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Hustling from home: Popular small businesses

Many families are using such hustles to supplement income

In Summary

• Micro-businesses are all the rage because of the low capital requirements

Groundnuts are a common food in East Africa
Groundnuts are a common food in East Africa

What happens when income falls short of your expenses? Lots of Kenyans, especially women, are seeing the value of home-based micro-businesses in boosting family finances.

Micro-businesses are becoming popular with stay-at-home mums because of the low capital requirements. Though the law demands that anybody engaging in commercial activities should get a business licence, the very small-scale nature of home-based enterprises means they don’t attract much attention from the authorities.

Popular home-based enterprises include:

  1. 1. Roasting and packaging peanuts

Unless you buy njugu karanga from high-end retail outlets, you most likely are chewing roasted peanuts prepared in somebody’s kitchen. All that's required for the business is raw peanuts and plastic packaging material.

  1. 2. Selling charcoal

Charcoal is a popular source of fuel for cooking. You can buy charcoal in bulk and sell it in small quantities to your neighbours. Your unique selling point is the convenience of buying next door. Advertising is by word of mouth.

  1. 3. Selling foodstuff

You can make a profit buying grains and pulses (such as beans, peas and green grams) in bulk at wholesale price then selling small quantities to your neighbours. The same can be done with fruits and vegetables.

  1. 4. Making snacks for sale

Have a talent for cooking? Why not make money selling snacks? Easy to make snacks include potato chips, chapati, mandazi, cakes and popcorn.

If you choose to start a home-based micro-enterprise, you must be ready to sell your products door-to-door. Maintain high hygiene standards to ensure customers don't get sick from consuming your products.

This story first appeared on the digital magazine Star Sasa, accessible on Sundays for Sh10 by dialling *550*3#