11 Best Businesses to Start in Rural Areas in Kenya

It can be challenging to know which business to start in rural areas of Kenya, especially due to the low population. You want a business idea that will pick up fast, attract people and be profitable. For this reason, we have compiled a list of 11 businesses to start in rural areas in Kenya. We arrived at this list after researching and speaking to different business people in different rural areas in Kenya.

The 11 best businesses to start in rural areas in Kenya are:

  1. Butchery
  2. Boda boda
  3. Food processes
  4. Agricultural co-operative business
  5. Culinary business
  6. Firewood delivery business
  7. Gathering and selling of scrap metals
  8. Cycle repairs
  9. Salon/Kinyozi
  10. Making and selling Briquettes
  11. Poultry farming

In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss these businesses and why they are the best to start in rural areas in Kenya. Keep reading to learn more!

Businesses to Start in Rural Areas in Kenya 

The following are the best businesses to start in rural areas in Kenya if you want to be profitable:

1. Butchery 

Starting a butchery business can be profitable since farmers in rural areas have extra animals they are unable to sell.  The livestock supply is high; hence you can buy the animals at a lower price and then process the meat to make canned products, which you can sell in supermarkets.

This can be an excellent idea if you cannot afford other kinds of businesses that require alot of capital. The procedure is easy; you only have to kill the animal, cut its carcass into pieces and then run it through a canning machine. Then buy labels from the print shop and print them on cans in bulk quantities to avoid work repetition.

Also Read: Businesses to Start With 10K in Kenya

2. Boda Boda Business  

Most of the rural residents reside far away from town centers. They always need transportation means to get to the town centers. The Boda Boda is convenient and can go to areas that cars can’t.

The best thing with the Boda Boda business is that you’ll have regular customers who can call you to pick up and drop them off. Boda Boda consumes little fuel; hence they are inexpensive to maintain, making the boba Boda business one of the best businesses to start in rural areas.

3. Food Processing 

Food processing is a perfect business idea since many farmers cannot afford to process their crops due to a lack of infrastructure. This presents a good business opportunity as farmers are usually looking for processing plants that can buy their crops. 

For instance, if you’re in Kitale or Eldoret, known as maize growing regions, you can establish a maize processing plant. You’ll be able to buy maize at a low price from the farmers around the region and consequently offer a better price to the farmers for their crops. This will be a win-win situation for both parties.

As the owner of such a company, you should brand and market your products to sell well in the market.

Find Out: Easiest Businesses to Start in Kenya

4. Agricultural Co-operative Business

Another ideal business to start in the rural areas in Kenya is setting up an agricultural cooperative for farmers to join and access the resources they need for their farming, like irrigation systems, water pumps, and fertilizers.

If you decide to start an agricultural cooperative, here are things you should consider. 

  • The qualifications needed for opening up an agricultural co-operative.
  • The variety of crops the farmers grow in that area.
  • The target market and the products they will be looking for
  • The number of members the cooperative can have before it becomes unmanageable or breaks down regarding resources.
  • How you’ll persuade the co-operative members to pay for their membership or products, given that they may not have alot of money in rural areas.

It’s essential to have a good understanding and knowledge of the types of crops grown in that area, how to operate a cooperative, and the needed qualifications to make it successful.

5. Culinary Business 

Culinary business is another excellent business opportunity in rural resin Kenya. This will be an ideal business to consider if you’ve any cooking talent or experience. 

Depending on what works best in that region, a culinary business can range from selling homemade baked items at schools and farmer’s markets to opening up full-brown restaurants providing home-baked meals all day. Also, there is always demand wherever people live.

Therefore regardless of whether you are simply looking for an easy business idea or desire something more demanding, it pays to consider having a kitchen as part of your office.

6. Firewood Delivery Business 

Firewood is abundant in forested areas of the country. On the other hand, the commodity is scarce in open places where schools, upcoming trading centers, and farms compete for the limited space.

There lies a business opportunity that doesn’t need much capital to start.  For you to excel in this business, you need to:

  • Identify a dependable source of mature wood
  • Make sure the wood’s source complies with all applicable national environmental regulations. You may obtain your supplies from a nearby forest with recently harvested trees, and re-forestation is yet to occur from your farm or neighboring farms. ( before venturing into the forest, ensure you’ve clearance from your local forest officer).
  • Purchase an axe and a panga and do the work of cutting the wood.
  • Organize transport from the source to the market.

7. Gathering and Selling of Scrap Metal

The gathering and selling of scrap metals for recycling are among the most profitable small business ideas in rural areas. The reason being most people in the village believe these metals have no further use, and you can easily find them lying all over.

If you can collect a reasonable amount, you can exchange these metals for a good amount of money. To gather and sell these metals, you’ll require;

  • Details of where to sell the metals. Find recycling companies in nearby big towns and learn what they need.  
  • Time to walk across the estates and villages collecting used glass bottles and scrap metals. 
  • You’ll need to set aside a small budget to pay people who’ll demand compensation in exchange for their scrap metals.
  • You can also invest in a few business cards so that anyone with scrap metal supplies can contact you any time they have new stock.
  • You’ll also need big collection bags and a weighing scale

8. Cycle Repairs

There are endless business options related to the motorbike sector. And since there are so many Boda Bodas in rural areas, you can start a Boda Boda repair and maintenance garage.

Still, you may open a motorcycle spare parts shop next door, generating more income. Cycle repairs are a great business to establish in rural areas in Kenya since the number of Boda Boda mechanics is not increasing as quickly as the number of new motorbikes on the roads.

In most rural areas, riders have to hassle to reach their nearby towns to get their broken bikes repaired. You can consider this idea if you’re proficient in this area.

9. Salon/ Kinyozi     

salon/ Kinyozi is among the best businesses to start in rural places. Women often need hairdressing services while men require haircuts. The demand for these services is high, and there is less competition, unlike in towns.

Due to the rural state’s electrification program, you can easily establish a salon/ Kinyozi in almost any place nationwide.

The business can give you good returns, especially if you locate it in a place with a high population, and all you need is professionalism and excellent skills to attract and retain clients. Even better, you can have an all-encompassing hair care business- you operate a salon and Kinyozi side by side, depending on the market’s demand.  

10. Making and Selling Briquettes

Briquettes are an alternative source of cooking fuel (it’s regarded as one of the best charcoal substitutes). Remember, the government outlawed cutting trees in many locations, causing charcoal prices to skyrocket.

Electric and gas prices have also risen, leaving Kenyans at crossroads. If you’ve got the right tech, you may make a lot of money by producing charcoal briquettes from local resources like wood chips, maize spindles, coffee beans waste, and sawdust and make a lot of money.

11. Poultry Farming 

Poultry farming is also an ideal business opportunity; you can start with an aim to sell poultry products such as chicken meat and eggs. Free-range chickens, commonly known as Kienyeji chicken, do well in rural areas as they are usually fed with natural resources reducing production cost and making it easy and affordable to feed them.

They are also less prone to diseases, and their eggs and meat fetch more money in the market. You can also choose rare broilers or layers.

Poultry farms also suit rural farmers as it requires less space than other livestock animals and can produce meat and eggs, unlike cows or pigs.

Bottom Line 

There are numerous lucrative business opportunities you can start small and still grow it big in rural areas. Here are ideas to get you started. Most of them don’t require huge startup capital. 

However, you should always carry out research before investing in any business. Living in rural areas is not an excuse for not succeeding if you want to. These best businesses to start in rural areas in Kenya should give you an idea of what can do well in your specific area.