Top 50 small business ideas in Rwanda
Are you looking for small business ideas in Rwanda to invest in?
But don’t know the best one to choose from?
Then you don’t need to read further because, in this post, I will share some lucrative and highly profitable small business ideas in Rwanda to tap into for you to start a profitable venture as an entrepreneur and investor.
Rwanda is located in East Africa and one of the smallest countries on the African mainland and is recognized as Africa’s Singapore.
But they are certain things you need to know about starting a business in Rwanda, such as the benefits and challenges you would face when starting your small business in Rwanda.
Benefits of doing business in Rwanda
- Rwanda was listed on the Forbes list as the 7th best country in Africa to start a business.
- Ever since, Rwanda’s economy suffered heavily from genocide during 1994 with widespread loss of life, failure to maintain infrastructure, looting, and neglect in the importation of cash crops.
This has caused a significant drop in GDP; the economy has strengthened ever since then, with an increasing GDP estimated to be $2,090 in 2017 compared with $416 in 1994.
- Rwanda is listed among the top three nations in African for ease of doing business, followed by Mauritius and South Africa.
- Business registration in Rwanda is straightforward because it takes around 3- 5 days of business working days to get your business registered successfully.
- Running your business in Rwanda would be at low risk because Rwanda has one of the continent’s lowest crime and corruption rates.
- They are huge demand for primary products in the local market of Rwanda.
So any unique business idea you wish to bring in Rwanda will thrive a lot and make you profit as far as the business solves people’s problems.
- Rwanda has a good and fast internet service across cities like Kigali, Gitarama, Butare, and others.
In addition to this Rwandan government has decided to make the internet available across the country.
- The road networks in Rwanda are elegant and well kept, most especially in the city of Kigali.
The most amazing part is that Rwanda’s capital has little traffic, which will enable business owners who situate their business in Kigali to reach their various offices faster.
- Rwanda has a fast-growing economy and has been identified by World Bank in 2015 as one of the fastest world’s growing economies alongside the Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic Of Congo.
- Rwanda is on a big move to become the Singapore of Africa
Challenges to encounter when doing your business in Rwanda
- Shortage of skilled labor, including lawyers, accountants, technicians, and other skilled professions.
- Relatively poor infrastructure-Rwanda is a landlocked country, and transportation costs of imports and exports are among the highest in the world.
- Doing business in Rwanda will have limited finance with a high-interest rate and minimal capital markets.
- Even with easy business registration, implementation can be less smooth due to the delays in government payments for goods and services delivered due to changes in the Memorandum Of Understanding and additional tax investment.
- Foreign investors can face difficult times when obtaining a work visa or its renewal because the Rwandan government demonstrated an interest in hiring its country’s local investors over foreigners.
- Most local and foreign investors have also made it clear that the inconsistent application of tax payment and import duties is a significant challenge to doing business in Rwanda.
Now that you have known the pros and cons of starting a business in Rwanda be ready to adapt quickly.
- The tax rate is high in Rwanda.
Best cities to live in Rwanda and do business:
Here’s the list of the top 50 small business ideas in Rwanda
Major cities in Rwanda are mostly busy due to the day-to-day running of various business activities and career jobs, so getting people to their desired destinations would be critical.
So an entrepreneur can fill the gap in the transportation industry in Rwanda by providing transport services through various means such as taxi/cab services and minibusses.
This business will likely generate your income daily, provided you are in a strategic location.
2.Real estate business
They are fewer houses in some of the cities in Rwanda, which is not yet enough for Rwandans because they need more housing units in their beloved country.
An entrepreneur or investor can choose to start a venture in the real estate sector in Rwanda, such as the building of apartments, property management, and construction of office space because they are huge demand for it in the real estate industry.
Mainly it would help if you targeted middle-class families when building apartments and office spaces.
This is one of the good and fast-moving small business ideas in Rwanda any interested entrepreneur or investor can venture into.
With the current fast growth of Rwanda’s economy, an interested entrepreneur can start an enterprise on the internet and computer service.
If you have the experience when it comes to the use of the internet and computer, you can set up a business of your own in Rwanda by providing internet services such as a cyber cafe, online registrations, and internet skill acquisition programs (Web design, graphic design and Search engine optimization)
The new changes in technology have gotten people to know the essence of having the basic knowledge of the user computer; you can decide to run this business alongside with internet service because they work hand to hand some of the needful training to give to those who are not computer oriented are computer training(Most significantly the use of Microsoft Word).
4.Coffee plantation business
Coffee plantation is another thriving and lucrative business any entrepreneur can start in Rwanda.
