23 Small Business Ideas in South Africa 2022

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You guessed right, there are numbers of startup business ideas in South Africa that are quite lucrative that you can start in 2021.

However, if you decide to start a business and sustain it, then you have a great opportunity to make good money out of it.

Starting a business is a sure way to build generational wealth. Hence, we’ll be sharing with you the exact business ideas that are very profitable in South Africa.

And of course, some of them won’t stress you out as you think but comes with a high success rate and little to no capital investment. You can now be a business expert from the comfort of your home with the right mindset and determination.

So, if you are planning to start a lucrative business here in South Africa, the best right time was yesterday.

The second best time is now. Learn How to Start a Mini Supermarket in South Africa

Nothing should hinder you to get started.

Whether you are an employee who wants to have multiple income streams, or you are a student who has decided to venture in a business during holidays and strikes, now is the best time to start a lucrative business in South Africa with average capital.

This article is for you if you:

  • are looking for startup business ideas in South Africa
  • want to have multiple streams of income in South Africa
  • want to start a new business that makes a profit
  • are employed and want to start a  business from scratch
  • desire to validate your startup business ideas
  • are a student that wants to make money while schooling

23 Small Business Opportunities in South Africa 2021

So, before we get into the list of lucrative businesses in South Africa, it is important that you bookmark this page for reference.

1. Blogging Business

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Image Credit: Getty Images

One of the most profitable online business opportunities in South Africa is blogging. Though it requires a bit of hard work and patience, it is a business that can generate you a consistent income for a long time if you do it right.

So how do you get started?

It’s simple: when you initially start your side hustle, you don’t have a lot of traffic or exposure. As a result, you should raise the price of your product early on in your blogging adventure.

One strategy is to start with a B2B consultancy funnel and sell to companies rather than individuals. Businesses have more money than people, so instead of concentrating on advertisements and affiliate schemes at first, concentrate on high-end consultancy.

This new blogging strategy for making money is built on three main success pillars:

  1. Choose a niche for your blog based on the audience’s financial possibilities, professional leverage, and market need.
  2. You may increase your backlink acquisition and Domain Authority (DA) quicker by not writing as much and outsourcing some parts of your content and SEO operations.
  3. Finally, by implementing the right high-end blog monetization strategies at the right time in your blog’s lifecycle, you can 100x your revenue while only closing 3-4 high-end clients rather than hundreds of affiliate sales.

These strategies can help you earn thousands of dollars faster and with less visitors.

Finally, the first step I suggest for establishing a blog is to acquire web hosting and create a WordPress site.

Here’s how you can start:

  1. Go to Bluehost.com and click the Get Started button.
  2. Choose your hosting plan ($2.95/month is 63 percent discount when you use my link).
  3. Enter a new domain name or choose an existing domain.
  4. Fill up your account and billing details.
  5. Sitelock Security and Codeguard Basic may be disabled.
  6. You’re finished when you click Submit.

Begin with Bluehost for $2.95/month (63 percent off).

2. Catering Business

If you’re good at cooking a delicious meal, you can do this business. It’s one of the small business opportunities you can tap into and start making money from it.

With little capital and strong marketing skill, it won’t be long before people start calling you to handle the food on their occasions.

3. Barbing Business

With a decent shop, a clipper and your barbing skills, you can turn your life around by engaging in this cool business.

People will naturally flock your shop if you’re good at it. It’s also one of the business opportunists in South Africa you don’t need a fortune to kick-start.

4. Bead Making Business

South Africans are fashionable people, you won’t see them at events except they are looking classy and adorable.

And one of the beautiful adornments most South Africans like to wear to occasions is the bead.

With nice bead making skills, you can make a reasonable amount regularly.

5. Hairstylist Business

Helping women style their hair is one of the most profitable business opportunities in South Africa. If you can do this well, you can earn yourself a reasonable amount.

For a start, you don’t even need a shop. With good marketing skill, people could call you here and there to come to make their hair for them at their various homes.

6. Real Estate

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Image Credit: Getty Images

This is a huge business opportunity you really need to tap into asap. If you can talk and can convince people mildly, you can do this and can make yourself a reasonable buck anytime.

This is how it works: Join a real estate company as a freelance person and promote their properties using any platform of your choice including words of mouth. And when people buy from you, you get paid commissions for your effort.

Discover How To Start Real Estate Business In South Africa

7. Recharge Card Business

Because making a call is now part of our daily routine, this is a business that has come to stay for good. The recharge card business is highly profitable.

You only need to engage in it on a wholesale level to be able to make good profits from it.

When you do it well, you could consistently net reasonable bucks on a regular basis. Because like the air we breathe, people need to talk.

8. Fashion Design

If you’re looking for a profitable business idea you can start with right away, try fashion business. This business is so cool you don’t need to engage in it doing everything.

Though diversifying into several aspects of the business is a good idea, research has shown that those who specialise in one particular area record more sales.

You can engage in a fashion business by only stitching torn clothes or only resizing or slim-fitting new clothes. You could also specialise in sewing only trousers and market to people who work in a corporate establishment.

9. Mini Importation Business

Goods shipped from abroad sell very well in South Africa. So this is another goldmine if you’re looking to start a small business that can fetch you reasonable profits.

You can engage in this business by ordering goods from abroad from sites like Alibaba, Aliexpress, Wish or Amazon and sell here in South Africa.

You can do this on a small scale and break-even from it. You only need the right information and the determination to succeed.

