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Candle making in Kenya is a profitable venture for anyone who would like to make a difference in the society and nurture a business at the same time.
In this article, we take a sneak peek into what it takes to start a successful candle production and retail business with least possible capital.
*Why Candles*
Frequent electricity blackouts coupled with the fact that only 40% of Kenyans have electricity power supply means that market for candles in inexhaustible.
Besides basic lighting needs, candles are required for birthday events, burials and even church ceremonies.
Scented candles are also in great demand for their aromatherapy and aesthetic value.
*How to Get Started*
You need to invest in a candle making machine, wax, wicks, water, good packaging and room. Of course, you also need to scan the market before you venture into it just to ensure that you get your facts right.
We would advise you to pick a unique niche and specialize in it to gain a competitive edge. As your business grows, you can then expand your niche and start offering a wide variety of candles.
For instance, you can specialize in scented candles niche, lighting candle niche or even soy candle niche as you begin.
*Where to Get the Candle Making Machine in Kenya*
You can search for this machine from your local Jua Kali vendors. Alternatively, you can browse through classified ads websites like to find sellers.
During our research, we typed in the words “Candle making machine in Nairobi” and this gave us a variety of options.
From that point you can contact one of the sellers and (when certain) place an order. Alternatively, you can import the machine from China or India.
*How Much To Spend on Candle Making Machine*
The machine is the most costly investment you will require to make in this business. Price of the machine may vary depending on its make and features.
On average, though, the cost comes down to the number of mold holes in a machine. For instance a 20 mold hole machine costs around Ksh.20,000 while a 100 mold hole one costs Ksh.100,000 or thereabout.
The greater the number of mold holes, the better the production capacity.
*Other Materials*
Candle wax is the most vital material unit for your candle making business. Wax is normally sold in 25KG boxes. Each box of wax can produce up to 1000 candles.
Besides wax, you need wicks (utambi) and packaging material. You can also invest in fragrance oils and dyes so that your candles stand out from the pack.
One well known importer of candle making Material in Nairobi Kenya is DESBRO who have offices along Kampala Road in the Industrial area.
*Cost Breakdown*
-Candle Making Machine Ksh.20,000 (minimum)
-Candle Wax – Ksh.4,500
-Other Materials – Ksh.500
-Transport – Ksh.500
*Profit Estimation*
If you produce 1000 candles per 25kgs of wax then price each candle at Ksh.10. This would equal sales of Ksh.10,000 per unit of production.
Now let us do the profit math.
Ksh.10,000 (Sales) – Ksh.4,500 (Candle Wax) – Ksh.500 (Other Materials) – Ksh.500 (Transport) = Ksh.4,500
So each unit of production gives you approximately Ksh.4,500. That is approximately 95% profit margin.
*How To Make Candles*
Once you have the machine and all the raw materials the process of making candle products is quite straight forward.
*You start by pre-heating the wax to melt it.
*Then you pour the melted wax into the mold-holes to the brim.
*You can add color (dye) or fragrance, however if you’re making plain candles you can skip this step
*Make sure the wicks (utambi) are placed carefully.
*Leave the wax to cool at room temperature (preferably overnight).
*Remove the candles and trim the wick (utambi).
You can always find more detailed guides on how to make quality candles freely on YOUTUBE.
*Are You Still There Waiting To Start?*
You cannot win a marathon race if you don’t start the race. If you are yet to venture into entrepreneurship and are looking for small business ideas in Kenya then the candle making is something worth pondering upon.
Timothy Angwenyi
Business Consultant
Justine Nyachieo
Business Man & Mentor

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