Comprehensive List of Profitable Small Business Ideas for Women in South Africa

In recent times, the ease of doing business has made it possible for just about anyone to successfully run a business on the side in addition to their day jobs. This has become of the major ways most white-collar workers build themselves a self-sufficient source of income before retiring or resigning from their day jobs. In the same vein, it has become very easy for women to have day jobs and side hustles or be full-time housewives and still earn a good living from the comfort of their homes. This is equally enabled because basically anything you can think of right now can be built into a very profitable business with a high-earning capacity. Below is a comprehensive list of profitable small business ideas Women in South Africa can explore and take advantage of.

Food Related Business Ideas For Women

1. Smoothie Making

With the recent awareness regarding good health and wellness, more people are going green, especially regarding the things they ingest. Nothing screams good health better than smoothies. All you need to do is locate yourself around a gym, an event place, or a fitness center where people who take their health and food option seriously can find you. If you can locate a food market near you where fruits are sold at a fair price, it will make the venture easier for you.

2. Restaurant

Human beings are generally getting busier with work and many activities that leave little time for home-cooked meals. This notwithstanding, people must eat, and this is where a restaurant comes into the picture. You can start as small as you can afford and find a spot where you’re sure there’s a need for well-cooked food. The best points are often around office buildings, schools, or markets.

3. Cooking Lessons

If you are a busy housewife or working-class woman looking for a way to put your weekends to a better-earning capacity, consider making extra cash from your cooking skills. All you have to do is be on the lookout for people who require your kitchen skills and teach them everything you know for a fee. For a bigger challenge, consider lowering the age range of your students to take on children.

4. Bakery

Baking is one of the easiest small businesses any woman can run either full-time or as a side hustle. Maybe it’s the fact that women have a strong forte in the kitchen, but you will find that making pastries for sale alongside what you bake for your family can give you the extra source of income you’ve been looking for. All you need is an oven, measuring cups, and access to Youtube for recipes.

5. Outdoor Catering Services

While outdoor catering requires cooking skills, please remember that you must be skilled in cooking food in bulk. Because cooking large quantities of food is not an easy feat, people who run this business are well paid. More so, your work is the only advert you will need to get ahead.

6. Home Chef Services

Offering home services as a chef requires you to either cook food at home and deliver to clients or be called upon to cook from the client’s kitchen. While this is very lucrative for women, it is important to consider security measures, especially if you will be cooking at the client’s home.

7. Candy Making

Business Ideas for Women

Wherever there are school children, candy will definitely sell. All you have to do is locate a school district where you can supply your candy to as many tuck shops as you can find. While it may seem like candy does not cost much, the gains will be multiplied depending on the number of shops you can find and supply to. You can also try recreating some old sweets and chocolate flavors.

8. Meal Planner

Being a meal planner is often confused with being a dietician. But while the latter requires a degree to practice, one can be a meal planner just by having the right knowledge of how to combine meals and eat healthily. You can offer your services to people who are not often sure what to eat or who are tired of having the same set of meals all year round. It requires knowledge on planning food timetables that tallies with natural foods, fruits, and vegetables that are in season.

Tech Business Ideas For Women

9. Virtual Assistance

Virtual assistants are the invisible magicians that make the life of business owners and business executives easier. They answer calls, arrange meetings, book appointments organize calendars. This is a good side hustle to add to your day job, but if you can combine two of them, you can make it a full-time job.

10. Graphic Design

With Graphic skills, you can take to designing cards, billboard designs, and many other things. However, Graphic design is pretty extensive and may not be among the best business ideas for women who do not already have a skill set in the field.

11. Social Media Management

Social media management is one of the newer fields that people are forging paths in. Because it is an online gig and can be worked remotely, it is one of the best business ideas for women in the twenty-first century. If you have an active social media handle, this should be a no-brainer; just replicate the same process with content tailored towards advertising what the brand is selling or the services they render.

12. Web Design

The internet is one of the surest ways young people earn a living today. If you are a student or your work leaves you with time to spare, and you have coding skills that have been lying dormant, consider becoming a web designer.  You can start with a website for yourself, show it off to people around you to prove your skills, and use it for advertising yourself on social media.

