13 Best Business To Start In Rural Areas In Kenya (2024)

According to studies, 70% of Kenyans live in rural areas. With the country’s population tripling over the last three decades, there can’t be a better setting for doing business than the rural area. You only have to identify the best business to start in rural areas in Kenya, and you are good to go. 

Among these profitable businesses are greenhouse farming, Agrovet, poultry farming, rabbit rearing, fish farming, agriculture consultancy, brick manufacturing, and animal feed production. 

You can also try a service business like an MPESA shop, posho mill, cyber cafe, Boda-Boda business, and public address system for hire business. 

So, there are at least 13 smart, profitable businesses to consider. Not only that – these ideas are low-capital business ideas, as you’ll be looking at a budget of around Ksh 10,000 – Ksh 500,000, depending on the type of business. 

I’ll review these business ideas under agribusiness, small-scale manufacturing, and service business. Moreover, I’ll share each business’s average investment cost and potential earnings. 

But first, let’s see why starting a business in rural Kenya is a good idea. 

13 Best Small Business Ideas For Rural Areas in Kenya

In a rush? Below is an overview of the top 13 business ideas for rural Kenya. 

13 Best Small Business Ideas For Rural Areas in Kenya

Business Idea Estimated Starting CapitalPotential Return (Ksh)
1.Greenhouse Farming 165,000 – 240,000Up to 200,000 profit 
2.Agrovet Business 100,000 – 200,000Up to 200,000 per month 
3.Poultry Farming 50,000 – 100,00050,000 – 100,000 profit 
4.Rabbit Rearing 10,000 – 100,000100,000 – 500,000 per year 
5.Fish Farming 255,000 – 300,000Up to 500,000 profit 
6.Agriculture Consultancy 50,000 – 70,00050,000 or more per month 
7.Brick Manufacturing 220,000 – 330,000Up to 10,000 per day 
8.Animal Feed Production 50,000 – 100,00050,000 – 200,000 per month
9.MPESA Agent Shop 70,000 – 130,000Up to 50,000 per month 
10.Posho Mill 90,000 – 100,00020,000 – 30,000 per month 
11.Cyber Cafe 100,000 – 200,000Up to 50,000 per month 
12.Boda-Boda Business 100,000 – 150,000700 – 1,000 per day 
13.Public Address System 200,000 – 300,000Up to 50,000 per week 

Why Start a Business in Rural Areas in Kenya?

There are several reasons why starting a business in rural Kenya is a good idea, and they include the following: 

  • Huge market – As mentioned earlier, 70% of Kenyans live in rural areas. So, only 3 out of 7 people are based in urban centers, which means a massive market in rural areas. 
  • Low cost – Unlike towns where you have to worry about the high rental cost and cost of raw materials and licenses, the costs are much lower in rural areas. 
  • Less competition – Though there’s enormous market potential in rural areas, it’s yet to be fully explored and exploited. So the competition is not as high as in urban areas. 

What Kind Of Business Can I Start In Rural Areas In Kenya?

Now that you know the reasons you may want to start a business in rural Kenya, here are 13 ideas to consider: 

Agribusiness Business Ideas in Rural Areas in Kenya 

1. Greenhouse Farming 

(Starting Capital: Ksh 220,000 – Ksh 330,000)

If you are into farming but do not have large parcels of land, you can try greenhouse farming. There, you can grow tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, bell pepper, lettuce, potatoes, or spinach. 

The advantage of greenhouses is that they guarantee a temperature-controlled environment that discourages pests and diseases. A standard wooden greenhouse (8 by 13m) will cost you 220k, while its metal equivalent will cost you 330k. Meanwhile, you can make up to 200k in profit. 

2. Agrovet Business 

(Starting Capital: Ksh 100,000 – Ksh 200,000)

You can expect the rural folks to ask around for the nearest Agrovet store when searching for animal feeds, seeds, fertilizers, vet supplies, and other related products. 

So, you can’t go wrong anywhere in a rural setting with an Agrovet business. Investment-wise, you can start with 100k – 200k, which should cover the setup cost, KEPHIS certification, pest control and products boards certificate, and business permit.

Return-wise, you can make up to 200k a month. 

3. Poultry Farming 

(Starting Capital: Ksh 50,000 – Ksh 100,000)

Kenyans consume chicken and eggs everywhere, not just in urban areas. So, there’ll always be a market for you if you get into poultry farming. You can rear broiler chicken for meat, layers for eggs, or improved Kienyeji for both. 

Overall, it’s best to learn about it whichever way you go, as poultry farming is an unforgiving trade when things go wrong.

Though you can start with any amount, you may need 50k – 100k to go in big, and that could make you about the same amount in profit. 

small business ideas for rural areas in Kenya

4. Rabbit Rearing 

(Starting Capital: Ksh 10,000 – Ksh 100,000)

While you don’t expect the rabbit meat business to be like the chicken meat business, this is still a profitable venture to pursue in rural areas. 

Rabbit rearing isn’t capital intensive as you can start with a budget of 10k. You may, however, need up to 100k to do it in a well-managed system. With order consistency, minimal disease incidence, and impeccable marketing, you can generate 100k – 500k in profit yearly. 

