EXCLUSIVE: Top 30 Ugandan Lucrative Towns To Start Business In » Business Focus (2023)

Home &gt &gt EXCLUSIVE: Top 30 Ugandan Lucrative Towns To Start Business In

It’sa public secret that Uganda is one of the most enterprising countries globally.In 2015, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) rankedUganda the world’s most entrepreneurial country.

According to GEM, 28% of adults own or co-owna new business.

Thisis quite understandable; with over 400,000 young people entering the job marketannually, for a mere9,000 new jobs each year, many are left with no option, but to join business/entrepreneurshipfor survival.

However,many have concentrated in Kampala, where many similar businesses operate. Thisis probably because 80% of the country’s tax revenue comes from Kampala alone,according to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).

Itmeans most of the economic activities and a big percentage of people in themoney economy are in Kampala.

However,there are huge investment potentials outside Kampala, thanks to the increase inpopulation and growth of other towns.

Itis worth noting that unlike in the past, traders no longer have to travel toKampala for shopping because wholesale traders are shifting to strategicupcountry towns.

Itis against this background that Business Focus unveils a list oftowns with huge investment potentials in Uganda. The list is based on theprevailing economic activities in the town and its surroundings, location, populationand rate of growth. This will go a long way in guiding people who want to startbusiness in Uganda.



Mbararais one of the fastest growing towns in Uganda. It has surpassed manytraditional towns to become the second-largest town in Uganda after Kampala.

Thetown also has a number of industries and education institutions, making it aviable investment destination. It isalso one of the most populated towns in Uganda with close to 100,000 people.

Itis also worth noting that many men and women are increasingly thronging Mbararaover the weekends to spend their quality time in the horn of Ankole. It willprobably become Uganda’s leading red-light district. Needless to say MbararaMunicipality is gunning to be granted a city status. Many of the services inKampala if shifted to Mbarara will have market.

Thereare investment gaps in tourism industry, hotels, agricultural value addition,entertainment and recreation, healthcare, education and general trading amongothers.

There is a plan to make Mukono part of Kampala Metropolitan Area.

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The town is fast growing consideringthe fact that many people who work in Kampala reside in Mukono. There are alsomany factories being set up in Mukono especially in Mbalala area. Therefore,any investment in hotels, food/ restaurant, education, healthcare,entertainment and agricultural value addition will make money.

Additionally, Mukono is Uganda’s third most populated town after Kampalaand Nansana. In 2014, the national population census put the Mukonopopulation at 161,996.


LikeMukono, Wakiso is nearer to Kampala and therefore, many people who work or dobusiness in Kampala reside in Wakiso district. Wakiso town is located on the KampalaHoima highway,approximately 20 kilometres north-west of Kampala.

Severalbusinesses can thrive in Wakiso. Nansana Municipality is located betweenKampala and Wakiso town. It is one of the fastest growing and expandingtowns in Uganda.

Infact, its population beats that of Wakiso. In 2014, the national populationcensus put Nansana population at 365,124. Areas of investment include hotels,restaurants, education and healthcare among others.

Insimple terms, businesses operating in Kampala can also do well in Nansana.


Jinja, located about 81 kilometers, by road, east ofKampala was Uganda’s industrial hub for a long time. It has since beendethroned by greater Kampala. However,the new industries are emerging in a bid to revive the town’s lostglory.

Jinja is also strategically located on the shores ofLake Victoria and boasts of a number of tourist attractions including TheSource of River Nile among many others.Investment opportunities in areas of tourism, agribusiness,entertainment, education, value addition (industries), healthcare and realestate among others exist. Many businesses operating in Kampala can easilythrive in Jinja. With a population of 93,061 people, Jinja is one of the most important towns inUganda.


Hoima Municipality is oneof the fastest growing towns in Uganda, thanks to the discovery of oil in thearea. Hoima is Bunyoro’s largest town and is home to the Omukama (king) ofBunyoro.

A few industries havealready opened up in Hoima. There is huge potential in hotels business, foodand restaurant business, tourism, education, entertainment and recreation, realestate, healthcare and value addition among others.

Hoima has an estimated population ofover 39,000 people, but it is expected to increase given the increasingbusiness activities in the area.


Lira is approximately 110kilometres by road, southeast of Gulu and approximately 320 kilometres, by road, north of Kampala. Likemany towns in Northern Uganda, Lira is recovering from Lord’s Resistance Army(LRA) insurgency.

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A number of establishedbusinesses were destroyed by Joseph Kony’s rebels in the 20-decade war.

Withpeace prevailing now, Lira is one of the towns to invest in. Lira, with 119,323 people isamong the top five populated towns in Uganda.

Milton Emmy Akwam, aresident of Lira town says many untapped business opportunities in areas oftourism, hospitality and real estate, education, health and agribusiness existin Lira.

