60 Best Startups Business Idea for Small and Developing Countries

Profitable Business Ideas To Start In Developing Countries. Small business ideas for developing countries

Written by Niel Patel · 8 min read >
best startups in developing countries

Starting a business has various financial advantages over working for a wage or salary, especially in a developing country. Building a startup or a small business takes a lot of effort but as the business grows so grows the wallet. Kick-starting a business in the developing economy helps the economy grow and provides jobs to unemployed youth. With that in mind, the guide will look at the 10 business ideas that can work very well in a developing economy and with limited resources. 

Best 20 Profitable Business Ideas for Developing Countries

1. NFT Marketplace

NFT Marketplace

You are, therefore aware of NFTs and how certain people have profited from them. The most recent cryptocurrency craze to enter the mainstream is NFTs. It makes sense for you to grasp the ins and outs of earning money through NFTs whether you own a small business or are an entrepreneur producing digital content.

2. Freelancing

Everyone loves freedom, especially in the work culture. Freelancing has become one of the fastest and incredibly cost-effective businesses. Sometimes freelancing can be better than a full-time job. There are various platforms like Upwork, Fiver, and Seoclerk. The platform provides a great and equal opportunity to work and find independence. 

These platforms offer various carriers like development, graphic design, digital marketing, content writing, translating, video services, E-book writing, documentation writing, proofreading, and more. 

Starting with freelancing is easy and one of the best business ideas for developing countries. Because a person can start working as a freelancer and earn benefits immediately with fewer resources, it’s a fair and secure game that anyone can use. No need for any pre-investment as most of these platforms offer free signup making freelancing a good way to headstart a business. 

3. Fashion Designing 

Fashion leaves no one behind, not even in developing countries. However, one might have to change their idea about the garments for a specific location and region, but it is for everyone.

The demand for handcrafted clothing is increasing worldwide, including in developing countries. Social media, reels, and influence culture have collectively inspired the youth to become more attracted to fashion than any other industry. So, as a result, many people prefer custom-made designs match their exact specifications. Starting as a tailor does not require a large investment. Sewing, stitching machine, and electricity make enough tools to run the business effectively. 

However, the fashion designing industry has a wide perspective; it does not only means stitching clothes. Drafting and sketching also make an integral part of the fashion industry. So, if a person doesn’t want to stitch the clothes, they can use their sketching skills to create fashion sketches or opt for drafting. 

Irrespective of sketching, drafting, and stitching, the fashion industry has a lot of business ideas for poor countries. Starting a fashion consultancy and helping the influencer to dress according to the trend or sometimes set a new trend can earn good money. 

Wholesalers, fashion companies, fashion bloggers, store managers, editors, and designing and manufacturing firms are some good options to start in the fashion industry.

4. Online Tutoring

A more personalized learning experience for students has become a trend in the education sector that will continue to expand in 2022 and in the upcoming years. Online tutoring focuses on a personalized teaching approach to students’ unique needs. However, online education provides a more personalized learning experience as technology advances. With the pandemic increasing the number of remote workers, training has become a major challenge for organizations. However, the trend is still in its initial stages, so it’s a good time to start. No need for a big investment; the interesting person can even start their online tutoring business for free on youtube.

Everyone is finding their way in the business, from individuals to bigger companies. Companies began developing new methods to provide optimized and more comfortable learning processes to assist employees in maintaining work-life balance. Most businesses are following the microlearning mode.

Microlearning provides learners with 4-5 micro lessons lasting 5- 7 minutes each. Micro lessons are easier for the provider as the tutors can provide them any time of the day. As the AR and VR technologies are improving, these technologies deliver great content. So, combining these technologies with your own business can be a unique way of providing education to everyone while being one of the best startups in developing countries.

5. Thrifting

Also a fashion-related business, thrifting is gaining popularity among fashion enthusiasts as one of the best small business ideas for developing countries. Everyone wants to buy good but cheap clothes, so why not provide them with that while making some money? Thrifting is all about starting an online store and then reselling the single used or vintage or old clothes. However, the store does not necessarily have to be a clothing store, it can sell anything from renovated old furniture to antiques. 

Even though a thrifting business is easy to start, considering some factors seriously can only help. Before starting a thrifting business, things that need to be considered include the prime age of your audience, how to enjoy sales of derivative products like these, and your connections. First, you must buy these products at a low margin to sell on the benefit.  

Remember, clothing is not just necessary for those who buy used goods; it is also a part of their lifestyle. They can look good and get reasonably priced branded goods in the bag. Furthermore, it requires little capital but yields relatively large returns. 

When considered seriously, thrifting is a really good business to start with. 

6. E-commerce Store 

Yet another successful business is the e-commerce business. Unlike other businesses, you might have to invest a bit before starting. There are successful e-commerce businesses like Amazon. However, starting your online store doesn’t mean you have to make it look like Amazon; these businesses take time to grow but yield a good return once they have developed their audience. 

As technology is changing and everyone is riding on the blockchain, you may also want to have some benefits out of it. The great news is that you can start a decentralized e-commerce business. Decentralization is further, so staying one step ahead of the crowd will help you build a strong foundation for your business in less time.

An e-commerce store can be in any category, from clothing to furniture store. Developing countries usually have so many small sellers with great small businesses. Partnering with them to sell in your store will help both parties; you will get revenue, and they will get major sales. 

7. Translator

Starting as an online translator is a low-budget but high-return business. Translators are always, especially now in high demand. As the world is becoming closer daily, people are starting to develop an urge to learn other languages like Korean, Spanish, and Frech. There is another language too that you can pick as your major service. The only thing you require to start this business is language skills. Knowing more than one language will benefit in developing a greater range of clients and associates.

