Still Unemployed? 5 Best Business Ideas You Can Start With 500 Shillings

By Kibet Tobias

Are you jobless and desperate to start earning money? You are not alone. Research shows that many Kenyans between the age of 24-35 are unemployed and looking for jobs.

The beauty about not having a job is that you can decide to venture into your own business and if you remain consistent and put in the time and the effort required, your business will certainly grow.

Without further ado, here are 5 genius business ideas you can start with 5 shillings only!!

1. Sell fruits

I recently shared the story of one man in Nairobi called Mulei who started his business with 200 shillings only. He bought mangoes in Marikiti Market which were being sold at 10 bob per piece and he resold the mangoes at 20 shillings each in town.

A few months down the line, his business has grown exponentially and he now employs 8 people who earn 15K a month each.

This goes to show you that even a small venture such as selling mangoes or other varieties fruits can make you money.

2. Sell keyholders

Keyholders are sold for as little as 10 shillings, and if you do your research further, you could even get them at 5 shillings each.

Once you have bought the keyholders, you can resell them at 20 shillings and make 100% profit!

3. Sell handkerchiefs

I don’t know about you but many times I forget to carry my handkerchief and whenever I find someone selling one I buy immediately because a handkerchief is a necessity!

With that in mind, selling handkerchiefs is a very profitable business. In Eastleigh, you can get 6 of them at 50 shillings and once you resell them you will end up making a profit of 130 shillings!

4. Sell Eggs

You have probably bought one of the mayai boilos sold near your local stage and maybe you have never thought of it as a viable business.

Selling boiled eggs is another great business you can start with just 50 shillings! You can buy an egg at 10 shillings and sell each at 20 shillings. With time, this is a business that can flourish!

5. Sell Sugarcane

On a hot and sunny day, everyone loves a juicy, sugarcane and selling sugarcane is a business that is very profitable and does not need much capital to start!

One stick of sugarcane can go for around 5 shillings or 10 shillings, and out of one stick, you can sell smaller quantities that can total to 100 shillings.

With 50 shillings, that is a return investment of 500 shillings.

As you can see, the jobs that most people despise and look down upon are the ones that bring in money. And instead of you complaining that there are no jobs, how about starting your own hustle and working hard on your small business idea?

You might fear what people will think of you but you must be willing to step out of your comfort zone and start hustling to make money and grow your empire.

All successful entrepreneurs started small, therefore do not despise humble beginnings. Good luck!

What other business can one start with 50 shillings? Kindly let us know in the comments.

Tobias is a Communications Officer at Jobs Kenya Network. Email:

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