Top 17 Low-Cost Business Ideas in South Africa

Are you interested in doing business in South Africa? Are you an investor looking for business ideas in South Africa to invest money in profitable business ventures? If so, find here a list of profitable businesses to start here in this continent with a small investment.

According to the SA’s Quarterly Financial Statistics (QFS) report, the trade sector is the largest player in the business landscape, contributing 36% to R2,3 trillion. Manufacturing takes second place, followed by business services. There are an estimated 650,000 small businesses in South Africa, employing around 7.8 million people.

Top 17 Small Business Ideas In South Africa

Find below our selected list of low-cost business ideas in South Africa that can be started from home or on small scale:

Home Based Business Ideas in South Africa

1. Start a Blog

There are many bloggers in South Africa earning millions. Starting a blog requires a nominal investment and very easy to start nowadays. Choose a niche that you are passionate about and have a try. Who knows, you can be a famous blog owner in a year or two. If interested, check our detailed guide on starting a blog and make money.

2. Virtual Assistant

Check out online job marketplace like Fiverr. There are thousands of people earning a good income doing virtual jobs. Check our guide on how to become a virtual assistant and make money.

3. Take Surveys

Online survey sites provide good home-based income opportunities for people looking for side income. Check our guide on how to make money from survey sites from legitimate survey sites genuinely providing survey jobs

4. Start a Dropshipping Business

Dropshipping business is steadily getting popular among young entrepreneurs in South Africa. If you want to know more about the dropshipping business, check this article on starting dropshipping business.

5. Graphic Design Service

If you are interested in designing, graphic design is one area where you can make a lot of money from home. You need to have graphic design software and make freelance vendor profiles in online job marketplaces.

Check: Best Graphic Designer Business Ideas

Small Business Ideas In South Africa With Low Investment

6. Farming Business in South Africa

Most People in South Africa depend on farming for daily income.  You can produce Carrots, Onions, Leeks, Tomatoes, Spinach, cucumbers, Cabbages, Garlic, Pumpkins, Capsicums, Lettuce, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc and sell to the local marketplace.

Related: Most Profitable Agriculture Business Ideas

7. Real Estate

The real estate market is on the rise in South Africa. The subcontinent has a huge housing problem in all its urban and semi-urban areas. Other than normal housing business activity ideas like cement blocks making, stabilized earth bricks making units are some of the business ventures you can explore here.

Related: Profitable Real Estate & Construction Business Ideas.

8. Food Processing

The market for processed food is increasing in South Africa. Most people purchase lots of food items from foreign countries. any local entrepreneur can produce those items and sell them to local customers. Food items like fruit Juice, Sausage, Meat Grinding, Soymilk, honey, poultry, etc can fetch good returns.

Read:  Profitable Food Business Ideas 

9. Intellectual Property Services

More and more Multinational organizations have started to invest in South Africa. Small companies are bound to grow to support these large corporations. There would be a requirement of IP-providing companies to structure and protect intellectual properties.

10. Start an E-commerce Business in South Africa

E-commerce activities are starting to boom in South Africa. The number of internet users in South Africa is the second highest in the world only next to China. However, the most challenging aspect of e-commerce companies in the African continent is the lack of logistics facilities.

Any company that will be successful in setting up a proper distribution network of delivering products will surely reap huge benefits as the market is very large.

Read: Best E-commerce Business Ideas

11. Start an Energy-Related Business in South Africa

This part of the world desperately needs a huge supply of power for development. However, the latest energy data shows that there will be a 50 % growth in the installed energy from 2018 to 2022 in the African continent.

Though the main source for power generation in South Africa is hydro-based, presently more and more thrust is given to gas, liquid fuel, and renewable energy sectors.  Hence, investing in the energy sector is a potentially profitable option in South Africa at present.

Read: Most Profitable Solar Business Ideas 

12. ICT Services

There is tremendous scope for building a business in the field of information and communication support. Most South African companies are desperately looking for investors in this field.

13. Logistics

The lack of large-scale dependable logistics providers is a big problem in most African countries. This creates a huge business opportunity for investors in investing in the logistics sector.

14. Data Collection Services

Every big organization depends on authentic data before deciding on any activity. Unfortunately, there are few valuable and structured data sources available in South Africa.

The international community hires an overseas consulting firm for data collection and spends a huge sum of money. This creates a huge business potential for South African entrepreneurs having some expertise in data collection services.

15.  Manpower Recruitment

Finding suitable manpower is a big problem for companies working in this subcontinent. There is a good demand for qualified recruitment companies here in this part of the world. Starting a recruitment firm and providing manpower is a very big business opportunity in South Africa right now.

16. Footwear Manufacturing

Still, most African countries largely depend on footwear imported from China. As an example, China exports approximately 90% of all the footwear imported into South Africa. If you are a startup entrepreneur in South Africa, do seriously consider starting footwear manufacturing.

17. Fruit Juice Production

South Africa produces fruits in abundance. It is surprising the local demand for fresh juice consumption is met by importing from foreign countries. This is an area of opportunity where enterprising young individuals of South Africa must explore.