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Are you a South African or a foreigner who wants to start your own business? Many profitable small business ideas in South Africa will make your entrepreneurial dream come true.
This means you have lots of opportunities to prosper with your business in South Africa.
Why Should You Start A Business In South Africa
Industry experts agree that South Africa is becoming an attractive hub for investors and entrepreneurs because of various social, economic, and political reforms. There are many business ideas in South Africa for everyone.
You can take advantage of that too.
I tell you!
South Africa is well-positioned for entrepreneurs and anyone who is interested in doing small business.
There are many small business opportunities in South Africa which require very little money to start. Moreover, the environment is very conducive for entrepreneurship.
According to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest report on the World Economic Outlook, South Africa is the second-largest economy in Africa. The GDP is estimated to be $349.3 billion and a per capita of $6,160.73.
The unemployment rate in South Africa stands at 26.7% of the active labor force as of the first quarter of 2018.
Some economic models have predicted this unemployment rate in South Africa to trend around 28.40 percent in 2019 and 2020.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s (GEM) 2017/2018 report revealed that the total early-stage entrepreneurial activities (TEA) of South Africa is 11.0 percent.
It is interesting to note that the entrepreneurial intentions in South Africa have increased over the past few years.
It is very true that there are lots of fantastic business ideas in Africa. However, it can be confusing for most startups if you don’t know where to look.
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The Top Small Business Ideas In South Africa
With these business opportunities outlined below, you can decide to make it a part-time or a full-time job. Whatever shape or form you take it, you must give it your best shot. It is also not limited to only men or women, young or successful entrepreneurs. For some of these businesses, you can work from home and make a huge amount of money.
Here is the list of the best small business opportunities in South Africa that has created many successful entrepreneurs:
1. Animal Feed Production
Some of the animal feed that can be produced in SA includes cattle feed, poultry or chicken feed, bird food, and several others.
Animal feed manufacturers in South Africa witnessed an increased growth of 10% each year with an average production of 3.5 million tonnes each year, making feed production the center of the county’s agriculture.
Two (2) main groups supply the animal feed in South Africa. Thus the Animal Feed Manufacturers Association (AFMA) and the unorganized animal feed market. According to the 2017/2018 report, maize represented over 41% of the animal feed market.
The most important factors that determine the constituents of an animal feed include the nutritional value of the components, the prices of the raw materials, Nutritional requirement of the specific animal.
Livestock feed production is one of the most lucrative agro-processing business ideas in South Africa. This is because the feed producer doesn’t go through the risk and high cost of raising farm animals.
As an animal feed producer, you can export these products to other countries where demand is very high such as Nigeria, Kenya, Niger, and others.
You can do this cheap business with agricultural materials such as wheat, corn, forage, sorghum, vitamins, among others and turn them into nutritious feed for livestock needs.
Read also: Agriculture Business Ideas in Africa.
2. Tomato Sauce Making
Tomatoes are one of the most consumed vegetables in South Africa.
That is why the Tomato Producers Association of South Africa is striving hard to make the production and marketing of tomatoes very easy for everyone in the country.
There are several products that you can make from tomatoes. You can package your tomato products in a way that will suit your marketing goals. Thus plastic containers, aluminum containers, glass jars, etc.
Here are some of the products you can get from tomatoes:
- Dried tomatoes
- Tomato paste
- Fresh tomatoes
- Tomato juice
- Powdered tomatoes
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3. Bread Bakery Business In South Africa
Have you ever thought of establishing a bread-making business? If you have the interest, then give it your best shot.
The manufacturing business is now the next level for entrepreneurs in South Africa.
Everyone eats bread in SA. Bread has remained a widely-accepted food because it is convenient and ready-to-use.
The African bread industry is worth billions of dollars each year, and South Africa is the largest and leading bread market. This means you can make huge money from this multi-million dollar industry.
A bread bakery business can be started from home or a bread factory. It is one of the easiest businesses to start.
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4. Leather Bag Business
This is particularly important for the manufacturing industry.
Making leather bags is a profitable business idea for many startup entrepreneurs in South Africa. Leather products are consumed heavily in most African countries and even the whole world at large.
The availability of raw materials in Africa and the low cost of starting the business are among the reasons for the booming leather business in Africa.
Why not take advantage of that?
But before then, consider these tips for making your leather business a successful one:
- Develop a business plan
- Identify the most appropriate raw materials
- Choose a suitable location for your business
- Be sure of your marketing channels
- Choose a specific design. Cut the leather according to design.
Here is the secret:
Leather bags for women has got huge demand throughout the world.
This is because women are very fashionable and love to have a great collection of bags. So, though am pretty sure you are going to produce quality leather bags, you need to consider your target consumers.
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5. Tailoring Business Ideas In South Africa
In South Africa, tailoring business is one of the oldest and the most profitable at the moment. The idea of doing a tailoring business can be frustrating especially for those who are not professional tailors.
But let me assure you.
Things have changed.
And it is not as difficult as it may seem.
Gone are the days when tailoring business is reserved for those who have had years of training in the field.
You can start the business whether you are trained or not. Though it is better if you are a professional, you can still employ a tailor to do that job.
