75+ lucrative business ideas for women entrepreneurs in 2024

75+ lucrative business ideas for women entrepreneurs in 2024

The South African economy is among the most vibrant in Africa, making it ideal for business startups. Numerous government-sponsored and private programmes seek to enhance the creation and growth of businesses among various groups, including youth and women. What are the most lucrative business ideas for women in the country today? Find out more today.

A profit chart and coins in a jar
A profit chart and coins in a jar. Photo: pexels.com, @Nataliya Vaitkevich (modified by author)
Source: UGC


Most successful businesses fill a gap in the market. This list of the most lucrative business ideas for women is based on their potential to rake in profits, uniqueness, use of modern technology, and demand for the service or product. Numerous South African women have ventured into the business world and are making it big.

Overview of the most lucrative business ideas for women

2Candy making
3Home-based catering services
4Selling fruit smoothies
5Culinary training services
6Poultry keeping
8Child daycare business
9Home tutoring
10Online bookshop
12Car wash services
14Doll making
15Jewellery making
16Bag making
18Native shoemaking
20Website designing
21Graphic designing
22Delivery business/ courier services
23Matchmaking business
24Travel agency
25Content writing

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Most lucrative business ideas for women

Do you aspire to become a businesswoman in South Africa but need to figure out what venture to start? Here are some of the top options to consider.

1. Baking

Baking is among the top business ideas for women in South Africa. If you are a good baker, you should consider starting a bakery. The demand for cakes and other baked goods is high because people are now celebrating every little accomplishment in life.

2. Candy making

Candy making and selling is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and there is no better time to invest in this lucrative and rewarding business. You only require a few electronic appliances, ingredients, and a little space, and you are good to start. There is always demand for sweets, meaning candy making is one of the top business ideas for women at home.

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3. Home-based catering services

If you have a knack for cooking, you can create a home-based catering business. As the business grows, you may have to employ a few people for assistance. Be ready to make a variety of dishes, as requested by clients.

4. Selling fruit smoothies

Assorted fruit smoothies in glass bottles
Assorted fruit smoothies in glass bottles with coloured straws. Photo: pixabay.com, @silviarita
Source: UGC

Making smoothies is easy if you understand the best combination of fruits to make the tastiest ones. You can make and sell fruit smoothies from home and deliver them to customers. Alternatively, you can open a kiosk for customers to come to you.

5. Culinary training services

If you are good at cooking, you can offer culinary training services to other people, also known as cooking services. You can offer cooking classes online or in person. Ensure you have a well-equipped and spacious kitchen to accommodate your trainees.

6. Poultry keeping

Poultry keeping is one of the most profitable farm-related businesses today. You should acquire some basic training before starting a poultry-rearing business. You must also have ample space in your home or farm where you will rear the poultry.

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7. Beekeeping

Beekeeping is among the best small business ideas for women in SA. Before starting a beekeeping business, ascertain whether your area is conducive for bees. You must also conduct extensive research about keeping bees and how to package and sell honey.

8. Child daycare business

Turning your home into a daycare is a lucrative business idea for a stay-at-home mum. The venture does not require special expertise, just a liking for children and their welfare. You can charge per hour, day, or week. Running a child daycare business requires passion.

9. Home tutoring

This is a great opportunity for well-educated women. Parents are always looking for extra tuition for their kids in SA. You can turn your academic qualifications into a lucrative business venture. Consider offering tutoring services to people in your locality or even in other countries via the internet.

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10. Online bookshop

You can easily start an online bookshop right in your house. You could sell books, stationery, bookmarks, and even e-books. If the capital allows, you can set up a brick-and-mortar bookshop in a busy area of a town near you.

11. Tailoring

If you are good at conceptualising designs and bringing them to life, you could tap into the numerous opportunities the fashion industry has created. Creativity and consistency are key in a tailoring business.

12. Car wash services

A blue car in a carwash
A blue car in a car wash. Photo: pixabay.com, @HutchRock
Source: UGC

The number of cars on South African roads has been increasing steadily over the years. Most car owners are too busy with their daily schedules, so there is high demand for car wash services. To start the business, you just need a spacious yard that can fit several cars, access to a water source, and a car washing machine.

