Business ideas in Kenya: Onion business, profits and required capital

onions grocery

Onion is a very important ingredient in our meals as it helps in improving immunity as well as ensuring you are physically fit.

Research shows that 95 percent of Kenyans use onions in their meals, meaning that for every 10 Kenyans, 9 actively use onions. This is the main reason why you have to start business of either buying and selling onions or planting them in your farm.

In order to start onion business, you must first have some facts as stated below.

Required capital for the business

You can start the business as a grocery or trade in wholesale, but whichever route you take will not disappoint you. The required capital for the business varies depending on location and the quantity you wish to sell. If you intend to start buying and selling in large scale then you must set aside capital of Ksh 200,000.This is the lowest capital you can have because you need to hire a vehicle to transport the onions from the source to the market. You also need a license to operate the business as well as a store to stock the onions.

If you intend to have a grocery where you sell onions only then it won’t be expensive to start. With just Ksh20, 000-Ksh 50, 000, you can comfortably start the business in Nairobi.

One thing you should understand here is that your main intention is to create a brand where everyone will be referring to you as ‘that person who sells onions’. A brand in any business is a very good thing; it makes the society build trust in you and also makes your business grow as fast as possible. Once you enter into this business, never be tempted to mix it with other products like tomatoes and cabbages.

Any individual who intends to set up the business in towns like Kisii, Kisumu, Mombasa and Mount Kenya region in large scale require at least Ksh150, 000.

Source of Onions

There are many areas where onions farming are practiced in Kenya. Some of the areas where you could source for the product include Kajiado, Kiambu, Kisii, Molo, Nakuru,and Narok.You can also buy from brokers at Muthurwa market Nairobi if you would be conducting your business in Nairobi.


From the various business persons I have interviewed, a single sack generates a profit of between Ksh500 to Ksh1, 000 depending on where you will be selling your products.

For those who are going to start grocery business, I can authoritatively report that the minimum you can get per day is Ksh1, 500.There are others who make up to Ksh5, 000 per day in Nairobi.

Best towns to start the business

This one is very importants.You know business is all about people; the more the people the better.Also,economic activities in the area matters a lot.The best towns to start the business include Kisii,Kisumu,Mombasa,Thika,Nyeri,Nairobi,Busia,Malaba,and Nakuru.






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