I have traveled and interacted in many towns but I can attest that the ideal town to do business in Kenya is Nairobi. Every business is profitable in this town because of the huge circulation of money. But there are businesses that are more profitable than others.

Though the cost of setting up a venture can be intimidating, you are rests assured of attracting profits each month.

Most businesses in Kenya are profitable but it all depends on where they are located and the management strategies of the owners.

According to our research, the easiest businesses to start in Nairobi include:

*1. Day Care*

Starting a day care in Nairobi won’t cost more than Ksh.100,000 but the profits can envy not only the short sighted but also seasoned entrepreneurs.

Many day cares in Estates like South B and South C, Kilimani and Rongai charge up to Ksh.7,000 per month per baby. If the daycare has 20 babies, you will generate Ksh.140,000. Assuming that expenses will take the extra Ksh.40,000; you will remain with Ksh.100,000.

*2. Chemist*

I am one of those people who used to despise Chemist operators. Every time I visited a Chemist, I could see almost empty shelves and try to imagine how the owners survive in such a condition. I was embarrassed when a friend who owns a Chemist along Mombasa Road Nairobi confessed to me that he makes monthly profit close to Ksh.500,000.

I thought he was bragging before me, I had to visit other friends who own similar chemists in different towns. From the answers I got, the lowest profit I heard was Ksh.70,000 per month.

One of the things that make them realize huge profits is the fact that prices of drugs are not regulated in Kenya. Actually, chemist operators fix prices based on the customer status and location.

*3. Car Wash*

Car Wash is a lucrative business in Nairobi today. The business employs more than 200,000 Kenyans around the county where 30,000 come from Nairobi and it’s environ.

As dirty as it looks, the job is well paying, no doubt. To wash a small car in Nairobi is not less than Ksh.250 while a medium vehicle goes for Ksh.500 and a big truck can go to up to Ksh.5,000. This is a serious business, men!

Looking at the number of cars in Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru, do you think if you start a car wash you will lack at least 10 customers a day?

Two years ago, my cousin told me he had Ksh.80,000 but wasn`t sure what he could do with the money for him to start generating income. I fronted the idea of car wash. This is what he told me, “hii bizna ikianguka utanilipa hii pesa”. I told him, “nitakulipa double”.

I proposed for him Kericho and for sure he set the business up. It’s now two years na kijana ananipigia asante kila siku.

*4. Salon*

Regardless of where you intend to start your salon, the business will not give you headache when you finally decide to start. You need experienced workers, a small room and equipment costing less than Sh.100,000. You can as well start from your house if you don’t have sufficient capital to operate a salon within a hired premise.

This business is very profitable and it doesn’t require many restrictions to operate. But one thing you must note is that you have to be extremely cautious. We have noticed that employees are cunning. They make sure they pocket at least half of the money they make in a day, leaving the owner with nothing. What you ought to do is to have a CCTV in the room so that you can monitor the flow of customers – this way you can manage.

*5. Berber shop*

Many individuals over look Berber shop business simply because they assume its run by illiterate people. But it’s one business with extraordinary profits. Some of the popular politicians in Kenya operate several Berber shops in major cities.

To start a Berber shop you need a chair, a machine which costs less than Ksh.5,000, Methylated spirit, a mirror, a towel and of course skills. All these things will require less than Ksh.20,000. What will require some good amount is the room where your business will be operating from.

If you are educated, jobless and living in Nairobi, try opening a Berber shop instead of staying idle at home; it might be a turning point for you.

*6. Shoe Shining*

A friend of mine who operates shoe shinning business in Nairobi told me he makes between Ksh.2,000 to Ksh.5,000 per day and there is no time business is low.

What he did was to choose a suitable location for the business, buy chairs, towels; shoe polish and brush and source of water. He operates the business from Nairobi CBD.

If you went through school and you are shying away from operating shoe shining business, you better change your mind set. For your information, white collar job is more useless than small businesses you see around.

Shoe shining business is easier to start as long as you have Ksh.15,000 in your pocket for license and equipment.

Sometimes it can be tricky to own a shoe shining space in Nairobi CBD but what you should do is approach any of the City Council employees and talk to them nicely.

*7. Selling Second Hand Clothes (Mitumba)*

Selling Mitumba clothes is the easiest business to start in Kenya as long as you know where to buy your products from. Most traders in Kenya nowadays source their clothes from Eastleigh, Gikomba and Muthurwa Markets

Fortunately, you won’t need to break into a bank or blow your budget to start the business.

You can start with as low as Ksh.1,000 if you decide to hawk or sell online.

With Ksh.1,000, you can go and hand-pick outfits one by one from markets such as Gikomba in Nairobi and Kongowea in Mombasa. To get the good stuff, go very early in the morning or at the time your specific supplier opens a bale.

Alternatively, you can buy fagia clothes. These are the remnants of a bale after customers pick most of the best outfits. The clothes are sold at throwaway prices to make room for a new bale.

The sales usually happen on Saturdays, since suppliers want to do away with old stock and open new ones the same day.

If your budget is not so tight and you can spare about Ksh.30,000 or less, get a bale. One thing about second-hand clothes is that the more items you buy, the less they cost you.

Most sought after bales are those of ladies and kidswear. However, you are not limited to these. You can go for shoes, bedsheets, toys, or men’s wear as well.

*8. Selling Women Handbags/Clothes*

Thank God there is Eastleigh in Nairobi!

Nowadays as long as you have a Facebook page and you are connected, you can easily start this business.

Most women in Nairobi offices fear going to Eastleigh to purchase cheap quality bags and clothes; those ladies who are informed capitalize on this.

You can buy a bag at Ksh.900 and sell at Ksh.3,000, which is a gold mine.

The good thing with this business is that you don’t need a physical location, simply have a Facebook page and an instagram account and get as many friends as possible to introduce you to offices.

I can encourage jobless Kenyans to try this business and life can change for the better. It is not beneficial to stay idle at home when you have a degree while those with zero skills are engaging in business which could otherwise be owned by someone like you.


As I always say, there is no marathon race that has ever been won by those who did not start the race. If you like the ideas discussed above and you have what it takes to actualize them… then don’t wait to start… just do it.

By Justine Nyachieo
Business Man & Mentor

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