When you have low capital, it’s always hard to determine what kind of business to start in Nairobi. But after observing consumer trends in the city, I can attest that cereal & vegetable business is the best venture to set up, and here is the reason.



The first and most important thing to consider before arriving at the decision to open any kind of business is how the market will respond to your new venture.



Looking at Nairobi, there is a huge population which rely on cerials and vegetables for survival. A good number, which is estimated to be 30%, have strict instructions from the doctor to consider vegetables as alternative to meat.



Knowing very well that profits from vegetable and cereal business exceed the buying price, this is the kind of business that is ideal for anyone intending to make a living.



I have not only observed individuals making a kill out of Fresh vegetable business, but I have also experienced it. Fresh vegetable business is one of the most profitable ventures in Nairobi and its environs.



To start the business, one has to identify a suitable location which is highly populated. I would advise you to avoid posh estates like Karen, Runda, Kileleshwa and Muthaiga because residents in these areas usually buy their vegetables from shopping malls and supermarkets.



I was inspired to write this article by a multimillionaire businesswoman who rose from a Sh.500 vegetable business to become a manager of three companies.



Christine Chege is the manager of insurance, real estate and business consultancy companies worth more than Sh.500 million.



At only 30 years of age, Christine is already a lawyer but not practicing, a manager, a mother of three, a wife and a mentor.



She was mentored by her father, a farmer who encouraged her to join business. She has never been employed but she has employed many people.



At 22, Christine bought her first car, a pick-up, with money she was earning from selling vegetables, milk and meat, which used to come from Githurai.



She paid her own school fees to pursue law but later realized she needed to do business rather than law.



She now uses her law skills and knowledge in her businesses. “I could hawk vegetables while my other colleagues were busy studying. It was not that easy,” Christine said.



She said from Marikiti to Gikomba, there is no place she has never sold her products. She encourages women to work hard and be prayerful because life requires determination and patience.



“I remember at times when my friends used to ask, ‘Are you not the one we saw at Gikomba during the day,’” Christine said.



“During the day when my colleagues were learning, I was busy in the market selling chicken, meat, milk and vegetables,” Christine said. Her business grew until she was able to buy the pick-up.



Her advice to other entrepreneurs is that if you are starting small, it is good to be consistent, resilient, put God first and give as you receive.



“A business is a business and male dominance does not exist when it comes to business, it is your strategy that matters,” she said.




The best estates to start the Fresh Vegetables and cereals business include Kawangware, South B, South C, Embakasi, Githurai, Kayole, Komarock, Kahawa West, Kahawa Sukari, Ruiru, Umoja, Donholm, Huruma and Muthurwa market.



These are areas where majority of the people rely on unga from posho mill as well as vegetables.


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Fresh vegetable business can fit in a grocery or be conducted in an open air market. To start a grocery, you need a capital of at least Sh.100,000. But if you intend to start the business in an open air market, Sh.1,000 is enough as capital.



When it comes to capital required to start the cereals business, I decided to ask more than 20 traders how much it took them to start. From the calculations, the average capital required to start cereal business in Nairobi is Ksh.50,000 to Ksh.150,000. This money is inclusive of rental and transportation expenses.



It is always advisable to sell cereals alongside vegetables so as to give customers a complete package.



Most vegetables are ferried from Kisii, Central Kenya and Kajiado, but the best vegetables are those ferried from Kisii. Some of the vegetables, which are becoming popular among residents, are mostly found in Kisii, they include saga, managu and kunde.



There are also large scale traders in Muthurwa market who can sell to you cheaply.



Cereals can be sourced from Kisii, Central Kenya and Rift Valley. You can also source the cereals from Nyamakima, Muthurwa or Gikomba market before you make enquiries on where the traders obtain their cereals from.



Profits you expect from fresh vegetable business are not fixed, though most traders make Sh.500 to Sh.5,000 per day. There is no loss reported in this business, unless the vegetables overstay during transportation and get spoilt.



Here is where the beauty of the business lie. The average profit made in this business depends on the capital injected on the business as well as location. If you set the business in densely populated areas, you will make at least Ksh.2,500 per day.



The business can generate as high as Ksh.10,000 per day if you have both cereals, vegetables and fruits.



Also you can grow your business to a level whereby you will be supplying Cereals, Vegetables and Fruits to other small groceries and cereals businesses in your area.



Now, instead of wasting time working for somebody while earning Ksh.20,000 per month, you can venture into this business and make a difference.




Justine Nyachieo
Business Man & Mentor



Timothy Angwenyi
Business Consultant

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