HandCraft Business Ideas For Women

13. Interior Decor

Interior decorators are currently in high demand in SA, and as such, anyone who goes this way will not lack work provided they are good at it. There’s no hidden talent here because your work will speak for itself. So if you have a good fashion sense and you just love to put a house together, interior decoration will make you very happy while you earn some extra cash.

14. Crotchet Knitting

Knitting was a favorite pastime for women in the olden days, but as is often the case with fashion and style, the love for knit items returned in style and has only grown since then. The good news is that knitting is very easy to learn, and with dedication and consistency, you can produce baby items and then grow from there. If you can afford a knitting machine, it would make your work faster and your productions more durable.

15. Jewellery Business

Business Ideas for Women

Running a jewelry business can be as seamless as buying them from the market in bulk and selling them at home for just a little above the market price. However, you can also make beaded jewelry at home by yourself, working with trending designs or what people order from you.

16. Doll Making

Over time, we have seen companies that make both white and black dolls turn up very interesting profits that have put them on the map. If you have time on your hands and a creative streak, try your hands on creating dolls out of fabrics and use torn-out buttons from old clothes to mark out the dolls’ features.

17. Tailoring

Tailoring has gone far beyond the realms of a mere side hustle. Considering how much people now want to look good, there is no doubt that a tailor will not run out of work so long as they can deliver what clients are looking for. To better make your services unique in the industry, consider taking things online with ready-to-wear outfits that can be ordered online. This will eliminate the immediate need for a shop as you can produce from the comfort of your home and have your shop online instead. While this will require you to attend a fashion school if possible, you will not regret whatever you spend on it

18. Shoemaking

Shoe-making would require almost the same skill set as bag-making. If you are already making bags and would want to expand, consider adding shoes to the mix. Besides making shoes from leather, you can boost your business by revamping old shoes using fabrics. This will definitely call more people to your work because, let’s face it; everyone has an old shoe that needs a little love.

19. Cardmaking

If you are the kind of woman who enjoys helping your children create their school projects, you can start a business out of it. Create beautifully designed cards for different occasions and inscribe beautiful words on them for home decoration or gift loved ones.

20. Bag Making

Even though designer bags seem to be what most women prefer, the fact is that not so many people can afford them. Hence, there is a viable market for locally made bags. All you have to do is take a lesson or two to brush up your skills, and you are in business. If you don’t feel like paying for said lessons, you will find very helpful tips on YouTube. Just ensure that you use good materials to produce quality bags, and in no time, you will have your clients recommending your products to their friends and family.

Work From Home Business Ideas For Women

21. Daycare

Taking care of children is something that a lot of women do at different times in their lives. If you have had to take care of children once, then consider opening a daycare. The good news is that you may not even need to go looking for a building and all; just childproof your house and put in some edutainment materials that can keep children occupied, and viola, you are in business. Start with one or two kids to enable yourself to adjust to the routines involved before taking on more children.

22. Book Sales and Rentals

If you are a versatile reader and have managed to create a good collection of books over the years, consider starting a book sales or rentals business on the side. If you are not willing to part with what you have collected over the years, go with just renting them out for a token. Over time and with what you have raised, you can get a new collection you can sell.

If you do not have a collection, you can start buying and selling with whatever small cash you can spare. Advertise to your colleagues at work, friends on your timeline, and your family members.

23. Pet Sitting

Business Ideas for Women

If you are a stay home mom or if your job does not require you to be away from home all the time, you should consider running a pets daycare. Just like people drop their kids off at daycare, neighbors can drop their pets off with you to pick them up at the close of work for a fee. You can also include dog walking here.

Online Business Ideas For Women

24. Travel Agent Business

If you have the spirit of a globetrotter or have the opportunity to travel a lot, this would be the perfect side business for you. Offer your knowledge of what airlines to use, how to get discounts, the best hotels to use, and what not to other travelers for a fee.

25. Content creation

Creating content for websites and blog is a great opportunity, especially because it gives you the freedom to work from the comfort of your home and at your own time. More so, flexibility means you can work for companies both within and outside the country. The other good thing about being a content creator is that you can put down your creative side on paper for posterity.

26. Matchmaking Business

Believe it or not, the ability to bring people together is a rare skill that anyone can earn money from. You can start by matchmaking your friends and acquaintances and then kick it up a notch by advertising for people looking for love to reach out to you with a list of the kind of people they want and then you can cross-reference and make the matches manually. You can also simplify things by creating a website that people can log onto to find love.

