Best business to start in rural areas in Kenya in 2023

If you prefer to live in the countryside (the cost of living is cheaper, the air cleaner, and there is more peace, to mention but a few benefits of leading a rural lifestyle), you can still make good money with the right business.

In short, today there are more promising business opportunities that remain under/unexploited in our villages and small towns.

This guide will be sharing some of the finest untapped business ideas you can start in your village/small town and will be seeking to answer the question “What is the best business to start in rural areas in Kenya?”.

Read to the end.

Best Business to Start in Rural Areas in Kenya

Hair Dressing/Barbershop

Hairdressing/barbershop is one of the best business to start in rural areas in Kenya.

Thanks to the rural electrification program by the state, you can easily introduce a hair salon/barbershop in almost every corner of the country.

The business can give you attractive returns especially if you set it in a place with a bulging population and all you need is great skills and professionalism.

You can even have an all-in-one hair care shop (you run a salon and a barbershop side-by-side depending on the market need).


Over 20% of all Kenyans are young people and we all know that most are tech savvy- from helping youths make college/university application online to selling movies from your Cyber, there is a ton of services you can offer from your rural location.

Of course, others may need basic services such as photocopy and printing and you can even be teaching computer packages.

There are other popular services including playing computer games and software installation services.

In a nutshell, a cyber can be worth starting so long as your preferred location has good internet connectivity and security.



Of course, agriculture is the backbone of our country’s economy and people will never stop eating.

Now, if you are passionate about the farm, you may consider engaging in activities such as milk production (and processing), poultry farming, fruit farming, bee keeping, horticulture, and more.

Don’t believe the naysayers- with good planning and a big-enough land, farming can make you a millionaire.


Offering transport services

Hey! Most Kenyans are reluctant to walk and those living in the rural areas are not an exception.

In truth, even in rural Kenya, a good number of people needs means of rushing to their workstations, the market, school (think of mums with kids to take to school)…we can go on and on.

And that represents a good opportunity if you feel that transport is your thing.

And you have options: You can invest in a vehicle or hire one for a start (or even go the boda boda way if you don’t have enough capital).

In short, you can make a decent living offering transportation services to folks in your area, again with professionalism.



What skills are you good at? Are you good at sales and marketing? Counseling? Agriculture? Law? or what?

If you have excellent skills in any area (even noble ones such as financial education), you can set up shop as a consultant in your rural town/village and thrive financially.

Take this into account:

In Kenya, an average professional consultant earns between Ksh 250 (minimum) to Ksh 8000 (for law firms) per every hour of consultation.

And the good thing is that you can be doing other things on the side (when not consulting) for example, farming, selling in a shop (you can set up one), etc.

Try consultancy, if you want to continue making money even after retiring to the village.


Cycle Repairs

Opportunities associated with the motorcycle industry are inexhaustible.

Yes, since there are countless boda bodas in rural Kenya, you can opt to run a boda boda repair and maintenance garage.

Better still, you can open a motor cycle spare parts shop next door meaning more money into your pocket.

So, why is this a good business to start in rural areas in Kenya?

Well, the number of boda boda repairers/mechanics is not growing as fast as the number of new bikes on our roads.

This means that the demand for repair service keep shooting up on year-to-year basis.

In fact, in many rural places, riders have to hassle to reach their nearest towns for their broken bodas to be fixed.

Give it a thought, if you are skilled in this area.


I really don’t need to explain this.

You know villages and small towns are the most vulnerable areas of our country (where plenty of people are often in need of cash bailouts).

So, lending money to your neighbors for some interest can be a brilliant business idea.

You will need to be careful not to lose your money and if you can control default, this can be a sure bet in any rural setting in Kenya.

Making and selling charcoal briquettes

Briquettes is an alternative source of fuel for cooking (it’s considered one of the best alternatives to charcoal).

Remember that the government banned the cutting down of trees in many places resulting in the price of charcoal going through the roof.

Also, there has been a hike in the prices of gas and electricity which has left Kenyans at crossroads (By the way, how many Kenyans use the so gas and ‘stima’ in the villages?)

To cut the long story short, with the right tech in place you can produce charcoal briquettes from local materials such as sawdust, wood chips, coffee beans waste, maize spindles, etc. and make millions.


Wrapping up

I hope that this has given you an idea of the best small business to start in rural areas in Kenya.

Needless to say, we have not exhausted the list -different areas have dozens of other profitable businesses you can do and you can discover these extra ideas when doing market research.

So, investigate what other businesses you can do in the area you are targeting even as you evaluate whether the above ideas are worth it.

Good luck.


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