Reports have shown that 400,000 Rwandans make their living alone from a coffee plantation.
This is a huge gap for investors to fill in by going into Coffee plantations through advanced technology.
The coffee products can be exported to other neighboring countries.
The tourism sector in Rwanda has been the major key player in their country’s economic growth.
Hence, tourists from different parts of the world would love to see the beautiful nature in Rwanda by paying a visit to the major mountain gorillas, the Volcanoes National Park, in which mountain gorillas can safely be visited, and tourists pay high for permits.
An investor or entrepreneur can have a second thought about this business if you know more about the tourism industry.
Also, get a local partner to show you more areas to explore in the tourism business opportunity in Rwanda.
Tourism is among the profitable and thriving small business ideas that an entrepreneur or investor can look into in Rwanda.
The major area you should look into is the local tour service.
Good marketing is a better approach to use when starting this business.
With so many businesses emerging in Rwanda, it’s also a good idea for entrepreneurs to go into online marketing services such as Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Influencer Marketing, and many others.
You can learn these skills, market them and offer your service(s) to small and big business firms who are eager and willing to pay for their business to be online.
Some business owners are now beginning to embrace the idea of promoting their products and services online, which they have set a specific amount of budget for online marketing alone.
You can make a good and stable income if you can prove your expertise by providing quality online marketing services for various businesses in Rwanda to enable them to get more clients and increase their sales.
7.Home Appliances business
Home appliances business is a profitable small business opportunity to start in Rwanda.
As they will be many people moving into a new residential area, they will need their apartments to be well furnished either by purchasing home appliances such as Television sets, DVDs, Home Theater, Fans(both ceiling and standing fans), Air conditioners, stabilizer and other home appliances needed in a home.
To get started in this venture, you need a good business plan, become an agreed distributor of electronics brands such as LG, Sony, and Panasonic. Lastly, you need a strategic business location that would enable you to bring in customers to purchase your products.
8. Mobile phone startups
Starting a mobile phone business is another fast-moving business to set up in Rwanda.
You can start by selling quality mobile phones and phone accessories.
You can partner with brands that offer quality mobile phones; brands such as Apple, Infinix, Samsung, and Tecno are phone manufacturers where you can purchase their products and sell them to the local markets and make your own profit.
9. Start a business related to energy&power
Power is one of the most important components of infrastructure crucial for the economic growth and welfare of the nation.
An entrepreneur can take advantage of this industry by starting a business in the energy and power sector; you need to identify the aspects of Rwanda’s lack of energy and power generation.
Some of the highly profitable energy business ideas are solar panel sales and installation, inverters and ups sales, quality and durable generators, and so much more.
Rwanda’s economy is based mostly on subsistence farming by local farmers using simple farming tools.
The agriculture sector in Rwanda constituted an estimated 32.5% of the country’s GDP in 2014.
An entrepreneur can take advantage of this industry by going into the farming business using simple techniques such as planting crops with a small plot of land and steep slopes.
Some of the agricultural products you can focus on and supply to the local markets for consumption are a plantation of beans, potatoes, cassava, maize, green banana, wheat, and sweet potatoes.
You can sell fast-moving agricultural produce to the Rwandan’s local market and make good returns.
11. Mobile Phone repair service
Mobile phone repair is a lucrative and thriving small business opportunity in Rwanda to give a second thought since many mobile phone users are mobile.
To start this business, you need to acquire the skill from an existing and experienced phone repairer; you need to pay for this service to be rendered but trust me, you will make more than the money you invested in getting yourself trained in phone repair skills once you kick start this business and attract customers.
To increase your income in this business, you need to invest in phone repair tools and find a good business location.
A busy area would be much better based on my own perspective.
12. Small Scale manufacturing business
The manufacturing business is a goldmine for small business ideas in Rwanda because they are only a few manufacturing industries situated in the country.
If Rwandans are always buying things, it will be easy to sell your manufactured products to.
This is a huge gap for entrepreneurs and investors into the manufacturing industry to fill in by manufacturing fast-moving commodities like perfume, body cream, bathroom soaps, detergent, toothpaste, chemical, cooking utensils and supply them to local markets.
13. Fashion business
An entrepreneur can set up a fashion business and promote the culture of the Rwandans by selling native and popular textile fabrics, locally made shoes, clothes, and handbags.
This will be a lucrative business if you know more about the fashion and textile industry. Also, as an entrepreneur, you can try to bring in a stylish way of making Rwanda textile fabrics products and selling them to local markets.
Telecommunications is another thriving business to start in Rwanda because people need to be informed and communicate.
