10 Best Online Business Ideas in Kenya And How To Start

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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!

online business ideas in kenya pdf

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.

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

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 EasyShip, 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.

online business ideas in kenya pdf

5). Freelancing

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.

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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.

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.

6). Blogging 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

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. 

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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. 

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!

online business ideas in kenya pdf

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

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. 

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.

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.

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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.

online business ideas in kenya pdf

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.

Here are some of the best marketing strategies in Kenya. 

online business ideas in kenya pdf

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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