scones-on-an Oven -rack-served-with-creamy-jam

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way of life of Ugandans just like everyone else in the world.  Many in Uganda have realised the need to have more than one source of income to support them and their families. Coronavirus has rendered many workplaces unreliable. What we all know for now is that the pandemic is here to stay and we have adjusted our lives to the new trends.

Amongst the new trends is are the essential businesses and jobs.  Many Ugandans have realized the need to startup businesses, and be more self-reliant amidst the struggling economy, and the food business has been noted as one of the essential sectors.

Here is a list of easy to start-up businesses in the food sector in Uganda

Ice cream

Classic Vannila Ice cream

Ice cream parlours are a trending business both in small trading centres and shopping malls.  Having a variety of flavours and attractive packages will attract more customers to your Ice Cream Stand.  A good location, cleanliness, and good quality of ingredients for making your ice cream will help to promote this business.  A good Ice cream machine can be acquired with Uganda Shillings 5 million.

an Ice-cream machine

Car boot selling

selling of passions fruits in a car boot

Car boot selling for farm products like passion fruits, bananas, avocados are increasingly becoming popular in the food business. It is a form of mobile marketing for products. Other car boot products include snacks targeting the breakfast needs of people going to work.  You will need your personal car most favourably for this business. Take note of the laws and regulations of different towns and cities as well to avoid breaking the law.

Cakes and Pastries

Ugandans love to celebrate all the small victories in life. You can be a part of the joy by baking and making cakes that are standard and meet the needs of your consumers. This business will require a lot of your creativity, differentiation and value addition. A good second-hand oven will cost you around Uganda shillings 850,000 for your startup.

Assorted cakes with cream fillings

Juice machines

Fruit juice machine and dispenser with colourful juices

Fresh and natural juice machines will not let you down. Juice freshly made is in high demand compared to processed juices. A good location, hygiene, good packaging and presentation will attract more customers for you.

Backyard Gardening

Oyster mushrooms growing at home

Home gardening for fresh vegetables like Sukuma, spinach, gobe and dodo varieties is a good side business for you.  If you have some backyard space that you can put to use at your home you can start vegetable backyard farming. Mushroom growing is one of the crops that people grow in small spaces. A little bit of research about your crops, arities and diseases will be of advantage to you in this sector

Rolex stands

The Ugandan Rolex on a black and white striped plate

The Ugandan Rolex is surely one of those areas that will earn you money once you are placed in the right location, passion, and ingredients. Starting a Rolex standing in a highly-populated urban area will be more profitable for you, as Rolex is predominately eaten as street food on the go. You can add value to your Rolex by being more creative with your recipe to differentiate your product. Remember not to lose the originality of the Rolex with changes in your recipe, a Rolex is a Rolex with is s original recipe ingredients.

Snack making

Several samosas on a white plate

Snack making is another start side business you can start. The most common snacks are gonja crips, daddies, Ugandan bagiyas, cookies, sim-sim balls, groundnuts, embelege/ hard cons. you will need little start-up capital for the ingredients needed to make the snacks, packaging and branding. The biggest need for this start-up business is to identify your consumers and find available markets for your goods. Offices, schools, shops, supermarkets are your potential customers. Brand your business and maintain a good image of your business

Foodstuff whole selling

Foodstuff whole selling or in large quantities is on the rise.  With lockdown and transport lockdown, consumers still need fresh foodstuffs. Bringing food closer to homesteads is a solution to scarcity and long distances to the nearest main markets. On the rise in this business are Banyakole boys who stage large quantities of fresh matooke, Irish, tomatoes, cabbage from the west in different locations around Kampala at similar prices to the main markets or even cheaper.

Chips Stalls

John Walker Scotch Wishkey

Street chips stalls are popular in urban areas which are highly populated and school areas like universities, these often compete with the Ugandan Rolex stands as they try to attract some of their customers. Chips stalls owners also offer additions like chicken, sausages, liver.  A clean stall with improved packaging and serving procedures will stand out and attract more customers. 

Soft and Alcoholic Beverages

With the close of bars for the last 2 years in Uganda due to the coronavirus pandemic, the sale of alcoholic beverages has become a popular startup business for those who wish to fill the gap of closed bars. This business can either be homemade, retail, online or mobile.  Offering free delivery to your consumers is an addition of value to the startup business.  Soft beverages like soda and water, juice have a high demand in Uganda a good location.

Things to do before starting a start-up food business in Kampala

A business plan

Prepare a business plan for the start-up business you wish to start. This will help you to improve the chances of your business succeeding.  A business plan will act as a road map to where you want to go in your business.  You can get to your destination with no road map, but having one will reduce your chances of getting lost. A business plan is therefore a tool for you to lay down your goals and track your progress.


The location of your food business is a key factor in determining its success rate.  A good location will place in the right supply chain network where you

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