No matter how bad or hard the economy of a country is, telecommunications will never die out.
The telecommunications industry is capital intensive but on the other hand, If you have enough business funds to kick start and you know more about this industry, then you should venture into it provided that you are keen on the business.
Some of the telecommunications small business opportunities to look into are telecom providing service, bulk SMS business, setting up television or radio stations.
15. Banking and Finance services
Many businesses are increasing rapidly in Rwanda, but as for some entrepreneur they will want to make sure their business is being managed well without having the issue of mismanagement of business funds, they would rather require the service of a financial advisor, tax consultancy, and commercial banks to save money after the day to day business transactions.
This is a good move for an entrepreneur to join the banking and finance industry despite their banking and finance services in Rwanda; you must be adaptive and learn how to compete; these are the traits any entrepreneur should have.
The mining sector is noted to be one of the major key contributors to Rwanda’s economy.
It is a good business to start, but it involves a huge amount of capital and a dedicated labor force.
Some of the minerals to mine in Rwanda and make a profit in return are tantalum, wolframite, gold, coltan, and cassiterite, used in the manufacturing industries to make communication and electronics such as DVD players.
A good approach to this business would be better.
You can mine some of the mineral resources and supply them to manufacturing industries.
17. Foreign cuisine restaurant
As Rwanda welcomes a lot of visitors and tourists around the world from different races and also the different tastes for various foods, an entrepreneur who is a good cook can make use of this lucrative small business idea in Rwanda by preparing common eaten English foods like Italian fries, sandwich, and some other English foods.
18. Hotel business
A fast-growing economy country like Rwanda and also an attractive center for tourists, setting up a hotel business is another lucrative venture because people who do pay a visit to Rwanda for either business, site viewing of attractive centers and pleasure can use a hotel service for their stay in Rwanda till their desired time for departure.
19. High-end spare parts business
The spare parts business is a highly profitable small business idea in Rwanda since they are many car users in Rwanda.
You can get quality car spare parts from trusted countries like the U.S.A, Japan, and Germany.
All you need to do is buy the right car spare parts of different manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda, Range Rovers, Lexus, Mercedes, and so on made in the year 2000 upwards.
This business needs a proper approach and learning more from those car spare parts business owners.
20. Apps development
Applications development is making significant progress towards tech product consumption, and the Rwanda government is very supportive of using new technology.
An entrepreneur who is into tech can go into an application development or probably hire an app developer. If you don’t know when it comes to apps development, tell them your app-related business idea and the motive behind it.
Some of the highly profitable apps development startups to look into are a tours&travel app, a health app, an educational app, a security app, all in one social media app, and many others.
21. Build and rent out office space
A fast developing country like Rwanda will still need aspiring entrepreneurs to start any business of their choice, and they will also be on the lookout for office space to start up their own business.
You, as a grounded and a native of Rwanda, can secure a quiet piece of land, maybe like about 1-5 plots of land(in a bustling location just for a start, you can build affordable office space and place it for rent for those people who need it to secure a business location.
22. Start a restaurant business
The restaurant business is one of the highly lucrative and profitable small business ideas in Rwanda to start inasmuch that people who have little to no time to make meals at home will still find the need to satisfy their hunger they will be left with no choice rather than to patronize local restaurant to quench their hunger.
If you make quite a tasty and good meal, consider starting a restaurant business in Rwanda.
23. Mini Supermarket
Starting a mini supermarket is another viable business idea to start in Rwanda.
People still need to purchase grocery products such as beverages, pasta, cereals, snack foods, noodles, etc.
24. Diesel supply business
An entrepreneur who is keen on making a huge amount of money should think of starting a business in the oil&gas industry where you go into the venture of supplying diesel to various business firms who needs it as a means of alternative for electricity generation in other to run their various businesses more effectively and smoothly.
You need the right approach before starting the diesel supply business in Rwanda.
Acquaint yourself with those in this line of business to gather as much experience you can.
25. Start an eCommerce business
Rwanda is doing pretty much in technology, so starting an eCommerce business is an outstanding tech small business idea to start in Rwanda.
In eCommerce business, how is being done is that you can choose to purchase a local or imported product and sell it online by providing all the descriptions about the product, choose a price that you wish to sell it(you must consider the amount and the delivery cost so you wouldn’t be running out of loose at the end of the day).
Gather as much knowledge and experience as you can.
You can look at one of the booming eCommerce stores, Jumia.com.ng, to get the whole picture of how the eCommerce business works.
26. Computer repairs and maintenance services
The technology business is really booming in Rwanda, so you can set out a working place to repair and maintain computers such as Desktops and Laptops.
