If you live in South Africa and want to start a business and generate an income we have all the information you need in this guide to best business opportunities in South Africa. 

South Africa Is home to a number of Billionaires, so that says a lot about the potential that there is in the country. No matter who you are or what your background, if you have the drive and the determination, you too can become a wealthy and successful entrepreneur.

Best Business opportunities in South Africa

Examples of The Most Successful Businesses In South Africa

There are lots of examples of successful businesses in South Africa. Some companies who have produced successful South African businesses include:


RecruitMyMom is a successful online jobs website targeted at jobs for skilled mothers looking for part time and flexible job opportunities.



BrightBlack is a solar energy company that is taking advantage of the opportunities that solar panels bring to African countries. Solar installation is one of the best business opportunities in Zambia.



Howler is an online solution for event organizers. The solution helps to manage and promote events. This solution has grown substantially and is a good example of a successful SA Business.


Those are just some of the success stories that have come out of South Africa in the past few years. Below we will show you how to start a new business in South Africa.


How to Start A New Business In South Africa

If you are looking to start a business that actually works and will pay you money, there are a number of things that you need to first consider.

1) What Type Of Business You Are Starting

Firstly, you will need to do some research into what opportunities are available in your local area. Are people willing to pay for your services? Are there businesses already offering the same service? Is the industry/niche saturated?

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2) What Will Motivate You To Grow Your Business

The second thing you need to consider is whether or not you will be motivated to grow your business. It is important that you will have the drive in the coming months to continue, even when you stumble on problems, will you be able to overcome those hurdles?

This is the most important factor when it comes to starting a business, if you have the passion to build it, you will reap the rewards in terms of an income and self fulfillment.


10 Best Business Opportunities Under r10 000

There are a lot of ideas for cheap business to start in South Africa. Below are some small business ideas that you can start for less than r10 000. Some of these untapped business opportunities require no capital to get started.


10) Grocery Delivery Service

This is a simple to set up service to start as a business in South Africa. All you need is suitable transport to get started. It will help if you establish business relationships with local grocery stores, restaurants and food chains.

As your business grows, you could establish a mobile app to give a more sophisticated service and allow your business to grow exponentially. Delivery services are lucrative ideas in South Africa. If you want to make money with a simple business idea, delivery services is what you should be looking at starting if you love travelling around and meeting people.


9) Software Development

If you have coding skills you can easily set up a software development business. Software developer jobs are in demand worldwide and because there is a lack of developers available to be hired, most developers work on a freelance basis.


As a freelancer, you can find jobs online easily on the internet. You can start for free by outreaching to software companies in South Africa and abroad through websites like LinkedIn.

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8) Graphic Design

If you have a flair for creative marketing, then a career as a graphic designer could be perfect for you. Graphic design is a no college degree required job particularly if you want to start your own studio. Graphic design jobs are not just limited to online. Local small businesses, need signs, flyers and promotional material designed up for their local marketing activities.

Graphic design is a simple job type to get started with, all you need is a laptop and graphics tablet to get started. You can find graphic design tutorials on YouTube or Udemy and there are lots of places to find free graphic design templates.


7) Hairdressing

Hairdressing is a recession proof job and is a profession that is always needed since hair grows! Hairdressing is relatively easy to set up and only requires and investment of less than r10 000 if you are setting up a salon from your home or offering a hairdressing service on wheels where you visit the homes of your customers.

One of the benefits of hairdressing is that it is a good cash in hand job. You can invest in new equipment and even a commercial premises after getting your business off the ground.


6) Garden Care / Facility Management

Gardening and maintenance services are a business opportunity that is becoming popular in South Africa in the past few years. Gardening services such as garden maintenance and lawn care is on the rise as wealth grows and more and more people enter the workplace. This offers a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in gardening as a job.

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By starting off as a gardener you will earn experience, gain contacts and start expanding your service offering to maintenance, cleaning and more.

You can earn a facilities management degree by doing courses in your spare time. Qualifications will give you that extra social proof and experience to help you land high paying work.

To start a garden care or facility management business in South Africa, you will need to invest in tools such as string trimmers, weed eaters and grass shears. Investment in this type of business will cost you less than r10 000.


5) Laundry Service

A laundry service will work in large cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Durban. A Laundry business opportunity can be started from less than r10 000. To get started all you need is to invest in laundry machines including washing machines, driers and other items for ironing and folding clothes. 

Rather than invest in renting out commercial business space, you can start off by offering a laundry pickup service and doing the laundry from your own home. This is the most cost effective way to get your laundry business up and running.


4) Web Development

Web development is an easy to start small business with very little investment needed. You can easily start a web development business under r10 000. If you have coding skills you can easily get into website development.

To get started, you will need a laptop / computer and internet access. Your main investment as a website developer is a hosting account and them purchases. If you are a content management developer such as a WordPress developer, you will need to invest in some themes to offer your potential clients.

To find your first customers, you can easily find new customers by getting in touch with local small businesses in your area and offer them your services. Many people have used freelancing websites to find work from companies abroad.


3) Cleaning Business

There is a huge opportunity for people in South Africa to make money by becoming cleaners. While wealth in the country continues to grow, there are great opportunities to offer cleaning services to those who need them particularly in the large cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

The investment needed for a cleaning business is under r10 000 as cleaning equipment is relatively inexpensive.


