What Business Can I Start with 1K in Kenya? (10 Ideas Revealed!)

For most Kenyans, Ksh 1,000 is not enough to start a business, but the reality is that no amount is too little for a business. So, ‘what business can I start with 1K in Kenya?’ you may ask. 

1K is enough to start a street food, mobile salon, Mitumba selling, craft making, online tutoring, online freelancing, handyman service, daycare, mobile nail technician, or grocery stall business. 

Yes, I’ve mentioned ten business ideas, but there are more that you can pursue depending on your skill set, knowledge, passion, market demand, location, and other factors.

Generally, you don’t need much to become a small business owner. Like Virgin founder and commercial astronaut Sir Richard Branson likes saying, ‘a big business starts small.‘ You’ve to start somewhere to build your dream business empire, and it could be that 1K is all you need to kick start that dream. 

I’ll explain all ten ideas to inspire you to pick and implement one. Afterward, I’ll describe the factors to consider before starting your business in the country. 

Business Can I Start with 1K in Kenya

Let’s jump in!

In a rush? See below the expected average earnings for each of the ten business ideas I’ll discuss in a few. 

10 Business Ideas to Start with 1K in Kenya 

Business Idea Brief Description Potential Daily Earning
1.Street Food Business Sell Smokies, Chapati, Mandazi, Sausages, or just about any street foods Ksh 500 – Ksh 1,000
2.Mobile SalonMove around making and styling people’s hairKsh 1,000 – Ksh 2,000
3.Mitumba Selling Buy and sell single-piece second-hand clothes Ksh 500 – Ksh 1,000
4.Craft Making Make and sell artifacts, beaded jewelry, paintings, and other crafts Ksh 500 – Ksh 2,000  
5.Online Tutoring Offer lessons onlineKsh 1,000 – Ksh 5,000
6.Online FreelancingSign up with a freelance websiteKsh 1,000 – Ksh 5,000
7.Handyman ServiceOffer’ Mtu Wa Mkono’ services in the neighborhood Ksh 1,000 – Ksh 2,000
8.Daycare Business Start taking care of kids at home for a pay At least Ksh 1,000
9.Mobile Nail Technician  Move around offering pedicure and manicure services Ksh 500 – Ksh 3,000
10.Small Grocery Stall Start a small grocery store in the neighborhood Ksh 500 – Ksh 1,000
what business can I start with 1k in Kenya

But What Business Can I Start With 1K In Kenya Today?

The biggest mistake a small business can make is to think like a small business,’ advises legal content creator Aruna Bhayana.

So, if all you have is Ksh 1,000, you can’t see it as just a small amount but what you need to start your big business even if, in reality, you are only starting small.

Having said that, here are ten low-capital business ideas to inspire you if you only have Ksh 1,000 to spare. 

1. Street Food Business

(Potential Daily Earning: Ksh 500 – Ksh 1,000)

It’s hard to miss a street food vendor on the streets of Nairobi and other towns, and understandably, we all have to eat. These vendors are seen as cheaper and quicker alternatives to restaurants, selling just about anything you can grab quickly. 

From Samosas and Smokies to Chapati and Mandazi, it doesn’t take much money to start selling food on the streets. You can also do roasted maize, boiled eggs, fruits, and even soft drinks.

Essentially, Ksh 1,000 is enough to get you started. The secret to making it as a street food vendor is picking the right location, doing the business with lots of love, and reinvesting in any opportunity to grow as a vendor. 

Depending on the type of street food you sell and the location, you can make Ksh 500 – Ksh 1,000 per day. 

2. Mobile Salon

(Potential Daily Earning: Ksh 1,000 – Ksh 2,000)

If you are a skilled hairdresser, you don’t have to wait until you have enough money to set up your salon physically. How about you become mobile?

Consider going to the client’s home and businesses (if applicable) to make their hair. Since the client will take care of the cost of braids and accessories, all you need to have are essential tools of work that won’t cost you more than Ksh 1,000.

And once you get paid, you can invest a part of the earnings, about Ksh 1,000 – Ksh 2,000 daily, into getting more supplies and expanding your business. 

3. Mitumba Selling

(Potential Daily Earning: Ksh 500 – Ksh 1,000)

You don’t have to afford an entire bale, which may cost about Ksh 35,000 – Ksh 40,000, to get into Mitumba (second-hand clothes) selling. How about you buy single pieces from bale sellers and then sell them?

By doing so, you can make about Ksh 500 – Ksh 1,000 profit per day which is more like selling everything. And if you are savvy at reinvesting the money, you could soon afford a bale that will bring better returns. 

which business can I start with 1k in Kenya

4. Craft Making Business

(Potential Daily Earning: Ksh 500 – Ksh 2,000)

Are you handy and creative and can make unique crafts? They could be beaded jewelry, Maasai artifacts, woven baskets, mats, rugs, home decor, or paintings.

Whatever it is, you can turn a passion or skill into a money-making machine, and since you already have the know-how, you can use the 1K to get the essential supplies. 