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13. Card-making

People send cards for numerous occasions, including birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, examinations, childbirths, and many more. If you are creative, you can start a card-making business.

14. Doll making

Dolls have always been in demand, especially in families with small children. Interestingly, they are quite easy to make, using locally available materials. You can start a small doll-making business and expand as the sales grow. Consider doing deliveries within your locality to increase sales.

15. Jewellery making and selling

The jewellery industry is quite diverse. You can buy silver and gold jewellery in bulk and sell them at a profit, either online or from a physical shop. You can also make and sell beaded jewellery if you have the necessary knowledge and skills.

16. Bag making

Bags have wide-ranging uses in our day-to-day lives. The secret to running a successful bag-making venture is ensuring that you make quality and unique products, and within no time, you will establish your brand.

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17. Hatmaking

Hatmaking is among the top home business ideas for women. South Africans wear hats, especially when it is hot. Foreigners and locals purchase hats for the beach, for daily wear, and to complement various traditional looks. If you have a great sense of fashion, you can venture into the hatmaking business.

18. Native shoemaking

The Zulu, Swazi, Xhosa, and Ndebele all have native footwear that is part of their culture. The demand for native shoes from these communities will always be there as people seek to have a fashion piece that reminds them of their roots and upbringing. You could procure the required pieces of equipment and, with the right training, make native shoes and sell them for a profit.

19. Crocheting

Crocheting is one of the most lucrative fashion-related business opportunities because the demand for crotchet pieces keeps on growing each year. You could make good use of your crocheting skills to make a fortune.

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20. Website designing

If you have basic knowledge of HTML coding, the use of themes and templates, and basic web design skills, you can easily make money out of designing websites. Almost every reputable business out there needs a web presence nowadays, and what better way to do this than by having a website?

21. Graphic designing

A laptop and various tools and cards on a workspace
A laptop and various tools and cards on a workspace. Photo: pixabay.com, @ptra
Source: UGC

If you are good at graphic design, you could implement your knowledge and earn from it. You can make flyers, posters, business cards, and many other graphic elements. You can charge by the hour or piece rate.

22. Delivery business/ courier services

Numerous people enjoy shopping online because it is convenient. You can bridge the gap that exists between the buyer and the seller by providing delivery services at a fee. With the huge number of online business transactions, you can easily make a fortune out of this.

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23. Matchmaking business

Are you naturally good at connecting people who have similar interests and characters and who might be good matches? Why not try an online matchmaking business? All you need is a functional website with features designed to enhance usability and privacy.

24. Travel agency

If you love travelling, you could turn it into a lucrative business. You could become a travel agent who helps travellers make their bookings, choose hotels, find places of interest, and numerous other activities related to travelling.

25. Content writing

With the increase in the number of websites, there is a constant demand for written content. You could make good use of your creativity to come up with content for websites and earn from it. This is one of the most profitable business ideas for women at home.

26. Content editing

Besides freelance content creation, one could also work as an editor. This entails going through other people's work to make sure it meets the required grammar, length, formatting, and other standards.

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27. Blogging

If you have a particular interest, skill, knowledge, or exposure to something, you can make money out of it by creating a blog on which you tackle issues related to the item/activity of interest. A blog makes money through affiliate marketing, advertising, and sponsorships, making it one of the most diverse small business ideas for women.

28. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a process where publishers earn a commission by promoting a product or service made by another retailer or advertiser. Affiliate marketing is fantastic if you have a sizeable online audience.

29. E-book writing

If you are a creative writer, you can make a fortune out of writing and selling e-books. There are numerous online platforms that make it possible to reach a huge audience for your creative work.

30. Translation services

Text translated from Arabic to English
Text translated from Arabic to English. Photo: pexels.com, @Brett Jordan
Source: UGC

If you are conversant with more than one language, you can make some money out of translating texts, audio files, and other types of content from one language to another. The demand for multilingual people has recently increased.

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31. Landscape design

Landscape design is the arranging and modifying of features in a landscape, urban area, or garden. It involves the planning, designing, and managing of open spaces to create aesthetic environments. If you are great at landscape design, consider exploring this opportunity.