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6. Laundry and Cleaning Services In South Africa
Are you aware that the laundry and cleaning services are a multi-million dollar business?
This is the gist I have for the smart entrepreneurs out there.
Many people hate doing their laundry. This has no limit; from the very poor, the middle class, to the ultra-rich.
This creates a home business opportunity for those who are interested in the laundry industry.
Busy schedules and lazy lifestyles are some of the reasons why many people pay laundry businesses to take care of their clothes.
And this is a goldmine for those of you who want to establish the laundry and cleaning business in South Africa.
It is important to study the market force, examine the trend, chip-in your business ideas.
Anyone can do this business. Just grab a laundry shop where you do the sorting, washing, drying, and ironing of the clothes.
But before then, sit back and plan your business.
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7. Food Business Ideas In South Africa
Have you ever wondered if food delivery is one of the best small business ideas in South Africa?
You don’t need me to tell you. Food is a basic need, and everybody, including everybody, yearns for it.
The research conducted by the South African National Health and Nutrition Examination indicated clearly the food security crisis the nation was facing.
According to the report, 32% of rural folks are at risk of being food insecure, while 36% of these people are already in the crisis of food insecurity.
From that same research, 28% of those in the urban areas are at risk, whereas 26% were already experiencing the hunger crisis.
And that was the conclusion drawn by Du Plessis when he said almost 50% of the people are either food insecure already or at risk of food insecurity.
This is a great business opportunity for young entrepreneurs in South Africa to rise to the occasion and help curb the looming danger that we are confronted with.
Most South Africans are busy doing one thing or the other. Getting time and convenience to cook has now become a concern for many homes.
The demand for restaurants and the fast-food market is on the rise.
This is where the opportunity comes for serious entrepreneurs. If I were you, I would invest in the food business in South Africa.
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8. Participate In Surveys
This is another home business opportunity in South Africa and you can do it online at your leisure time.
The majority of people tend to show much reluctance when filling out surveys for free. However, when they are motivated, things change.
The truth is that, nowadays, many companies pay for it. It is interesting to note that the income obtained is not that high, but the risk is entirely zero and is worth your time.
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9. Sell Home-Made Products On The Internet.
More and more people are planning to sell something online. Thus, having a particular skill for the preparation of biscuits or soaps or for making handmade clothes can be an exciting business opportunity.
You can choose to sell them via a marketplace like eBay or Amazon or opt for your online store.
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10. Become Real Estate Agent In South Africa
The economic crisis that affected the real estate market in the past has slowed down. The real estate business in South Africa generates a good income and many opportunities.
More importantly, in terms of rents, but also, to a lesser extent, in sales.
Unlike the past where you don’t need to do much to start a real estate business, the narrative is not the same today.
The property business is one that requires many requirements you need to satisfy before one is permitted to start.
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11. Become A YouTuber
The YouTube business or video blogging is not limited exclusively to the youngest ones. Moreover, anyone who is capable of creating fun, useful and hooked videos, can attract followers, visits and, consequently, make money.
Video blogging is usually a home-based business.
Besides, YouTube is usually a medium-term platform for your videos. Either you earn a lot or very little.
12. Tutoring Business Ideas In South Africa
Those who are specialists in any education have the opportunity to teach others through the Internet. For this, they usually use online portals and resources, such as chat platforms, audiovisual content, etc.
13. Start A Personal Training Business.
Are you wondering about starting your personal training business?
How prepared and dedicated are you about this business.
The research conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that personal training demand will increase at least 8% by 2024.
This means there is a high potential for this kind of business now and even in the future.
Also, starting a personal training business in South Africa is not different from other countries. You need a certification to do that.
Once you are certified, you can start your business, and your clients will have confidence in you.
Read the complete guide here: Personal Training Business Ideas for Health and Profit.
14. Sell Your Photographs
Many people have a digital camera and, honestly, do not know how to use it for business.
Are you one of them?
I doubt it.
I believe you are always taking pictures and uploading them to your Instagram feed. If you love snapping photographs, you can turn your passion or interest in a photography business.
Moreover, this doesn’t take much of your time, and you can do it with your current job.
Before you decide to monetize your photo-taking hobby, consider the following:
- Develop a business structure.
- Officially establish your business or brand
- Get quality materials for your business
- Sell your photos online: You can take advantage of stock photo sites.
15. Mobile Phone Repair Business
Smartphones and tablets are often mishandled. So when this happens, it is not strange that its screen is broken and a replacement is necessary. This creates a business opportunity for those who are trained to repair such devices.
16. Bicycle Repair In South Africa
You may be wondering: why bicycle repair business in South Africa?
I will urge you to stop wondering and start the business. As bicycles are widely used, they breakdown occasionally.
Because most people don’t know how to fix bikes, it creates a business opportunity for professionals who are knowledgeable in repairing them.
If you are technically inclined and also interested in cycling, then I encourage you to start a bike repair shop in South Africa.
Also, don’t ever think of making money only from repairing bicycles. You can sell used bikes at a very discounted price or even selling the parts and still make huge income.
