Venturing in a low-cost home business is one of the ways of growing the economy in Uganda. The majority of Ugandans find it difficult to start a business because they claim not to be having enough capital. Yes, if you intend to start a business in hired premises around Kampala city or anywhere else in Uganda, you will have to part away with a lot of money. Unfortunately, few Ugandans don’t have the opportunity to access business start-up capital.
There are numerous ups and downs in the Ugandan economy. Many businesses are collapsing day after day. Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) is introducing new policies to streamline its operations. Business space rent, license and income tax rates are high. Employees in the formal sector are losing jobs every day. Unemployment among the youth is rampant. As a result, starting a medium-to-big business is hard to most people. This is why turning to low-cost home business could be one of the solutions.
Generally, most Ugandans long for business ventures with quick and big returns on investment. However, such opportunities are so rare. It’s therefore high time we changed our mindset to start simple low-cost home businesses. These are businesses started from home, which can eventually be grown into big businesses.
Home businesses require little or no money at all to establish. They are easy to sustain since operational costs are minimized. No hiring of business space. Transport costs are reduced. You may also not pay trading licenses.
In countries like China, most people are involved in a small low-cost home business. They work from home to produce a lot of products that are sold to other countries. Interestingly, they have a big market in Uganda. These products could also be made by Ugandans right from their homes.
However, there is one big challenge with home business owners: marketing. To succeed, one has to market. Secondly, one has to establish oneself as having the best products or services. As you start your low-cost home business, you must have a marketing plan in mind. I highly recommend that one of your marketing strategies should be creating a website for your business.
Which low-cost home business can you venture into in Uganda?
This is a question asked by most people. The options for a low-cost home business are overwhelming. But you need to identify the type of business suitable for you, basing on your knowledge, skills, ability, background and potential.
We have identified a few businesses from which you may make your selection of the most suitable low-cost home business for you. If you don’t see one, search around you to identify any other low-cost home business you can venture into. Our list includes the following:
#1. Gardening business
Gardening is an easy low-cost home business any Ugandan can afford. Food is a basic need to all people. With the improved gardening methods, one can grow edible crops for sale even on the smallest plot of land. For people living in urban areas, gardening is so profitable because the demand for fresh, organic and clean foods is high.
There is an increasing number of inspiring gardeners in Uganda, who have made a fortune. These gardeners have demonstration gardens from which people learn effective gardening methods. Visit them to learn how to grow crops in tins, sacks and bottles, how to turn garbage into manure, how to harvest rain water for use in dry seasons, and how to utilize a small space for farming.
#2. Hairdressing business
Hairdressing is a profitable low-cost home business in Uganda. Ladies spend handsomely on their hair. Young men also want to look trendy. If you have the right training, skill and good hands-on experience, you can begin to cut or style people’s hair to change their images.
If your home is in a good business location, turn one room into a business space to do your business. You can also move to people’s homes on appointment to style their hair.
#3. Fish farming
Fish farming is a low-cost home business with high profit margins. Fish can easily be grown in man-made ponds and tanks. With a few materials obtainable locally, it’s easy to make a pond, fill it with fresh water and begin rearing fish.
Start selling in the neighborhood and markets around to earn money. You will need training and experience to do this business.
#4. Chicken rearing
Many Ugandans in urban areas have embraced the chicken rearing business because chicken and eggs are on high demand, especially if they are of good quality. Look around for high-breed chicken to start rearing. Local chicken is preferred most by Ugandans.
#5. Wine making
Wine making is a low-cost home business you can think about. Although grapes are the most popular, wine can be made from any type of fruits. Make your research on how to produce quality wine from your home. There are many fruits from which you can make wine and the market for it is available in Uganda.
#6. Professional services
There is a variety of low-cost home businesses in which professionals can engage themselves. If you are skilled in anything, think about turning it into a business you can do at home. Consultancy services are on demand in various fields.
Blogging offers a variety of low-cost home business opportunities. Many bloggers worldwide are earning a sizable amount of money. Bloggers earn commission from marketing other people’s products on their sites. It requires continuous writing to provide freshness to your blog. You will need a computer, internet connection, blogging and online marketing skills.
#8. Making crafts
Craft making in Uganda is profitable. Crafts are made from many free materials around. If you know how to make crafts for both the local and international market, better start now. Look for the market. You will earn a lot of money.
I know a group of young women who started a CBO to empower fellow women in eastern Uganda. The CBO has empowered many women to make crafts which are then sold to over 16 European countries. They buy the crafts to support the women to improve their standard of living. In the end the CBO earns money to sustain its programmes.
#9. Graphic designing
Graphic designing is on high demand in print media. With your designing skill, you can design logos, brochures, images, packaging, business cards and advertisements for small business, individuals and companies.
