The Worst Businesses to Start in Kenya: A Comprehensive Guide

Thinking of starting a business in Kenya? Read this guide to learn about the riskiest ventures you should avoid.

May 29, 2023 - 19:00
May 29, 2023 - 19:19
The Worst Businesses to Start in Kenya: A Comprehensive Guide
The Worst Businesses to Start in Kenya: A Comprehensive Guide

In the throbbing heart of Africa's entrepreneurial landscape, Kenya stands as a beacon of possibilities and opportunities. This East African economic powerhouse has fostered an environment that nurtures entrepreneurial endeavors, thus facilitating economic growth and job creation. However, not all business ventures are equally promising. In a field blooming with potential, some enterprises have proven more treacherous than others. This guide delves into why certain businesses are among the worst to start in Kenya.

 Worst Business Ventures in Kenya

1. Public Transport Business (Matatu)

The "Matatu" industry, Kenya's version of the public transport system, is an investment labyrinth. The reality includes daily bribes to police officers, relentless vehicle maintenance, unending Sacco fees, and the risk of being defrauded by your crew. Thus, the matatu business is a volatile mix of instability and unpredictability.

2. Betting Firms

Betting firms may paint a picture of lucrative returns, but the reality is a rigorous maze of challenges. The Kenyan government imposes heavy taxation on these firms, making the profit margin less attractive. Furthermore, the growing competition from numerous online and physical betting firms leaves smaller fish gasping for breath. It is an industry that requires deep pockets and a knack for navigating gray areas of ethics and legislation.

3. Government Tendering

While tendering to the government may seem like a gold mine, it can be an abyss of frustration. Securing a tender is long and arduous, requiring many connections, verifications, and massive capital investment. Even after completing a project, the agony of delayed payments and bureaucratic red tape turns this venture into a high-risk gamble.

4. Political Blogging

Engaging in political blogging might seem like a noble venture, but the perils that accompany it can be distressing. Political bloggers in Kenya often find themselves in the crosshairs of influential figures, facing threats of lawsuits, blackmail, and sometimes even physical harm. Despite its potential profitability, it's a venture with severe personal risk.

5. Insurance Company

Starting an insurance company can be likened to swimming with sharks. It requires a colossal capital investment, and penetrating a market dominated by giant multinationals is no small feat. The risk of fraudulent claims and the intricate art of calculating risk-to-reward ratios make this a challenging and risky venture.

6. Travel Agency

In a world increasingly reliant on the Internet, traditional travel agencies face the harsh realities of obsolescence. Potential clients can now plan their vacations online, reducing the role of travel agents. The pressures of meeting client expectations amidst dwindling demand make this business challenging.

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While Kenya is a vibrant hub of entrepreneurial activity, it is crucial to approach any potential venture with a critical eye. The adage "all that glitters is not gold" holds for the matatu, betting, government tendering, political blogging, insurance, and travel agency businesses. Remember, the key to a successful business lies not just in its potential for profitability but also in the sustainability, demand,

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Joseph Richard Joseph is a graduate of Mathematics and Computer Science (Applied Option). With expertise in Technology and Finance, he brings his knowledge to the field, demonstrating an authoritative understanding of these interrelated areas. Joseph is pursuing a Master's in Software Engineering, further expanding his skill set.