5 Profitable Businesses to Start with 30k in Kenya

Ida Musyoka

Are you looking for profitable businesses to start with 30k in Kenya? Most of the successful businesses in the world started with little or no capital.

Daymond John, the founder of FUBU, started his clothing line in his mother’s house in Queens, New York, with three friends and just $40 starting capital.

If 30k is all you have, do not feel discouraged. With this initial capital, you can start your dream business and scale. The now seasoned moguls like Daymond started with even lesser capital, and the brands they created are now worth billions of Dollars. 

And so can you!

The secret is to start small, learn what works and what doesn’t, and then scale the business. Starting small and growing your business has its share of benefits. And if you remain persistent, soon enough, you will be making tons of profits. 

But first, you need to acquire the right skills and discipline needed to run a large enterprise. The first skill is starting the right business, which matches your 30k starting capital!

This article will give you five businesses you can start with just 30k. We’ll share valuable insights on budgeting, starting, and marketing your business.

Businesses to Start with 30k in Kenya

The best businesses to start with 30k in Kenya include: 

  1. Import and sell wristwatches
  2. Sell second-hand kids’ clothes
  3. Start a roadside food kiosk
  4. Start a fish frying business
  5. Fruit Juice and Pudding Store

Below, I’ll walk you through an overview of what each business entails, how to market your services, and more.

#No. 1: Import and Sell Wrist Watches

You can start a wristwatch importation business with just 30k. The first step is identifying and sourcing wristwatches from Chinese wholesale sites like Alibaba

Visit the website, and on the search engine, type wristwatches to find your preferred design and price. This is the most challenging step because finding a good and reliable supplier with fair prices takes time. You can check the verification badge when shortlisting suppliers to ensure they can be trusted.

After you find an affordable and reliable supplier, place an order with them and make the payment. If you are working with a budget of 30k, get watches for around 500 bob each. With your budget, you can get 30 watches for 15k. 

Once you find a supplier and place an order, the next step is to talk to your shipping agent. Many shipping companies bring your goods from China to their warehouse in Nairobi, where you can pick them up. One such shipping company is Choice Cargo in City Cabanas along Mombasa Road. The shipping company takes care of taxes and other associated costs.

After your goods arrive, the final step is to pick them up and start selling. Social media advertising is the best option. You can use Instagram and Facebook sponsored ads to advertise your wristwatches.


  • Buying the wrist watches Ksh 15,000
  • Shipping cost from China Ksh 6,000
  • Marketing cost Ksh 5,000
  • Miscellaneous and logistics Ksh 4000

#No. 2: Sell Second-Hand Clothes for Kids 

Selling second-hand clothes for kids is one of the best businesses to start, with 30k in Kenya. It involves buying second-hand clothes from wholesalers in Gikomba. You can buy a bale of clothes or select individual clothes to sell.

You can sell second-hand clothes in major residential shopping centres. If you do not have enough capital, you can start hawking the clothes from door to door or take pictures and sell the clothes online.

When selling second-hand clothes for kids, keep the season in mind. During the cold season, you can sell jackets and other warm clothes. You can move to shorts and light clothes as the weather gets warm.


  • Buying stock Ksh 20,000
  • Marketing Ksh 5,000
  • Logistics Ksh 5,000

#No. 3: Start a Roadside Food Kiosk

A roadside food kiosk is the best place to start if you want to own a restaurant one day. The space can be temporary or fully open. A  kiosk is the best since you don’t have to incur the cost of rent and other overheads that come with running a restaurant.

The best place to set up this business is near factories or warehouses. You need a place where people must eat fast before returning to work. The meals at a roadside food kiosk should be simple, tasty, and affordable. Prepare high-energy foods since you will be serving the working population.

For this business, you must get large cooking Sufurias, Jiko, water storage, plates, spoons, and some sitting benches.


  • Sufurias, plates, spoons, and cups Ksh 10,000
  • Sitting benches Ksh 5,000
  • Renting a temporary space for 5,000
  • Cooking supplies 10,000

#No. 4: Start a Fish Frying Business

The fish frying business is one of the best businesses to start with 30k in Kenya. You start by buying fish from the market, frying it, and selling it in your neighbourhood. The best place to buy fish is the Gikomba market, or Victory Farms branches available in different counties.

For this business, you must look for a residential occasion location. A semi-permanent structure is cheaper to rent. The area should be high-traffic so people can see your business and start buying.

You must buy a frying wok, spoon, Jiko, cooking oil and fish. Depending on the location, the average price of fish should be Ksh. 100 to Ksh. 300, so keep this in mind when buying fish for sale.


  • Frying wok 2500
  • Spoon Ksh 500
  • Jiko 1500
  • Cooking oil 1000
  • Rental space Ksh 10,000
  • Fish Ksh 10,000

#No. 5: Set up a Fruit Juice and Pudding Store

Fruit juice and pudding stores are among the best businesses to start with 30k in Kenya. It involves making juices, smoothies, and fruit puddings for sale. You can do this business by the roadside, so you do not need ample rental space.

For this business, you need to maintain a high level of hygiene since fruits attract many flies. Good and attractive packaging is also essential to attract customers to your business. Make sure that the fruit juices are well packaged and presented.

During hot days, you can sell passersby cold fruit juices and puddings.


  • Rental space with electricity supply Ksh 10,000
  • Fruit juicers/blender Ksh 8,000
  • Packaging jars and bowls Ksh 3000
  • Shop modification Ksh 3,000
  • Miscellaneous Ksh 6,000


You can start some of the best businesses in Kenya with 30k. Most of these businesses are food related since it is a diverse and lucrative industry. You can also get more ideas on the best food business ideas.

Which of these businesses is your favourite? Share your thoughts and comments in the comment section below.

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Business writer, part-time teacher, self-taught chef and mom. I love business, finance, trying out new recipes, teaching and learning.
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