Top 10 sources of business ideas & opportunities for entrepreneurs ▷

Real-life scenarios have grown to become some of the greatest sources of business ideas and opportunities for both young and established entrepreneurs. They can work for anyone with the desire to join the entrepreneurship world. Several multi-billion entrepreneurs have testimonies and proof that they started with an idea and developed it gradually into a thriving business.

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What are the various sources of business ideas that can help you start a prosperous business? Business ideas are crucial as they determine the company’s potential energy at start-up levels to the time when it begins to flourish while achieving set objectives.

List of sources of business ideas and opportunities for entrepreneurs

Do you want to start a business but do not know any source of business ideas? Here are the top 10 sources of business ideas and opportunities for entrepreneurship that can lead you to a successful business.

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1. Past work experience

Past work experience, especially business experience, will help you navigate all odds while thinking about your next business idea. Entrepreneurship doesn’t have any rules as it is greatly guided by creativity, motivation and self-confidence.

Past work experience is one of the greatest sources of business ideas as the entrepreneur already has the basic knowledge of the product he is planning to introduce to the market. This experience helps you understand the customers’ needs and how to build products that customers will appreciate.

Sources of business ideas
Linet Achieng, a woman boat owner, helps her fishermen load fishing nets into her boat Photo: Simon Maina
Source: Getty Images

Past business experience combined with great skills will surely take your business to the level you want it to be as you leverage the skills and experiences you have gained over the years.

2. Hobbies and interests

A hobby is an activity that you enjoy doing during your leisure time and is one of the primary sources of business ideas for entrepreneurs. In fact, most people have founded great successful businesses while pursuing their interests or hobbies. For instance, if you enjoy travelling, playing with computers, music, sports, performing or cooking, you can seamlessly develop it into a business.

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You can join the tourism, entertainment or hospitality industry by venturing deeper into your favourite activity. These are just a few suggestions since there are lots of leisure activities that can lead you to the world of successful entrepreneurship. Just consider what you are good at, and you are ready to go.

3. Consultation

Consultation is defined as meeting with an expert in order to seek advice. You can consult with an expert in the business world on the best business ideas. Although most consultants require a fee, they will provide you with the information you need to start a business.

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Consultants typically have many years of experience in the business world. Therefore, seeking professional advice will help you know what to expect, what goals to set, how and when to achieve them.

Although the consultant may not be a business owner, he/she will play an essential role in helping you achieve your goals. Consultants may also warn you about what is not working in the business world, which will help you make an informed decision on how to go about your business idea.

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4. Customer surveys

Customers are the largest source of new product ideas as they are the direct consumers of the products you plan on introducing to the market. Opening up a business that will improve the current products to customers’ tastes and preferences will help you navigate quickly through the business world.

You can also make contacts with prospective consumers who will help you know what needs to be improved on the current product. If you introduce a product to the market, you can begin by offering them freebies, which will give you the opportunity to show them how you have improved the current products to their satisfaction.

Sources of business ideas
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (r, CDU) congratulates Kenyan Juliana Rotich on receiving the German Africa Prize for her outstanding social entrepreneurial commitment Photo: Jörg Carstensen
Source: Getty Images

The relationship you build with your potential customers during the survey leads you to new sources of business ideas as they freely share their challenges with you. Thus, ensure that you talk to several existing and potential customers to understand their needs.

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5. Brainstorming

Brainstorming is also one way of generating new business ideas. Your thoughts are so powerful that they may have the power of generating a new product that has never been invented. It is possible to develop your business idea and then convert it into a business that will become successful in the future. Brainstorming allows you to think freely without fear of getting judged.

For instance, you may ask the question, “what are the services or products necessary in the home that are hard to get?” The secret behind brainstorming is to come up with as many ideas and options as possible. This method is one of the most effective sources of new business ideas as it focuses on a specific product in the market.

Dreams are also part of the sources of developing business ideas though most people tend to ignore them. While you can get ideas during deep sleep in the form of dreams, you can also discover the germ of a wonderful business idea as you meditate during the night when you lose sleep.