27. Blogging

It’s the twenty-first century, and blogging has never been easier. All you have to do is set up your blog and push out engaging content on basically any topic that catches your fancy. It can be celebrity gossip, trending news, political issues, activism, or something as simple as just sharing your daily life experiences with your readers. If you can post content daily on your blog, it won’t be long before you start having earnings from the traffic you generate. If your traffic is big enough, you get to partner with brands for ads that will fetch you top dollar.

28. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing

The concept of affiliate marketing is one business idea that enables you to earn money from anywhere and anytime, even while you are asleep. It is a process of pushing up the sales of a brand’s product by coming up with creative ideas presented to a target audience on social media to help them better see the advantages of getting the product. All you need is an android phone and internet connection, and you are good to go.

29. Editing

While creating content is good, you can move up the ladder a bit by becoming an editor. This will especially work out well for someone with a degree in English, a good command of the language, or even just a knack for correcting bad grammar and wrong sentences. As a freelance editor, companies and writers, in general, can send you their works to proofread and restructure.

30. Write an E-book

Gone are the days when writers struggle to get publishing houses to look at their manuscripts and get their books published. If you are a good creative writer in any genre, all you need to do is turn your manuscript into an E-book that people can read or buy online for a token on Kindle, Amazon, and the likes.

31. Data Entry

It sounds too easy to be an actual job, but yes, you can make money from filling forms and entering data online. The good thing is that you don’t need a degree or any major skills, all you need is basic computer knowledge, and you are good to go. This is suitable for women who have not had the opportunity to get proper education but are interested in doing more online.

32. Job Bureau

There is often a huge chasm between a good job and the perfect candidate for it. You will find that while graduates are complaining that there are no jobs, employers are putting out adverts that are sometimes not taken seriously because many have been scammed while trying to apply for a good job opening they saw online. This is where you come in. You can create a business out of breaching the gap between employers and employees. You can start with personalized ads on social media and graduate to a website after gaining trust.

Educative Business Ideas For Women

33. Home Lessons Tutoring

Business Ideas for Women

Home lessons are most often effectively run by most teachers as an extra source of income, but that does not mean only teachers can do it. So long as students are looking for ways to better their grades in school, there is a market for home tutors. It is a situation of being knowledgeable and being willing to impart that knowledge to others. Find a school subject that you have perfect mastery over and organize home lessons for school children. If you can manage it, consider tutoring students for their school-leaving exams. You can either do this at home if you have space enough, or you can make an arrangement with parents to tutor their kids at home.

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34. Language Translation

The ability to speak any language fluently is a skill that one can leverage to make some money. Media houses are often searching for translators who can confidently convert a work from one language to another. All you have to do is endure that you can read and write appropriately in the languages required. Importantly, it does not have to be a foreign language; it can be your mother tongue or English.

35. Public Speaking

If you are a good talker and can sell just about anything by convincing people to buy, then this is an area you would do well in. Put your eloquence to work by picking up jobs that involve speaking to large groups of people on behalf of companies or brokering deals for individuals. You can step it up a notch by becoming a motivational speaker.

36. Life Coach

Being a life coach is not as complicated as it sounds, it’s a job that requires attention to detail and the ability to empathize with others. A life coach is basically someone who goes through life with other people, offering advice and a second opinion where necessary. For efficiency, you can tailor your coaching activities to specific people going through specific challenges.

37. Career Counselor

A career counselor is someone who gives advice and direction to people on the best career path to choose based on the skills they have and the degrees they acquired. In conjunction with primary or secondary schools, a career counselor can advise young people on what career path best fits the promise they show.

38. SAT/ACT Prep

Helping people prepare for the SAT/ACT is more lucrative than most people think because although it’s the same as tutoring home lessons, the difference is that this is a lot more flexible, and you can coach as many people as possible at once. Just get a suitable venue in a classroom and have people pay daily or monthly to attend your classes.

High-Risk Business Ideas For Women

39. Forex

Forex is a high-risk investment, and that is why it may not seem like one of the best business ideas for women. However, for those who take the risk, the rewards are many. Like everything else in life, it requires skills that can be learned. Even though it is a male-dominated field, if you can make out time and take a few classes on how to trade, you’ll find that there are ways of trading at low risk. You are also more likely to succeed because women are known to be far more patient than menfolk. You may not have all the cash you require at the start, but with patience, a woman can earn massively from Forex trading.

