Developing business ideas in Kenya: tips and suggestions

Every self-employment starts with a good idea that you want to use to become self-employed. The possibilities are almost endless: you can open a shop, offer a service, manufacture products… It doesn’t always have to be a world first. Many freelancers fail due to unrealistic expectations of their own idea. The thought “Something like this already exists” does not have to be an exclusion criterion for a business idea. Ask yourself: What can I do better, faster, cheaper than other providers?

Sometimes an idea has existed for a long time and is just waiting to be implemented. Others want to start their own business but don’t yet know how. It is crucial that there is a need and a target group – this is the only way you can find customers and generate sales. The task is to recognize this need. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What solution to a problem would you wish for?
  2. Where are complaints coming from?
  3. What is too expensive?
  4. Which product still needs to be invented?

How can I become self-employed in Kenya?

The number of potential business ideas is almost limitless. From your own shop to self-made products to online services, everything is possible. Ultimately, the prerequisites are your personal passion for the field, the relevant knowledge and skills, and the demand from other people – your potential customers.

Summary of the business idea:

  • The idea must excite you.
  • You must have the necessary skills.
  • There must be a need you seek to solve.
  • Analyze trends.

The phases of a business idea

Make yourself self-employed, be your own boss, start a company and lead it to success. This sounds very tempting for many, but it requires a good business idea. Some people dream of a really big hit, as famous examples from Silicon Valley have shown. Whether it’s a small start as a self-employed person or a modern start-up with international potential: neither will work without a suitable idea. Every business idea goes through different phases, each of which can decide how successful the venture will ultimately be.

1. Recognize business idea

What trends are there? Which niches? Which products or services will or could be in demand in the future?

2. Develop a business idea

To have a plan. write business plan Get comrades on board. Check and evaluate the idea – and in the worst case, discard it again.

3. Protect business idea

Keep secrets to avoid attracting copycats. Check and register trademarks and patents. Make the idea as copy-safe as possible.

4. Present your business idea

Convince investors, attract financiers. Attract customers through clever marketing. motivate employees. Present yourself as a winner both internally and externally.

5. Implement the business idea

Transfer the plan from theory to practice. Work hard. stay the course. Do not give up.

6. Adjust the business idea

Make corrections, plan changes. Staying successful through adjustments and moving with the times. The first point in particular is already an enormous hurdle for many. The business idea to which one wants to devote oneself is simply missing. Everything seems to already exist and there is a lack of creativity to find your own business idea. Luckily, there are various tips and ways to systematically approach a business idea.

Criteria for a successful business idea in Kenya

Another challenge: Not every business idea promises success. Some are even doomed to fail from the start because the most important criteria of a business idea are not met. Anyone who tries anyway is only frustrated in the end and has gained an experience but at the same time lost a lot of money. Therefore, before you develop your own business idea, you should observe the following basic rules:


Developing a business idea in Kenya and successfully promoting it takes time, hard work and an enormous amount of perseverance. It is said that it takes at least three years for a new company like this to run smoothly. And by then you’ve usually changed, rethought or turned your original business model five times. In other words, what you start with will not be what you end up with. It is all the more important that you identify with the core of your business idea right from the start and are enthusiastic about it – because it will stay. If you don’t burn for it and don’t have passion, sooner or later you will lose your motivation and give up.


In order for the business idea to be a success and for you to be able to earn money with it, you need customers for your product or service. Quite a few founders make the mistake of being so enthusiastic about their idea that they think the world has been waiting for it. Your mistake: You think supply-oriented – and then you have to use a lot of marketing and advertising to convince potential customers that you (should) have a need. The other way around, it turns into a business: Develop a demand-oriented business model for which there is already a great demand, because you can use it to solve an existing, real (!) problem cheaply and easily. By the way, it doesn’t have to be a high-tech company, it can also be a good lounge bar in your town, because there are many young people there, but no good cocktail bar.


Unfortunately, the best and most progressive idea is useless if you are not able to realize it. Visions are an important building block for progress, but your project must always remain realistic enough that it can also be implemented – at affordable costs. Otherwise it’s just mind games. After all, you don’t have to be able to do everything on your own. In fact, the most successful startups are team formations. Here the co-founders complement each other with the necessary qualifications, experience and strengths. A team with three founding partners has often proven itself.

