17 Best Small Business Opportunities in South Africa

South Africa is the second largest economy in Africa, and is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank. Growing and sizeable African middle class, establishing political environment, a good number of expatriates and abundance of natural resources altogether make South Africa one of the best countries in Africa for small business startup.

Though a significant number of South African population is unemployed, there are numerous small business opportunities in South Africa that can be started on either low budget and even with no cost at all.

This article will discuss the best and most profitable business opportunities and ideas for South Africa that can be started with ease as well as very limited investment.

small business opportunities in South Africa

1- Mobile Restaurant:

Food is the basic necessity and will be in demand till the last person lives on the planet. People living in South Africa are none too different and so there is always demand for ready to eat food. A mobile restaurant allows you to serve breakfast, lunch and snacks on the go and at the place of your choice. It doesn’t need much investment too. But yes, the food should be the best to attract more and more people.


2- Budget Clothing Shop:

Clothing comes right after food in the list of basic necessities and if you help people get budget clothing, they will surely like the idea. Readymade garments is a high profit business in any economy because people will never stop wearing clothes. A small scale clothing store that sells quality items on budget can prove to be a highly profitable business.


3- Business Setup Adviser:

If you are based in South Africa for long or a national who knows the business environment in detail, offering business setup advisory services to foreign and local entrepreneurs and investors can work great. It can be a no cost business idea too and can be started in part time as well.


4- Financial Adviser:

South Africa is rapidly growing as African business hub and so, the financial matters need to be taken care by experts. If you have hands on experience of the financial markets, you can start offering financial advisory services to businesses.


 5- Niche Website/Information Portal:

Let it be South African small business or education, almost everyone looks for relevant information online and so create opportunities for webpreneurs to build relevant website portals. The more busy and popular portal you develop, the more revenues it will bring.


6- Selling Online:

South Africans, just like the people from other developing countries are comfortable with online buying now so you can sell online. You can sell anything online, however, it is important to build trust among by selling the best quality.


7- Foreign Cuisine Restaurant:

Let it be a restaurant or a delivery services, people will love to have a readily available food that tastes like home. South Africa plays host to many expatriates as well as the tourists from almost around the world. All you need to know is who is in abundance in which area and start serving them right there.


8- Web Design/Development:

With almost every small and big business going online, South Africa opens opportunities for designers and developers to set up their own small business. As a design and development company, you can serve the South African market as well as can take outsourced projects from USA, UK and other countries via freelancing websites.


9- Online Marketing:

When the South African businesses are going online with their website, they do need someone to nd improve their online visibility, so it opens opportunity from online marketers to be entrepreneurs. Being and online marketing company based in South Africa, you don’t just have access to South Africa, but to the rest of the world too.

Related Reading: How to Start an Online Marketing Company


10- Tech/Gadgets Shop:

Being one of Africa’s largest markets for technology products, South Africa has it all for you to open a business that sells technology products. Almost all businesses now need PCs and their accessories and almost every other individual is looking to buy smartphones, and tablet computers.

You may deal in the new products as well as used items depending upon the locality and the market status.


11- Bed & Breakfast:

If you own a property that has a couple of spare rooms, lending them to the tourists can be the most profitable business. South Africa hosts thousands of visitors every year and not all of them are interested in expensive hotels.

This can be a great business for those too who live far away in the areas with rich cultural heritage, beautiful sceneries, lush landscapes, and so on.


12- Internet Service Provider:

With the tremendous increase in the demand for quality telecommunication and internet service, almost everyone is looking for the best. They need it not just for videos but businesses small and micro businesses need it for web conferencing as well. It may need a specific budget, however it’s more scalable when you start small.


13- Investment in Energy Sector:

The increased economic activities and expansion of mining industry the energy sector in South Africa needs more resources. If you have the amount required to invest in the Power sector, it’s going to be highly profitable.


14- Waste Management:

The growing population as well the growing economic activities are opening more doors for people to take initiative in waste management sector. Select a densely populated location and offer your services; people will love you handling their waste effectively.


15- Travel & Adventure:

South Africa is more beautiful than you think and it has a lot more to see than you know. If you are good at managing tours and trips, start your own adventure travel company and show the world beauty that lies in South Africa.


16- Laundry Services:

Laundry and dry cleaning can prove to be a good business in urban areas where more of the South African population is busy with their day jobs and have little or no time for laundry. All you need is to have a washer/dryer, iron and may be a person to assist!

Related Reading: Laundry Service Business Plan


17- Day Care Center:

Again, a profitable business idea for urban setups where there are most of working moms. You can start with a home based day care with option for limited children too, however, you must have to have the equipment to entertain kids as well as human resources to manage them.

Related Reading: Things to Consider Before Starting a Day Care Center


Pick up what you can do best, focus on providing value to the society and money will comes on its own way!


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