EntrepreneurshipOnline BusinessStarting a Business in Kenya

10 Best Online Business Ideas in Kenya And How To Start

10 Best Online Business Ideas in Kenya And How To Start
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Last Updated on December 15, 2021 by

If you are looking for a way to make money from home, then the best online business ideas in Kenya are your answer. 

There are many ways that you can make an income without leaving the comfort of your own home. 

Some people may not be lucky enough to find their dream job right away and need something to help them pay bills immediately. 

Starting an online business in Kenya can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. In the following article, you’ll learn 7 steps that will help get your new venture off on the right foot. 

You will also find resources for learning more about different types of businesses and how to make them successful.

But first, here are the 10 best online business ideas in Kenya that will give you some great options!

Table of Contents

1). Selling handmade or vintage items

You can also sell your own handmade items or vintage items through Etsy to make a profit. 

You’ll need to open an online shop and list the things you want to sell, then start promoting it on social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest where other shoppers will see your products. 

It’s up for grabs what kinds of goods you might find yourself selling on these websites but if there is something that you have made with your hands, this could be a great opportunity for making money! 

If someone wants one of your pieces they send you their shipping information so that you can ship them the product at no cost whatsoever.

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2). Airbnb business in Kenya

This is another one of the best online business ideas in Kenya.

Airbnb, Homeaway, Couchsurfing are all wonderful ways of renting out space in our homes when we don’t need it. 

Think about your home and all the unused rooms, or even a basement area that you could rent out if needed to make some extra money on the side! 

You can set up what days of the week are available for rental and how much space is being offered in each room so that they are affordable yet don’t overfill with too many people at once.

3). Sell used items online in Kenya

You may find yourself coming across items during your everyday life such as clothing or kitchen utensils that you no longer use but still have value. 

Websites like Pigiame and Jiji.co.ke allow users to sell their unwanted goods online, making them an excellent way to clean out the clutter from our homes while also earning a small profit in return. 

Take pictures of these things and list them for sale and once you’ve sold one, send the money to your PayPal account.

4).  Dropshipping in Kenya

How Dropshipping Works in Kenya

Dropshipping is a great online business idea for beginners in Kenya because it doesn’t require any upfront investment. 

All you need to get started are e-commerce tools like Shopify, shipping software such as Oberlo, and payment processing solutions such as PayPal and MPESA.

The key to success in this type of business is finding products that have high demand but aren’t available locally on the market. 

This way you can import them from Asia or Europe at low costs while making a profit margin of up to 50% by selling these goods closer to your customers’ homes.

How do I make money? In dropshipping in Kenya, all the risk involved falls onto the supplier – which means they’re responsible for quality control, packaging design, and shipment issues once orders come in. 

You’re simply the middleman who sets up a website and manages customer service.

How do I start?

There are many websites that offer drop shipping for free, such as AliExpress or Oberlo where you can find products to import from overseas without massive overhead costs. 

Once you’ve found your niche, it’s time to set up an e-commerce store in Kenya on platforms like Shopify (free) with hosting and domain name registration services via Bluehost ($12/month).

Once this is all set up then you will need to signup for EasyShip which connects directly with your chosen payment processor in order to process transactions automatically. 

You’ll also want to stay connected by signing up for a business account at PayPal so customers have another way to pay you.

The last step is to get your e-commerce store up and running with the help of a free Shopify theme such as Launchy or Blogger from Automattic, which will automatically generate an attractive website that makes it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for and make purchases securely (using PayPal) without ever leaving the site.

Here is a guide on how to start dropshipping in Kenya

5). Freelancing

freelancing business in kenya

Freelancing is one of the best online business ideas in Kenya because it’s flexible and offers a way to work remotely.

How do I make money? 

There are two ways that you can earn with this type of business – by charging for your services or by taking on projects as an independent contractor where you agree in advance how much will be paid per hour, day, a week, etc. 

You’ll need to decide which route suits you better based on experience level but either way, there are many sites out there willing to match freelance workers with potential employers such as Upwork or Fiverr.

What should I charge? 

