Top small business ideas in South Africa

Ever gave a thought of entrepreneurship in South Africa? It is a fact that small business ideas in South Africa are getting good attention. Mostly employees ready to switch from regular nine to five job to independent businesses are getting interested in small business concepts in SA. New local, as well as foreign entrepreneurs, are also diverting their interests in various small trade ventures in this country.

Nevertheless, not all businesses can return you with good fortune. Some are a seasonal business; some follows the latest trends. In other words, you must first have sufficient knowledge about a particular venture before finally hope and invest on it. It is usual that different budding entrepreneurs may have various inquiries regarding their choice of business plan in South Africa. To aid them one step forward with their dream, we have designed this article.

Here we have highlighted some fascinating business schemes that are worth to try if you are determined to set a new business in this nation. So, with no further delay, let’s check out some of the top small business ideas in South Africa.

Have a look at the list of the popular small business scopes in South Africa:

  • Event management Industries
  • Education and training service
  • IT business
  • Virtual assistance service
  • Business consultation firm
  • Catering industries
  • Tour and Travel industries
  • Hotel and hospitality business
  • Interpreter service
  • Babysitting and old age caring service
  • Ridesharing and logistics business
  • Electronic and computer repairing service
  • Professional Photography service
  • Beauty salon and makeover business
  • Pet business
  • Massage and spa parlor
  • Telemarketing business
  • Travel guide agency
  • Human recruitment agency
  • E-commerce business

You can also check out another article on 8 small businesses in South Africa.

Best entrepreneurship opportunities in South Africa

Let’s get some ideas about each of these clever small business fields. Some of these ideas may fascinate you to reevaluate your thought of initiating your own small business in South Africa.

Event management Industries

This is a very fascinating business plan which demands lots of creative ideas, that has to be converted into reality under a sorted budget. We are talking about event management industries and business opportunities in South Africa. Recently this field is gaining mass popularity here. The yearlong event here demands quality event management service, which as a result makes this business field enticing among new entrepreneurs.

Education and training service

A good deal of national as well as international funding goes to the education sector in this nation. So naturally, if you are planning to start an education and training service in South Africa, you may come up with handsome revenue within a short period of time. But keep in mind that, you have to come up with quality service when planning to establish this business.

IT business

Another fast-growing industry that are showing great opportunities before new business imitators is the IT business. Setting up an IT business in South Africa may be little tricky, as you need to sort out the niche in this business first. You either can choose digital marketing, which is off-course, a marketing process, but goes through digital process, that is marketing and boosting company or product through online.

The other niche is straight forward, which is manufacturing software and mobile apps for various companies that carries out various important activities ranging from providing data and premises security to simple grocery POS software.

Virtual assistance service

This is a relatively a new branch of business, where the startup literally cost you nothing. All qualifications an interested individual need to have is office assistance knowledge. This goes even more convenient. The whole service is virtual, which makes the service way more and an individual doesn’t need to go face to face with the client.

An entrepreneur can assist client through online live chat, using applications such as Skype, WhatsApp, etc. Overall, virtual assistance service in South Africa can be a promising business idea.    

Business consultation firm

If thinking about a relatively bigger profit, business consultancy firm in South Africa can bring fortune. However, fortune comes when the services are up to the mark. In order to provide good business consultations, you first need to be experienced in corporate level. One must know the ins and out when planning to begin such business in this country.

Catering industries

A delicious way to begin your business carrier is starting catering industries in South Africa. If you think that you are great at cooking and can cater food at mass level, you can think of this type of business sector in this country. It should be noted that, to rise up at the top in this sector, you must be fully aware of the culinary habitat of local residents. Of course, when in the business, you need to be versatile to reach the top of the leaderboard.

Tour and Travel industries

Pristine land and ocean around south Africa promote tour and travel industries in South Africa. The opportunity of this business doesn’t seem to go anywhere down. Furthermore, expect big sharks in current business of tours and travels in SA. So, as a newcomer, you will face challenges and hard competitions. But that doesn’t mean that it has no possibility anymore, clear concept, innovative ideas and strong networking can eventually bring fortune. 

Hotel and hospitality business

When there are tourists and travelers, there are demands of hotels and hospitality. Business related to hotel and hospitality in South Africa is already a booming business. If you are related to this field, you are most welcome to invest on this business.

However, such business may get little costlier at the beginning, but wise expense management, right advertisements and proper service and facilities to the clients can return back good fortune in a short period of time.

Interpreter service

Along with other top small business ideas in South Africa, interpreter service in South Africa can be an interesting field. It is an ingenious and skill-based service where the core task is to be a good translator.  South Africa has a mix culture, where nationals from India, China, USA, UK and many nationals from Europe stays here either for living purpose, corporate reasons or just as expats.

Whatever the reason might be, the demand of interpreter is pretty high here. So, when looking for business ideas, you can always begin with this if you are a multi linguist or a professional polyglot.

Baby sitting and old age caring service

A social work which can also bring revenue to your pocket involves baby sitting and old age caring service in South Africa. The business involves senior citizens and children, so naturally such entrepreneurship asks for compassion, patience, love and affections. The aim of this business is to manage and maintain aged clients and children in absence of their family members. Experienced individual from nursing home, day care, old homage can make success in this type of business in SA.

