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How to Start a Mitumba Business in Kenya

Daisy Neema
Daisy Neema Business Ideas

The mitumba business in Kenya generates millions of revenue and has created thousands of employment opportunities for the youth. Starting a mitumba business is easy since it requires little startup capital, no educational requirements, and there is always a ready market. This article will guide you on how to start a mitumba business in Kenya.

Also read: How to start a boda boda business in Kenya

Factors to Consider When Starting a Mitumba Business

There are several factors you need to consider when starting a profitable mitumba business in Kenya.  

Mitumba Business Startup Capital

The startup capital needed to start a mitumba business will depend on the business size. You can start a small mitumba business with as low as  Ksh 5,000.  For a medium mitumba business, you need between Ksh 20, 000 and Ksh 100, 000 and over Ksh 100, 000 for a large mitumba business. However, it depends on how deep you can dig into your pockets.

Identify the Target Market

Before you can decide on a mitumba niche to concentrate on, it is essential to identify your target market. Understanding your customers' age, preference, purchasing frequency will help you know the types of clothes to sell. Additionally, it will help you set reasonable prices for your clothes. Your colleagues, friends, relatives and neighbors can be your customers.

Also Read: How to start a movie shop in Kenya

Choose a Strategic Location

Choosing an excellent location for your mitumba business will help you maximize profits. It will be best to locate your mitumba store at a location where your target customers can access easily. If your target customers are college students, locate your business around the learning institution. Your business premises can be in the form of small stalls, shops within buildings, street vending, or an online store.

Setting up online stores is the new normal in business. As such, you can decide to sell your second-hand clothes in an online store. Online stores are cheaper to run since you will not need to pay rent, business licenses and permits, and electricity bills. You only need to finance marketing expenses to reach your target customers.

Strategic areas in Nairobi where you can start a mitumba business include Gikomba, Muthurwa, Ngara, Kawangware, Umoja, Mlolongo, Rwaka, Githurai, and Kasarani. In Mombasa, you can start your mitumba business at Kongowea market, Majengo market, Buxton market, Chaani market, and Kisauni.

Also Read: How to start a retail shop in Kenya

Identify a Reliable Supplier

Finding a reliable supplier with lower prices is essential when starting a mitumba business. You can decide to buy stock in bales or pick individual items from the suppliers depending on how much your budget. On the other hand, you can decide to import clothes from developed countries like Australia, Japan, Canada, China, Germany, the UK, European countries, and the USA.

Mitumba are graded according to wear and tear and packed in bales. Mitumba suppliers sell mitumba in the following categories.

  • Grade A/Crème Bale: Clothes in this category are usually new and have store labels on them. In most cases, they were bought but never worn and were taken to charity pick-up points to be donated to developing countries. Crème bales can cost about Ksh. 50, 000.
  • Grade B: They may have been worn several times but are still in good condition. They are usually cheaper compared to crème bale.
  • Grade C: This category consists of clothes with minor defects that can be corrected.
  • Grade D: Grade D second-hand clothes come with many defects such as cuts and are the cheapest.

Setting Prices for your Mitumba Clothes 

Setting prices for your products depends on several factors. First, the category of clothes you are selling. Clothes in the crème bale category are usually expensive. However, it takes good salesmanship to set fair prices. This will help you get customers and make profit at the same time.

The income level of your target customers will also affect the your prices of your mitumba clothes. Setting high prices for low-income consumers or college students will make you lose customers. This means that price setting largely depends on your customers' demography.

Is Mitumba Business Profitable in Kenya?

Yes. With a mitumba business, you can make a profit of 50% with a suitable location with many customers like near colleges or in market centers. The startup cost is low and you can start with little capital and grow your business over time. Its expenses are less since you only need to pay for licenses and permits. You can opt to sell from a store or open market centers. 

Also Read: Business permits you need to operate a business in Kenya


The mitumba business in Kenya is a no get-rich-quick scheme. As such, you will need to plan ahead, manage the business well, employ the right marketing strategies, and have great commitment. Additionally, you will need to be flexible and adapt to seasonal changes. An eye for suitable clothing will also keep you on top of the competition.