40. Consignment Business

Since we are in the internet age, buying and selling are no longer strictly done in a physical market. Since people can now buy goods online, there is an opportunity to be the middle man and help people make purchases online as the middle man, especially when they are buying from other countries. To make it even easier, you can advertise the goods on your social media and have buyers contact you to make the purchase.

41. Tax Consulting

If you are an accountant, you can offer tax consulting services on the side beside your main job. Even with an actual degree, a person who has a good head for numbers and understands how the country’s tax works can offer consultation services to help people decide what to do about their taxes and the easiest way to go about paying it based on their sources of income.

Business Ideas Women Can Run Outdoors

42. Landscape Designer

If you have a degree in landscape design, you can earn a pretty penny from the comfort of your home if you prefer not to work a blue-collar job. But even if you did not study Landscape design, but you have a good eye for the perfect scenery, consider going into business in this field. You would be in a natural habitat and would not need to work too hard to impress. Just show off your work on social media and watch the offers come in.

43. Events Decor

Events decoration is one of the most lucrative business ideas for women. As an events decorator, you would make good money putting your creativity to good use. Besides the fact that there is always an occasion or two happening somewhere, you can start working for friends and family. If you do a good job, your work will speak for itself and keep the clients trooping in. You can either do this full-time or partner with an already known events decorator on a part-time basis.

44. Poultry

Business Ideas for Women

While poultry might require a lot of monitoring time and is not often the cleanest of ventures, you will find that it is something women have been doing from time immemorial. If you want to run poultry as a side hustle, you can watch on your off-work time in the evenings and weekends and advertise to your friends and associates especially using your WhatsApp status.

But if you prefer to make it a full-time business, try forming a connection with eateries, fast foods, and restaurants that you can supply birds to on a permanent contract.

45. Beekeeping

This may not be a practical business for someone who has a fear of bees or for someone who lives in an environment that does not favor the insect. To run a Beekeeping business requires time, knowledge, and skills which can be gotten from in-depth research online. This is because you need to understand how to maximize them, how to get the most honey from the species to go for, and what season best suits their activities. Ultimately, beekeeping is very profitable.

46. Equipment Rental

Since occasions happen daily and even more so on weekends, it goes to say that renting equipment for big gatherings will be an excellent business venture. Consider things like chairs, canopies, microphones, speakers, plates, spoons, etc.

Fashion Related Ideas

47. Personal Shopper

Yes, you heard right. You can make as much money as you want by shopping for other people. The services can be tailored to specific needs and niches like fashion, groceries, etc. You can also just run errands for a fee.

48. Boutique

You can never go wrong selling fashion items because what one person does not like might speak to another person’s style. You can either buy and supply to others, you can open a store, or you can run it all online and advertise on your social media handles or a full-running website.

49. Hair Salon


If you have braided your hair recently, you will agree that running a hair salon is a lucrative business idea for women. All you need is the ability to braid hair because this is one of those businesses you get better at with consistency. Use your phone as often as you can to discover trending hairstyles and how to make them.

50. Barber

To be a barber as a woman is to draw attention to yourself, and you need all the attention you can get to flourish as a female barber. So if you have any skills in this regard or are interested in making a difference, you can make time to learn the ropes and then start your barbershop. The good thing about being a female barber is that you will get more clients than your male counterparts because you are known to be more gentle.

51. Manicure and Pedicure Studio

A manicure and pedicure studio offers a variety of services besides the obvious. Options like a foot massage, fixing of artificial nails, and general nail hygiene services. It might require a bit of capital to get the right equipment, but even without the bigger one, you can improvise at the start while you save up for more.

52. Makeup Artiste

The market for makeup artists may seem saturated, but all you need to do is customize the services you offer a bit, and it will look new all over again. Introduce a few perks that will motivate clients to choose you over all of your competitors. Offers like total packages for hair, nails makeup, and skincare will help you go far. Even if you are not an expert in all of these other areas, consider learning them or pool resources with them to include your services in their packages and vice versa.

53. Skincare Expert

While you will need a lot of lessons and experience to become a skincare expert, be rest assured that whatever you spend in the learning process will be worth it in the end. In the process of learning how to take care of the skin, you could also produce and sell skincare products to your clients. As a skincare expert, remember that your skin is your first signpost.

