2020 saw a tremendous shift in businesses across all industries in the entire world. While some businesses closed, others thrived, yet many new business ideas were born and took over the consumer market.
If you’re an entrepreneur or want to get into entrepreneurship and wonder which business ideas in Kenya are profitable, with a world ravaged by the pandemic, then read on. While there are many business ideas in 2021, it is good to figure out which ones are worth pursuing. Sometimes, jumping on new trends can be more risky than rewarding.
We have done thorough research from trusted sites to bring you the best emerging business ideas in Kenya for 2021. We have taken our time to analyze the business opportunities that have peaked and increased in value.
1. Home Decor & Improvement
The pandemic saw many people work from home. The reality of working from home has pushed many people to renovate their houses to meet their need for working space. There’s a rising need to invest in how the home feels and looks to make the environment conducive for work, besides the traditional home ambience.
Those that have ventured into this business have recorded tremendous success. Let’s look at some of the most successful home décor and improvement organizations.
- Dasheki Homes
Dasheki Homes claims to offer the best deals on household home and living products in Kenya. They offer a wide variety of products ranging from furniture, mats, items for the living room, kids room, bed and bath and kitchen.
- Organized Planet
Organized Planet offers storage solutions to help you reduce clutter, which can actually take over your life! Their storage solutions include shelving, shoe racks, desk organizers, ottomans, makeup organizers, toy storage boxes, cutlery organizers, car boot organizers, wicker baskets and more. They have organizers for different places like the living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining, carpets, mirrors and console.
- Moko Home
Moko Homes specializes in furniture products and mattresses. Their products include sofas, bed and mattresses, tables, storage and display accessories. They promise to bring comfort to your space with a touch of class.
2. Fitness Equipment & Accessories
The pandemic has forced many people to create at-home gyms as they await for the regular gym workouts to resume. Many Kenyans continue to work out from home in 2021 and beyond, and they need proper equipment and accessories to keep them active. Our lives and routines changed drastically in 2020, and it is expected that consumer interest in fitness will increase by nearly 200% by the year 2022.
Selling fitness equipment and accessories has a sustainable future, and they will work best if combined with services like virtual fitness or online virtual training. If you choose to offer virtual fitness classes and training, ensure that you create a strong brand. Listen to your customers, engage with your community in social media channels and offer branded products. To succeed in this business, it is good to focus on niche markets. Niches include working moms, postpartum, teenagers, and people suffering from burnout, frontline workers, and more.
3. Hiring & Talent Acquisition Services
Talent acquisition is the entire process involved in identifying and acquiring a skilled workforce for an organization. The team involved in talent acquisition assess and hire candidates to fill open positions within an organization. This team is also responsible for employer branding, future resource planning and the development of a robust candidate pipeline. The talent acquisition team has a set of skills, including sourcing strategies, candidate assessment, compliance and hiring standards and employment branding.
Starting a business that offers hiring and acquisition services is a viable idea. Many people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, while others have experienced pay cuts. This has forced many people to look for other jobs. A business in hiring and talent acquisition will see you connect job seekers with employers by identifying, targeting and attracting the most qualified candidates for a given role. Some of the hiring and talent acquisition companies who are doing well in Kenya include:
Fuzu specializes in career development, recruitment and learning solutions for organizations and consumers. It serves both blue and white-collar job seekers and helps local, international and non-profit businesses to identify and develop the right talent. They help people find their first or next career opportunity. They focus on testing job seekers skills and competencies. To use Fuzu, you are required to create an account then start applying for the available positions, depending on your qualifications. You will need to create a CV in the profile, which is printable. When applying for jobs, it’s important to read the instructions carefully because some employers request that you send them your own CV instead of the one you created in your Fuzu profile.
Brightermonday is a job site connecting job seekers with employers. The site lists thousands of job opportunities, and as a job seeker, you need to go in there and make applications to the opportunities you are most qualified for. To start using the Brightermonday site, you will need to create an account first then fill your profile with the requested information. You will be asked to upload your latest CV as well.
- Corporate Stuffing
Corporate staffing is one of the leading recruitment agencies in Kenya. It is a member of the Institute of Human Resource Management and provides complete recruitment solutions, sourcing and supply of quality staff. They offer services to employers such as recruitment, HR outsourcing, training, payroll services, advice on labor laws and carrying out psychometric tests for candidates.