This business will make an outstanding amount of money as long as you know very much about computer repair and maintenance services. You have enough experience because it is a money-spinner.
If you wish to start a computer repair service and don’t have any experience and knowledge about it, consider acquiring this skill from those ready in this business line.
27. Information marketing
Information marketing is one of the highly lucrative small business ideas in Rwanda to start with a reasonable capital (it is not capital intensive)
What this business is all about is that you will need to start creating a solution for people’s problems by providing them with digital products such as eBooks, online courses, podcasts, software, and much more.
You need aggressive marketing to drive sales to your digital products; if possible, invest a reasonable amount of money on running adverts on Facebook Advertisement(it is the most effective way to advertise your product because of its wider reach of the audience, talking from my personal experience)
28. Master skill in graphics design
As the number of business brands keeps on increasing in Rwanda, they will still be needed for brands to differentiate themselves through the means of creating unique quality business logos, business cards, billboards, adverts, flyers, and posters, offering a graphic design service to such interesting brands that need your service.
It would be best if you positioned yourself as an expert or professional in graphic design service by providing them with your previous work samples to convince them to endorse or patronize you.
If you don’t have this skill, look for somewhere in your locality or a neighboring town where they offer graphics acquisition programs and acquire the knowledge of graphics design.
This is one of the feasible and lucrative small business ideas in Rwanda.
29. Daycare Center
Daycare service can easily be started from the comfort of your home. You can start this business if you have a great interest in kids.
The sure-fire tip to success in this kind of business is networking with parents who have little to no time to take their toddlers to the workplace.
30. Barbing Salon
You, as an entrepreneur, can learn this skill from an already existing barbing saloon in your locality and leverage it to the local market.
The best approachable way to succeed in this business is through rendering the best haircut services to your customer, and customer care should also be your priority.
31. Exportation of Agricultural products
You can be making a good amount of Rwandan Franc if you start exporting any profitable and fast-moving farm produce to the international markets.
An entrepreneur can choose to export some of the highly lucrative agricultural products such as Tea and coffee.
32. Start a construction company
As an experienced and certified structural engineer, you can as well set up your own construction company where you specialize in the building of more housing units in different cities in Rwanda, such as office space, residential buildings, and renovating old houses.
The construction industry is a goldmine and a good money-spinner if you have a tangible amount of clients who needs your quality building services.
The importation business does not require so much capital to start up in Rwanda as long as you chose to be a ‘Mini Importer.’
This is a high-income generating venture that can guarantee you financial freedom if you know the rule of the mini importation business.
34. Cosmetics and Beauty Product Business
This venture can thrive in any developing country. As an entrepreneur who chooses to go into the cosmetics and beauty products business, you can get more information from those in this line of business to know where you can purchase them in large quantities at wholesale prices and resell them as a retailer in other to get more profit.
Make sure you situate your business in a bustling location or a commercial area.
35. Handcraft business
If you have what it takes to create crafty items such as gift baskets, Weaving, Tatting, Crochet, Tapestry, Beaded Jewelry, and many others.
You can leverage this skill and use it to build up a lucrative and profitable venture for yourself in Rwanda.
You also need to make the best handcraft products with high quality and are still affordable for people to buy.
36. Invest in the health sector
A good state of well-being of an individual is very paramount in everyday life. As health personnel, you can choose a lucrative and profitable business idea in the health sector here in Rwanda.
Some of the high health business opportunities to carve out a venture for yourself are as follows: Pharmacy store (where you prescribe and sell drugs), set up a private hospital, sell medical equipment, health consultancy, and so on.
The health sector is regularized in most countries, and I know Rwanda wouldn’t be different.
So it is a good idea to ask from an already existing business and know the necessary steps you need to take before setting up any health-related business in Rwanda.
37. Food processing
The food processing business can thrive very well in Rwanda. There will still be a very high demand for more consumable products such as beverages, breakfast cereals, snacks, fruit juice, noodles, pasta, bread, soft drinks, and so on.
An entrepreneur or investor can give this business a headstart by getting yourself in touch with those who are in this line of business for you to have the upper hand because food processing needs the right and proper approach because we are talking about processed food that can contribute to humans health positively not the other way round so it shouldn’t be taken for granted or lightly.
38. Event planning and management
As an entrepreneur or investor, you can go into event planning and management services for individuals or corporate bodies who want to host one event, occasion, conference, seminars, parties, weddings, and so much more.
They are two things that can guarantee you a successful and profitable venture which are a marketing strategy and quality services.