This question has no straightforward answer because rates vary significantly depending on skill levels and location so all we have is general guidelines worth considering when starting out.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ rates for the 2012 data show a rate of $27,470 per year or $13.18 an hour which translates to around $50/hour but keep in mind that this doesn’t include other expenses like taxes and healthcare premiums so it’s not as lucrative as it might seem at first glance.

How do I start?  

Besides freelancing sites mentioned above, there are also plenty of websites geared towards freelance workers where you can get started with your business such as Upwork (requires free registration) or Fiverr ($20 initial payment). 

These platforms offer all the tools necessary from e-commerce solutions to job boards – meaning they’re great if you want to become a full-time freelancer.

The downside is that you’ll need to begin by creating a profile and posting your services or projects (depending on which type of work you’re looking for) but the upside is that sites like these offer all tools necessary in order to get started with little overhead costs required. 

You can also use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter for help finding new clients – just make sure it’s not too personal because they might want detailed reports about what needs doing before agreeing to hire somebody new.

READ ALSO  Top 10 Easy Ways to Make Money in Thailand in 2022

This type of business requires time investment upfront when setting up a profile and listing yourself online, plus research so if you don’t have any experience then consider taking some courses at local colleges community colleges, etc., where there are plenty of classes available on how to become a freelance worker.

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6). Blogging in Kenya

blogging online in kenya

Blogging is one of the best online business ideas in Kenya for those who are creative, self-motivated, and have writing skills because it’s a great way to make money while working remotely.

How do I start? 

The first thing you’ll need to do before starting a blog is to register a domain name (such as “yourblogname.com”) or web address (URL) such as yourdomain.com but don’t simply pick something random.

Instead, focus on finding an easy-to-see URL that makes sense so people can remember where they found your content which will help when deciding whether or not they should bookmark it in their browser window since this means more traffic potential down the line. 

You also want to select a good hosting service that provides a “hosting package” that includes server space and bandwidth so you don’t end up paying monthly fees for something your new blog might never use.

The downside of blogging in Kenya

The downside to this type of business in Kenya is the time investment necessary upfront in order to grow an audience.

But as long as you’re patient, willing to put in work, and stick with it then eventually this effort will be rewarded when traffic starts coming your way which means monetary rewards down the line. 

If there are any skills or experience outside of writing (such as graphic design) then consider translating those skills into the content.

For example;

If somebody has expertise in Photoshop then they could offer tutorials on how other people can do things like make their photos look professional by using certain filters etc., while also including affiliate links to the products they use.

On that note, affiliate marketing in Kenya is a great way for you to make money from blogging because it’s easy and doesn’t require any technical skills which mean all you need are recommendations about where people can purchase certain items at discounted rates – such as clothes or electronics. 

There are plenty of websites out there (such as Jumia) that offer these types of prices but what makes them even more attractive is when bloggers will include links in their posts so readers have access to those deals without having to do anything extra besides clicking on the link provided by whoever wrote the article.

What to consider before starting to blog in Kenya

Things you should know before starting a blog in Kenya: 

  • Get your domain name that’s easy to remember and work with the rest of your branding strategy. 
  • Select hosting for your site so it won’t stop working when there are high traffic periods, plus save money by bundling all features together. 
  • Think about what type of content will resonate best with readers in order to grow an audience – whether it’s lifestyle advice or how-to articles then figure out the most popular topics related to these three types of content as well such as beauty trends, recipes, etc., which can help increase engagement on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter (while also driving new visitors back to the homepage). 
  • Make sure to include affiliate links in your posts so you can make money by recommending products and services that people might be interested in. 
  • Ensure the content stays fresh, informative, and interesting by switching up what types of topics are being covered on a regular basis because this will help keep readers coming back for more!

7). Start a Podcast in Kenya

start a podcast online business in kenya

This is another one of the best online business ideas in Kenya.

A podcast is something like an audio blog where you record your thoughts and opinions that can be streamed from the internet or downloaded onto a computer, tablet, or smartphone. 