Remember, you don’t need a physical shop for your crafts business. You can use social; media to promote it and deliver the order to customers from around the country at a cost.

5. Online Tutoring

(Potential Daily Earnings: Ksh 1,000 – Ksh 5,000)

Are you a recent college graduate, a trained teacher, or just good in a foreign language? Then you can make a living as an online tutor. All you need is a computer or laptop with a good internet connection. 

So, if you already have the computer, you can use the 1K for high-speed bundles for about a week until you start making money. A platform like PrePly allows you to sign up even without a college degree or teaching certificate, and you can teach academics and languages. 

Teacheron, Skooli, Wyzant, TutorMe, and Tutor.com are other platforms to try out. On a good day, you can make Ksh 1,000 – Ksh 5,000 tutoring online, though in dollars. 

6. Online Freelance Service

(Potential Daily Earning: Ksh 1,000 – Ksh 5,000)

You also need a computer, high-speed internet here, and probably a home office which means you can do it with Ksh 1,000 if you have the basic requirements.

Overall, there are many online jobs if you have the skill. The most notable ones include:

  • Freelance writing 
  • Social media management 
  • Accounting 
  • Online proofreading 
  • Graphic design 
  • Data entry 
  • Web design 
  • Transcription 
  • Editing 
  • Virtual assistance jobs 
  • Remote call center jobs 

Can you do any of the above? Then check them out on Upwork, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, Freelancer.com, LinkedIn, Toptal, and other freelance sites. On average, you can make Ksh 1,000 – Ksh 5,000 daily as an online freelancer. 

More Ideas on Business to Start with 1K in Kenya

7. Handyman Business

(Potential Daily Earning: Ksh 1,000 – Ksh 2,000)

You probably have noticed some ads in your neighborhood about ‘Mtu Wa Mkono,’ a Swahili name for a handyman. That is one of the most in-demand jobs since someone always needs something fixed at home. 

It could be plumbing, gardening, landscaping, painting, cleaning, or another odd job. If this is something you can do, use job sites like Pigiame, jobs.cari.co.ke, and MyJobMag.co.ke to find such opportunities in your neighborhood, and you can earn 1K – 2k daily. 

what business can I start with 10k in Kenya

8. Daycare Business

(Potential Daily Earning: Ksh 1,000 or more)

Not all parents have the time to stay with their kids the whole day or the money to hire a nanny. Some prefer taking them to a daycare, often someone’s house. 

So, perhaps this is an opportunity you can pounce on if you are good with kids. And since you’ll be doing it at home, you don’t need a license, at least not at the beginning when you have a few kids. 

Let’s say you care for ten kids who pay at least Ksh 100 per day; then you’ll make at least Ksh 1,000 or even more if you charge more. 

9. Mobile Nail Technician

(Potential Daily Earning: Ksh 500 – Ksh 3,000)

Just like you don’t have to run a physical shop to start a salon business, you also don’t need it to run a pedicure/manicure business. So are you a talented or trained nail technician?

Then you can start offering pedicures and manicures on a mobile basis. That means going to where the customers are. And now that artificial nails are trendy, you can add that to your portfolio once you make enough to get the supplies and equipment.

On average, you can make Kh 500 – Ksh 3,000 daily as a mobile nail technician. 

10. Small Grocery Stall

(Potential Daily Earning: Ksh 500 – Ksh 1,000)

Lastly, you don’t need much money to open a Mama Mboga kiosk in your neighborhood. The 1K will be enough, and you can start with local vegetables like kale, spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, and onions. You can also add fruits like bananas, oranges, lemons, and watermelon, which most people find affordable.

Though such a business doesn’t bring much, you can make Ksh 500 – Ksh 1,000 on a good day. 

Top Considerations Before You Start a Business with 1K in Kenya

There are several considerations before starting a small business or any other in Kenya, and they include:

  • Knowledge or skill – The worst thing you can do is start a business you know nothing about or have zero skills. So regardless of how small the capital is, get into a business you are knowledgeable about or skilled in. 
  • Demand/market – The whole essence of starting a business is so that you can make money. You, however, can only make money if there’s a demand for the product or service. So, choose your market wisely.
  • Startup cost – Calculate well to ensure you have enough funds to start the business. If you don’t, try something else or find some alternative funding. 
  • Business competition – There’ll always be competition, but it’s wise to know beforehand who you are against to strategize how to beat them. 
  • Location – Some business ideas fail to materialize not because they are wrong but because the location is unfavorable. So set up your business where you are likely to hook the attention of your target audience, like a busy street or near a huge industry or school. 

In conclusion, what business can I start with 1K in Kenya?

Above are ten business ideas to consider when you have only Ksh 1,000. Ideally, you should match the business idea with your skillset or knowledge and ensure you contemplate the other discussed factors. 

That includes competition, market demand, location, and startup cost. And if you’ve any questions, talk to us on social media, and we’ll gladly give our honest opinion. 

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]<<