Find out 16 Best Investments In South Africa For Beginners

10. Computer School

This business is lucrative when you do it right. Also known as a business center, a computer school business is one on which you help people with any computer work on mostly Microsoft packages like Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

You also help them print out, scan and bind their work. You could take it a step further by including computer training where you teach people how to use the computer.

It’s one of the profitable business opportunities in South Africa right now.

11. Livestock Feed Production

hand full of grain cows in the background picture
Image Credit: Getty Images

Production of livestock feed is one of the lucrative business ideas in South Africa with low capital. As more and more South Africans are delving into farming, opportunities abound in the area of livestock feed production.

Not everybody will be a farmer but you can venture into farming in another way — by producing what the animals will feed on.

Trust us, this business is fetching some people huge bucks regularly. You too can try it out.

12. Poultry Business

Poultry business is really cool, especially considering the number of eggs consumed on the daily in South Africa.

Besides this, you could also grow your chicken and hens and you will be surprised how much you would make Especially during the festive period.

13. Soap Making Business

Soap making is also a cool business one could start with little capital. You really don’t have to worry about so many things when you want to start this business.

As learning to make soap isn’t really difficult, you could make money from this venture by making soap and taking for household use.

You can even go as far as taking yours to the market. But you will need a lot of branding to really sell well.

14. Beauty Salon Business

When it comes to looking beautiful, South Africans are at the forefront. They want to attend a wedding and have people keep talking about their looks long after the wedding.

Yes o, in South Africa, we gat styles. And what does this mean for businessman and woman like you?

Today, tying a gele or headgear is money, not to talk of making up for brides as they prepare to wow that event they plan to attend.

Need we say that this is also one of the profitable business opportunities in South Africa you can start with.

Discover the Top 20 Investment Companies In South Africa 

15. Photography Business

Can you take a great shot and make people look even more beautiful than they really are? Then good news for you. You can begin a photography business that will generate you consistent income.

Equipped with your camera and your skills, you can make good money taking pictures of people at weddings, graduation and other ceremonies.

You can even get yourself an iPhone 11 pro or an OPPO or Huawei Y9s to take the best shot of your choice. See? You really do not need to have everything to start this business.

16. Start a Bakery Business

No doubt about it, South Africans love bread. After rice and beans, bread is the most commonly eaten food in South Africa. So starting a bakery business wouldn’t be out of place.

When you do your research well, you could make huge money from this.

Just ensure you do it right.

You could also add the different varieties often demanded by customers: coconut bread, sardine bread, etc. It’s really lucrative business if one has got the courage to start one.

17. Pure Water Business

The sachet water popularly called pure water business in South Africa is another lucrative business opportunity in South Africa.

This business is cool and there is a consistent demand for it, of course, water is life.

When you start this business by leveraging the right instruments, you could break even in no time.

18. Laundry Business

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Image Credit: Getty Images

If you’re looking for a lucrative business opportunity in South Africa today, try the laundry business.

What you need to do is connect with people in your area, and before you know it, you’re already being well supplied with many clothes to wash and iron on a regular basis.

One beautiful thing about this business is that you don’t even have to have all the expensive equipment ready to start.

A little effort and consistency from you are all you need for a start. And before you know it, more and more people are bringing you their clothes.

Related post: 30 Low Cost Online Business Ideas In South Africa

19. Tutorial or Home lesson

This is another business opportunity many South African graduates are doing these days. The tools required are not farfetched: your brain and your negotiation power.

When you know your thing like the back of your hand, you should get value for it.

Being a tutor or a home teacher is an advantage because you also have time to engage in other productive activities.

You might have time to enroll for training or even earn more money with another legitimate side hustle.

20. Fish Farming Business

Did you know you can make a lot of money on South Africa doing a catfish farming business? It’s really profitable and you don’t need the fortune to start.

Whether you want to start rearing the fish from scratch and sell them off only when they are little big or you want to make them really big enough for consumption, the choice is yours.

Either way, you can make a reasonable amount of money doing this. It’s, no doubt, one of the lucrative business opportunities in South Africa.

21. Home Cleaning Business

As one of the profitable business ideas in South Africa with low capital, a home cleaning service can fetch you reasonable bucks regularly.

Nowadays, people get busier with one job or another engagement here and there and yet the idea of hiring a housemaid is a big No.

So here’s where you come in, You only need to agree to clean the house and nothing more. And at the end of the day, you depart with a tangible amount for your effort. Cool, isn’t it?

22. Mobile Food Vendor

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Image Credit: Getty Images

As the saying goes, “a bird flies with whatever he has in its belly” and as South Africans, when it comes to food, we no dey joke.

When you have identified a busy area where workers could get fast food like noodles and eggs or some fries as lunch, get a mobile kiosk, make the environment neat even though you will be mostly engaged in takeaways and boom, profitable business has begun.

23. Event Planning Business

With nearly all the Saturdays and Sundays in South Africa already booked for parties, you should consider this business of event planning.

As a good event planner, you can make a substantial amount from this venture when you pitch people who are planning one even or another.

This is also one of the profitable business opportunities in South Africa today.


If you’re looking to start a a small business in South Africa, you really don’t need to overthink it. Worrying over how you can start with a huge capital shouldn’t be the first thing.

What matters is identifying the type of business you want to venture into.

When you consider our list of small business opportunities in South Africa, you’d realize that starting a profitable business in South Africa is not as difficult as it seems.

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