Another best aspect of translating services is the entry barriers. Most platforms that provide a shared environment for the translation and the client require no entry fees. The two great examples of these types of media are Upwork and iTaki. You can create an online translation business with your PC from the comfort of your own home using any of these or your preferred platform. Some platforms like Hiscox require an upfront cost, such as Hiscox professional liability insurance.

The platforms require you to obtain this insurance to prevent your profile from any signified damage. 

8. Green Energy

Green energy has to be the future of energy to keep our mother earth safe. The type of energy should not be questioned as we are already seeing the devastating effects of pollution. Stepping into the green energy business is good for you, your country, and the whole planet. The more green energy is used the less the effects will be felt on the environment. 

The green energy business is a long-term investment. You can start it as a small business that provides the energy to a few homes in your area at lower prices and then can take it to the corporate level. You may also require good public relations to set up a green energy business. As this business is also about public services besides making money for you. 

Many businesses hesitate to install a green energy system because the initial costs can be prohibitively high. Installing new solar panels to power your business may cost you high, but they will quickly pay for themselves. You can think of this as a business with all these benefits and good for nature.

9. Fitness Business

There are a thousand reasons to start a fitness business of your own. And some of them are that it is cost-effective, popular already, and easy to start with. Even in developing countries, nothing else can beat the prominence of the fitness business.  

Beginning with the fitness business is easy if you have enough knowledge of the exercise and the yoga poses, you can provide home fitness classes until you earn the money to open your own business. Set a good fee structure according to time and your convenience. So, when someone is getting their body in shape, you receive the right money for your efforts, traveling, and knowledge. 

Aside from membership fees, you can increase your revenue by selling weight loss products, labeled gym apparel, and providing functional amenities such as a sauna or juice bar. The fitness business has many perks, unlike other businesses. A gym owner is not required to be present at all times. Make sure to hire a dedicated team to ensure your company runs smoothly. This will allow you to achieve a better work-life balance and spend more time with your loved ones.

10. Spa And Beauty Businesses

Success and essential business knowledge that all you need to explore the spa and beauty business. A beauty business is one of the most popular and easy steps anyone can start from home. The ordinary spa service costs around $75, but prices vary depending on the service. You can limit your fuel and supplies expenses when working as a mobile spa service. Aim for an 80% profit margin for a mobile spa and a 20% profit margin for a geographical place.

Once you’ve determined the costs, you can use a good profit margin calculator to calculate your markup and final price points. Remember that the prices you use at release can change if the market warrants it. 

Aroma therapies and makeup come under the spa business services you can easily start and deploy. However, in the spa business, some factors can change earnings. For example, your target market will determine the type of services you can provide and the benefits you will have. Decide in advance whether you will offer services to men or women. Because most spas cater to women of all ages, you should diversify your marketing efforts to include Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms. 

11. Waste Collector

Pollution and waste disposal is one of the best startup ideas in developing countries. The issues of pollution and waste have long been among the many issues that many developing countries share. Entrepreneurs can make a significant amount of money by figuring out the effective disposal of garbage and waste. You can take the trash to the appropriate location and have as many items recycled as possible.

Lorna Rutto, a Kenyan citizen, resigned from her bank job in 2009 to start a company called Eco post. Her idea for a business revolved around recycling plastics sourced from various dumpsites and homes to make fencing posts. Lorna presently employs over 500 people through her company, Eco post, and earns more than $150,000 annually. The waste collection business will benefit you, the environment, and your area. 

So, there are some businesses you can try to have a good future for yourself and your country. Analyze the environment for a particular company in your country to improve your growth chances.

Manufacturing business ideas for developing countries

Many potential manufacturing business ideas could be successful in developing countries. Some examples could include:

  1. Agricultural processing: Many developing countries have strong agricultural sectors, and there may be opportunities to start businesses that process and package agricultural products for local or export markets.
  2. Textile manufacturing: Textile manufacturing can be labor-intensive, making it well-suited to developing countries where labor costs may be lower. There may be opportunities to start businesses that produce clothing, fabrics, or other textile products for local or export markets.
  3. Metalworking: Metalworking businesses can be successful in developing countries, as there may be demand for products such as tools, machinery, and other metal goods.
  4. Plastic manufacturing: Plastic is a widely used material, and there may be opportunities to start businesses that produce plastic products such as containers, packaging materials, or toys.
  5. Food processing: Many developing countries have rich culinary traditions, and there may be opportunities to start businesses that process and package local foods for sale in local or export markets.
  6. Furniture manufacturing: Furniture manufacturing can be a successful business in developing countries, as there may be demand for locally-produced furniture.
  7. Construction materials: Developing countries may have growing construction sectors, and there may be opportunities to start businesses that produce construction materials such as bricks, cement, or steel.

Again, these are just a few examples, and many other potential manufacturing business ideas could be successful in developing countries.

Profitable Businesses That Require Minimal Skills In Developing Countries

  1. Digital wallet & financial services
  2. Metaverse Store Development
  3. Grocery delivery service
  4. B2b textiles marketplace
  5. Visitor management system
  6. Personal finance blog
  7. Tax Filling
  8. Internet of things (IoT) industry
  9. Consultancy business
  10. Warehouse or Inventory Management for E-Commerce
  11. Digital & software services

Best Startups in Developing Areas 2023

  1. Tiffin service
  2. Pet-care service
  3. Blogging as a small business
  4. Educational mobile apps
  5. Proofreading services

Startup businesses idea that requires money but are profitable too

  1. Cold food and beverage selling
  2. House painting
  3. Auto parts sales
  4. Child care
  5. Software development lab
  6. Blogging & digital marketing agency

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