32. Interior decoration

An interior decoration business is one of the businesses that are relatively easy to start and run. All you need to have is a good fashion sense. You can browse the internet for timeless, modern, or other forms of decorations to spice up living rooms, bedrooms, and other interior spaces.

33. Forex trading

Forex trading is one of the most profitable online ventures. However, you will need to undergo training first through a coach or self-training to make it in forex trading. Once you learn the ins and outs, forex trading is arguably one of the most lucrative businesses. Beware of the risk of losing your investment due to a small mistake.

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34. Crop farming

The most crucial step for people considering crop farming is acquiring a piece of fertile land. A considerable number of potentially profitable cash crops can be planted and nurtured for a steady flow of income. Some of the crops you could plant are vegetables, fruits, and legumes.

35. Greenhouse farming

Greenhouse farming is among the best ventures to try if you have sufficient starting capital. You can grow vegetables, fruits, or any other thing you deem fit for the market. Unfortunately, due to the significant capital outlay required, greenhouse farming is one of the least implemented business opportunities in South Africa.

36. Senior citizen assistance

Senior citizen assistance is one of the best business opportunities in South Africa. There are several ways you can set up the business. You can help senior citizens run errands, take them to social functions, and even help them around the house.

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37. Life coaching

A life coach is someone who counsels and encourages clients through personal or career challenges. They guide clients to reach their ultimate goals. If this sounds like you, consider offering the service for a fee.

38. Water bottling

Bottles of water with blue caps
Bottles of water with blue caps. Photo: pixabay.com, @Hans
Source: UGC

The demand for bottled water continues to rise as major cities in South Africa grapple with the problem of clean water shortage. If you can bottle clean water, there are water-selling opportunities in numerous towns and cities across the country.

39. Waste management

Waste management is another venture which can be quite profitable and has significant potential aligned with the modern-day pollution reduction agenda. The business's potential lies in the general lack of awareness among South Africans regarding proper waste disposal and management.

40. Dropshipping

Drop shipping is an innovative e-commerce business model in which the seller does not have to manage any physical products. All they have to do is set up an online store and partner with various suppliers who are ready to store, package, and ship orders to clients. You should be keen when starting a dropshipping business because small errors could cause bad reviews.

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41. Photography

Photography is one of the most captivating business opportunities in South Africa. The profession suits individuals who love documenting special moments. While there's stiff competition in the sector, specialising in a photography niche can win you many clients.

42. Restaurant business

There are plenty of eateries, but this does not mean one cannot start their own restaurant in South Africa today. Numerous people are too busy to cook at home, so they often visit eateries. This especially applies to the students and workers, which is why setting up your restaurant near a school or busy workplace is a great idea.

43. Dry cleaning business

Dry cleaning is among the most interesting business ideas in South Africa. With people becoming more and more focused on their jobs, the time to perform certain household chores, including laundry, keeps diminishing. As a result, the dry-cleaning business has become quite profitable.

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44. Professional makeup services

The makeup industry has been growing over the last decade or two. You could tap into that opportunity, especially if you are good at doing makeup. You can offer makeup services to people with events such as birthdays and weddings.

45. Selling skin care products

Selling skin care products is quite lucrative because every woman wants to look and feel good. The only downside to this business is that it requires a huge capital outlay at the beginning. The business involves selling skin care products, either online or from a physical location.

46. Kiddie toy store

The demand for kiddie toys in South Africa is quite large and consistent. You can link up with importers and ship in assorted toys on a large scale. You can then resell them to retail stores or sell them directly via e-commerce sites.

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47. Selling smartphone accessories

Earphones on a white surface
Earphones on a white surface. Photo: pixabay.com, @472301
Source: UGC

The sale of mobile phone accessories is quite profitable in South Africa today. The number of mobile phone users in the country is projected to grow significantly over the coming years. The demand for the latest smartphone accessories is constantly growing.

48. Hair and nail salon

If you are good at styling hair and nails, you can open a salon offering these services. You must always keep up with the latest trends to sustain your business.

49. Call centre/agency

The call centre business has become quite popular nowadays. Numerous people need assistance, guidance, advice, or want to complain about services or products. You can set up a call centre or agency and work for large companies through contracts.

50. T-shirt printing

If you have an eye and mind for great designs, you can start a t-shirt printing business. Some of the most common methods include screen printing and heat pressing. You can set up your business online or even work with institutions.