17. Become An Import Specialist
The world of business is increasingly globalized and, therefore, it is common for stores and shops to sell products from abroad.
However, in many cases, to do so it is necessary to overcome certain legal procedures. Those who are interested in this kind of business can take advantage of the many import opportunities in South Africa and make decent money.
18. Making And Selling unique Gift Baskets
Making gift baskets and filling them with products according to the customer’s demand is another thing many South Africans do. Moreover, these are personalized and unique gifts that can’t find in any shop or mall.
19. Coffee Shop Business In South Africa
Are you ready to start a coffee shop in 2019?
The food business in South Africa is always on the rise.
Starting a coffee business in South Africa is not so easy and not so complicated that you can’t do. It depends on what you need to do or how you need to do it.
Also, don’t be distracted by any perception you already have. The most essential ingredient in doing any business is passion.
Once you have an interest in starting your coffee shop, do the necessary research, plan, and finally, develop your coffee business concept. This way, you will gradually and steadily gain the confidence to start and open your coffee shop.
20. Start A Car Wash Business Ideas In South Africa
If you really want your car wash business to be successful, you must be organized and start designing your business.
This will help you see on paper what you want to add or remove from your business.
There is no doubt that car washing is of the most lucrative businesses in South Africa. This is because many people hate washing their cars not only because it is laborious, but they don’t have the skills and equipment to do the cleaning.
There are also very good seasons where the demand is high, which runs from December to April. Don’t forget the holidays where the vehicles return extremely dirty!
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21. Transport Business Opportunities
The transport industry is one of the most lucrative businesses to establish. Many entrepreneurs turn to flee from the sector because of its competitiveness.
As it is in any industry, competition is a hurdle one must overcome and do it diligently.
From my little observation, those who fail in this rather profitable business venture are the ones who don’t study the industry well enough to know what it entails.
The fact that you know how to drive doesn’t mean you can run a transport business without any difficulty. It goes beyond that.
So what I will urge you to do is to take your time and study the terrain very carefully before you start the business.
22. Open A Barbershop In South Africa
This is one of the most profitable small business ideas in South Africa.
Men are looking for a place where they can get a haircut and also a good shave. If you can provide this kind of service and in a professional way, then you are a successful barber in this 21st century.
Find a good location and be professional. The location is essential for any type of business. Set up your barbershop in a busy area.
If you are in the city, that is that’s great. Your barbershop should be in an area with an influx of men with high purchasing power.
This can be around a shopping center or a busy avenue in your city.
Why this choice?
Executives and members of the middle class are people who can afford to go three times a week to pay for a shave. Poor people choose to shave by themselves.
If you want to add a little bit of touch to your business, then create a warm and professional environment for your customers.
Surely there will be many barbershops in your area. If so, you will have to find a way to stand out.
Think about offering additional services such as discounts, massages, and free drinks.
To start a barbershop in South Africa, here are some of the things you will need:
- Electric trimmer
- Disinfectant and cleaners
- Shaving and beard care products
- Hair dryer
- Hair care products
Many wholesale distributors work with barbershops. Research the different suppliers and compare the prices.
Read this also: List Of Standard Bank Branches In South Africa.
What Products Are In High Demand In South Africa
After knowing all the small business ideas in South Africa, you may think that the next thing to do is to jump into establishing an enterprise right away.
That’s a good idea, right?
Your investments may go down the drain.
Admittedly, those are good business ideas. Those ideas can be converted to business opportunities only when you identify a gap in the market and take advantage of that deficit.
That is, as an entrepreneur, you need to identify the high demand products in South Africa and offer those services.
You must meet the demand in the market.
That way, you are streamlining your business into making it successful.
Also, you need to know the sector in which your business fall. This is because not all areas of the South African economy has the same level of demand.
For example, food products such as citrus, wheat, maize, sugarcane, fruits, among others are in high demand in South Africa under the agricultural sector.
In other industries, you can talk of beauty and cosmetic products, clothing and textile, pastries, etc. are among the products that are also in high demand in South Africa.
As an entrepreneur, you can factor in these high demand products into your business to make it lucrative.
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So, you have seen the various small profitable business ideas in South Africa. What you need are passion and a little money. You can do most of the business from home so there is no need to resign from your current job.
If you have any profitable business opportunity you want to share, kindly use the comment section below and I will be glad to hear from you.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What small business can I start in South Africa?
There are many small businesses that you can start in SA and these include fast food, leather bad making, real estate, tailoring, laundry and cleaning, personal training, and much more.
How to start a fast food business in South Africa?
You can start a fast food business in South Africa by following these simple steps: secure funding, obtaining a permit, acquiring a facility, and start your business. You must also decide on the kind of fast food you want to start and the kind of customers you wish to serve.
What are the most profitable small businesses to start in South Africa?
The most profitable business depends on the niche as well as your overall business strategy. But all things being equal, the banking sector, real estate, food industry, and the manufacturing businesses are so far the most profitable in SA.
What is a small business in SA?
In South Africa, a business is considered small depending on its number of employees, total assets, and annual turnover. Most small businesses are classified based on these criteria.