#10. Food Processing
Depending on your area of specialization, food processing offers many low-cost business opportunities. With simple processing equipment, you can process a number of foods to sell in the neighborhood.
#11. Bee keeping
If you are living where there is enough vegetation, you can start a beekeeping business. It’s a low-cost home business you can do in Uganda by just using local beehives and some knowledge in keeping bees. Honey and wax are on demand by individuals and health food stores.
#12. Web designing
Web designing is a low-cost home business for people skilled in creating good websites. Every business, individuals and organisations want to establish themselves online. Take advantage of the skill you have to design quality websites from your home.
#13. Cleaning services
Offering cleaning services is considered to be a low-cost home business any one can establish. You only need cleaning materials and knowledge on what to do to clean house roofs, gutters and carpets in people’s homes. Once you establish yourself, they will call you to offer the service at some good money.
#14. Water business
Water is a basic need that one cannot do away with in life. In Uganda, there are many places without a constant supply of water. Selling water to people around you is a low-cost home business. You can start by harvesting rain water into a big tank, which you can then sell during the dry season.
#15. Toilet business
If your home is located where there are many people, think about offering toilet services to them at a cost. People with this kind of business earn a lot of money every day. It’s a low-cost home business with minimal operational costs.
#16. Tents / chairs for events
Around you, people organize events like weddings, parties, funeral rites, etc… Invest some little money in buying chairs and tents for hire to start your business.
#17. Mobile money dealer
Sending money by mobile phone is a big low-cost business in which more people are getting involved. If your home is located in a busy place, you can earn a good amount of money every day by offering the service to people.
#18. Referral service
Offering referral services is a low-cost home business with the potential to grow. You can match people to their required services. Yes. You could specialize in areas like house rentals, babysitting, plumbing, painting, cleaning services and many others.
#19. Car washing
Car washing requires very little start-up capital. It’s a profitable low-cost home business many people tend to overlook. But if your home is near a stream of water where you can get water at no cost, it’s worth trying. You can also harvest rain water into a big underground tank to begin washing people’s cars in your neighborhood.
#20. Compound maintenance
Compound maintenance offers several low-cost business opportunities. You can either maintain lawn or flower gardens in people’s compound. Alternatively, you can also establish yourself as a hedge cutter. Just make your proposals to various people. You will always get jobs throughout the year.
#21. Coffee business
If you live near offices and busy places, starting a coffee shop could be profitable. You need to learn how to prepare different types of coffee and accompaniments. Affordable quality services are a key to success.
#22. Grasshoppers / aunts business
Grasshoppers and white aunts are a delicacy in Uganda, especially in central Uganda. This business is seasonal. But if you stock enough to take you through the rest of the year, you can make good money. You will need to learn how to keep them for a longer period.
#23. Dog training business
Insecurity is increasing in especially urban areas. The cost of hiring security guards in homes is high. Even with the existence of paid security guards, cases of thugs conniving with them to rob are common. Most people are now resorting to using trained dogs to guard their homes.
#24. Milk business
Milk is consumed every day by many people. With little start-up capital, you can consider delivering milk to homes, schools and offices in your locality. Use your creativity to produce other related products like ghee and yogurt to sell to them.
#25. Painting business
Painting is another low-cost home business. If you are a skilled painter, consider venturing into the painting business. Market yourself to homes, schools, organisations etc… as the best painter. You need to offer quality services to regularly get jobs.
#26. Masonry work business
Quality masonry work is needed by many people. This is one of the low-cost home business ideas one can consider developing. You only need a few tools, building skills and being a reliable person. Market yourself in the neighborhood as the best mason. You will obviously get money.
#27. Motorbike repairer
Motorbikes are everywhere in Uganda. They are a very popular means of transport nowadays. If you are near a busy place and you can repair bikes, you could start a motorbike repairing business. Consider selling spare parts too.
#28. Furniture business
If you know how to make furniture, consider opening a workshop at your home. Get orders to make quality custom-made furniture. Select a particular niche with a good market e.g. furniture for children, multi-purpose furniture, coffee tables, etc… Be innovative and make quality furniture to win your customers hearts.
#29. Plumbing business
Plumbing is a great low-cost home business. The demand for plumbing services in urban areas is high. You only need the desired professional skill and a few tools to get jobs done. Establish yourself as a good plumber. You will get clients.
#30. General repair services
Many people have generators, mowers, flat irons, fridges etc… If you are good at repairing such items, consider turning your skill into a profitable business you can do from your home. Get the word out to all people in your locality. The jobs are available if you offer quality services.
#31. Day care center
Most busy parents in urban areas prefer keeping their children in a good environment with people who are able to take care of them well during day time. If you love children and know what it takes to run a day care, it could be a profitable business depending on your location.
