Businesses you can start with Ksh5000

By Justine Nyachieo

Very often, we tend to underestimate the power of money that is in our grasp. Instead of swallowing the humble pie and starting small, we wait perpetually for bigger amounts so that we can do big things.

Unfortunately, this BIG money dream does not always come true and so we get stuck at the same financial state forever…and the cycle of poverty continues.

Today I would like to show you just how much power Ksh5,000 has. If you invest it wisely, you can build an empire with it. But if you choose to spend it, then you can as well buy a few snacks and drinks with it and make merry. The choice is yours.

Invest in unit trusts

Under unit trusts, you approach an investment company such as Britam, Genghis Capital or Old Mutual. You give them your Ksh5,000 and allow them to invest it on your behalf. In turn, the investment company will add your money to their pool of resources (where other investors have put their money as well) and appoint a fund manager for it.

At the end of the year you can get decent returns for it – depending on how well the fund you invested in performed.

The best thing about unit trusts is that you can start saving from as little as Ksh500 per month. Moreover, you can receive sound financial advice from the investment company which you can then use to improve your life.

Invest in a Sacco

Investing your money is a SACCO will enable you to borrow up to three times what you saved. This means if you save Ksh5,000 in one year you can borrow up to Ksh15,000 to do a further investment such as starting a business.

In that case, your Ksh5,000 will enable you to leverage and access good debt for investment purposes.

Hire a Laptop, Pay for Internet and Start Online Freelancing

What is Online Freelancing? Freelancing basically involves finding some online jobs and doing them for a pay. For instance, if you are good at graphic design you can look for online jobs on a site like If you are good at video transcribing you can look for freelancing assignments on sites like oDesk.

If you’re good at writing you can check out sites like, or even

If you have some Ksh5,000 and lots of free-time, why not invest in freelancing business by simply hiring a laptop and paying for internet for up to one month?

Start a Blog

The job of a blogger is to write articles that attract people to their blogs. The more traffic your blog gets, the more the business you can derive from it. For instance, you can apply for Google Adsense monetization program.

Alternatively, you can sell your blog’s advertising space or endorse other people’s products for a commission. In this regard, you can use your Ksh5,000 to purchase a domain and pay for web hosting for your blog.

Write and sell eBooks

If blogging doesn’t sound like a good idea to you then you may want to consider writing eBooks and selling them on online retail sites such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Each time your eBook is downloaded you get royalties (70 percent royalty or 35 percent royalty depending on set policies).

The more your eBooks are downloaded the more income you get. The best thing about writing eBooks as opposed to blogs is that you can receives royalties for your work for as long as your Books are downloaded.

Buy airtime scratch cards in wholesale and re-sell

Maybe you’re not a good writer. Or maybe even you don’t know how to use a computer. Then how about buying airtime scratch cards wholesale and re-selling it?

Although the profit margins are not as wide as you would expect, there’s still some money that can be made in this business. In addition to scratch cards you can re-sell newspapers. Most newspaper companies give up to Ksh7 commission for each paper sold.

Mobile food delivery

Are you a good cook? Can you make some nice snacks? Then why not start a small food delivery business with the little capital you have? You can particularly target middle-income corporate workers who work in high-end suburbs where there are no affordable sources of decent food.

Alternatively, you can supply food to workers in construction sites. With a bit of effort and good marketing, the opportunities for this kind of business are unlimited.

Office supplies

With the devolved system of governance in the country, most up-country towns are growing very fast. Big companies and start-ups are setting up offices there. Your opportunity in this case lies in marketing things like plastic staff ID cards, rubberstamps and even business cards.

For instance, you can source for business cards in Nairobi for Ksh.2 per piece and supply them upcountry for Ksh8 per piece after designing them and printing them. If you don’t have a good printer for the job you can outsource printing services.

The secret to succeeding in this business lies in good marketing and building customer loyalty.

Supply stationery to remote areas

Most schools in the rural areas have short supply of stationery – school revision papers, printing papers, diaries etc. On the other hand, town areas like Nairobi have an over-supply of these products.

As an innovative businessman, you can think about sourcing for stationery for cheap prices in towns and delivering them to schools in rural and remote areas at a profit. You can further market your products during head teacher’s meetings which take place at regional and national levels annually.

You can start small with a few schools and keep growing bit by bit as your capital expands.

Final word

I can go on and on. Clearly, there are many ways to invest Ksh5,000 provided one is willing to think outside the box. The most important qualities needed in this case are patience, good marketing skills and ability to spot opportunities where others see impossibilities.

The writer is a businessman


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