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How to Start a Cyber Cafe Business in Kenya

Vincent Nyoike
Vincent Nyoike Kenya

Starting a cyber cafe business is a profitable venture in Kenya. The demand for information has been on the rise with the rise in technology. This has necessitated the establishment of cyber cafes where people can browse the internet, type, print, and photocopy documents. Cyber cafe services in Kenya are increasingly in demand with the increase in business activities.  

Read also: How to start video game business.

This is what you need to start a cyber cafe business in Kenya.

Requirements for Cyber cafe Kenya

Starting an internet cafe requires you to have a business plan for cyber cafe listing the services you will be offering. A good cyber cafe business plan should have startup costs, risks and strengths of the venture, market research findings and cash flow projections.

The size of the business determines the amount of startup capital you will need. However, the best way to go about it is to start small and grow your business with time. The cost of starting a cyber cafe in Kenya is around Ksh 250,000. However, cyber cafe the opening cost will depend with business location and its size.  Some of the equipment needed to start an internet cafe include computers, printers, photocopier and document scanner. 

The following are some of cyber cafe requirements and their respective costs.

  • 5 Computers - Ksh 75,000
  • Printer and scanner - Ksh 25,000
  • Photocopier - Ksh 60,000
  • Internet - Ksh 3,000
  • Cabling - Ksh 2,000
  • Furniture - Ksh 15,000
  • Business permits - Ksh 15,000 
  • Rent - Ksh 20,000
  • Electricity - Ksh 1,000
  • Staff Salary - Ksh 15,000

Some of the computer brands that are best suited for a cyber cafe include HP and Dell. The best laptop is HP since it is durable and has most features necessary for a cyber business. 

The best printer for cyber cafe is Epson brand. You can get a three in one printer for document printing, scanning and CD printing services. For photocopiers, look for Kyocera brand. 

Considerations when Starting an Internet cafe Business

Before you can set up your business, there are things that you need to consider to ensure that you get the best results.

Read also: How to start computer sales business in Kenya. 

1. Location

Make sure to set up your internet and printing business in an area with institutions that require the services you are offering. For instance, you can set up your business near the entrance of a college, university, hospital or a banking hall. Such institutions will require people to use the internet and print documents. Also, you need to realize that cyber cafes work well in towns and not in rural areas. It is because there is higher demand for information in urban areas due to the presence of many offices and businesses, compared to rural areas. Therefore, make sure to set up your cyber business in a busy area. 

2. Licenses and Business Permits

To start an internet cafe in Kenya, you need to have business permits and licenses from the relevant authorities. It is easy to get cyber cafe business licenses. You can visit your county council offices and pay for a business permit. The officials will then visit your premises to inspect your business. Licenses for printing and internet business will cost you between Ksh 5,000 to Ksh 10,000 annually. The price vary from one county to the other.  

You will need county council single business permit, county council advertising and signage permit and music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) license to run your cyber cafe business efficiently.

3. Partition Your Workstation

An excellent internet cafe requires proper partitioning. You will also need some shelves where you can keep photocopy papers, envelopes and other stationery. Partitioning is important and helps you to save on space and ensure privacy for the cyber attendant.

You can buy desks that can accommodate four users. You also need a place where the cyber cafe attendant will be sitting and a place for the server computer, printer and photocopier. Make sure your cyber cafe furniture is comfortable for your customers. 

Read also: How to start a computer training center. 

4. Internet Connectivity

You need to do thorough research on the most economical internet provider you will be using. There are many internet providers in Kenya like Safaricom, Telcom and Airtel. One of the limitations that cyber cafe businesses face is the lack of reliable internet connectivity. You must choose the best internet service provider with strong connectivity in your business location.   

5. Services to Offer in a Cyber Cafe Business 

The services you will be offering should be listed in your business plan. Some of the services offered in a cyber café in Kenya include:

  • Typing and printing
  • Photocopying and scanning
  • Browsing internet
  • Selling stationery like envelopes  
  • Laminating documents

6.  Computers and other Equipment

You must decide whether to buy a new or second hand photocopier, computers and printers. If you choose to buy second-hand equipment, make sure that they are in good condition. Avoid buying equipment that will require repairs from time to time. It will make your cost of operation expensive.

Read also: How to start a maize milling business

7. Hiring Employees

You need to hire someone responsible, trustworthy and one with knowledge about cyber cafe operations. Most cyber cafe business owners face challenges by employing people who steal from them. You need to employ a person who can remit day to day earnings of your business. 

8. Marketing 

Finally, once you have launched your internet cafe business, you need to advertise it. You can use posters, business cards and customer referrals. Soon, you will start attracting many customers to your business. Make sure to expand your business as your customer base grows.

Is Cyber Cafe  Business Profitable?  

Starting an internet cafe business in Kenya is profitable if it is situated in an area with institutions and high population. Its profitability also depends with the cyber services you are offering.

For instance, if you are offering internet, printing, photocopying and scanning services, you will make more money than someone offering internet services only. If you are providing all those services, you can make Ksh 5,000 in a good day and Ksh 1,500 in a bad day. It implies that the business's revenue is between Ksh 30,000 and Ksh 60,000 in a month. After deducting business expenses, cyber cafe business profit is over Ksh 15,000. If you know how to start an internet cafe business, it is a profitable venture. 

Read more: How to start a gym business in Kenya. 

Final Thoughts 

To start internet cafe business in Kenya, you need to know how to operate computers and have the technical ideas. You can also hire a person to operate one for you but make sure you are there to collect money for services. With that, I hope you now know how to start cyber cafe business.