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51. Cleaning business

Cleaning services can range from small-scale to large-scale for corporate clients. The upside to starting a cleaning venture is the large number of people who want a clean environment to live and work in. You can offer cleaning services for clothes, carpets, sofas, toilets, walls, and many other things.

52. Pet care

Do you love animals? If so, a pet daycare or grooming business might be the right business for you. While the pet care business sector was not considered very promising several years ago, things have changed drastically.

53. Virtual assistance services

A virtual assistant is a self-employed person who provides administrative services to another individual or company from a remote location. If you are looking for an online job that lets you earn from home, then being a virtual assistant should be among your considerations.

54. Podcasting

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Podcasts have been getting more traction over the last few years. The number of people who listen to podcasts has risen significantly in the last two decades. If you can engage people on a particular line of conversation, why not give the podcast business a try?

55. YouTube vlogging

A laptop displaying something on YouTube
A laptop displaying something on YouTube. Photo: pixabay.com, @TymonOziemblewski
Source: UGC

Starting a YouTube channel is a great way to make money. If you are a good content creator who can keep audiences engaged, you should create a YouTube channel. You should identify a niche to focus on and figure out what your target audience constantly searches for on YouTube.

56. Yoga instruction services

To set up a successful yoga instruction venture, you will first need a deep understanding of yoga. It is also paramount to have many years of yoga experience and a good understanding of alignment, breathing, and poses. You must also be willing to help people to improve and grow.

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57. Nutrition services

Offering nutrition services is reserved for people trained in nutrition and dietetics. As a certified nutrition professional, you are required to pay attention to the details of helping your clients reach their goals.

58. Fashion styling

There are numerous people in need of styling, especially celebrities and influencers. If you have a keen eye for fashion, you can assist these people in mixing and matching fashion items at a fee.

59. Personal fitness training services

Numerous people are fitness-conscious today. If you are a qualified sports scientist or have correct knowledge of fitness, you can offer personal fitness training services to clients. You will need to create a good reputation to land more clients.

60. Personal chef services

A chef holding pastry dishes on white ceramic plates
A chef holding pastry dishes on white ceramic plates. Photo: pexels.com, @Pixabay
Source: UGC

If you are a chef or are passionate about cooking, you can offer personalised chef services to families to make some good cash. Beware that this may only work in areas with wealthy people who can afford these services.

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61. PR services

Public relations is a key component in most companies and businesses. You can establish a PR agency to assist people and businesses to create a good public image. You can also help them to recover their image in case something goes wrong.

62. Wedding planning services

If you love love and have stellar organisational skills, you may have considered starting a wedding planning business. You will be required to pick out bridal dresses, event venues, send invitations, hire bands or DJs, select menus, among other tasks.

63. Candle making

Many people like their homes to smell nice and to feel cosy. What better way to make this happen than by lighting some candles? Not only are they an affordable indulgence, but they also make great gifts and literally brighten any room. As a result, a candle making business is likely to thrive if you offer quality products.

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64. Voice acting

If you have a passion for acting and enjoy using your voice to express emotions or communicate messages, consider a career as a voice actor. You can use your voice to make tons of cash. You can work independently to record audio for various projects.

65. Vintage reselling

Is your home full of vintage treasures? Consider selling them for money. You can also collect vintage items from people and reselling them for a profit.

66. Social media management services

A person opening the TikTok app on their phone
A person opening the TikTok app on their phone. Photo: pexels.com, @cottonbro studio
Source: UGC

Social media management is one of the most important pieces in your social media marketing strategy. Social media managers are responsible for developing the strategies that maintain and grow a social presence. If you are good at this, you can start a social media management business.

67. Brand ambassador/influencer services

An influencer is someone who leverages social media channels to influence followers’ buying decisions. Influencers are known for their ability to build relationships with an audience to build an engaged and loyal follower base. If you are skilled in this, you can approach brands to offer influencing services.

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68. AI consultancy services

AI consultants help businesses navigate and implement artificial intelligence solutions tailored to their needs. They analyse data, recommend AI technologies, and develop strategies for organisations. If you are skilled in this area, consider offering AI consultancy services to companies.

