Don’t Start These Businesses In Kenya – #7 Worst Picks

Last updated on December 12th, 2023 at 11:20 am

If you’re thinking of diving into the business world in Kenya, hold that thought. You might have a burning entrepreneurial spirit and a pocketful of dreams, but not all ventures lead to pots of gold under the Kenyan sun.

The truth is, some businesses are like quicksand; they look solid until you step in and find yourself sinking fast. This blog post is your warning sign, your map around these treacherous pits.

In Kenya’s vibrant economy, dabbling in political blogging or setting up an offline taxi stand could be akin to throwing seeds on concrete – they’re just not going to grow.

We’ve compiled the top 7 businesses that are tough nuts to crack in this East African hub based on market realities like over-saturation and cutthroat competition.

By steering clear from these risky endeavors, we aim to guide you towards investments with brighter prospects.

So if you want to avoid common pitfalls and set sail for success instead of struggle in Kenya’s economic waters, keep reading! We’re here to help buoy your business plans with insider knowledge and safer alternatives.

Ready? Let’s dive right into it!

Top 10 Worst Businesses to Start in Kenya

Looking for worst business to start in kenya?

Political Blogging, Offline Taxi Business, Insurance Company, Travel Agency, Second-Hand Clothes Business, Software Company, Photography, Betting Firm, Shylock Business and Tender Businesses are some of the worst businesses to start in Kenya due to over-saturation in the market and lack of demand.

Political Blogging

This worst business to start in kenya will come as a shocker!

See, engaging in political blogging may seem like a powerful way to voice your opinions and spark change, but it ranks as one of the worst business ventures you might consider in Kenya.

With a challenging market flooded by numerous voices, standing out becomes a daunting task. Your words compete with established names and mainstream media giants who dominate the digital space.

To monetize your blog effectively, you’ll be chasing limited advertising revenue within a highly scrutinized segment fraught with legal risks and potential backlash from different political factions.

Audience engagement can be unpredictable, making stable income streams more of an uphill battle than in other niches. Plus, navigating sensitive content without crossing lines requires finesse that not all bloggers master.

Now imagine trying to gain traction for an offline taxi business amidst this atmosphere; another sector crowded and competitive awaits your attention next.

Offline Taxi Business

Yes, trust me, this is the worst business to start in Kenya!

Transitioning from the challenges of political blogging, another unfavorable business venture in Kenya is offline taxi services. In this highly competitive industry, the potential for success may be limited due to various factors such as oversaturation and stiff competition.

With numerous existing players vying for customers’ attention, entering the offline taxi business presents significant obstacles.

The transportation sector presents a challenging landscape for new entrants due to high market saturation and intense competition. The demand for innovative solutions and unique value propositions is crucial given the abundance of established players.

Insurance Company

Starting an insurance company in Kenya presents significant challenges due to regulatory hurdles and intense competition in the market. The insurance industry is highly saturated, with numerous well-established companies dominating the sector.

Additionally, stringent government regulations and compliance requirements add complexity to entering this business. Entrepreneurs seeking profitable ventures may want to explore alternative business ideas that offer greater potential for success in the Kenyan market.

Travel Agency

Starting a travel agency in Kenya can be challenging due to stiff competition and market saturation.

The tourism industry is highly competitive, making it difficult for new ventures to gain a foothold.

With changing travel trends and the rise of online booking platforms, traditional travel agencies face increasing pressure to innovate and adapt to survive in the market.

And that’s why a travel company is the worst business to start in Kenya!

To stand out, you’ll need a unique selling proposition, strong networking skills with hotels and airlines, as well as thorough knowledge of local tourist attractions. Keep in mind that building trust with clients is crucial in this business; hence excellent customer service will be your ultimate differentiator.

Read also: 7 Proven Marketing Strategies for a Travel Agency in Kenya

Second-Hand Clothes Business

The second-hand clothes business in Kenya faces tough competition and potential regulatory issues, making it one of the worst businesses to start.

Over-saturation in the market and an abundance of similar businesses create a challenging environment for new entrants.

Additionally, with high demand and limited growth potential, this business may not offer sustainable profitability or long-term success.

Entrepreneurs seeking viable alternatives could explore e-commerce or agribusiness, which are growing industries with higher potential for success in the Kenyan market.

By considering these factors before starting a business in Kenya, you can make informed decisions that maximize your chances for success.