To the job-seeking professionals, they offer career coaching, interview coaching, professional CV writing, training on career development and advice on labor laws.
4. Delivery Services
The pandemic has caused a spike in demand for delivery services as people try to observe the safety measures laid down by the ministry of health. Delivery services are in demand for businesses that wish to deliver goods to their customers, the food industry, grocery and other sectors.
Starting a delivery services business is low cost, especially if you decide to use independent contractors. Create an app for your services so that it can be easy for customers to order from the comfort of their homes or offices. Ensure that your contractors can deliver the goods in good condition and have excellent customer service skills as they will be handling your customers directly. Most of the people using the delivery services are looking to avoid long lines and exposure to infected people. Ensure that they feel safe while receiving their ordered goods.
Companies that have successfully offered these services in Kenya include:
- Sendy Transport
Sendy provides moving services in Kenya. It aims to take away the uncertainty of conventional delivery methods by helping its customers move goods securely and efficiently. They strive to make the transportation of your goods simple, transparent and secure. They guarantee you the same day delivery where they make efforts to ensure that customers receive their packages between 2-4 hours.
Sendy Transport has insured all goods against loss or damage while in transit to ensure that their customers enjoy peace of mind. Their customers are also informed about the expected delivery time.
Sendy provides a mobile app and web platform that enable people and small businesses to book for a vehicle. You can choose a track, a van, a pickup, or a motorcycle. To get started, you will need to select pickup and destination locations to get a price quote, then choose your preferred vehicle. You can then track your driver throughout the delivery in real-time.
Glovo is an on-demand courier service that carries out purchases, picks up and delivers products ordered through its mobile app. Its popular category is food delivery, where you can request them to buy food from any restaurant or supermarket in your city and have it delivered to your doorstep. They can also deliver things from shops, pharmacies, florists, and more. The best thing about Glovo is its speed in delivery. They pick up and deliver in minutes.
- Joyrush Delivery
Joyrush offers a delivery app where you will get fast and reliable delivery done within minutes. Their rates are pretty affordable when transporting packages from one location to another. With the click of a few buttons in their easy to navigate the app, you will be able to get your packages picked up and delivered to your desired destination. You can even schedule your deliveries in advance to make work easier for you.
5. Shelf Space Rentals
Renting shelf space is a business that is taking shape in Nairobi and gaining a lot of popularity. Instead of People renting out a stall and probably paying for six months’ rent and goodwill, they only rent the space they need to display their items. They also get a shop attendant for their goods. This is good, especially for the online vendors who might get customers who want to view goods before they can buy. They also act as pick up and drop off points for business people and their customers. Renting shelf space is cost-effective for small businesses, and many are turning into this business model.
To do this business, you will need to get a good location in an easily accessible area, especially within the CBD of major towns. Once you get your space, you will need to create shelves that are large enough to accommodate a good number of items. Each shelf goes between KSh. 2500 and Ksh. 5000 per month. If you create 100 shelves, you will make a cool Ksh. 5000 per month. Some of the business already doing this and have recorded good progress include:
- Notify Logistics
Notify Logistics has grown to over 400 members since its inception in 2018. Their shops are fully serviced and are located in prime locations within Nairobi’s CBD. Their shops are fully serviced, and you will not be charged goodwill, 3-month deposit or pay for an attendant.
Once you rent space with Notify Logistics, you will get a shop manager who will attend to your clients and organize your deliveries. You will also get a flat rate of Ksh. 200 for deliveries within Nairobi County. Besides these, you will get to network with like-minded people, access free monthly training, and business managers.
Rent-a-shelf is a business that provides shelf space for online sellers. It provides a strategic location where these online sellers can direct their clients to collect their goods after purchase. They also offer delivery services on behalf of their clients and will provide some advertisement services for the clients.
6. Virtual Office
Covid-19 made Physical offices obsolete since most employees were forced to work from home. Though the immediate action that most people took was to work from their houses, it can be quite difficult. First, you are not used to working from your house, where your kitchen is a few steps away.
You will make countless trips there and may end up never doing your work at all. Worse still if you have small children running around and screaming. You cannot focus on your work and your productivity will definitely deteriorate. The distraction when working from your house is numerous. The only viable option here is a virtual office.
A virtual office is a flexible workspace that provides services to other businesses or individuals including a combination of other services and technology without you bearing the capital expenses of owning or leasing a traditional office. It gives you a physical address and office-related services without the expense of hiring administrative staff.