This type of business requires fewer upfront investments because these types of posts are not as time-consuming to create but it does take more than just speaking into a microphone.

For example;

If there’s somebody who has experience in video editing then they could combine their skills with this format by recording themselves talking about whatever topics they want while also including photos/videos to illustrate what they’re saying. 

All this person would need is some basic equipment (such as a laptop in Kenya) before starting off on creating episodes which will cost money at first but once those initial costs have been covered then all future content can be created for free.

Podcasts in Kenya are a great way to bring in new customers because it’s easy and doesn’t require any technical skills which mean all you need is the equipment (such as a laptop) before starting off on creating episodes, plus once those initial costs have been covered then all future content can be created for free. 

A successful podcast generally starts with an introduction, followed by one or two paragraphs explaining why your topic matters before listing five bullet points detailing specific tips or ideas. 

best online business in kenya

It’s important that episode titles are easily understandable so people know what they’re going to get if they decide to click through – some examples would be “How To Make Money On Pro” or “Why Instagram Is The Best Social Media Platform.”

Make sure to include affiliate links in your posts so you can make money by recommending products and services that people might be interested in. 

Ensure the content stays fresh, informative, and interesting by switching up what types of topics are being covered on a regular basis because this will help keep readers coming back for more!

8). Virtual Assistant business in Kenya

Virtual assistants are in high demand these days, and this is a business that you can start online with little to no startup costs. 

It’s an especially good option for those without much work experience because it doesn’t require any specific qualifications or degrees. 

As long as you’re fluent in English (or whatever language the company provides services), then your previous job history isn’t important at all!

The virtual assistant business in Kenya is a great option if you want to work remotely and are good at time management, multitasking, customer service, data entry, and light administration. 

Plus because the tasks can be done anywhere with an internet connection or even from your phone, this type of job allows you to take on clients in any location around the world!

This is one of the most popular online business ideas in Kenya for moms who want flexible hours (and working from home) but still earn money without having to fork over 40%+ like they would have had to do were they self-employed as a freelancer or running their own company. 

It’s also popular among college students looking for part-time gigs during breaks when professors don’t require much class participation.

How to start

This is a great option if you have good computer skills and experience with customer service.

A virtual assistant will handle things like email management, social media marketing, online research for clients, data entry, and other admin tasks that can be done remotely from your home office or any location with internet access. 

As an independent contractor working as a VA online (or offline), you would charge anywhere between $500-$1000 per month depending on the number of hours worked each week and the type/complexity of work completed during that time period. It’s easy to start small when there are so many potential employers!

9). Affiliate marketing in Kenya

affiliate marketing business in kenya

This is one of the perfect online business ideas in Kenya if you’re knowledgeable about a certain topic or industry.

As an affiliate marketer, your job would be to promote products from other companies and earn commissions on any sales that come through from people who visit your site (they usually link back to the seller’s website). 

There are plenty of ways for affiliates to make money including pay per lead, pay per click, cost-per-sale, and more! 

You can find out all about what does it take to become an affiliate market today by checking out this free video training here 

How it works

Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite types of businesses in Kenya because there aren’t any upfront costs involved in starting up so it doesn’t require much capital at first. 

READ ALSO  10+ Best Online Side Hustles in Kenya (Earn Extra 50K per Month)

It’s also a great option for someone with little work experience because you can get started right away and don’t need any particular qualifications or degrees. 

All you really need is some basic computer skills like typing, internet research, and web design to make your own website that will promote the products from other companies!

This type of business in Kenya has exploded in recent years thanks to social media platforms which allow brands to be seen by millions of people around the world (without having to pay for advertising). 

Plus it’s an especially good idea if you’re looking for something less physical so working from home isn’t required. 

You can find affiliate marketing jobs on sites like Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, and more wherever there are people who want help promoting their product online.

This is a great option for people who want to work from their home office or anywhere else with internet access, but aren’t interested in managing retail stores. 

As an affiliate marketer, you would be responsible for creating content on your site and driving traffic there so it’s perfect if you’re someone who enjoys writing! 

