January heralds a new season of massive joblessness and job seeking rash. It is when school, college and university leavers seek a place in the job market to earn themselves upkeep while waiting for opportunities in permanent white collar jobs. But Kenya, as any other third world country, does not offer this promise.

Jobs can be created and so self employment. Opportunities for self employment are all over and very much abundant here in Kenya. The field holding this promise is the manufacturing sector.

Kenyas population of 42 million plus, is an adequate ready market for anything industrial: Cosmetics, Detergents, Candles, Shoe polish, Tooth Pastes, Artificial Charcoal (Briquettes), etc. These products are documented as the all-time needs for this expansive and rapidly growing population.

School leavers and fresh graduates waiting for White collar jobs or seeking to be hired as casuals can safely engage themselves in home-based or small scale actual manufacturing of such commodities. They can get industrial skills from institutions offering livelihood hands-on skills in manufacturing of various products such as Cosmetics, Detergents, Candles, Shoe polish, Tooth Pastes, Artificial Charcoal (Briquettes).

These trainings take a few hours (for each product/discipline) and the training fee is usually pocket friendly. For example; Soap making course takes around 4,000 at Cosmetics Kenya Limited. Candle making course also takes 3,500 shillings. To learn how to make Detergents such as OMO, Multi-purpose, Dishwashing Paste, etc cost 4,500, 3000, 3,500 respectively. At cosmetics Kenya Limited, the trainers ensure that the trainee is sufficiently thorough with procedures and that he/she can be able to make a given product without supervision. They also issue Certificates (after each successful training) and this is a PLUS because it shows legitimacy of professional product formulation to their clients.


This is where the real business opportunity is. Approximately 80% (33.6 million) Kenyans or rather 6.7 million households depend on firewood and/or charcoal as the primary source of power for cooking and heating. Tough rules against deforestation have seen reduced dependence on firewood subsiquently fuelling illegal charcoal burning! The people who have started making artificial charcoal are silently making a killing in the business. Yet learning how to make the briquettes costs only 5,000, many Kenyans will still wait for the jobs and casual employment from nowhere. They will never come out of the poverty quagmire even when making a ton of briquettes costs as little as 6,000 shillings.

With 99% of Nairobi eating outlets promoting fast foods such as Chips, tomato sauce (ketchup) is among the most widely used commodity. Yogurt is also a very high moving product in urban areas. These culinary products like Ketchup tomato sauce (paste), Yogurt and Bhajia can be taught by Culinary Recipes Kenya. They have been in the forefront of empowering Kenyans to produce high quality industrial food products like tomato sauce, rich creamy yogurt etc.

Briquettes are smokeless, long lasting and clean (dustless) to handle and urbanites now prefer them over the perennial charcoal whose cost fluctuates with season. Profits made by selling briquettes are 100 fold. Briquettes can be made manually or by use of special briquette making machines form Express Marine Kenya. You can sell 2 goats or 12 cockerels to finance your training and acquisition of raw material for making briquettes.

Commercial juice such as Afya, Picana, Delmonte brands are professionally made by including fruit pulp and concentrates which make them more professional than the common water, sweetener and flavour drinks made along side streets. These commercially professional products can only be made through special blending whose formula can be obtained from the manufacturers themselves or reputable consultancy firms such as Betty Industrial Chemicals.

Candle making, just as briquettes business, is a promising venture with very bright future. Shoe polish business is dominated by only 3 companies in Kenya. Two of them local while KIWI is a foreign multi-national company. It too, holds a promiseable future as a business investment.

Truly, you can never go wrong in venturing in manufacturing business-whether at home or workshop, small scale or medium scale.

The writer of this article is an accomplished trainer and mentor
You can reach him through office mobile no. 0723424240

Our modern training centre is located at Millennium Flats, Basement floor Suit LG 5 along Kamiti Road, Githurai 44 off Thika Super Highway. Individual classes are conducted daily apart from Sundays. Click this link for map Directions to Our Training and Exhibition Centre –

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