Small manufacturing businesses ideas in Kenya

Recently, there has been a growing number of small manufacturing business ideas in Kenya.

The Kenyan government is striving to improve the country’s competitiveness on international markets by supporting small and medium-sized industries and developing local skills and resources. This will create new jobs for skilled labor which are more attractive than informal employment or unemployment.

Small manufacturing businesses in Kenya

Here we will discuss some ideas that can help you generate a lot of revenue.

Soap making

Soap making is a great way to get started because it doesn’t require any special equipment or ingredients.

All you need is measuring cups and spoons, a stovetop pot, and containers for your finished product.

It’s also easy to find recipes online if you’re not sure where to start!

Personal care products

Another opportunity is to make your own personal care products, like shampoo, lotion, or soap.

This can be a very lucrative business because people are always looking for the most natural and organic ingredients possible.

A metal fabrication company

This is what is commonly known as the ‘juakali’ industry .

Steel or aluminum products are manufactured out of metal raw materials.

You can make castings from molten metal, such as iron or bronze.You can also make items made of metal such as gates, tables ,chairs and wheelbarrows.

A furniture company

Carpentry is one such skill that has been perfected in Kenya for many years now.

You can establish a furniture company that makes products such as tables, chairs ,desks and beds from wood or metal.

If you have carpentry skills , then you can start a business in this field and sell the items to nearby schools, churches or hospitals.


You can make artifacts for sale. All that is required are some simple tools like hand drills, handsaws, hammers and chisels as well as a work table and some storage space.

Kenya’s tourism industry is thriving and there is a big opportunity for you to sell curios and handmade artifacts to tourists.

This is a low-cost and sustainable small business that can make an income from the tourist industry.


This entails creating traditional handmade crafts like bead work, basketry, pottery, weaving or even metalworking as long as it’s something you can do from home.

All you need is a simple loom which can be made from bamboo or other easily sourced materials as well as the raw material like cotton and hemp to make your own basketry. You can make a range of baskets from simple hand-held ones to large ones that can be used for storage.

Manufacturing of leather goods and accessories.

This entails making leather products such as handbags, bags, shoes, jackets, belts and gloves.

This is a home based business idea in Kenya that will require the entrepreneur to have a sewing machine or get one on credit from their local bank or sacco.The profit margins are high because of the low overhead costs.

The artisan can do a lot more than just stitching, they can also make shoes from scratch. This may require purchasing leather which is available locally.

Manufacturing of shoes, boots, slippers or sandals.

To make footwear , you need a number of machines such as sewing machine, peg-cutting machine for soles and heels, lasts (molds) from which shoes are made.

Besides machinery, there are raw materials like leather or rubber that need to be processed before they can be used in making footwear.You can source rubbers from the local markets .

For low-cost footwear production, leather can be used directly without any additional processing steps to make the sole of a shoe.

Molding plastics

You can make money by molding plastics for items such as household ware, garden pots and plant container holders.

You would need a machine to melt the plastic together onto the pre-made object before it cools down. This will cost you around Ksh 100,000 which you can import from China and save on time and money.

Once you have the equipment and molds, all that’s left to do is invest in producing your product.

Compared with wood products or metal goods production labour costs are low so it’s easy for small businesses to thrive on this type of production.

One of the benefits to this type of production is that your company can be quite mobile, meaning you don’t need a lot of space in order to get started and all materials are made from plastic which means it won’t take up too much room.

This opportunity is profitable as you don’t need to keep an inventory on hand, instead simply order more materials when they run low so you won’t have any large upfront costs either.

Manufacturing toothpicks

This can be a profitable business in Kenya since all the toothpicks that are sold in Kenya are imported mostly from China.

You will need to invest in raw materials such as bamboo and tooth pick processing equipment which you can order from Alibaba and have it imported to Kenya.

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