2) Personal or Virtual Assistant

One of South Africa’s business opportunities that is really picking up pace, is that of Virtual assistants and personal assistants. In South Africa there has been a rise in the number of job vacancies for personal assistants for businesses throughout the country.

Since the business world is more virtual now, virtual assistant jobs (VA) are also on the rise.  A VA will do basic to technical office work for businesses remotely from a home or another office.

This type of work is perfect for stay at home moms who had a career in business but would rather work from home making money online and look after the kids.


1) Blogging

Blogging offers a huge opportunity for anyone who enjoys writing and creating content. Becoming a blogger in South Africa is rather easy to get started in South Africa.

How To Start A Blog In South Africa?

All you need to do to get started is research your niche. This is important because you will want to write about things that will interest you and have the passion for in years to come. Once you have decide on your niche, you can proceed to purchase a website domain and hosting account. Namecheap offer low cost domains and hosting and are a good place to get started.

Once you have your website installed, you can start creating your blog posts and in time you will be able to monetize your blog with both ads and affiliate links. There are also lots of other ways to monetize a blog including:

  • eBook sales
  • Memberships
  • Products
  • Sponsored posts


Easiest Business To Start In South Africa

There are some businesses that are more difficult than others to get started in South Africa. Some of the easiest businesses to start in South Africa in 2021 are:

  • Blogging business
  • Website development
  • Graphic design
  • Cleaning Business
  • Marketing service
  • Food truck business


10 Most Profitable Business Ideas In South Africa 2021

If you are looking for a business that will earn you a 6 figure income, then the following list of business ideas are what you should consider for 2023.

10) Marketing Services

Marketing businesses are profitable business types in South Africa in 2021. One of the reasons for the potential growth of a marketing service is the fact that there is little investment needed in terms of equipment. Most marketing these days are done online with website marketing and on social media.


If you are looking to start untapped business opportunities in 2021, a marketing business should be one to consider. You can gain customers by offering your services to local companies and offering a referral bonus for any new business that they refer to you.


9) Language Courses

If you have more than one language you can start earning money online teaching courses. You can find lots of websites that offer tutoring services particularly with languages. Once you gain experience teaching languages you can then set up your own website and YouTube channel to teach others.

You can earn money on YouTube with ads while you can charge money for those looking to learn on your website.


8) Childcare Services

A childcare service is a great way to earn money in South Africa right now. With more and more parents going back to work in South Africa has led to a need for more childcare supports in the country. If you enjoy looking after children, this could be a major opportunity for you.

To get started in South Africa as a childcare business, you will need to get in touch with the relevant authorities to get the accreditation that you need.


7) Personal Trainer

With more South Africans looking to get healthier and fitter, there is a great opportunity for athletic people to start a personal training business. As a personal trainer, there is little investment needed in terms of money, but instead, your time.

As a personal trainer you can gain a lot of profit by having a few clients each week. There are courses that you can do online to become a fully qualified PT in South Africa.


6) Car Dealership

A car dealership business remains a profitable one in South Africa today. You will need some investment in terms of buying cars to sell, however once you get a reputation for being a reputable dealership, you will find that you can increase your prices for loyal customers to earn money.


You could make your dealership different by offering only electric vehicles or you could be more exotic by offering marquee car brands for sale.


5) Software Development

If you are well versed in coding skills, you can set up a profitable South African Software development business easily. Coding skills are scarce throughout the world and you can benefit by offering your coding skills as a software business worldwide.

One of the benefits of starting a software development business is that you can benefit from exchange rates when getting paid by companies overseas from the US or even the UK.


4) Financial Services – Selling Insurance

If you are a people person and good at selling, you could consider selling insurance. If you have a financial background, insurance could be a great place to start for you. Car and home insurance offer profitable returns for sellers.

You could start a financial brokerage business where you find the best prices for  people looking for car insurance or other. You will then get a commission from the main insurance company if you are a broker. Once you start generating sales, you can start upselling other types of insurance products to your customers 


3) Food Truck Service

A food truck service is a top business idea to earn money in South Africa for those who have a passion for food. The key to making this type of business profitable is to find the ideal location to set up your food stall.


There will be a necessary investment in the purchase of a food truck and food, however the potential markup for profit is huge.

It is essential that you find the perfect place to park your food truck. This will determine how much profit you will make. If you can find a place to legally sell food where there are lots of commuters, you will have an excellent opportunity to make lots of money.


2) Car Wash

A car wash business is a profitable business idea in South Africa. The cost to get started is relatively low and all that is required is a pressure washer, hose, car wash brush and some sponges. 

The key to starting a car wash business is your location. The ideal location is somewhere that has lots of traffic and is easily accessible for drivers.

As your business grows you can start offering additional services such as car valeting, or oil, water and windscreen wash checks.

Find out more about starting a car wash business


1) Solar Panel Installation

As it was mentioned in the most profitable business ideas in Zambia, there is a huge profitable opportunity for South Africans to start a solar panel installation company. As the world moves away from fossil fuels to create electricity, solar panels offer a cost effective electricity supply opportunity.


While there are only a few solar panel installers in South Africa, there is a golden opportunity to become a leader in this field in South Africa. If you own land, even baron fields, you could set up a solar farm and sell your electricity to local energy suppliers.


If you are looking for a business opportunity in South Africa in 2021, we have set out a number of easy to start up business ideas and opportunities for big profit. It is now up to you to muster up the motivation to get started with your  journey as an entrepreneur. 

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