“Lira being the mother of all the districts inLango sub-region and with big population should have a museum. We have had ourown sons – from President Milton Obote to Oyite Ojok to George Cosmas Adyebo,among many others. These people [all dead] must be remembered in all ways andby having a public building with their sculptures, many would love to visit themuseum and see them,” Akwam said.

“This will also helppromote local tourism which has been launched this year and also to promotecultural heritage whose benefit can serve the entire sub-region,” he added.

Majority of the populationin Lira district depend on farming for survival. The town also boasts of a few agro basedindustries.


Gulu is the economiccapital of the Northern Region and the headquarters of the Gulu District. After the two decade LRA war in NorthernUganda, Gulu Municipality is now a hive of activity, with a number of local andinternational investors already having presence in the district. With apopulation of over 140,000, Gulu is no doubt one of the key towns you caninvest in. Almost all major investment areas remain hugely untapped.


Fort Portal Municipalityis one of the most attractive and cleanest towns in Uganda. It isapproximately located 297 kilometres,by road, west of Kampala.

Besides being attractiveitself, Fort Portal is surrounded by many tourist attractions. Therefore, moreinvestment opportunities in areas of tourism, hotels, entertainment andrecreation, health, education and agricultural value addition exist. The town is also surrounded by several largetea plantations. In terms of population, the town is home to over 42,000 people.


Tororo town is one of the growingtowns in Eastern Region and Uganda at large. It is the main municipal,administrative, and commercial center of Tororo District. The town hosts twocement factories and other agro based industries. With a population of over40,000 people, Tororo has huge investment potential in areas of hotels,tourism, education, entertainment, and healthcare among others.

The town also has several touristattractions including the famous Tororo rock.


Busia town located in Eastern Uganda isthe main municipal, administrative, and commercial center of Busia District, with the district headquarterslocated there.

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Busia is at the border with Kenya and is approximately195 kilometres, by road, east of Kampala. The town is ahive of activity and being at the border with Kenya is ideal for almost anybusiness. Potential areas of investment include hotels, restaurants, banking,education, healthcare, entertainment, general trading and agribusiness amongothers. Busia is home to 43,200people, making it one of the most populated towns in Uganda.


Kisoro is approximately460 kilometres, by road, southwest of Kampala and is arguably the largest townin the Kigezi sub-region.

With a population of over12,000 people, Kisoro town is surrounded by several tourist attractions, makinginvestment in tourism related services ideal.

Kisoro is located underthe peaks of the Mufumbiro Mountains, which are part of the Virunga Mountainsand home to rare mountain gorillas. Mountain scenery, Lake Mutanda, colorfulmarkets, and volcano trekking also are available for visitors to Kisoro.

It is the nearest town to the Mgahinga GorillaNational Park and is an access town for those traveling to Rwanda or the DRCfor gorilla tracking in the Volcanoes National Park or the Virunga NationalPark.

Therefore, investments inhotels, entertainment, trading in general merchandise, education and healthcareamong others can have a return on investment in a short period of time.


Masaka is approximately140 kilometres south-west of Kampala on the highway to Mbarara. The town isclose to the Equator. The town is estimated to have over 65,000 people.

Most of the people arefarmers with both cattle and other crops like coffee. Key areas of investmentinclude agricultural value addition, hotels, education, healthcare andentertainment among others.


Mbale is approximately 245 kilometres by road, northeast of Kampala. In 2014, the national populationcensus put the population at 96,189. People in the area grow coffee, Uganda’sleading cash crop.

Mount Elgon, one of the highest peaks in EastAfrica, is approximately 52 kilometres east of Mbale.

Further,Mbale is home to multiple higher learning institutes and financial institutionbranches.

Areas of investment include industry, tourism, hotels, entertainment,education and healthcare among others.


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Mpondweis located in the Rwenzori Mountains in Kasese District. The town is at theborder with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Bwera is anothersettlement to the immediate east of the Mpondwe border crossing. The MpondweTown Council incorporates Bwera, and in this article “Mpondwe” refersto the combined “Mpondwe-Bwera” metropolitan area.

Mpondweis one of the three busiest border crossings between Uganda and the DemocraticRepublic of the Congo, namely, Goli, in Nebbi District, Bunagana, in KisoroDistrict.

Thetown is the busiest border crossing between the two countries, based on volumeof exports and imports. The national census in August 2014 put the populationat 51,018. Areas of investment include hotels, trading in general merchandiseand entertainment among others.

Onecan also invest in Kasese town especially in tourism related services.


Entebbe sits on thenorthern shores of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake. The town is situatedin Wakiso District, approximately 37 kilometressouthwest of Kampala.

On27 August 2014, the national population census put Entebbe’s population at69,958.