Individuals like freelancers or employees working from home can use these offices to do their work and maximize their time usage.
As an employer, running a standard office will come with costs like hiring a receptionist, paying for the internet, paying for cleaning, paying for office licenses, and sometimes paying for employee meals. Virtual offices will help employers cut costs by avoiding these costs and increasing profits.
Venturing into this business will give you great returns. You should target the two major types of clients, that is, startup companies and companies looking for expansion with a tight budget. A virtual office gives them an affordable option to operate their businesses as a major corporation. When starting this business, you must first determine the services and solutions that you will offer. Here is a list of them.
- A local telephone number
- An address in prime locations
- A receptionist
- Access to an on-demand meeting and conference room
- Mail and courier services
- Access to basic on-demand facilities such as photocopiers, printing, faxing, lamination, etc
- Video conferencing and online meeting facilities
- Office space available hourly or on a daily basis
Ensure that you design these services according to the market demand. To get clients faster, promote and advertise your virtual office business online by creating a website or using social media platforms. You can also register with online business directories. Some of the successful virtual office businesses include:
- The business Bar
The Business Bar offers fully equipped exclusive private and shared offices to its clients so that they can focus on their core business. They are located in the heart of Westland in Nairobi, a place that is easily accessible and is surrounded by a collection of restaurants, gyms, hotels, and many more. Their shared serviced offices come with all amenities of a modern office and they start from 3 desks to 7 desks.
The Business Bar offers several packages to cater to the diverse needs of its clients. They have an exclusive private office, a co-working space, a day pass that you can rent per day, and a virtual office that you can use to interact with clients. All these packages come at different price points.
Ikigai is a private office business that offers fully serviced office suites as well as tailor-made office spaces to suit your needs. Once you rent these office spaces, you will have access to shared amenities like meeting rooms, phone booths, specialty coffee bars, collaboration zones, executive board rooms, wellness studios, mother’s rooms, prayer rooms, and more. The custom-made offices are tailored to your specification, brand, and values.
Besides Westland, they also have offices in Lower Kabete, Lavington, and Riverside, and each set of offices is completely different from the other. They provide a 60-day cancellation policy to cater to businesses of all sizes.
- Nairobi Garage
The Nairobi Garage offers flexible, serviced virtual offices in Nairobi to bring you practical and convenient workspaces for your team. They offer a variety of options to cater to individuals as well as a team of several hundred. They have short-term flexible license agreements with all-inclusive transparent pricing with no hidden costs. These virtual offices are fully serviced. You will not need to clean or perform any maintenance as all of it is taken care of, so that you can only focus on your business.
Once you decide on the room and location you are interested in, you get an office solution immediately. Some of the services included in these offices include:
- high-speed Wi-Fi internet with backup links and power
- freshwater, tea, and coffee for your team and visitors available throughout working hours
- fully furnished with lockable storage options
- Receptionist and waiting area for visitors
- If you choose the private offices, you will get access to their other locations where you can work from when it is more convenient
- On-demand meeting rooms
- Access to shared amenities like kitchen, balconies, lounges, etc
- Option to brand your space with your unique identity
7. Virtual Fitness Classes And Training
Covid-19 has seen physical gym places close their doors, just like every other business in the sports category. Many gym enthusiasts have had to look for alternatives, and the best one is an online workout. Gym experts emphasize on the importance of working out at least three times a week for not less than 30 minutes continuously. They believe that the more you sweat and pant, the higher the number of calories you are burning.
Venturing into the virtual fitness classes and training business is an excellent idea with high growth potential. As a virtual trainer, you will hold your classes online through apps like Zoom, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Manyactive, and Houseparty. If you are tech-savvy, you can create your own app through which people will connect with you for their online classes.
In the virtual classes, you can offer training in any area of specialization, including body toning, self-defense, dance, aerobics, and strength training, among others. Many people have now turned to digital content and expect the usual routine of wake-up, put on your trainers and get into the gym, to continue. You can fill this gap by running virtual fitness classes and target these people.
8. Offer Web & Graphic Design Services
Offering digital design services is a business you can start very quickly and start earning. This business will need motivation and commitment to help you put in the energy for a successful business. Digital design business can encompass a large area, and it is vital to identify the area that you have the strongest skills. If you do not have the skills yet, you can easily teach yourself through online courses or physical classes.