69. Career coaching

Career coaches help employees to reach their career goals and full potential. If you are a dedicated coach, you can offer your services to individuals and companies. You must define your niche before embarking on a career coaching business.

70. Flipping houses

A brown wooden staircase with a brass chandelier
A brown wooden staircase with a brass chandelier. Photo: pexels.com, @Curtis Adams
Source: UGC

House flipping involves buying a home with a view to fixing it up and reselling it for a profit. This business idea requires handsome startup capital. If you wish to start a house flipping venture, you must do research beforehand.

71. Real estate/ selling land

Starting a real estate business is not for the faint of heart, but you must be ready to work hard as a woman because the industry is male-dominated. This venture involves buying and reselling land for a profit.

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72. SEO consulting

An SEO consultant helps businesses improve their websites' ranking in search engine results. Before embarking on this venture, choose a niche, define your services, and market your services.

73. Veterinary services

Offering veterinary services is reserved for people with adequate skills and knowledge in handling animals. Before starting a private veterinary practice, ensure your chosen location has many potential clients.

74. Pet daycare services

Many people do not know where to leave their pets when they are travelling. You can solve this gap by offering pet daycare services with the option of allowing them to stay for a defined period.

75. Personal shopping services

A personal shopper helps others shop by giving advice and making suggestions. You can become a personal shopper for an attorney, executive, or medical doctor to make some good cash.

76. App development services

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A person holding a smartphone while using a laptop
A person holding a smartphone while using a laptop. Photo: pexels.com, @Christina Morillo
Source: UGC

Businesses generally outsource mobile app development due to constrained budgets and extended timelines. You can take advantage of this by offering app development services. The high demand for apps and app development solutions means you will seldom lack clients if you do a good job.

How do you start your own business?

The business startup process varies from one idea to another. Some of the general steps include conducting market research, writing a business plan, funding, choosing a business structure and name, registering the business, and getting tax IDs.

Which business is best for a housewife?

A business that can be conducted online is best for a homemaker. Options include product sales, podcasting, blogging, forex trading, and web design.

What are the most successful small businesses to start?

This largely depends on numerous factors, such as one's location, target market, marketing techniques, and competition, among others. Some popular ventures that easily succeed include baking, affiliate marketing, and content writing.

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What small business is the most successful?

It is challenging to pinpoint a single business that is the most successful. Even so, a good option can be conducted online and brings good profits. Prime examples include starting a YouTube channel, podcasting, virtual assistance, and blogging.

What is the best business for a woman to start?

The best business for a woman to start is aligned with her passion and interest. Some of the most popular options include forex trading, affiliate marketing, and dropshipping.

Can you do forex trading in South Africa?

Yes, you can trade through various accredited forex brokers.

How much money do you need to start a business in South Africa?

The amount depends on the business in question. It ranges from no amount for free ventures such as a YouTube channel to millions of rands for expensive startups such as full-fledged toy stores.

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There are numerous business ideas for women in South Africa today. These ventures vary in startup requirements, competition levels, and potential returns, amongst many other attributes. All of them are potentially profitable if approached correctly.

DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

Briefly.co.za recently published information on how and where to sell old coins in South Africa. Collecting old coins is an exciting, informative hobby that helps you learn more about your country's history.

It has the added benefit of collecting items that increase in value. Knowing where to sell old coins for cash helps you quickly find a spot to cash out on your financially beneficial hobby.

Source: Briefly News

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Priscillah Mueni (Lifestyle writer) Priscillah Mueni is a lifestyle and entertainment content creator with more than 4 years of experience. She graduated from Meru University of Science and Technology with a Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering in 2019. In 2023, Priscillah finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. She has been writing articles on Briefly.co.za since 2019. Email: pshmueni@gmail.com

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Jackline Wangare (Lifestyle writer) Jackline Simwa is a content writer at Briefly.co.za, where she has worked since mid-2021. She tackles diverse topics, including finance, entertainment, sports, and lifestyle. Previously, she worked at The Campanile by Kenyatta University. She has more than five years in writing. Jackline graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics (2019) and a Diploma in Marketing (2015) from Kenyatta University. In 2023, Jackline finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques and Google News Initiative course in 2024. Email: simwajackie2022@gmail.com.