. They may appear easy and hard at the same time.
Easy because you see other people doing the business, hard because you see some people failing. It requires a tough mind, persistence and good planning. And comes with worthwhile advantages when successful.
Part of that planning is having enough capital for the venture you choose. In self employment, capital may be the money or skills you require, or both. If you are already employed somewhere else, you will need to decide whether you will be working fulltime on your business or it would be a side hustle.
Self employment ideas you can start today
Since Covid-19 happened, many people found themselves jobless. Others had to innovate to supplement their dwindled earnings. Technology proved instrumental for many, and yes, people are making money out there.
Some of the self employment ideas in Kenya today for KES 10K or less are:
- Ecommerce shop
- YouTube/ TikTok/ Facebook channel
- Blogging/ Influencing
- hairdressing and barbershop business
- Tutoring /Selling courses
- Airbnb facilities
- Car wash business
- Styling business
- Become a digital marketing consultancy
- Freelance CV writing services
- Cleaning service business
- Manicure/pedicure business
- Jewellery making
1. Start an e-commerce shop
With an ecommerce shop, you do not need a physical structure. You can sell directly from your house. Or you can rent a cheaper stall for warehousing your goods anywhere.
Open a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page for your business. Join marketplace groups, and start posting your goods or services.
Things you can sell on a social media ecommerce shop include services such as writing and web design. Examples of products you can sell are spare parts, shoes, upcycled second hand furniture. Actually anything you can think of has a market out there.
Start small, expand with time.
2. YouTube / TikTok / Facebook channel
Social media is currently one of the biggest self employment ideas in Kenya. If you have a skill, you can start a channel and earn from it.
There are Travel Vloggers who just take videos of their travels and post. They have become international stars. Check out the likes of It’s Marwa, African Tigress, Miss Trudy and many more and see what they do. They all started with a smartphone.
You can post short clip dances on TikTok like Azziad and David Moya. Do it in your own way, grow an audience and make money while happy. Look at the likes of Kabi wa Jesus on Instagram. Social media is a large space that always needs new comers.
3. Blogging / Influencing
While social media channels are part of influencing, there is a narrower niche on TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter. You can create an influencing group to make hashtags go viral and get paid for it.
Or use your Facebook page to influence particular categories of goods and services. For instance, if you love fashion, you can always be posting about it and grow your followers.
Then there is the instance where you can create a small website to talk about what you love. Biko Zulu is a writer and great influencer through his blog. Check out Potentash, FreelancerKenya, and even VenasNews. All these approach blogging from different angles and get paid to promote various products.
4. Freelance hairdressing and barbershop
Covid-19 pandemic opened up people’s eyes. Even though it used to happen, it is now common for people to invite barbers and salonists to their homes.
This self employment idea is not expensive. A good shaving machine costs around KES 5000. Open a social media page and advertise your services. Start small. There are many people who are unable to get to a barbershop for various reasons, including old age, young age, sickness, disability, or by choice. They just need a haircut.
Buy aprons, collars, and towels. Get mirrors and some shaving creams just in case your client will need them. The secret is to start small. All these will cost less than KES 5,000. Start small and grow.
To run a salon, the basic equipment is a blow dryer. But your skill set is all you need. With this business, you do not necessarily need a permanent location. You can offer your services to clients in the comfort of their homes.
The mobile business model offers convenience to your clients. If you do a good job you will certainly get referrals, built on proven self employment ideas in Kenya.
5. Tutoring / Selling courses
Have you ever visited blogs such as Kenyaplex? Look at what Walter Akolo is doing with Freelancer Kenya. One of his major sources of income is tutoring and selling online courses.
Identify what you are good in. Is it a foreign language? Web design or programming? Writing? KASNEB tutorials? Farming? Thousands of people have blogs where they sell their online courses. Others prefer to sell them on platforms such as Gumtree, Coursera and Udemy.
And still, others will sell on Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. As long as you have authority on your subject, you can actualize your self employment idea.
Most Kenyans are known to have two homes, and rarely use one of the homes apart from during holidays. An apartment or a house that you rarely use or do not use at all is what you need for an AirBnB business.
Just sign up on the AirBnB website and register as a host. Your rates per night depend on how nice your amenities are. Facilities such as nice furniture, Wi-Fi, a pool, hot running water will motivate more people to choose your AirBnB compared to others.
Remember some people also just want a quiet place to escape from all the mentioned things. Tailor your marketing to that angle if you do not have them. An Airbnb facility can be in the city or in the village.
7. Car wash
Car wash self employment ideas in Kenya are not just for the youth. Look at the ones on the roadsides, they don’t even need a structure. With a bucket and a pail of water you can start a car wash in your neighborhood.
Many car owners prefer someone they can trust with their car. This business thrives depending on your location. If you wash 15 cars at KES 200 per car, you can make KES 3,000 on a good day.
If you can afford a car wash pump, the better for you.
8. Styling business
Running a styling business means you get out of your closet. It needs confidence. Those TV shows hosts, celebrities, public speakers, and just style enthusiasts have their stylists.
All you need to do is create a portfolio showcasing your style. Have yourself or friends be your models and show the world your capability. Style doesn’t have to be expensive Gucci. Did you know you could style your friends using second hand pieces, or loaned clothes?
9. Digital and social media marketing consultant
Do you have skills in using platforms such as Google Trends, SEO, Google Analytics and Google Ad Words. Digital marketing is a concept many businesses and companies are embracing.
Digital marketing is one of the most sought after skills today learnt on the job. You can set yourself up as an SEO consultant and help businesses create website content and video and optimize it for search engines and social media.
Did you also know some people are earning hundreds of thousands from being social media marketers and influencers? Check out the likes of Janet Machuka on Twitter.
What you need is confidence to do, and you will build onto one of the most common self employment ideas in Kenya today.
10. Freelance CV writing services
CV writing services is one of the thriving self employment ideas thriving on LinkedIn and Twitter. Many people have difficulty writing amazing resumes. All you have to do is learn how best to write a CV.
Learning resources can be found on the internet. Build a broad customer base with recent graduates who are unable to get to the interview stage. Help them spruce up their CVs for a small amount. Some CV writers are even invited to colleges for a fee to train soon-to-be graduates.
11. Cleaning service business
Running a cleaning service is one of the most profitable businesses you can ever think of. The CEO of Parapet, Alex Nyaga only had KES 10,000 when he started. He scaled to become one of the biggest cleaning service providers.
He started by hiring cleaning ladies to clean houses in estates at a charge of 1000 shillings. Shortly after, his business grew and he registered a company. He now makes over 15 million in a month.
Many people do not have time to clean or vacuum their houses. And they do not want a stay in house help.
12. Manicure and pedicure
The beauty industry is prime for investment. A lot of young people are getting into offering manicure and pedicure services.
What they do is rent spaces for the day in commercial centres. They pay the owner a daily rate. For instance, they can pay KES 500. Whatever they make that day is their profit. If you get five clients, you are sure to have at least KES 700 profit.
Others prefer to be mobile, and serve their customers wherever they meet in the estates. You could do house calls for this business as well. What you need most is creativity and your customers will keep coming back.
13. Jewellery making and selling
Have you seen those sandals embedded with jewellery? Or the armbands and bracelets selling to international customers at the Maasai market? Yes, that is a self employment idea you can explore. The business has employed hundreds of housewives and youth across the country.
You choose when to work, and get paid for the number of bands you make. Then you can choose to start your own jewellery business like the woman in this inspiring article.
In a nutshell,
You don’t have to save hundreds of thousands of shillings to get into self employment or start a profitable business. Start with what you have. No matter how small, with determination and hard work, any business has the potential to grow.