A graphic design client can request services like brand strategy, logo and website designing, typography, social media designing, brochure designing, animation, Infographics, and poster designing. It’s good to diversify your knowledge so that you don’t miss out on opportunities.
As a graphic designer, you will need to identify your target market so that you can determine whether your current skills can meet their needs. Create a portfolio so that you can showcase your work to potential clients. An excellent example of a successful digital design services business is Creativekigen. Let’s look at this business in detail.
CreativeKigen is one of the most successful graphic designers in Kenya. He offers web design services, logo design and social graphics. He designs websites for different clients, including travel companies, schools, hotels, personal brands, freelancers, online stores, etc. Creativekigen is a self-taught graphic designer who has mastered the skills to bring you the most beautiful and functional designs for any business. He has a rich portfolio detailing past projects he has handled.
9. Career Coaching
Covid-19 has caused many people to lose jobs, forcing them to go back to the drawing board. As it is known, Tarmacking is now more challenging due to the restriction of the pandemic and the many people entering the job market. When a person has been in employment for a long, they lose touch with the job hunting techniques, which keep changing. When one finds themselves back in the job-hunting market, it can be pretty challenging to find new opportunities.
Career coaches fill this gap by offering professional insights to those seeking to increase their career trajectory or grow their personal brands. They help their clients identify their goals and what is holding them back. Venturing into this business will be rewarding both financially and personally. To succeed in this business, you need to plan it well so as to map out the specifics like cost, your target market, charge to customers, etc.
Define your brand to help you stand out from your competitors. Promote and market your career coach business through professional social media platforms like LinkedIn, or create a blog to reach the relevant people. You can also create a business website to increase credibility and client reach. One of the most successful career coach businesses in Kenya is Careerpoint Kenya.
- Careerpoint- Solutions by Daniel Mutuku
Careerpoint Kenya is owned by Daniel Mutuku. They list job opportunities from all industries, give career advice, and offer professional CV services. They also allow employers to post jobs directly to their website. Once a job seeker registers on their website, they receive job alerts in their email every day. This makes it easier for them to apply to the jobs they are most qualified for.
- Joan Winning CV
Joan Winning CV is a firm that helps its clients in career development. They help them by offering private coaching, consulting, and other programs to help individuals find their purpose, land jobs, and increase their income. Joan Winning CV has seen many job seekers succeed globally through developing, digitizing, and optimizing CVs, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles.
The services they offer include LinkedIn optimization, CV digitization, Career mapping, cover letter development, and career coaching. Most of her satisfied clients have come back to give their testimonials and offer gratitude after a successful career.
Starting a career as a career coach is very rewarding. We have so many people seeking employment. Some are fresh from college while others are looking to change jobs, or careers and others are seeking promotions. If you can help these people to position themselves well, you will be on your way to a booming business.
10. Social Media Coaching
A social media coach is essentially a person who is experienced and knowledgeable in the field of social media and who works to help you grow and succeed online. They will educate the business owners or their clients on what is working on their current social media and what needs improvement, where.
As a social media coach, you will be helping your clients develop a solid social media strategy, educate them on how to find and use their brand voice, hold training sessions to help them build confidence online, teach them how to perform social media analytics and understand them, etc. To start this business, you need a solid understanding of social media platforms and how they work. You can take online courses to sharpen your skills and services to gain experience.
- Niu Media By Annie Kaniu
Niu Media is a social media coaching business owned by Annie Kaniu. They focus on helping e-commerce business owners to scale their businesses to great heights. They help their clients with highly targeted paid ads for their business to get a steady stream of customers.
11. Wines & Spirits Online Delivery
There have been lockdowns in Kenya following the pandemic, and the alcohol industry has been one of the most affected. Many alcohol lovers visit the bars in the evening and leave late in the night, something they can no longer do. This has forced many Kenyans to turn online to order for their favourite drink. Starting a business in this area is quite profitable, with high growth potential.
To make the most out of this business, you need a place where customers can place an order of their choicest drink, make payment and receive the drink. This can either be a website or a mobile app. Create a product catalogue to showcase your inventory. You can let the customer order for the drink online, then collect from an offline store or do home delivery.
To increase the number of customers purchasing from you and get new ones, you can provide an option to reorder, send a personalized recommendation via messaging or emails, offer coupons and discounts, and engage with customers on social media.
- Dial-A-Drink Kenya
Dial-a-drink Kenya delivers alcohol to its clients that order online or via a call at no extra charge. They offer some of the lowest prices in the market because they order directly from alcohol distributors in Kenya. Having been in the industry for more than eight years, they have great exposure and fully understand the different brands, so they are able to advise their clients according to the information they want.