39. Invest in Fintech
Financial Technology is another booming business to start in Rwanda if you’re into financial planning and management services.
They are many startups or already existing business who needs a finance expert who will work them down through on how to raise funds for their startups and management of their business finance so that they will have an up and well-doing business without much.
Some of the profitable business opportunities in the Fintech industry are crowding funding apps, payment solutions/gateways(for international transactions. Apps such as Paypal, Skrill, Venmo), investment & trading apps, personal finance apps, mobile banking app, business loans lending app.
You can create a payment solution system that can only work for Rwanda and other African countries.
Take a look at Paga and Paystack so that you will have a clear knowledge of what I’m talking about. Africa countries need more of this service to run their international business transactions more successfully and less stress.
40. Waste Recycling Business
In any fast-developing country such as Rwanda, they are a very high tendency that waste disposals and sanitation play a vital role amongst them. This should be considered a lucrative business to start up in Rwanda.
The waste recycling business can only be handled by professionals.
Blogging has proven to be one of the best online business ideas to start with minimum capital and more effort.
Only a few African countries like Nigeria have been able to produce high-paid bloggers such as Uche Pedro (Bellanaija.com), Linda Ikeji (Lindaikejisblog.com), Makinde Azeez (Naijaloaded.com.ng), and a few to mention.
Blogging has so many niches to choose from, such as technology, movies&music, health, entrepreneurship, news, finance&investment, and the rest of them.
Remember that Google is your friend; learn all you can about blogging from the Google search engine.
Dropshipping business can easily be started with less capital, and making good returns in dropshipping business is very much assured provided you play your card right.
This venture is quite different from mini importation; in dropping, all you need to do is that you sell products from the comfort of your home at a retail price, then you forward orders to your supplier, which you will be getting at a wholesale price.
They ship the product directly to your customer using your registered business name; during the course of this process, you make your own profit.
43. Electronics Repair
Electronics product is known best for developing faults at any unexpected time which they will require the service of an experienced electrician to get them fixed.
You acquire this skill, show your expertise by rendering the best electronics repair service to your ideal customers.
44. Interior Designing
With an increase in both commercial and residential buildings in Rwanda, rendering an interior design service should be your next target to starting a small business here in Rwanda.
The secret to attracting more customers is to have amazing networking skills and provide your best service to them.
As they increase the number of vehicles in Rwanda, they will also be an urgent or paramount need for car maintenance/repair service whenever a car develops one fault or the other.
You need to enroll in any skill acquisition program to learn how to repair vehicles, or you can probably attach yourself with an established mechanic workshop in your vicinity in other for you to have enough knowledge you need to provide the best car repair service for your prospective customers.
46. Job Recruitment Agency
Most African graduates in Rwanda are on the search for jobs in their various fields of study.
You can act as a middleman between Companies and Job Seekers; in so doing, you make a good amount of money.
Learn more about this business because I see it as a high-income-generating venture.
47. Business Plan Service
With the increase in various ventures in Rwanda, every business owner must need a business plan service from those specializing in writing down a scalable business plan for small and big business owners to run their business more effectively.
If you have what it takes to write a good and workable business plan, this is your chance of making a good amount of money without too much effort.
All you need is great networking skills and also show your areas of expertise to various business firms.
If you have an already existing business that you have worked with, you can show your working samples with them.
48. Hair Dressing & Stylist
As a female entrepreneur, a hair salon or stylist should also be on your list of small business ideas in Rwanda to choose from.
The best way to beat your competitors is to provide your best hairdressing service to any customer that patronizes your hair saloon business; if they love your service, they will surely recommend you to their families and friends.
Photography is a feasible and lucrative business in Rwanda because it does not require huge capital.
If you have an interest in starting a photography business in Rwanda, then you need to be at the top of the notch either by knowing dates for various occasions that will be held in Rwanda, provide good quality Photography service to your prospective customers.
Also, make sure to attach your name and phone contact on every photograph you print to enable people to get in touch with you whenever they need your service again.
50. Bar & Night clubs
Since Rwanda attracts many tourists worldwide, setting up a bar and nightclubs is an excellent business idea to venture into.
A good approach to this business is very paramount.
They you have it Top 50 small business ideas in Rwanda.
If they are another business idea you have in mind to start in Rwanda that is not listed here, go on and build that profitable and lucrative venture that you think can solve people’s problems.
My best advice for you is to do what is right, follow the right channel, meet the right people (most especially the locals in Rwanda), be hardworking, dedicated, and committed to building up your business in Rwanda.
See you at the top because that’s where you belong!