Read also: #5 Sites to Sell Second-Hand Items in Kenya

Software Company

Starting a software company in Kenya poses significant challenges, with high competition and a saturated market.

The technology sector is rapidly evolving, making it tough for new entrants to establish themselves.

Additionally, regulatory hurdles and the need for substantial investment further complicate the landscape.

Many Kenyan businesses fail due to lack of foresight, indicating the importance of thorough planning before venturing into such a competitive industry.

And that’s why it is the worst business to start in Kenya!

Entrepreneurs seeking profitable business ideas in Kenya should consider alternative sectors like e-commerce and agribusiness. These industries offer more opportunities for growth and have lower barriers to entry compared to the software market.


Transitioning from discussing the challenges of starting a software company to another business venture in Kenya, photography is also listed as one of the worst businesses to start.

This suggests potential difficulties and limited growth prospects in this industry. Competition within the photography market may be high, and demand for professional services could be limited.

Establishing a successful photography business may require identifying niche markets or exploring alternative revenue streams such as event photography or stock photo sales. Additionally, understanding local cultural preferences and diversifying service offerings might help overcome some of the challenges associated with pursuing a career in photography in Kenya.

Betting Firm

Consider avoiding starting a betting firm in Kenya as it is listed among the worst businesses to start. The industry faces high competition and strict regulations, making it a challenging venture to succeed in.

Additionally, there are ethical considerations regarding gambling that may limit the potential for long-term success.

It’s important to carefully evaluate business opportunities before investing your time and resources. Transitioning from this, let’s explore another business on our list of risky ventures – Shylock Business.

Shylock Business

After discussing the challenges of starting a betting firm, it’s important to also highlight the risks associated with venturing into Shylock business in Kenya. The lending industry is highly regulated, with stringent laws and restrictions that make it difficult for new entrants to establish themselves in this sector.

Additionally, the high competition and lack of demand for informal money-lending services pose significant obstacles for individuals looking to start a Shylock business.

The limited growth potential and regulatory constraints surrounding Shylock businesses make them one of the worst ventures to consider in Kenya. Despite the potential profitability, the complex legal landscape and fierce competition within this space can ultimately lead to considerable challenges for entrepreneurs aiming to create a successful lending enterprise.

Tender Businesses

Starting a tender business in Kenya can be challenging due to intense competition and stringent requirements. The market is saturated, making it difficult for new players to gain a foothold.

Furthermore, navigating through the complex regulatory landscape can be daunting, with strict adherence necessary to secure government tenders. It’s crucial to weigh these factors carefully before venturing into this field.

Considering alternative business opportunities such as e-commerce or agribusiness might present more promising prospects for budding entrepreneurs.

Why These Businesses Don’t Work in Kenya

Many of these businesses face over-saturation in the market, high competition, and lack of demand, making them unprofitable ventures. Find out why you should avoid them and explore better alternatives by reading the full article.

Over-saturation in the market

The problem of over-saturation in the market affects many business ventures in Kenya. Competition is fierce, and demand for certain products or services may be limited. For instance, when it comes to starting a software company, you will encounter numerous established players vying for market share.

Similarly, opening an insurance company presents significant challenges due to the number of existing providers saturating the market. In such scenarios, considering alternative business opportunities with better growth potential becomes crucial.

High competition

In addition to over-saturation in the market, high competition is another significant factor contributing to the challenges faced by certain businesses in Kenya. Businesses such as offline taxi services, insurance companies, travel agencies, and second-hand clothing stores face fierce competition from existing players in their respective industries.

The excessive number of similar businesses vying for the same pool of customers creates a difficult environment for new entrants.

Furthermore, starting a software company also presents hurdles due to high competition in the technology sector. The presence of established software firms and numerous startups intensifies the competitive landscape.

Lack of demand

Starting a business that struggles due to lack of demand can be disappointing and financially draining. Businesses like offline taxis, travel agencies, photography, and second-hand clothing stores have experienced these challenges in Kenya.

High competition and oversaturation of the market contribute to this problem. For example, political blogging faces limited audience engagement due to political fatigue among Kenyans.

Understanding these factors is essential for assessing potential business opportunities effectively.

It’s crucial to evaluate the demand for your products or services before launching a new venture – especially in highly competitive industries such as software development or betting firms.

By carefully analyzing consumer trends and economic indicators, you can uncover viable business opportunities with high growth potential.

Considering alternatives like e-commerce or agribusiness could be more promising in light of market saturation and low demand in certain sectors.