Besides alcohol delivery, Dial-a-drink also offers personalized services, including gifts delivery, extra wrapping for gifts, sourcing for drinks that are not in stock, sourcing and printing greeting cards that are to be delivered alongside the drinks, engraving liquor bottles for presents, and more. They also offer a variety of convenient payment methods to cater for different client needs. You can pay for your drink by cash, Mpesa or use your debit card, including Visa and Mastercard.
- Oaks and corks
Oaks and Corks offers alcohol delivery, which may include wines, beer, and spirits, within the country. They also deliver whiskey to your occasions, including Jack Daniels, J and B, William Peel, James Dowell, etc. They stock a wide variety of drinks, well over 1300 varieties, which you can order in a few clicks. Orders within Nairobi are delivered within an hour, while those in other parts of the country are delivered the next day. If you choose to pick your order from their stores, it is free of charge.
- Nairobi Drinks
Nairobi Drinks delivers alcohol within Nairobi and its environs. They offer flexible ordering methods, which include Whatsapp, calls, SMS, shopping cart and social media platforms. They have a deep knowledge of the liquor business and will advise you on the best drink for the occasion if you request them. Their prices are highly discounted, and they operate up to midnight.
12. Become a YouTuber
Becoming a YouTuber is one of the most viable business ideas in Kenya. It is an area that is quickly gaining popularity in Kenya, and the popularity of its content creators are growing as well. Starting your own YouTube channel and growing it to popularity can create a good source of income. Although you will not become popular overnight, you can grow steadily to become a household name over time.
To succeed as a YouTuber, you need to have passion for whatever content you choose to share. This way, you will be able to create great and engaging content, which will make your fans stick around for a long time. Once you decide on the content to share or your niche, strive to develop a personal brand. You can do this by looking at a unique selling point for your content and start owning it. Ensure that you have something that sets you apart from millions of other YouTube content creators.
Choose your target audience and talk to them. When choosing your audience, you may think of factors such as age, gender, and occupation to help you make the best decision. You can create content around gaming, travel, beauty, health and fitness, music, sports, food, kids, and more.
Make your YouTube channel lively and make it stand out by use of art and graphics. Ensure that your YouTube thumbnails are relevant and visually appealing to attract more clicks. Remember also to include a high-quality profile picture. To make your content more discoverable, practise good SEO. Optimize your channels, videos and playlists to help them rank well on YouTube. Post consistently to sustain your viewership by creating a posting schedule and sticking to it.
The type of equipment you use will determine the quality of content that you produce. Although you don’t need to invest in expensive equipment when getting started, you will need a few essentials like a computer and video editing software. This software can include Windows movie maker, iMovie, and Corel VideoStudio. You may also need a screen recorder like Loom.
- Jalango TV
Jalang’o TV is one of the most successful YouTube channels in Kenya. It has more than 371,000 subscribers and a vast following. The channel mainly focuses on celebrities, politicians, entertainment, and lifestyle. He creates content that most Kenyan’s want to hear, and he keeps them glued to their screens.
Henry Desagu is a comedian providing entertainment to his viewers and followers. His channel has over 548,000 subscribers. He keeps his audience entertained by touching on what’s going on currently in Kenya and the issues affecting Kenyans. He is very consistent with the publishing of his content which keeps his viewers to his channel.
- Crazy Kennar
Tales of the Crazy Kennar is a YouTube Channel focused on entertainment. He creates content around the daily issues and struggles that people go through while providing entertainment and laughter. This channel has over 257,000 subscribers. He uploads videos regularly, something that keeps his audience coming back for fresh content.
Final thoughts on Emerging Business Ideas in Kenya
You made it all the way to the end. Give yourself a pat on the back.
Although many new business opportunities are emerging every day, the existing industries are also growing and expanding into new opportunities. People are shifting from the typical brick-and-mortar business model to online businesses with the advantage of home delivery to the customer.
When looking for what business to venture into in 2021 and beyond, consider the direction of the business in terms of growth.
The suggestions in this article will definitely make you money in 2021. To increase your chances of success, choose an idea that appeals most to you and one that aligns with your skills, then focus on it. From the examples given, you can see that many people have implemented these ideas and succeeded, so you will be putting your time and effort into viable and proven ideas.