How to Identify a Start-up Opportunities in Kenya.

All aspiring entrepreneurs have an idea of the business they would love to start. Most of them have had these ideas in their minds for so many years.

Some businesses start and pick well while other businesses start and collapse after a while. This is simply because a business idea might not be a business opportunity.

You might start a business and a few months later, you run out of customers. Maybe it’s because your idea is not ‘attractive’ to your potential customers or your products/ services are not affordable.

Lacking customers affects your cash flow and no business can stand without cash flow. This might be a sign that your business idea was not really a business opportunity.

Most start-up businesses that pick and sustain themselves recognized a business opportunity and started their business on that. Their business idea was transformed into salable goods or services after identifying anopportunity.

A business opportunity is presented by a need, a problem, or a gap in the market. And, for your business idea to become a business reality, it needs to meet a need in the market.

In other words, for your business to succeed, your business idea should bring a needed solution to the market.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, look for business opportunities. Don’t roll out an idea unless there is a business opportunity for your idea to bring an impact or add value.

If you are a business-minded individual, there are a few ways you can identify a business opportunity. From that opportunity, you can come up with a business idea. 

How to recognize an opportunity.

As a business-minded person, you have to be aware of your market environment. The market environment highly influences how you recognize an opportunity.

Two authors, B. Barringer and R. Ireland, in the book Entrepreneurship, identify 2 ways business ideas begin.

Internal Reasons

As an entrepreneur, you choose or decide to start a company. You then go to the market looking for the opportunity or a need, gap, and a problem to solve. The company you establish solves these needs by providing products or services.

External Reasons

You identify a problem in the market that needs to be solved or a need/gap that needs to met. You then start a company that solves this problem or meets these needs for people who need them.

An opportunity is amplified by the right timing, right product, or right services. These products or services must have an impact or a value they offer to customers encouraging them to use them. 

Different Key approaches to identifying a start-up opportunity.

There are several key approaches you can use to find the right start-up opportunity.

Some of these approaches require time and research.

1. Observing the Market Trends.

Industries keep changing and if you are an aspiring entrepreneur, you have to be up-to-date with the market.

Consumer habits and behaviors highly determine the market trends in any given industry. Therefore, observing market trends will help you understand what customers are looking for the most.

Keep in touch with the market by knowing what is being said and what is happening in the industry. Keep track of industry publications such as journals, magazines, etc. and big influencers in the industry.

Make sure you get access to industry reports, analysis, and research and understand them to get an in-depth picture of the industry.

Above all, observing the market will help you predict what’s needed in the market and what’s is coming.

2. Existing Gaps in the Market.

Existing gaps in the market are the best when it comes to identifying a start-up opportunity.

Every market has gaps that existing entrepreneurs don’t notice easily as they are busy running their businesses. This is an opportunity to come up with ways to fill the gaps by starting a business.  

Look for specific aspects existing companies do not offer to consumers especially when their target audience is broad.

Look for an audience market existing companies have not tapped or reached with their services/ products.

You can find out existing gaps in the market by observing customer feedbacks on existing companies. See what the customers are saying, listen to them, and come up with a product/ service that fills that gap. For example, maybe the existing delivery company does not deliver to the rural regions away from the city. You can come up with a delivery company that reaches customers in rural regions far away from the city.

In-short, evaluate what existing companies in the market are offering and what they are not offering to customers. There is an opportunity for you to differentiate yourself by offering what they are not offering.

Go the extra mile and hire a professional to help you identify these gaps by doing market research for you.

3. Solving a Problem.

Identifying a problem among a specific audience or type of people can be the right business opportunity for you.

There is a great opportunity for you to pursue if you can come up with a salable product or service that can solve this problem.

Coming up with a solution to fix problems for consumers is a great way to start a business.

Listen to industry influencers and potential customers or leads to identify existing problems in the industry and see what you can do to solve the problem(s).

So, before you set your business idea on the go, ask yourself what problem you are solving and what need you are meeting.

Therefore, you need to do your research as an aspiring entrepreneur and align your business ideas to the needs in the market.

If you are an entrepreneur in the game already, you can use these approaches to find new opportunities to grow your business. You can use gaps in your business or problems in the market to expand your business.

Make sure you keep up with market trends to know what to expect and how you can tailor your business.


A successful business is based more on a business opportunity than it is on a business idea.

Most successful companies and businesses ruling the business world such as Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, Google, Etsy, etc. saw a business opportunity.

They observed the markets, knew what was needed, and introduced products/ services that added value to millions of customers.

Either from an existing problem that needed to be solved or a gap in the market that needed to be filled.  

Before investing money in your business idea, do your research to find out if it is just an idea or it is an opportunity to pursue.

Identify a need in the market that you can come up with an affordable product/ service to meet the need. Test out to see if the product or service is attractive to customers. If it is, that’s a business opportunity to pursue.