10). Build apps and websites

This is a great business in Kenya for people who are knowledgeable about programming and coding languages.

As an app developer, you would start by designing the initial layout of your site or mobile application before handing it over to someone else (usually called a project manager) in order to make sure that all the necessary work was completed on time. 

Who is it for?

This type of online business in Kenya isn’t great for people who enjoy face-to-face interactions because this is largely an independent work environment where remote workers do not need any specific qualifications aside from knowing basic computer skills such as typing and internet research. 

But if these types of things don’t bother you and you’re looking for an online business that doesn’t require any physical work, then this is a good option.

11). Trade on Olymp Trade

online trading in kenya

If you are looking for a more PROFITABLE way to make money online in Kenya, then why not try trading on Olymp Trade?

This is a global brokerage firm that allows you to trade stocks, currencies, and commodities using their own unique platform.

You can start trading with as little as $10, and there are several different types of account options to choose from depending on how much money you want to deposit.

Plus, all of the funds are stored within a secure bank account in order to prevent any kind of hacking or theft from taking place.

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Attention: Do you want to start a blog and make money online?

Check out this free guide that will teach you how to start a blog and make money online.

You will learn how to create a blog that people love, how to monetize your blog, and how to get started with affiliate marketing.

Click here for more information about this free guide!

Bonus: 1). List building and email marketing business in Kenya

This is one of the untapped online business ideas in Kenya.

List building: Create a list of people interested in what your business is about. You can create this online and then send them emails with content to keep their interest. 

Email marketing: Send promotional messages or product updates to an email list you have already created, for example by Mailchimp, which is free for up to 2K contacts. 

Email marketing in Kenya has emerged as one of the most popular ways for businesses to reach out to customers without spending money on expensive advertising channels such as television, radio, print ads etcetera because it does not require physical storefronts.

Hence there are no rent costs/fixed overheads involved. 

For instance, if someone visits your website they will probably give you their email address so that they receive more information.

How it works

This business is all about providing a service and then gathering customer email addresses by asking for them in exchange. 

Once you have those contacts, the next step is to provide some type of incentive or value that will entice your audience to subscribe to your newsletter. 

You can offer discounts or free offers after signing up, which would help build loyalty with customers over time and eventually turn into repeat buyers.

If you are successful at building an engaged list that subscribes on a regular basis, this could be one of the most profitable online business ideas in Kenya! 

It costs very little money up front but there’s huge potential for return if done right.

The success rates vary from person to person based on their ability to create valuable content while also gathering a list of emails.

And you can charge brands to show them how to do it.

7 Steps to Start Your Own Online Business in Kenya

The post is about starting your own online business in Kenya, so we should mention some basic things like what it means to start an online business and what are some of its benefits as well as challenges – such as not being able to meet customers in person or having enough time because you’re running multiple businesses at once (which isn’t usually recommended).

Step One: Choosing a Business

Steps to Start Your Own Online Business in Kenya

There are lots of different types of businesses you can start online in Kenya.

Luckily, we have talked about 10 of the best online businesses in Kenya.

All you have to do is pick one and go to the next step of how to start an online business in Kenya.

Step Two: Registering Your Business Name and Setting Up Shop

Step Two: Registering Your Business Name and Setting Up Shop

Make sure the name will be available as a domain on any platform or website that you plan on using it for. 

You don’t want to end up paying more for your business’ name than what it’s worth!

Now, to set up shop, you can use tools like Woocommerce in Kenya.

Step Three: Getting the Necessary Permits and Licenses as an Online Entrepreneur 

how to start an online business in kenya

Just like an offline business, starting an online business in Kenya will require you to have permits so as not to end up on the wrong side of the law.

To register an online business in Kenya, all you need is to register the business name with the government and get the certificate.

This will come in handy when the time comes to accept online payments.

For example;

You will need the certificate to apply for Lipa Na MPESA.

Step Four: Learning More About Different Types Of Online Ventures

Step Four: Learning More About Different Types Of Online Ventures

One way to learn more about different types of online businesses is to read blog posts written by people who have been there. 

