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50 Businesses to Start With Nearly No Money

If you believe money is hard to come by, this will be your reality. The truth is, even with very little, we can all make a bit of money, even a lot. This includes you and those in your family or circle of friends.  In fact, you can make enough income to support yourself as well as your family and others. We could all do with a bit of extra money but many people believe this is not  possible. 

Make no mistake, it is not easy. It will take some thought, a lot of effort and commitment. It is, however, achievable. This is true for anyone. No special skills are needed, just dedication and effort. It all starts with the right idea. 

While earning an income is the main goal you also want to do something that you enjoy. Some ideas might be more appealing to you so look for that opportunity that you think will work best for you. You also have to consider the people around you, the customers, and give some thought to what you think might work best in your area. 

You might already have some great ideas in your head but we will give you a long list of money-making ideas that should help you earn some money. Most of these can be done full-time or part-time. 

Look at yourself

One of the first things you need to do is give some thought to your own strengths and weaknesses. Some business ideas will need you to be good with people, some might need you you to work well with your hands, some might need a bit more thinking skills or training. Before deciding on the opportunity to try, think about what you are good at. 

Think about what you enjoy, what you are good at, and what skills and experience might help you. This will guide you to make a good choice. 

Do market research

The best way to ensure you make good money is to understand what people in your area want and are prepared to pay for. While the opportunities we will discuss can work pretty much anywhere, some areas or communities have a few specific needs. If you can work out what these are you have a better chance of good success. 

This can be done by watching other business people, watch the behavior of those around you, and simply asking people questions. Ask enough people the right questions and you will be amazed by how much you can learn. 

What skills and equipment do you have? 

None of these opportunities will require a huge investment but some will take a bit more money than others. Think about what you have. This does not only refer to money. You might need some help in terms of labor. Do you have family or friends that can assist? You might needs tools or equipment. Do you have these or are you able to borrow them or buy them? 

Make a plan

This does not have to be a complicated exercise but do not just start something without a solid plan. Think about how you are going to run the business and make money. We will give you some tips and advice but you will have to put these into action in order to be successful. Spend some time thinking about the business, the customers, and the competition. 

Know when to quit

One mistake many people make when starting a small business is not knowing when to quit. While we all want to succeed and do well, not every idea is going to work. This could be due to a number of reasons but if a business is really not working, you have to know when to quit. 

This does not mean that YOU failed, simply that this business was not the right time and place to work. At some point, you need to accept a business is not working and move on to one of the many other great ideas. The good thing is that, even though it did not work out, you would have learned some valuable lessons along the way. 

Be different – Don’t do what everyone else does 

There are many ideas that could work. The route to success is to ensure you are different from anyone else who runs a similar business in your area. You do not have to be the cheapest. In fact, that is often the worst solution. You just need to add value to what you offer. This will attract customers and keep them coming back for more. 

Business Ideas

Now that you have a brief understanding of where to start and what to look for, here are some business ideas. You can start small with very little money and slowly build the business up as the profits come in. 

  • Chicken run

Chicken is one of the most popular foods. Eggs are also always in demand. If you start a chicken run, you can farm chickens to sell, sell the eggs, or both. It is quick and inexpensive to set up and can bring in good money. 

  • Grow a veggie garden

We all know that vegetables are essential to good health. Everyone in your community needs a regular supply of vegetables in their diet and they can be expensive when bought from the shops. This creates a great opportunity for those that can create a veggie garden and either sell directly to the public or supply local stores or vendors. 

You do not need a lot of space and the investment is small to get going. Once you have it going it is pretty easy to maintain. Growing a veggie patch is a lot easier than most people imagine and a great idea for anyone. 

  • Sell meat

Apart from veggies, people need meat. This is always needed in all arears and prices can be very high. If you can find a good supplier of meat there are many willing buyers. You need to ensure you keep it cool and have a quality product at a fair price (with some profit for yourself) and you are sure to find a willing market.  

  • Sell sweets on the street

Ok, who does not like sweets? From kids to adults, everyone needs sweets. You can expand this to include chips and other snacks. These sell very well if you find a busy place with lots of passing customers. 

  • Sell necessities 

There are certain times when purchases are necessities. A good example is hats on a hot day or umbrellas when it rains. This is where you need to think on your feet and respond quickly 

  • Rent out rooms

Accommodation is a basic need and if you have or can make the space, renting out rooms is an excellent way to make money. Be sure to take a deposit, keep an eye on the condition of the room and ensure that money is paid on time. 

  • Pottery (including olla clay pots for water-wise irrigation)

Pottery is quite easy to learn and a good way to make money. Apart from things people use in the home you can also make money by making olla clay pots . These are pots that are used for irrigation helping people grow vegetables and other items, especially when there is little water. People have been making ollas for thousands of years and are quite easy to make. Teach people how to use them and you should be able to sell them easily. 

