Small Business Ideas that Promises Profit in South Africa Today

Small Business Ideas that Promises Profit in South Africa Today
Joy Gomez

Are you interested in doing business in South Africa? Then you have reached the right place at the right time.

South Africa’s economy is thriving. The World Bank classifies it as an upper-middle-income economy. It is the second-largest economy in Africa. South Africa is one of the best countries in Africa for launching a small business due to its growing and sizable African middle class, stable political environment, large number of expatriates, and abundance of natural resources.

According to South Africa’s Quarterly Financial Statistics (QFS) report, the trade sector dominates the business landscape, accounting for 36% of the total of R2.3 trillion. Business services rank second, followed by manufacturing. There are approximately 650,000 small businesses in South Africa, which employ approximately 7.8 million individuals. 

Considering the growth opportunities in the South African economy, it is the best time to start your own business. But in case you are confused as to which business may give you the best profit margin, we have the answer for you.

In this article, you will find some great small business ideas that require very little investment and resources yet promise huge profits. Some of them can even be run from the comfort of your own home. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the list. 

  • Real Estate

South Africa’s real estate market is on the rise. In all urban and semi-urban areas of the subcontinent, housing is a major issue. In addition to conventional housing-related businesses, you can also explore opportunities like cement block manufacturing and earth-brick stabilization.

  • Energy-Related Business

This region of the world requires a massive supply of energy for development. However, the most recent energy data indicates that there will be a 50% increase in installed energy on the African continent between 2020 and 2025.

Even though hydropower is South Africa’s primary source of electricity generation, the gas, liquid fuel, and renewable energy sectors are gaining momentum. Consequently, investing in the energy sector in South Africa is currently a potentially lucrative option.

  • Waste Management

The expanding population and expanding economic activities provide more opportunities for effort in the waste management sector. Choose an area with a high population density and offer your services; people will appreciate your efficient waste management.

  • E-Commerce

South African e-commerce activities are beginning to flourish. South Africa has the second highest number of people using the internet in the world, just behind China. However, the scarcity of logistics facilities presents the greatest difficulty for e-commerce businesses on the African continent. The market is enormous, so any company that is successful in establishing an effective distribution network will undoubtedly reap enormous rewards.

  • Logistics

As stated previously, logistics services in the country of South Africa are still in their infancy. In most African nations, the lack of large-scale, reliable logistics providers is a significant issue. This creates a tremendous business opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs and investors in South Africa’s logistics sector. Additionally, competition is minimal at present. Obviously, there is a vast amount of opportunity in this industry if you can do the job well. 

  • Financial Adviser

South Africa’s importance as an African business hub is expanding rapidly, so financial matters must be handled by professionals. You may begin offering financial advisory services to corporations and small businesses if you have practical knowledge of the financial markets.

  • Food Processing

The majority of South Africans depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Consequently, fresh, locally produced organic products are readily available throughout the nation. South Africa’s market for processed foods is expanding in tandem with this trend. Currently, the majority of people import a substantial amount of their food supplies. If a local entrepreneur can manufacture these items and sell them to local consumers, he or she stands to make a substantial profit. Food items such as fruit juice, soymilk, sausage, poultry, ground meat, and honey, among others, can generate high profits.

  • Data Collection

Before considering any business activity, every large organization relies on accurate information. South Africa has few valuable and structured data sources, which is unfortunate. Consequently, you can capitalize on this opportunity. In addition, the international community employs an expensive overseas consulting firm for data collection. This creates a tremendous business opportunity for South African entrepreneurs with experience in data collection services.

  • Internet Service Provider

Due to the exponential rise in demand for high-quality telecommunications and internet services, nearly every user is now looking for the best service provider. Businesses and microbusinesses require it for a variety of purposes, including web conferencing, data sharing, customer service, etc. Therefore, if you can successfully provide a quality internet service, you stand to make a fortune. It may require a specific budget, but starting small makes it more scalable.

  • Online Marketing

As the majority of South African businesses move their operations online, they will eventually require someone who can boost their online visibility, creating entrepreneurial opportunities for online marketers. As a South African online marketing company, you have access not only to South Africa, but also to the rest of the world.

  • Website Development/ Design

South Africa provides opportunities to designers and developers to start their own small businesses, as almost all small and large businesses are now online. As a design and web development business, you can serve the market in South Africa as well as accept freelance projects from the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries.

  • Graphic Design

As the online market grows, it will require various types of developers to help create, maintain, and grow their online presence. This is not only limited to web design; they will also need graphic artists to enhance their content. So, 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.


  • Dropshipping

Dropshipping is an excellent small business idea because it is simple and inexpensive to start. Dropshipping is a model of fulfillment in which a third-party supplier stores and ships your inventory on your behalf. It is one of the most popular business ideas to due to its low overhead costs, hands-off nature, and scalability. You only need to make sales and forward orders to your supplier; you don’t have to handle any of the goods yourself. In fact, it is one of the easiest and least expensive businesses to launch. 

  • Laundry Service

In urban areas where the majority of the South African population is employed and has little or no time for laundry, laundry and dry cleaning can be profitable businesses. You only need a washer/dryer, an iron, and possibly a helping hand. But if you want to do it most efficiently, try field service management software as well. You’ll be surprised to see how quickly your business grows!

  • Sell Handcrafted Goods

Because procurement and product development are literally in your hands, you are in a unique position to find a small business idea if you are a maker. For this, you will need to consider shipping and inventory management, but you can begin with a per-order or small-batch approach until your business begins to generate consistent sales. Just be aware of any regulations applicable to your product category, particularly for items that customers will ingest, inhale, or apply to their skin.

Final Words

These are just some ideas to get you started on your journey to become an entrepreneur. You can try any of these business models or take inspiration from them to bring your own idea to life. As such, any business can earn a good profit if you research, plan, and execute strategies well enough. First, you need to conduct market research to determine whether the product or service you are trying to sell has a demand, there are ample potential customers who would buy your product or service, and you are capable enough to promote your business. But most importantly, you need to make sure that you have all the right resources to run your business smoothly in the long run.


In this regard, let us remind you of a crucial resource. No matter what business idea you pick, you must leverage digital tools and technologies in today’s business world. There is no way you can gain the required competitive advantage if you are not equipped with the right software solutions and mobile applications. Make sure you do enough research to find out which software is ideal for your business setup, which one meets your specific needs perfectly, and which one gives you the best value for money. Ideally, all of these criteria should be met by a single digital solution. For example, service businesses can easily automate and streamline their processes just by using a field service management software system. 


Now that you have both the business ideas and the heads up on logistics and foundational planning, start working on starting your own business and living your dream of becoming an entrepreneur. 


Author Bio

Joy Gomez

My world is made up of codes. It is the central element that drives my universe. I am a self-taught, process-driven programmer with a creative bent of mind. Since I was an engineering student, I dreamt of creating something unique. To satiate my creative appetite, I took to coding. Blessed with abundant support and generous scholarships from my employers, I simultaneously worked full-time and pursued my dream. My passion and high productivity helped me in my journey as well. Finally, I created Field Promax to follow my drive of coding and streamlining processes; and do more of what I know best—coding.