There are lots of great resources available on the web, including this article which is about how to start an online business in Kenya and it contains some basic things like what does starting an online business in Kenya mean or why should you consider running one – alongside more advanced topics such as building out your infrastructure (which isn’t the same for all startups).

If you have decided to start dropshipping in Kenya, look for people who are already doing it and learn as much as you can.

Step Five: Building Out Your Infrastructure 

Step Five: Building Out Your Infrastructure 

For example;

If someone decided that they wanted to open a bakery then their infrastructure would look very different from somebody opening up another type of storefront because, in addition to needing space for baking supplies, storage, etc.

They’d need counter space where customers could sit down and enjoy their pastries – in addition to a place for employees to sit and eat.

Step Six: Setting Your Prices 

Step Six: Setting Your Prices 

Before you start offering your services or products, it’s important that you set your prices because when there are several different online businesses in Kenya selling the same thing at different price points.

Truth is, customers will often go with whichever is lower – even if they’d rather pay more for better quality. 

In other words, don’t undervalue yourself just to get some business going. 

At the same time, however, being too expensive can also hurt you so spend some time thinking about how much each of your goods or services should cost before setting a final rate.

Step Seven: Promoting Your Business Online in Kenya

Step Seven: Promoting Your Business Online in Kenya

Finally, the last step on how to start an online business in Kenya is promoting it.

It’s not enough just to have an internet presence anymore; you need to make sure that people can actually find you online. 

This means building out your website with high-quality content, establishing an active social media presence (Facebook is preferable), and blogging regularly. 

You’ll also want to promote yourself in other ways like creating infographics or offering free samples of your goods on popular websites such as Reddit.

READ ALSO  55+ Easy Ways to Make Money as a Student in Kenya

Here are some of the best marketing strategies in Kenya

How To Start An Online Business in Kenya (Infographic)

how to start an online business in kenya

Online business for sale in Kenya

Instead of starting an online business in Kenya, you can buy one.

I have an online business for sale in Kenya. If you are looking for a website to buy that is already ranking, you can contact me at 0700464824.

If you are interested in an online business selling headphones, smart TVs, and fridges, you are in the right place.

How to buy an online business in Kenya

Why buy an online business?

If you’re looking for a new challenge in life, building your own business might be the thing to do. If this is something that appeals to you and if buying an online business has crossed your mind lately, then we have some interesting information on how to go about it.

There are really three main reasons why people decide to buy an online business:

a). They believe they can do it better.

b). They already have an online business but are looking for more growth potential.

c). It seems like a good financial investment opportunity.

All these reasons should be taken into consideration while learning how to buy an online business because the approach is different depending on what you plan to do with your future business.

Now that you know the reasons why it’s a good idea to buy an online business, let’s see how to actually go about doing this!

How should you start learning how to buy one?

Since there are many options out there for buying and selling businesses, first of all, make sure you find someone who knows what they are doing.

A good broker will have a wealth of knowledge and be able to help you through the entire process – from finding the right business, negotiating the price, and even getting the financing in place.

If you don’t have someone like this in your life, there are many online resources that can help get you started on your journey. Check out our blog post on how to find a mentor for more information on this topic!

Once you have found a few businesses that interest you, it’s time for due diligence. This is where you do all of your research on the company – from their financial stability to their customer base. You want to make sure that everything is as sound as possible before making your investment.

The final step of learning how to buy an online business is actually closing the deal! After you have done your research and agreed on a price, it’s time for both parties to sign some documents that will change the course of their lives forever! It might seem like a lot of work at first, but after everything is complete, you will be set up for success with one less worry in life – leaving more time to focus on what really matters.

Now that you know all about buying an online business in Kenya, are you ready to give this thing a try?

We hope so because there are countless opportunities out there waiting for someone just like you!