Pallet furniture is a craze all over the world. It is practical, attractive and affordable. It is a fantastic way to make money. You need to keep an eye out for free or cheap pallets and use a bit of imagination. You can male almost anything from pallets from furniture to garden accessories. 

Ensure you manage your expenses and make items that are in demand. 

  • Kapana store

A Kapana store is sure to be a winner. The good smell of cooking meat will attract the people. You do not even have to market or advertise. A Kapana Store will allow you to make a good return on the money that you put into it. 

  • Olusheno agent

This is an amazing opportunity. Olusheno agents sell affordable solar systems for homes. This will give people electricity with no ongoing cost and give you, the agent, a good income. There are many opportunities to sell their systems and you will not only make money but also help your community. 

  • Avon agent

Avon products are good quality and affordable for many people. Becoming an agent does not take a lot of money. Your time and effort will allow you to make a good commission on products that you sell. You can also get other people to help you sell which will help you make more money while also helping them. 

  • Freelance services on Upwork

If you have a basic education, a computer or laptop and access to internet, freelancing is an awesome way to make money. What is brilliant about this opportunity is that you are not restricted to the local people in your immediate area. You can work with people all over the world. 

It will take time, dedication, and effort, like all good things, it will pay off in the end. Another bonus is that you can earn from a stronger currency (U.S. Dollars for example) and this will make your efforts more financially rewarding. 

There are many online sites that can guide you in this type of work. You need to do your homework and make the effort. 

  • Make metal utensils from scrap

Much of the scrap that is thrown away can be used to make amazing utensils. These can be practical or artistic, or both. Use your imagination and you will be amazed by the things you can make from scrap that people throw away. 

  • Service cars

This job will take a bit of training and skill. What makes this a good opportunity is that people will be willing to train you for effort and labour. All you need to do is find the right person and he will train you and give you the educations and skills you need. 

Without taking advantage of that person, you can soon move on to your own business. You will need a few basic tools but your knowledge and experience are the things that will make you money. 

  • Car wash

This is a surprisingly good business that can make good money. Many people would rather take their car to a car wash than wash it at home. 

All you have to do is create a warm, friendly environment where people can relax while their vehicle is perfectly washed. Make it comfortable for them. You could probably sell coffee, cool drinks, and other items to provide customers as they wait. This will increase your money while also making it more attractive to customers. 

  • Needlework repair

A stitch in time saves nine, as they say. Needlework is always in demand. From basic repairs to more advanced work, most people will need needlework from time to time. The cost to get into this is minimal. You just need to make the effort and market yourself. 

  • Shoe repairs

Shoes can be expensive and even the best ones will need to be repaired at some stage. Shoe repairs are an essential service. It is something that is always in demand and easy to start. No special skills are necessary. All you need to do is source a few basic essentials and you are good to go. 

  • Leatherwork

There are many types of leatherwork but with a bit of imagination and effort, you make decent money. You could do repairs or create a wide range of new products. Look around to see what leatherwork is needed in your area. 

  • Make clothing

Clothing, like food and shelter, is another basic necessity. If you learn the basic skills you can make practical functional clothing that people need. If you have a more creative side, you could create something unique that people will pay extra for. You could even start your own brand.

  • Voice artist 

People from all over the world are looking for voices. This could be for adverts, training programs, book reading or other spoken word. Upwork is one of the many platforms that will allow you to market your voice skills. 

Again, no fancy equipment is needed. Plan what you want to say and speak with confidence. A basic laptop should be enough but an affordable microphone will help. Create a few samples and market your voice skills. 

  • Translator 

If you are fluent in multiple languages there are many opportunities for translation work. Upwork is one of the many platforms to market this skill for good money. 

  • Proofreader 

Here you will need decent skills in your language but many foreign businesses need proofreading as they do not necessarily speak your language or vernacular. If you are skilled  in your language there is demand for proofreading skills. There are also many online tools to ensure you do not miss any small mistakes. 

  • Pool cleaner

If there are swimming pools in your area there is an opportunity to develop a pool cleaning business. Many people do not have the time or energy to maintain their pools. Basic knowledge and equipment are necessary but it is not a large outlay. Deliver a good service and you will get repeat business and referrals. 

  • Community garden project

Developing a community garden project can bring you money, fresh vegetables, and help the local people. If you show results, even small ones, you might be able to attract sponsors that can help you expand this project. 

  • Window cleaning

Like swimming pools, many people and businesses do not have the time to clean their windows. This provides an excellent business opportunity. If you have the skills and safety knowledge, you can work on high windows which will pay more money. 