How you can find a good business idea in Kenya

Unfortunately, business ideas don’t usually fall out of the sky and if you don’t do anything other than hope that the right idea will fall in front of your feet, you often wait in vain. Most business ideas are not coincidences, but the result of a strategic and structured process. You can find a business idea with the following steps:

Start with Brainstorming

In order to develop a business idea that is as successful as possible, you must identify and understand market needs. Such analyzes can be delegated to other people but you can also have them carried out yourself. The aim is to find out where customers are dissatisfied or where the offer and expectations do not match. Important questions when brainstorming are, for example:

  • Who is complaining about what?
  • Where could something be made simpler?
  • Which products and services are too expensive?
  • Which product/service keeps causing trouble?
  • Where do consumers want change?
  • What annoys a large number of people?

Where customers encounter problems, there is often still potential for business ideas. Observe yourself or your environment to come across possible business ideas everywhere. Whenever you think “There must be something better/simpler/cheaper…” you may already be very close to an idea.

Analyze current trends

Numerous new business ideas can arise from new trends and developments. What is currently being discussed the most? Which products and offers are all the rage – and which ones will be in the near future? The more you keep up with the times and follow what’s happening in your industry or your targeted area, the better you can see where an opportunity arises. This has nothing to do with fortune telling or pure gambling. Rather, it is about observing and understanding which trends will prevail and continue to grow. Of course, it can never be said with 100% certainty that a trend will continue to rise steeply, but forecasts can certainly be made.

Solve an existing problem

Now that you have a precise picture of needs and trends, where things are headed, the next step is to develop suitable solutions. Anyone can complain about something that doesn’t exist, but real businessmen manage to come up with a good solution. It is precisely with this solution that you come up with a business idea. If you are unable to design a suitable solution on your own, for example because you lack certain skills, it can make sense to work with others and develop a business idea together. In this way, individual weaknesses and deficits can be compensated for.

Check out different possibilities

There are many ways to find a business idea. The first option requires some ingenuity: you develop something new, really innovative. A groundbreaking business idea can create an unrivaled product, but very few such inventions really catch on. But you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. You can also optimize, refine or further develop an existing product. The aim can be, for example, to adapt a product to customer needs much better or to simplify its handling.

Applying the 4P strategy when developing a business idea in Kenya

At the beginning, every business idea revolves around one point: an element from everyday life, from private life or from the current job. Before you start looking for your business idea, you should think about what element you want to build it around: your passion, the audience, a problem or a product:


If you want to build the business around your hobby, your passion or a specific topic, you should subject it to a more detailed analysis: Do you have an idea that you want to present to the world, special knowledge or a specific topic that you want to share with the audience want to share? More importantly, are there already products or companies that serve these areas?


Analyze your job environment, your family or your circle of friends – this way you will find people who can become potential customers. Will your business be geared towards offering a service, product, or information to these people? Today, practically all interests can serve a certain audience, they just have to be shared.


Pay attention to needs, deficiencies and disadvantages that you are confronted with in everyday life. If there is a problem, you need a solution – your business can build on that. The question is: can you make people’s lives or their jobs easier with this problem solving?


Look around you at work or in your private life: Are you missing a product or information that could appeal to a broad mass of customers? Or have you already developed a product that you could sell? You might be able to fill a niche with a product like this, but be careful not to fall in love with your idea too much and ignore its weaknesses.

Tips for a good business idea in Kenya

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet that is guaranteed to lead to a successful business idea. The following tips can still help you on the way to your business idea:

Remain courageous

No business idea can be developed and implemented without courage. There is always a risk, you cannot tell beforehand whether everything is going according to plan and there is always the possibility that your business idea will fail because the implementation does not work or there is no demand. However, you shouldn’t let that slow you down. Courage is an important quality for every self-employed person.

Distinguish between positive criticism and discouragement

It should be clear to you from the outset: there will always be someone who find fault with your business idea. Sometimes that’s valid criticism that you should take to heart in order to make further improvements – but other times it’s nothing more than destructive jibes. You can safely forget the latter. What’s important is that you spot the difference to take advantage of the valuable feedback without suffering from the whiners.

Learn from others

There is nothing wrong with looking at what others have done. You can potentially learn a lot for your own business idea. Plus, you don’t have to make mistakes that someone else has made before you. In this way, some hurdles can be avoided without having to go through the painful experience yourself.

Go digital, it’s the trend

The digitization of the Kenyan economy is not just a buzzword of the modern age – it is actually a revolutionary force that has massively changed the economy and will continue to change it. Old business models have been replaced by digital and modern ones. And the process is still going on. So think digitally, future-oriented and a little crazy, go crazy with what could still be “digitalized”. But please not as an end in itself, but because it makes it better, cheaper, more convenient.