Ride sharing and logistics business

Ridesharing service is not new in South Africa, but still getting popular day after day. The usage of relevant services is also increasing rapidly throughout the nation. So, once you determined to set up a business, company related to ride sharing and logistics in South Africa is definitely a high recommended one for a newcomer in South African business field.

Electronic and computer repairing service

Electronic and computer repairing services can be another technical field in the list that has an immense possibilities in this land. Nowadays every single individual uses any sort of electronic gadgets, whether it is home appliance, or mobile devices or even personal computer and laptop.

When damaged even slightly, people here in South Africa often prefers to repair those instead of buying a new one. Therefore, if you are planning to start an electronic and computer repairing shop in South Africa, you are on the right track.

Professional Photography service

This can be a very interesting business career, where you can grow your creative skills, meet urge of your hobby and at the same time earn for your living. We are talking about professional photography service in South Africa, which are seeing new horizon of opportunity in this country.

To start this business, you need to have sufficient technical skills, strong concept of light and shade and whole lot of creativity. If you think you got all of those, all you need next are proper equipment such as a digital SLR, lights, shade stand, etc. and you are all set.

Beauty salon and makeover business

If you are a beauty and makeover enthusiast, and have proper knowledge and professional skills on salon sector including hair and skin makeover services, we suggest you to go for the beauty salon and makeover business. This business in South Africa have great demand if you can come up with quality and individuality, you can have good fortune in a short period of time.   

Pet business

Are you a pet lover? Is cuddly, furballs of love, fly buddies or cute fishy pals is all you can think of? Why not taking this love for pets into a professional level? Earn some money by pet keeping and pet grooming. Of course, you should have proper professional training to set a pet grooming business. If you somehow got a veterinary certificate, you are all well to sail your pet business forward in South Africa.

Massage and spa parlor

Another skill-based business idea is Massage and spa parlor. When mentioned skilled based it means you must have professional knowledge just like beauty salon, or else this business isn’t right for you.

In south Africa, Massage and spa business have superior demand, if you can start and withhold with this particular sector, you are expected to earn a whole bunch of cash. Chiropractor, physiotherapists or relatively experienced individuals are well prioritized to start this kind of business in SA.

Telemarketing business

Telemarketing industries not only popular in India or Asian countries, but earns a big revenue in South Africa as well. This business sector is ever rising and can be among the top small business ideas in South Africa. More and more employees are adding up in providing such service.

So, if you can open up a telemarketing business in South Africa, one thing is sure that, you will not be short of employees. Moreover, it is a great way to earn foreign money as well, if this telemarketing venture you wish to set is beyond domestic barrier. 

Travel guide agency

If you think that travel agency or hotel business can get too hard on your cash, you can easily try for a cheaper option, which is a travel guide agency. Of course, for this type of travel guide business in South Africa, you must have thorough knowledge about creeks and gullies of south Africa. If you think you know the land of Africa well, this particular agency is just the perfect way of revenue builder for you.

Human recruitment agency

When the field of business is so dense, the country also calls for sufficient skilled workers. Any business without a sufficient workforce is literally nothing, until it is an entirely online based startup. However, when a workforce is in high demand, business related to a human recruitment agency in South Africa can be a very profitable trade perspective.

E-commerce business

E-commerce business got popular along with the development of IT and digital networking service through the SA. People on the other hand, are very busy, and often lacks time to visit grocery or market place to shop around, when this is the situation, E-commerce business comes to the rescue.

This makes life easier, convenient and saves time. All it need is some clicks on your smartphone, and your desired products will be on your doorstep within a short period of time. To add up all these facilities, e-commerce business in south Africa seems to be an exciting business for any new business initiator.

In the end, you got many other business ideas which gives a prosperous return to South Africa. All it needs is proper analysis, market search and good business consolation from an experienced corporate councilor. If you decided to roll on to the corporate field in South Africa, along with many others, above mentioned top small business ideas in South Africa can be a good source for your specific inquiry.


What are the top 5 businesses which are in demand in South Africa?

Top 5 businesses which have great demands in SA are:

  1. Virtual office assistant
  2. Interior designer
  3. Beauty salon and makeover services
  4. Electronics repair shop
  5. Digital marketing and social media consultant

What are the best businesses for beginners in South Africa?

  • Tutoring
  • Interpreter
  • Photography
  • Child care service
  • Elderly care service
  • Home cleaning business
  • Garden and porch cleaning service

What is the business registration process in South Africa?

Click this link to see our other article related to the company registration process in South Africa.

Do I have to register for the small business in South Africa?

It is not necessary to register a small business because small business is not like a company that has a legal entity. When setting a small business, all it needs is registering for an income tax reference number from the exchequer. This must be done within 60 days of starting your business.

What are the steps to start a small business in South Africa?

Following are the steps to initiate a small business in SA:

  • Identify the business demand in Market
  • Make a full proof business plan
  • Set your capital and arrange finance for your business
  • Register trade name
  • Set your business location
  • Promote your small business
  • Register for an income tax reference number

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