#32. Catering services
Catering services are on a high demand in Uganda. People are ever organizing parties, weddings and other occasions. They prefer outsourcing the services. It’s considered to be cost-effective. If you have the skill, why not start this low-cost home business. Promote it to neighbors, friends, relatives and other acquaintances. Offer quality services, you will get many orders.
#33. Personal chef
If you are a good chef, offering yourself to be hired for preparing meals in your clients homes is a great low-cost home business. There are well-to-do people who need such services in Kampala.
#34. Freelance writing
Full-time freelance writing is a good low-cost home business from which a good number of people earn a living. As a freelance writer, you belong to no specific company. But you act as a small business.
#35. Window cleaning
If you start a window cleaning business in Kampala, you could get contracts to clean windows. It could turn out to be a profitable business with few operational costs.
#36. Interior designing
Interior design service could turn out to be a lucrative low-cost home business. There is an increasing number of able people in Uganda who need this services. Get the word out to the people. If you know what you are doing, they will contract you to offer the service to them.
#37. TV / radio / phone repairing business
Many people have a TV, a radio and a Smartphone. But getting them repaired is hard. If you have the knowledge and skill, it could be a great low-cost home business opportunity.
#38. Sewing business
Many stay-at-home ladies have a skill in sewing. If you have sewing as a skill, you could consider starting a home sewing business. It’s such a profitable business most Ugandan overlook. There are countless sewing business ideas you can venture into to make money from your school.
For instance, you can venture into pattern making, wedding dress designing, uniform maker, costume designing, bed cover designer, dress making, soft toy designing, custom kids clothes, custom cups / hats and embroidery business. You can also become an instructor and teach others tailoring skills. There many many other sewing ideas you can think about and establish yourself as an expert to make money.
#39. Lunch delivery services
This low-cost home business is ideal for people living near offices. Make your survey to know your competitors, the market, the type of food needed and what clients are willing to pay. Quality and timely delivery are key to success.
#40. Garbage collection
People in urban places in Uganda have a problem of garbage. Garbage collection is an easy low-cost business to manage. With a wheelbarrow and some containers, you can move from house to house collecting garbage in the neighborhood. Bring it to your home. Sort it out. Make compost manure and begin selling it to people for an additional income. You can also use it in your garden to grow crops for sale.
#41. Toner cartridge recycling
Refilling cartridges with new ink is a good low-cost home business. Look for offices, homes and business where you can offer quick delivery of recycled cartridges.
#42. Translation services
If you know French, German, Spanish, Chinese, English or any other international languages, translation service is a great low-cost home business you can offer.
#43. Internet marketing consultancy
If you have internet marketing skills, you could help business owners to market their businesses online. This can be done by marketing the businesses for them or by empowering them on how to do it at a cost.
#44. IT consulting services
Most people or businesses cannot hire full-time IT specialists. If you start offering the services, you will receive jobs from individuals, businesses and organisation.
#45. Baking business
Baking is a low-cost home business with big profit margins. You can bake cakes, pastries, cookies and cupcakes. They are on high demand. People like fresh and homemade ones.
#46. Medicinal herbs farming
Ugandans believe so much in using local herbs to cure various diseases. There is also a growing number of herbalists in Uganda. However, they get herbs from the forests and jungles. With the rampant deforestation, most medicinal herbs are disappearing slowly by slowly. Make your research for the most needed herbs and grow them at home. Herbalists will buy them right from your home.
#47. Mobile bar-tending business
Mobile bar-tending business is a comparatively low-cost home business one can venture into. It’s not common in Uganda. But a mobile bar-tending business is like a traditional bar business. The only difference is that the bartender does not work at one location. He/she provides services at local events, parties, weddings, etc… throughout the year.
To start a mobile bar-tending business, you will need to invest in your stock and bar. Have a catchy fun name for your business.
#48. Public speaking business
The public speaking industry offers a variety of very low-cost home business opportunities. If you have the skill, you can speak at weddings, introduction ceremonies and many other special occasions. You need to establish yourself as the best speaker to convince people. A website can be a good marketing tool.
#49. Brick making
People everywhere nowadays are building. They need building materials. Bricks are some of the building materials one must use to construct a house. With a simple manual brick making machine, soil and some water, you can start this very profitable low-cost home business.
#50. Tree planting
If you have enough land, consider planting trees like pine and eucalyptus. It’s a low-cost home business. Tree seedlings cost little money. You can plant slowly season after season. After some time, you will have trees for selling as poles, firewood or timber.
As already mentioned, this list of low-cost home business ideas is not exhaustive. It’s just intended to inspire people to venture into small home based businesses. If you know of any other low-cost home business we have not listed, please kindly share it with us in the comment section.