Business Ideas That Can Spark Your Creativity

54. Wedding Planner

Business Ideas for Women

Planning the perfect wedding is one of the most grueling tasks for brides to be, and this is why wedding planners are in high demand. Brides prefer to relax and have the runaround for their perfect day handled by a third party. So if you have skills in planning and putting events together, consider taking IP wedding planning as a full-time business. While it is not your wedding, you can have fun just giving other people the wedding of their dreams.

55. Party Planning

Party planning is just a step away from wedding planning, but sometimes, it pays to be more specific with your job description titles to enable clients better connect to what you are offering. No hard and fast rule stops you from planning a wedding as a party planner. However, for clarity’s sake, the two businesses go with different titles.

56. Photography

No list of business ideas for women will be complete without photography. From the love for selfies and generally taking photos with your phone, you can start grooming yourself to take better shots. As a photographer, you will need a camera that you can use to adjust your focus and practice with landscape shots. You can take a lesson or two on Youtube to help you get better at it.

57. Singing

While it might look like a herculean task to rise to fame as a musician, you can earn money by being a singer. If you have a good voice and have probably been doing your thing in the church choir, consider offering your services to other musicians as a backup singer. You can also sing for churches, clubs, parties and all such small gatherings. If all of these does not do it for you, try creating a youtube page where you post your demos for people to listen to, then grow the page from there and earn from it.

58. DJ

Even though mixing sounds seems to be a male-dominated field, some women give the male folk a run for their money as DJs in South Africa. If you are still in doubt, look at the likes of DJ Zinhle or the Nigerian DJ Cuppy, and you’ll know that you can excel in it too. One thing that makes being a DJ one of the best business ideas for women is that if you know your onions, you will attract many clients.

59. Toy Sales and Rentals

In this day and age, when people are looking for ways to keep their kids entertained, you cannot go wrong selling toys. The good thing about this business idea is that you can start it from the comfort of your home by just advertising your goods on your social media handles for all and sundry to see and DM you if they are interested. If you want to be a lot more hands-on, you can display it at shops too.

While you may not be able to rent out little toys since children can get very clingy with those, you can rent out bigger things like slides, swings, etc.

60. Home Cleaning

Business Ideas for Women

Running a home cleaning business is just like doing what you do every other day at home but getting paid for it. This is why is it ranks high as one of the best business ideas for women. You can offer services for cleaning homes whose owners have been away for a while, newly built homes before the owners move in, and offices. You can equally run daily cleaning services for working-class people. Put out an advert, and you will be shocked at the number of people who this service.

61. Nanny Training

If you have had children in the past and had to struggle through the trouble of finding a good nanny to help you out with the kids, then this is the business idea for you. It involves being the middle man between couples and who need nannies and nannies who need jobs. The twist here is that you can organize training sessions to better equip the nannies with knowledge of what couples require and how to give the best in caring for children.

62. Laundry

Running a laundry is just a step away from the cleaning business discussed above. If you can save up money to get a washing machine, this is a viable idea. Start by offering home pickup and delivery at a reduced fee. This will give you an edge over your competitors. If You can keep up the speed with timely deliveries, you can be sure you will thrive and soon expand your setup with more equipment and staff.

63. Yoga Trainer

Yoga is a certified route to wellness which explains why more people are taking to the practice. As a Yoga expert, you would make good money helping other people become as fit as you are. You can include different kinds of fitness exercises to broaden the scope of your offers.

64. Maternal Fitness Coach

Many women are currently struggling with getting back their fit and trim physique after childbirth which is no easy feat. If you have gone through this experience and were able to achieve your goal successfully, you could document the regimen that worked for you and guide other new moms through it as a maternal fitness coach. You can work with a dietician to make your package a lot more effective.

65. Brand Ambassador

This is one of the major ways celebrities and generally famous people make money. However, you can give it a try, especially with brands that are not yet big and famous because the more famous ones would prefer a celebrity. All you need to do is actively market what they are selling for a fee.

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Romeo Ndlovu
Romeo Ndlovu
Romeo's secret talent is taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary content. At work, he is thinking about how best to provide the most unique, original content that provides utmost satisfaction to the user. Away from work, he is a football addict who loves to catch up on his favorite pastimes


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