5. Fish Farming 

(Starting Capital: Ksh 255,000 – Ksh 300,000)

Though most Kenyans don’t consume much fish because it’s perceived to be expensive, there’s still a significant market out there. You can concentrate on the rural market or ship to the neighborhood towns. 

You need a good source of water and healthy fingerlings before you can start. Investment-wise, you’ll require about 255k – 300k to set up your fish farm, and if the market is vast, you can make up to 500k in profit, which is not bad. 

6. Agriculture Consultancy 

(Starting Capital: Ksh 50,000 – Ksh 70,000)

If you are an agriculture expert looking for a low-investment business idea, try a consultancy service in your rural area. 

You’ll only need to rent some space to offer the consultancy service and obtain the necessary certificates and licenses. So, a budget of 50 – 70k will do for the setup. And regarding earnings, you can pocket about 50k or more per month from clients. 

Manufacturing Small Business Ideas In Rural Kenya

7. Brick Manufacturing 

(Staring Capital: Ksh 220,000 – Ksh 330,000)

Many well-to-do rural settlers and those who live in the urban areas but want to settle in the rural area at some point prefer to build their houses with bricks. 

So, this is a business you can pursue with a budget of 220 – 330k. The budget will cover the brick-making machine, land lease, raw materials (cement, sand, and water), labor, and other expenses. On a good day, you can make up to 10k or more. 

8. Animal Feed Production 

(Starting Capital: Ksh 50,000 – Ksh 100,000)

A majority of rural settlers keep animals, and these animals need to feed. By starting an animal feed production business, you solve their problem. Overall, you require some feed formulation skills to run this business, something you can learn at a vocational college or online. 

Regarding capital, you can start with a 50 – 100k budget, and depending on demand, you can make 50k – 200k a month. 

small business ideas in rural Kenya

Service Business Ideas to Start in Rural Areas in Kenya

9. MPESA Agent Shop 

(Starting Capital: Ksh 70,000 – Ksh 130,000)

MPESA is growing fast, and there are now more MPESA agents than before. But still, the market is vast, which means an opportunity for you in your rural area, especially when there aren’t many agents around.

Overall, you’ve two choices. First, you can become a full agent by running a standard MPESA shop with a minimum float of Ksh 100,000. If you factor in the branding and registration, you’ll need up to 130k.

However, if you choose to be a sub-dealer (where you work under a full agent), you’ll need about 30k from the float, 15k for the goodwill rights, and 5k for the other expenses. In total, that’s 70k.

You can make up to 50k per month as a full agent. 

10. Posho Mill 

(Staring Capital: Ksh 90,000 – Ksh 100,000)

Considering that many rural dwellers plant maize, they would want a miller nearby.

With a starting capital of Ksh 90k – 100k, you can set up a maize milling outlet in your rural area. The amount will cover the maize mill machine, rent, license, and fuel or electricity.

Meanwhile, you can expect to make 20k – 30k a month running the posho mill, which means you’ll have your money back in 3 – 5 months. 

11. Cyber Cafe 

(Starting Capital: Ksh 100,000 – Ksh 200,000)

Even the rural settlers need a cyber cafe to cater to their photocopying, scanning, printing, typesetting, and photography needs. How about you give this business idea a go? 

With a starting capital of 100k – 200k, you can set up your local cyber cafe and bring in up to 50k monthly. The secret to making more money is to offer more services. For example, you can add online registration and computer accessory selling to your list of cyber cafe services.

12. Boda-Boda Business 

(Starting Capital: Ksh 100,000 – Ksh 150,000)

A report by the Business Daily shows that the Boda-Boda (motorcycle) sector generates 1 billion shillings daily while creating a million direct job opportunities. 

According to the report, riders make Ksh 1,000 daily, running about 15 strips. If you take out the fuel and minor servicing, you’ll remain with about Ksh 1,000. 

You could, however, make more, probably up to 2k a day in a densely populated neighborhood. Capital-wise, you can append 100k – 150k on a new Boda-Boda

best business in rural areas in Kenya

13. Public Address System and Tents & Chairs for Hire 

(Staring Capital: Ksh 200,000 –  Ksh 300,000)

People stage events everywhere, and many of them happen in rural areas. From weddings and pre-weddings to graduations and funeral ceremonies, you can’t miss someone who will want to hire a public address system (speakers, microphones, amplifiers, and the like). 

They’ll also need tents and chairs to hire, which you can offer. Capital-wise, you can start with a 200k – 300k budget, and you are likely to make up to 50k a week, assuming you only hire them out once or twice a week. 

Concluding Thought: 

Above is a guide for the best business to start in rural areas in Kenya. Hence, depending on your capital, skillset, and potential market, you can decide which of the 13 ideas suits you more. 

We understand that obtaining financial freedom takes more than a genius business idea. There are financial disciplines that you have to master, such as saving, investing, and living debt-free, and we have a wealth of resources on such matters and many others in our shop.

See what’s there for you and kick-start your journey to business success and financial freedom!

Written by Alex

Written by Alex

I have passion in helping people Make, Manage, Multiply & Protect Wealth.Download my Free Guide to Financial Freedom >>[ GET IT HERE]<<