Alternatives to Consider

Consider exploring e-commerce, agribusiness, and real estate as more viable and profitable alternatives to the risky business ventures in Kenya.


E-commerce provides a promising opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs in Kenya. With the increasing internet penetration and smartphone usage across the country, setting up an online store can be a lucrative venture.

The demand for convenience in shopping and access to a wide range of products presents a favorable environment for e-commerce businesses to thrive. Additionally, by leveraging social media platforms and digital marketing strategies, you can effectively reach potential customers nationwide, tapping into the growing trend of online shopping.

As you explore business opportunities, consider the potential of e-commerce in Kenya’s evolving market landscape. Embracing technological advancements and adapting to consumer behavior shifts towards online purchasing can position your business for success in this digital era.


After considering the challenges and potential pitfalls of certain business ventures in Kenya, it’s important to explore more viable alternatives that offer better prospects. Agribusiness presents itself as a promising avenue for entrepreneurial success.

With the growing demand for fresh produce and agricultural products, investing in agribusiness can provide lucrative opportunities for those looking to start a sustainable and profitable venture.

Engaging in agribusiness not only contributes to the country’s food security but also offers substantial financial rewards. The rapidly expanding market for agricultural products and the increasing focus on sustainable farming practices make agribusiness an attractive option with high-return potential.

Real Estate

Real estate presents a promising business opportunity in Kenya, offering potential for high returns and long-term growth. The demand for housing and commercial properties continues to soar, making real estate a lucrative venture despite challenges in other industries.

With the rapid urbanization and increasing population, investing in real estate can provide a stable income stream and significant capital appreciation over time.

The real estate sector also offers diverse investment options, including residential developments, commercial properties, and land acquisition for future development. Additionally, innovative concepts such as affordable housing initiatives and sustainable building practices present emerging trends that cater to evolving market needs.

Considering the high potential for profitability and steady growth in the real estate industry, it stands out as a favorable business choice amidst the challenging landscape of other ventures mentioned.

Considering these factors could pave the way for you to explore viable opportunities within this flourishing sector.

Additional Factors to Consider Before Starting a Business in Kenya

Consider the economic climate, regulatory laws and restrictions, as well as local culture before starting a business in Kenya. These factors can greatly impact the success or failure of your venture.

Economic climate

The economic climate in Kenya presents unique challenges for businesses. High competition and market saturation in various industries can make it difficult to succeed. Additionally, regulatory laws and restrictions may pose obstacles for entrepreneurs, impacting their ability to start and grow a business.

Understanding the economic landscape is crucial before venturing into any business endeavor in Kenya.

Entrepreneurs should carefully evaluate the economic conditions, including factors such as market demand, consumer behavior, and industry trends. It’s also important to consider the local culture and how it influences business operations.

Regulatory laws and restrictions

Transitioning from the economic climate to regulatory laws and restrictions, it’s essential to be aware of the legal framework governing business operations in Kenya. Understanding the intricate web of regulations is crucial for entrepreneurs looking to establish a new venture or expand an existing one.

Regulatory compliance encompasses a range of areas such as licensing, taxation, labor laws, and industry-specific regulations – factors that can significantly impact business viability.

Navigating these complex rules can be challenging but staying updated with changes and seeking professional guidance when necessary will help ensure your business operates within the confines of the law.

Local culture

Local culture plays a significant role in shaping the business landscape in Kenya. Understanding and respecting local customs, traditions, and values are crucial for any business to succeed.

For instance, being aware of the importance of family ties and social relationships can greatly impact how you conduct your business interactions. Embracing traditional values such as respect for elders and community involvement can help build strong connections with customers and partners.

Furthermore, the influence of tribal diversity should not be overlooked. Acknowledging various cultural practices across different tribes in Kenya is essential for establishing trust and credibility within local communities.


In conclusion, the highlighted businesses demonstrate the challenging landscape for entrepreneurs in Kenya. Considering alternative ventures like e-commerce and agribusiness may offer better opportunities for success.

Have you considered exploring these alternatives? Let’s think about how to adapt your business strategy to the Kenyan market. Embracing these practical tips can lead to a more successful entrepreneurial journey.

Reflect on how understanding local culture and regulatory laws impacts your business decisions. Are you ready to embark on this approach? Your persistence and adaptability will determine your entrepreneurial success in Kenya.

Read also: How To Make 3K In A Day In Kenya

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