Types of online business in Kenya

There are many different types of online businesses in Kenya. Some common ones include:

  • E-commerce stores: These businesses sell products and services online. They may have a physical store as well, or they may only sell online.
  • Service businesses: These businesses provide services to customers over the internet. This can include things like consulting, design work, or writing services.
  • Affiliate marketing: In this type of business, you promote other people’s products and earn a commission when someone buys them through your link.
  • Network marketing: In this type of business, you build a network of salespeople who promote your product or service. You earn money based on their sales volume.
  • Digital products businesses: These businesses sell digital products, such as e-books, courses, or software.

Each type of business has its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. It’s important to choose the right type of business for you, based on your skills and interests.

Best online business for students in Kenya

There are a lot of online businesses that students can start in Kenya. Here are some of the best ones:

a). Freelancing services

Freelancing is a great way for students to make money online in Kenya. There are a lot of online platforms that allow you to offer your services, such as Upwork and Fiverr. You can offer a variety of services, such as writing, design, and programming.

b). Online tutoring:

Online tutoring is another good online business for students in Kenya. There are also a lot of online platforms that you can join, such as Chegg and Tutor.com.

c). Affiliate Marketing:

Affiliate marketing is a great way for students to make money online in Kenya. There are a lot of affiliate programs that you can join, such as Amazon Associates and the Jumia KOL Program. You can promote products on your website or social media pages.

d). Podcasting:

Podcasting is a great way for students in Kenya to share their knowledge with the world. You can create a podcast about any topic that you’re interested in. There are a lot of online platforms that you can use to host your podcast, such as SoundCloud and Spreaker.

e). Blogging:

Blogging is a great way for students to share their stories and experiences with the world. You can create your own blog about any topic that you’re interested in. There are several platforms that you can use, such as Blogger or Squarespace.

f). YouTube vlogging:

You can also create a YouTube channel and start vlogging. You will be able to share your life experiences with the world through this platform, while making money from it as well! There are several platforms that you can use, such as Patreon or Vidme.

g). Selling online courses:

If you have some knowledge that you can share with the world, then creating an online course is another great business to try. You will be able to teach people how to do something or give them information on a certain topic through this platform. There are several platforms that allow you to create your own courses, such as Kajabi and Teachable.

Which online business is best in Kenya?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best online business in Kenya for you will depend on your unique skills, interests, and goals. However, some of the most popular online businesses in Kenya include online marketing, eCommerce, and freelancing.

What is the most profitable online business in Kenya?

This will depend on your unique skills, interests, and goals. For example, the most profitable online business in Kenya for a computer programmer might not be as lucrative for an author or graphic designer. However, some of the most profitable online businesses in Kenya include e-commerce and affiliate marketing, trading online, and freelance writing.

What business can I start online in Kenya?

Some of the most popular businesses to start online in Kenya include online marketing, eCommerce, and freelancing. However, virtually any business can be started online in Kenya if it has a website or an affiliate program. There are even some companies that hire employees based on their web traffic.

Do I need a business permit to sell online in Kenya?

No, you do not need a permit to sell online in Kenya. However, you will need a registered business if you plan to accept payments using methods like Lipa Na MPESA. As such, it is a good practice to register your business with the authorities before you start selling online in Kenya. It adds credibility and trust to your business. 

How can I sell online in Kenya?

There are a number of ways to sell online in Kenya, including through your own website, an online marketplace such as Jumia or Jiji, or an affiliate program. However, the most effective way to sell online in Kenya depends on your unique skills and interests. For example, you can start dropshipping on Jumia by opening an account as a merchant.

Wrapping up online business ideas in Kenya

An online business is a great idea for anyone who wants to work or make money on their own time, at home, and in the comfort of their pajamas! 

The best part? 

You will never run out of ideas because there are so many opportunities available these days. 

And if you’re worried about someone else having done something similar before you start, don’t let that stop you–there’s plenty of opportunity for everyone!

Just go through this list of the best online business ideas in Kenya and go through how to start an online business in Kenya.


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About the author

Kevin is a prolific business online writer with experience of 5+ years doing online business, marketing, and finance. His articles have been published on various websites such as Business Insider, Tuko Media, Adweek, among others. Kevin is passionate about helping people achieve success through his writing which he does by providing actionable tips for entrepreneurs to implement into their businesses.

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