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Unique Business Opportunities To Pursue in Kakamega
Money Management

Unique Business Opportunities To Pursue in Kakamega

An aerial view of Kakamega town. PHOTO|People Daily
An aerial view of Kakamega town. PHOTO|People Daily

Kakamega is the tenth largest town in Kenya, with a population of just shy of 2 million people. Established 30km north of the Equator, Kakamega is among the most fertile lands in Kenya, making it ideal for agricultural activities. This town is considered the heart of the Luhya people and has most of its population living in the rural part of the county. 

Kakamega, therefore, presents unique opportunities for businesses of all calibres. In this article, we will discuss some of the unique businesses you can start in Kakamega.


A wholesale business is where you sell products in bulk to other retailers, companies, or consumers who buy in bulk. The wholesale business operates on a business-to-business (B2B) model, which has its advantages. You get to sell in high volumes, which will give you better profit margins. Since you are selling in high volumes, your goods get to move faster as compared to a business-to-consumer (B2C) model. The B2B model also has more consistent sales as you are dealing with other retailers and companies.

In order to start a wholesale business in Kakamega, you need to conduct thorough research. You need to understand which products are in high demand in the locality. The demand for different products varies from location to location. Do not assume. 

Research also to understand the pricing of the products you want to be selling. Understand the retail prices, the wholesale prices, and why you will be buying the products. This will help you work out your margins. 

It is also crucial that you understand the buying behaviour of consumers of the products. The consumer's buying behaviour will influence the retailer's buying behaviour. Understand their earning capacity, when they get paid, and how they prioritise spending.

You will also need to establish good relationships with suppliers and your customers. Good customer care will earn you free marketing through word of mouth. Additionally, have a delivery service to get the goods to the retailer as fast as they need them.

Grain Milling 

Grain milling is a great idea in Kakamega since the area is known for its agricultural productivity. In Kakamega, you can easily access the raw material you need to grind into flour. The main grain that you will grind is maize, but you can also grind sorghum and millet, among others.

There are two business models you can choose from. You can decide to sell the product of milling as packaged flour or you can sell milling as a service. For milling as a service, you only need to buy the milling equipment, find a great location with good traffic near a residential area where people will be bringing their grains and mill for them for a fee. This is a viable model in the rural parts of Kakamega. To scale in this business, you will need to establish posho mills in different locations.

The other model is that you can choose to buy grains during the harvesting season when supply is high and price is low. After buying in bulk, you will need to treat the grains and store them. Then you will process the grains, adding vitamins and minerals to fortify the flour and make it more nutritious, packaging the flour, and selling it.

This model is a more robust business model, as you will need quite significant capital upfront. You will also need to establish your distribution as well as your marketing and branding. 

Nonetheless, whichever model you choose, grain milling is a brilliant business idea in Kakamega.

Agricultural Supplies Store

Since Kakamega is an agricultural county, having an agricultural supply store can be a profitable business. 

To establish an agricultural supply store, you will need to understand what the farmers at Kakamega are doing, the challenges they face and how they address those challenges. Some of the products that you will stock include fertilisers, herbicides, and seedlings, among others.

Finding fast-moving products will help you know what to stock first in order to maintain your cash flow. Products such as pesticides and herbicides, seeds, farm inputs, and equipment such as knapsacks are among the products that are most in demand.

You will also need to establish great relationships with your suppliers. Your suppliers will ensure that you are stocked every time you need them. A good relationship with them will show that you know the latest products on the market and that you can also negotiate for discounts to improve your profit margins.

To have a thriving store, ensure you are in a prime location where farmers can easily get to you. Additionally, you can establish a delivery service to get the products to the farmers wherever they are. This convenience can be your differentiating factor in the market.

Eco-tourism services

Kakamega has a number of tourist attractions that you can also utilise in creating an ecotourism business. An eco-tourism business is a business that integrates tourism with environmental, cultural, and social elements. 

Some tourist attractions in Kakamega include forests such as Kakamega Forest National Reserve and Malava Forest. These green, lush attractions can be beautiful but they need to be maintained to stay like that. Therefore, for instance, when creating a package for taking tourists around the forest, you can also educate them on how to conserve the environment.

There are other tourist attractions in Kakamega, including the Muliro Gardens, Rondo Retreat Centre, Bukhungu Stadium, Ilesi Pottery Centre, Nabongo Cultural Centre, Isiukhu Falls, and the crying stone.

A successful ecotourism business in Kakamega will require you to establish a vibrant social media presence, as that will be your main marketing platform. Also, ensure you blow your clients' minds to leverage word-of-mouth by making your experience very creative and engaging.

Bodaboda business

Motorcycles, aka boda bodas, have revolutionised the way we move around. Areas previously regarded as inaccessible are now accessible. Kakamega is a ripe county for the bodaboda business. 

The bodaboda business in this county can be done in two ways: passenger bodaboda or luggage bodaboda. Passenger bodaboda is mostly in urban areas with high traffic. Luggage bodaboda is better in rural interiors. These luggage bodaboda will be used to move produce from the shamba to the market and carry farm inputs like seeds and fertilisers back to the shamba.

This is not to say that with a bodaboda, you cannot do both; however, for the luggage bodaboda, you will require a stronger motorbike compared to the passenger bodaboda.

To venture into this business is not complicated, as you will require a driving licence showing you are a certified motorbike driver, the motorbike itself, insurance for the motorbike and a county permit.

The next step will be finding an operating location, known as a stage where you will be picking customers. To grow the business, you can buy several motorcycles and employ drivers.

Real estate

Kakamega presents an opportunity to capitalise on the real estate gap. The town is growing and that means that real estate needs to catch up. 

The first opportunity in real estate in Kakamega is in the reselling of plots of land. With the town growing, more people are buying pieces of land either to build their homes or to develop them into rental properties or commercial properties. 

You can also take advantage of this and develop retail shopping spaces. Well-developed, up-to-date shopping spaces will be highly competitive in Kakamega.

Furthermore, you can develop rental properties focusing on bedside units and one-bedroom units, which will also fetch you good returns.

To establish a thriving real estate business in Kakamega, ensure you conduct research to understand the earning potential of the people in your establishing area, understand the market and the real estate in the market, and then find a way to differentiate yourself.

Wrapping Up

Kakamega is a county ripe with opportunities. However, to take advantage of these opportunities, you have to understand the people who live in the county. Understanding their pain points and motivations is the route to unlocking opportunities. The opportunities shared here are just a few; there is much more that Kakamega has to offer.

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Stephen Kimani aka KIMSpeaks is a thought leader, speaker, and writer. He is also the Founder of Living the DREAM. He is passionate about learning and teaching ideas that empower people to improve the quality of their lives. You can connect with Kimani on LinkedIn.

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