How to start a Curio Business with Ksh.10,000 and become profitable 

 July 16, 2016

By  BTK Staff

Starting the Curio Business.

Have you ever thought of starting a curio business? Well, it’s one of the most exciting and lucrative business ventures. Let’s get started.

Curio business involves mainly selling of art crafts, handicrafts, carvings. However, it is not only restricted to the three. The business runs well when related items are sold within the same business as well. They include but not limited to Akamba wooden carvings, bone and bead items, Maasai jewelry and sandals, paintings, African textile such as Kitenge, and Kisii soapstone carvings.

Despite the business gains popularity with tourists, more locals continue to purchase items from these firms. Therefore, the market is slowly gaining popularity among the locals.

Nonetheless, unlike Kenyans, tourists go deeper into their pockets when purchasing curio items. However, factors that affect tourists’ attraction such as insecurity and political instability do affect the business, especially when targeting solely tourists.

Factors to consider when starting a Curio Business

  1. Location.

    The success of curio business lies on its location. It is advisable to locate the business near famous tourist sites, major hotels, traditional and open-air volatile markets. Also, areas with a high human traffic

  2. License.

    Curio business operates without special licenses. The significant license required is the Single Business Trading License. The license is obtained from the county government offices.

  3. Sourcing your curio products.

    Wholesalers and artists are the leading suppliers of curios. Wholesalers come in handy when new to the business. The main reason being, they can offer advice on marketable items.
    Moreover, most wholesalers gather a broad range of curios from different locations. Therefore, as a retailer, you can choose your desired curios from a wide range them at one place. However, it is advisable to have a wide variety of curios to suit the needs of your diverse clients.
    On the other hand, sourcing directly from artists works well when your business has established itself. Meaning, you have gained market experience on what sells faster or is desired by many customers. Some artists might prefer to give you their items and receive payments once you sell the curios. It is a good deal, especially when starting the business with no much capital.

Capital requirements

  • Renovation of premises – approximately Ksh. 15,000. Depending on the business premise, you can choose to renovate or not. It includes shelves and business branding.
  • License – Ksh. 8,000. However, it varies based on size, county, and the business site.
  • Rent – Ksh. 10,000. Depending on factors such as your location. The price could be higher in a prime area or an area that enjoys booming curio business. Also, one can pay on a daily or monthly basis especially for open air business sites.
  • Stock – a small curio business would start off with ksh. 50,000. However, to efficiently meet diverse needs of clients through your curios as well as sell high-quality products, would require approximately Ksh. 200,000- Ksh. 400,000.
  • Manpower – in a situation whereby you don’t run the business on your own, an employee would be necessary. Ksh. 12,000 is an average salary for employees. Also, commission charges on every sale.


To thrive in the business amidst stiff competition requires consideration of various factors. The factors include but not limited to the business site, efficient customer skills, language proficiency, and a variety of products.

There you have it. Identify the business site, suitable premise, suppliers, and set off the business.

What are you waiting for?


BTK Staff

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