small business ideas
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Starting a small business in Uganda can be really a daunting task for many new entrepreneurs. With several business challenges to surmount, many business owners usually get frustrated and end up shutting up their businesses just within 2 or 3 years of operation.

While small businesses collapse for several reasons, the most common reason is lack of real market demand for their goods and services. Selling something people are not willing to buy would definitely push you out of business.

Also read; 100 Small Tech Business Ideas You Can Start In Uganda

The size of the capital you have invested doesn’t matter. If you’re selling a product that nobody wants, your business doors would get shut for good.

Today we will be looking at the business ideas you can start today and become a millionaire in 5 years or less.

Here Are 10 Small Business Ideas That Can Make You Uganda’s Next Millionaire Or Even A Billionaire!

  • Education
  • Agribusiness
  • Retail Stores
  • Mobile Phone sales
  • Start an eCommerce shop
  • Dropshipping
  • Small Business Loans
  • The Stock Market
  • Exporting and Importing
  • Mobile Restaurant – Food Delivery Business
  • Franchising

1. Education

The education sector runs on an endless cycle that revenue channel in the sector permanently open.

When kids are born, they are first taken to day care, nursery, primary, secondary, university and other tertiary institutions if they choose to advance their knowledge. The wide spectrum of the education section presents premium potentials for investors.

While not every investor in the education sector must focus on starting the usual educational training institutes, you can invest in special education, adult education, online educational platforms, educational technology and even educational materials and resources.

Small businesses ideas in the education sector should never be overlooked. With a wide scope to cover in this sector; whether it is simply school education or unconventional education sectors, choosing the right niche to major in from a small scale will eventually make you a millionaire.

2. Agribusiness

The agribusiness sector is the largest industry in Uganda. Since everyone must eat everyday of their lives, the agribusiness sector would never run short of demand. Uganda’s increasing population even makes agriculture much more lucrative.

Uganda has a population of 45 million people and it is expected to reach 100 million people by 2050. Such population explosion makes the industry business very profitable for new and existing players.

Several sub-sectors of agribusiness are already churning in millions for successful farmers in their respective fields. Great examples include poultry farming, fish farming, cattle rearing, maize farming and several others.

With hundreds of small business ideas in agribusiness to venture into, any starting entrepreneur can easily do a robust market research and choose a high yield agribusiness sector to focus on.

3. Retail Stores

When an average Ugandan thinks of buying clothes, medication, tech gadgets and a lot more, their first inclination is to get up, dress up and head over to a trust store in the neighborhood to buy these items.

The retail industry in Uganda is growing larger. Every year, thousands of retail stores are launched to cater for the needs of people.

While some stores are larger than others, every entrepreneur will generate varying revenues.

As a starting entrepreneur, you could choose to setup a retail store that focuses on selling fashion items, groceries or one of the other diverse categories. Starting a fashion store, grocery store or supermarket carries its own cost implications.

But it is important to start small so you can understand the market dynamics, understand what sells better and how you can reposition yourself to claim a bulk of customers.

With retail store success in Uganda like Shoprite, PEP, The Game etc, you can be damn sure you’re headed for big success.

4. Mobile Phone sales

Retail stores selling mobile phones in Uganda have proven great profitability of the sector. Many local entrepreneurs have made millions of selling from selling mobile phones to the ever growing market.

A great mobile phone retailer with a remarkable success store is BANANA PHONE SHOP. The mobile retailer has a string of shops within Kampala and other parts of the country and has grown to become one of the biggest players in the Ugandan market. Not only have they built an unshakable reputation but have the largest customer base of smartphone buyers.

The best way to get into the Ugandan mobile phone market is to start by selling cheap mobile phones imported from China. Majority of the local population prefer low budget phones since they find them affordable.

Mobile phone sales is one of the most lucrative small business ideas not just in Uganda but in Africa as a whole.

5. Start an eCommerce shop

We live now a digital world where you can purchase goods or services from anywhere in the world. Add to that fact the low-cost of building an online store, the decreasing cost of transaction rates, and you can easily see why eCommerce websites in Uganda are thriving.

There are several online store ideas which you can start today and start selling your productions online. For example if you are passionate about fashion and you are interested in starting a business within that line but you don’t have enough to rent space, you can think of starting an online boutique.

