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Professor Bwisa

Entreprenuership Resource Website

13 FREE low capital small business ideas

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Many people we have interviewed say that they are not in business because they do not have enough capital. Such people would have liked to start one type of business say a mini bus to shuttle passengers but their capital may not be enough.

This reminds of what the renowned author of €œSmall is Beautiful€  Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher commonly known as E. F. Schumacher  €œIf you want to go places, start from where you are. If you are poor start with something cheap. If you are uneducated start with something relatively simple. If you live in a poor environment and poverty makes markets small start with something small .If you are unemployed start using your own labour power because any productive use of it is better than letting lie idle€ .

These wise words teach us that we must learn to recognize the boundaries of our possibilities. A project that does not fit our resources will be an economic failure. Find here below some potentially explosive projects whose inputs are readily available locally.


1. COCONUT BASE PROJECT: The coconut is readily available at Kenya€™s costal region. This plant can give many valuable products in cottage and small scale sector. The various products which can be manufactured include:


  1. Coconut milk
  2. Coconut water as beverages carbonated
  3.  Desiccated coconut
  4. Coconut shell powder for making organic manure and raw material for mosquito coils and sticks
  5. Coconut shell for making coir
  6. Coconut oil
  7. Coconut antiseptic soap
  8. Coconut ropes and matting from coir

All the products listed above can be produced by cottage industries. With small investment any body can start a small plant in the vicinity of the coconut plantations.

2. VEGETABLE BASE INDUSTRY: Kenya is very rich in vegetables and about 70% get wasted due to limited consumption. Virtually every region of the country produces vegetables including traditional vegetables. The following projects can be started on a shoestring:

  1. Dehydration of tomato and its powder
  2. Dehydration of vegetables for soup industry
  3. Dehydration of fruits like Mango, pineapple, bananas etc
  4. Vegetable powdersVegetable beverages carbonated like carrot juice, cabbage juice, mixed vegetable and fruit juices. (This sector has a wide potential in Kenyan market against soft drinks.)

3. MUSHROOMS: Mushrooms are a good source of protein for malnutrition. They can be grown  on small scale with little investments. Mushrooms can be made into many products:

  1. Protein paste
  2. Jams
  3. Health drinks.

4. CLAY BRICKS MAKING: Kenya is a good source of lime and clay. These two raw materials can be used for making building bricks. The basic raw material required is sand, clay and water.   

5. MANUFACTURING CHEESE FROM COW'S MILK: Cheese is a very good product, technology can be implemented in villages where good quantity of cow milk is available. The process is very simple and can save lot of foreign exchange 

5. CORNED BEEF: Packing of beef  is a sector which can save lot of foreign exchange. The process is very simple and can be done under village and cottage  industry sector 

6. COUGH CANDY USING LOCAL PLANT EXTRACTS: This is a household remedy products to be used as throat lozenges. All the basic raw materials like Ginger, sugar, glucose, citrus extracts are available in Kenya.   

7. FLOOR WAX: Many floors of houses are made of wood hence making floor wax is a good business opportunity. The floor wax is manufactured from bees wax after extracting honey. The process is very simple and can be a good start up for village industry. 

8. HOLLOW BRICKS FROM WASTE MATERIALS: The disposal of waste is a problem in many towns and cities. Due to the latest developments the solid waste like, coconut shell powder, sawdust, ordinary soil, rice and maize hulls, abaca waste can be used for making hollow blocks for constructing houses. 

9.PAPAINE FROM PAPAYA FRUIT: Papaine is used as enzymatic fermentation products in sugar, beverage and pharmaceutical industry. This product can be manufactured from the unripe fruit ofpapaya. An incision is made on all the side of the fruit and the latex thus come out is collected and processed.  Kenya grows good quantity of papaya. After extracting papaine the fruit can also be used in fruit processing industry without any loss of nutritional value.

10. CAFFEINE FROM TEA AND COFFEE WASTE PRODUCTS: Caffeine a central stimulant can be extracted from tea and coffee  waste powder. Kenya produces lots of tea and coffee dust powder which is a waste product from tea and coffee processing units. Caffeine can be extracted by simple process from the waste. 

11. RECYCLING OF RICE AND SUGAR CANE STRAW INTO HANDMADE PAPER: The waste from rice and sugar cane industry can be used for making hand made paper by very simple technique in village industry. 

12. MANUFACTURING OF ARABIC GUM FROM ACACIA TREES:  Manufacturing of Arabic gum from acacia trees.Kenya has a wild crop of acacia tree on the side of many roads. This tree is a very good source of acacia gum. The gum is extracted by giving a incision to the tree. The semisolid fluid is collected and dries and sold as it is. The above listed products can be manufactured under cottage and village industry conditions. Financial institution and Banks would be good sources of capital provided you have a bankable business plan. The return on investment can be good.

Do you want a business plan for any of these? Do you have a business idea you would like a business plan done for? Do you have any business start up query? Do you want us to do for you a business assignment? Drop us a line at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 December 2009 07:56 )  


Entrepreneurship is the practice of starting new organizations or revitalizing mature organizations, particularly new businesses generally in response to identified opportunities. Entrepreneurship is often a difficult undertaking, as a vast majority of new businesses fail.

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