Investmentsin areas of tourism, education, entertainment and recreation and hotels amongothers can make money.


Othertowns with huge investment potentials include Kabale (with a population of over43,000 people),Soroti (with a populationof about50, 000 people), Njeru(with a population of over 60,000 people), Kitgum (with a population of over 56,000), Arua (with a population ofover 55,000 people),

Iganga(with a population of over 45,000 people), Lugazi (with a population of over 35, 000 and Masindi (with a population of over 30,000 people.”Key areas of investment include hotels, agro based industries, entertainment,education and healthcare among others.

Tocontribute to this story, contact: 0775170346/[emailprotected]



Which is the fastest growing town in Uganda? ›

Gulu in Northern Uganda is one of the country's fastest growing cities, with an annual population growth rate of approx. 2.8%.

Which business can I start with 10million in Uganda? ›

Back to the business ideas you can start with small capital in Uganda, here you go, and hopefully you find one that suits you.
  • Chicken farming. ...
  • Motorcycle bodaboda business. ...
  • Small shop in your area. ...
  • Selling second hand clothes.
8 Dec 2020

Which business can I start with little capital in Uganda? ›

Water Business. Water is a basic need that one cannot do away with in life. In Uganda, there are many places without a constant supply of water. Selling water to people around you is a low-cost home business.

What should I invest in Uganda? ›

Investment Opportunities
  • Agriculture Value Addition. Opportunities in large scale production, agro-processing and agribusiness. PRIORITY SECTOR.
  • Tourism. Opportunities in accomodation and development of new products. PRIORITY SECTOR.
  • Mineral Value Addition. Opportunities in mining and mineral beneficiation. PRIORITY SECTOR.
5 days ago

Who is the best city in Uganda? ›

Best cities to live in Uganda
  • Kampala. Liveability. $637. 1.66M.
  • Entebbe. Liveability. $516. 70K.
  • Kira Town. Liveability. $486. 317K.
  • Jinja. Liveability. $405. 72.9K.
  • Gulu. Liveability. $433. 152K.
  • Mbale. Liveability. $469. 96.2K.
  • Tororo. Liveability. $491. 41.9K.
  • Arua. Liveability. $470. 62K.

What is the biggest town in Uganda? ›


What will be the biggest city in 2050? ›

City population 2050
1Mumbai (Bombay), IndiaGuadalupe, Mexico
2Delhi, IndiaBarcelona, Spain
3Dhaka, BangladeshGuiyang, China
4Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the CongoLusaka, Zambia
5Kolkata (Calcutta), IndiaDetroit, United States of America
76 more rows

Which business can I start with 500000 Ugandan shillings? ›


500,000 you can start phone business in Kampala. There are UK used untested android and blackberry phones they are selling in Mutasa Kafeero plaza and neighboring buildings starting from 50,000 Uganda Shillings each.

Which business is best in Uganda? ›

1. Food Processing: Most of the food which is consumed in Uganda are imported from neighbouring countries and countries outside the continent. As a result of the food importation, the country ends up spending many millions of dollars every year just on food importation.

What kind of business can I start with 1m? ›

Business I can start with 1 million naira in Nigeria
  • Opening a small supermarket. ...
  • Opening a small restaurant. ...
  • Boutique business. ...
  • Phone and computer accessory business. ...
  • Bakery business. ...
  • Producing yoghurt and ice cream. ...
  • Poultry farming. ...
  • Fish farming.
16 Jan 2019

Where should a beginner invest? ›

The best investments for beginners
  1. 401(k) or employer retirement plan.
  2. A robo-advisor.
  3. Target-date mutual fund.
  4. Index funds.
  5. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  6. Investment apps.
18 Aug 2022

Which investments give highest returns? ›

8 best investment plans in India for high returns
  • Saving Account.
  • Liquid Funds.
  • Short-Term & Ultra Short-Term Funds.
  • Equity Linked Saving Schemes (ELSS)
  • Fixed Maturity Plans.
  • Treasury Bills.
  • Gold.

Who is the richest man in Uganda? ›

List of Ugandans by net worth
namenetworth (USD)residence
Mohammed AlibhaiKampala
Mohammed Hamid~1 billion (2019)Kampala
Mukesh Shukla100+ million (2012)Kampala
Patrick Bitature670 million (2021)Kampala
34 more rows

How can I invest in little money in Uganda? ›

So, here are 8 investment options to consider while young regardless of how much you earn.
  1. Money markets. ...
  2. Life insurance policy. ...
  3. Buying and reselling land in the village or on the outskirts of the city. ...
  4. Small business opportunities with value addition. ...
  5. SACCO interests. ...
  6. Cryptocurrency trade.
21 Jun 2022

What is the biggest company in Uganda? ›

List of Top 100 Companies in Uganda
RankName of Company
96 more rows


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