Online shops have leverage over traditional shops (or brick and motor shops). If you have an online shop, your clientele will not be restricted to only people within the area you operate. You can get clients from all over Uganda or even beyond Uganda if you have the capacity to ship abroad.

All you need to do is hire a professional web developer to create for you a quality e-commerce website (shop) where you can showcase your products.

To maximize your earnings, you will need to make an arrangement for cheap, reliable and timely shipping service.

Below are some examples of an online shop you can start:

  • Online Boutique
  • Electronics shop
  • Online bar – deliver drinks
  • Online Pharmacy
  • Home appliances shop

6. Dropshipping

The hottest ecommerce business idea at the moment in Uganda is dropshipping. Dropshipping is the business of promoting other people’s products on your ecommerce website and when a client places an order, you get their contacts and place an order with the dropshipper or seller.

The dropshipper then ships the product directly the buyer’s address or you can receive it through your address and deliver it to them or have them pick it from your office or store.

Biggest droppshipping businesses in Uganda include Kikuu, Bazebo, Jumia Global, Masikini and others.

7. Small Business Loans

If you have some extra cash to spare, you can start as small financial business that focuses on providing small loan services to individuals and small businesses that need them.

Man individuals and small business owners hit gridlocks while they try to secure loans from banks and other loaning institutions. These loan institutions set tough requirements which are very difficult for small business owners to meet.

As a professional money lender, you can provide small and short term loans with lesser restriction and conditions to multiple small businesses.

The money lending business is sometimes overlooked by many because of the risks it comes with such as non-repayment, but it remains one of the modest small business ideas one can venture into.

8. The Stock Market

The stock market has created and at the same time destroyed fortunes of millions of people are the world. But irrespective of its inherent risk, a well experienced stock trader makes good profitable bets.

Trading stocks can lead to heavy loss of your investments if you have no clue on what is going on. Before you decide on what stocks to buy it is important that you first study the company’s long and short progression, talk your stock trader, financial trader, friend or anyone else that has been trading stocks successfully in the stock market for a long time.

Trading stocks won’t make you a millionaire overnight. The equity market is not really that nice. But stock trading is paying to experienced entrepreneurs who understand market trends and know how to almost accurately predict a direction a certain stock’s price is likely to take.

The stock market today in Uganda may not be as favorable as it was 10 years ago but a universal law that states that “the higher the risk in business, the greater the potential financial reward is for the business owner” still applies.

Stay up-to-date with latest market news and constantly monitor various market quotes, and soon or later, you would most likely make the right trade.

9. Exporting and Importing

We are living in an increasingly global marketplace. Starting and export and imports business and be extremely and fairly easy to start if you understand the global market and its regulations. Anything from farm produce to local clothing can be a successful export/import business.

10. Mobile Restaurant – Food Delivery Business

The food delivery industry has been booming for the last couple of years as customers are constantly looking for affordable and quality food while on the go or delivered to the comfort of their home or office. This business is easy to start as it eliminates the cost of starting and maintaining a physical restaurant. The business can be done both online and offline.

11. Franchising

A franchise business is where the business owner (the franchisor) sells off part of a market to another company (the franchisee) to run using their branding, services, products, processes etc. In other words, the franchisor sells his company rights to the franchisee.

If you want to sell a foreign company’s products in Uganda, then franchising is for you. Today, franchising is available in service businesses, manufacturing, retail, wholesale and even professional services in medical, food, hospitality, education, business support, training, beauty etc

To become a franchisee, you need to contact and agree with a company you want to start a franchise with, and then pay an up-front franchise fee which would give you the right to use their brand name, system of doing business, operations manual, marketing material, software and other proprietary material.

What are your thoughts on these 11 Small Business Ideas That Can Make You Uganda’s Next Millionaire? Let me know by leaving a comment below.



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Mun Gerald is the founder of ICT Guy blog and a seasoned technology expert with over 4 years of experience in the field. With a degree in Information Systems and Technology and a range of industry certifications including CSDP, CCT, CCNA, MTA, and AWS, he has built a reputation as a self-taught digital entrepreneur and a go-to source for all things technology. He has expertise in a variety of areas including consulting, design, support, coaching, analysis, e-commerce, web development, digital marketing, SEO, and content development. His ultimate goal is to create a world-class technology hub in Uganda where Ugandan technologists can come together to share knowledge, experiences, and relationships in order to drive innovation in the field.



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