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6. Market gap analysis

Necessity has always been the mother of invention. Market gap analysis provides an opportunity for the entrepreneur to know the existing gaps in the market and plan how to fill these gaps. A gap analysis will also help the entrepreneur recognize the current state of products in the market by measuring time, money and labour and comparing it to his/her target.

You can identify a gap in the market by monitoring the trends in your area of expertise and keeping in touch with those in your industry. You can also evaluate your competitor’s offers and differentiate yourself. Entrepreneurs can also adapt an existing product or service to make it suit their own business. Identify where there is a possible gap and invent a way of filling that gap.

7. Research and development

An entrepreneur can also conduct research on the products that are available in the market and which ones have the highest demand. There are so many areas where the entrepreneur can get such ideas, including but not limited to the internet, books and journals, research institutions etc. The internet always has it all.

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You can get the best business ideas over the internet by simply browsing on your phone at the lowest cost. With just a click of a button on your computer or phone, you can get the best idea that will work perfectly according to your interests and locality. Starting a successful business has never been this easy!

Sources of business ideas
A saleswoman of a shop for household goods is talking to two customers Photo: Thomas Imo
Source: Getty Images

Formal institutions can also provide you with the best business ideas as they are always better equipped with data on what is most consumed by the consumers. Whatever way you conduct your research doesn’t matter; what matters most is the information you collect from the research that will help you start your business.

8. Family and friends

Family and friends are also a great way of coming up with a business idea. Could family and friends be the reason why there exist great family businesses that have thrived for centuries? There are plenty of businesses that you can venture into with your family or friends.

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Even though experts warn against getting into business with your friends, if a life-changing opportunity comes knocking for you and your friends, then why not try it out? There are thousands of businesses started with friends and family that have thrived so well.

What guides a business is the values and the rules set, and the rest will flow peacefully like a river. If you’re with your friends and a business opportunity comes popping, don’t ignore it!

9. Current trends

Most people like being up to date with the latest trends in fashion, electronics and many other things. You can build up your business idea based on current trends to keep up with people’s needs. Most people die for the latest phones; why can’t you come up with a way of providing them with the best?

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Watch out for the latest trends that people would die to have and offer them reasonable prices. Current trends greatly inspire new business ideas. Simply lookout for what your clients need and avail it to them as soon as the product hits the market. Should there be any changes to the product, you should be the first to get the changed product to meet your clients’ needs.

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10. Mass media

The mass media, including television, newspapers, the internet, radio, and magazines, are a great source of ideas, information, and opportunities. One way to become a successful entrepreneur is taking a careful look at the advertisements and commercials in these media. By reading a magazine or newspaper, you can easily come across a business for sale that interests you.

The media can also report on the trending fashion and pressing customer needs that you can jump on and start a business. If, for example, you find out that there is a high demand for physical fitness and healthy eating practices, you can start a fitness and healthy eating centre.

Sources of business ideas
Portrait of Joshua Saitozi, owner of a pharmacy, at work in Talek, Kenya Photo:Thomas Imo
Source: Getty Images

While traditional media, including television, radio, and newspapers, have been great sources of ideas to run a new business, the internet has emerged as the latest information technology with instant millions of ideas.

As you compare the different sources of business ideas and the available opportunities, you can easily go for an idea that involves insignificant risks and no possible failure at the starting stage. With time, you will also give a testimony that you started off with an idea, and it developed gradually into a thriving business. also published an article on 15 new untapped business ideas in Kenya 2021. Despite the tale of no jobs, many opportunities make Kenya an attractive business destination. Locals and foreigners alike can capitalize on the opportunities to earn a living. However, it is not all a bed of roses for one to make it in this field.

One should be armed with capital and patience before the business can start paying. Starting a business in Kenya is not a death sentence as long as you follow the right procedures and be sharp in whatever you do. To make it as an entrepreneur, you should have extensive knowledge of new untapped business ideas in Kenya.

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