  • Open a shebeen

People love to gather and meet up with friends at a shebeen. You want to stay on the right side of the law but this is an excellent way to make money. Make a friendly mood with good music and fast service. You also need to put the shebeen in a busy area. 

  • Open a casino

Again, you need to be sure to stay within the law but a casino should always make money. You can also make money out of food, drinks, and entertainment if you have a casino. It does not have to be big and fancy but make it a place where people want to go and the money will come in. 

Keep an eye out for people who have a gambling problem. While it is great to make a profit, you do not want people throwing all their money away every week. Try to make sure people gamble responsibly. 

  • Buy a solar fridge on credit then rent out fridge space

We have already looked at meat and other food opportunities but the reality is that many people do not have fridge or freezer space or battle with electricity. A fantastic opportunity is to invest in a solar fridge and rent out space for the people around you. 

Solar power is a perfect solution and costs you nothing to run once it is set up. The batteries will store power so even when there is no sun you will still have a cool fridge. This will allow people, families or groups to buy meat and other food items in bulk. You can rent out space and make a good profit with little to no cost. 

  • Open a hair salon

A good hair salon will always attract customers and be busy, even in tough times. The key is to have the right skills and to make it a warm and friendly salon. People will keep coming back and they will tell their friends and family. 

  • Open a nail parlour

The ladies like to look good and are prepared to pay for it if the quality and price are right. If you can learn the skills and buy the basic products needed, it is quite easy to open a nail parlour that will make money. 

It is important to make it a place that people want to go to. While the nail service is important, people want to enjoy the experience. If you get the price, quality, and enjoyment balanced, you should have a good business. 

  • Open a daycare

Many people have to work long hours and need someone reliable to look after their children. A daycare business will always be in demand. You can start this business with little money. So long as you have a clean and safe place and give the children a good place to spend the day, people will pay. 

  • Brew beer from a homebrew kit

Making beer from home has been done for many years and is a tradition in many families. It is a very simple task that does not need a large investment. Start off with the basics, sell some good beer and put the profits back into the business. Before you know it, you will be making a lot of beer. If the price is right and the quality is good, you are sure to make a good profit. 

  • Grow mushrooms from chicken waste

Many people have chicken runs and these create a lot of waste. The good news is that this mess can make you money. Mushrooms grow very well in chicken waste. Mushrooms are quite easy to grow in this environment. You can sell them for a good price if you fond the right market. 

  • Start a group buying group and do the trips to the wholesaler

It seems unfair that the people with money get better discounts. The good news is that if you work together, you can buy in bulk and get the best value. Start a buying group to buy in bulk from a wholesaler and you can not only benefit yourself but also help your community get a lower price. 

  • Commission-Only Sales.

It is often difficult to get a job. You might have the right skills but lack experience. This will make it tricky to get a full-time job with a basic salary. There are, however, many companies that will take you on as a commission-only sales person. This means you only earn money when you sell something.  

While you will have to look after your own expenses, it gives you and opportunity to make some good money. More importantly, it will give you valuable knowledge and experience. If you later want to get a better job or start your own business, that will help you on the way.  

  • Sell mobile phone accessories

Our mobile phones are one of the most important things in our life. This is true for most people. Accessories are essential. Some are nice to have while some you need. Chargers, for example, do not last forever, neither do batteries. Headphones also need to be replaced. We use our phones consonantly and accessories will always be in demand.  

  • Write resumes

Many job seekers do not have the skills or equipment to make a good resume or CV. This is so important for them in their efforts to find a job. If you have access to a computer and have basic knowledge of writing, you could offer a resume/CV writing business. This service is always in demand. 

  • Setup a copy shop & internet café

Following on from the above, not all people have access to a computer, the internet or a printer. People need to print important documents for work or print photographs for their pleasure. There is a big market for people that can provide this service. If you shop around, you can find equipment that is used but works well or rent one from a company that will charge you per copy or print, 

  • Wedding photographer

Weddings are always a special occasion and couples want to capture the moment forever. They are prepared to pay extra for someone with the right equipment and experience. You do not need to be a professional but you need to understand the needs of the couple getting married. 

A good way to get into this is to do one or two wedding photoshoots for free. This will give you a portfolio, some samples that you can show to others. 

  • Catering business

Food is another one of the basic needs of man. Often you go to a market and the only place that is really busy is the food stalls. People also entertain at home or at the office and often need a caterer. You do not need to be a master chef to run a catering business. Just make sure the food is fresh and tasty and you will have lots of business. 

  • Refurbish electronics

If you have a basic understanding of electronics there is a lot of money to be made doing repairs or refurbishing. Many people throw away their old equipment or sell it for a very low price. All you need to do is fix it up and you can sell it for a tidy profit. 

  • Local marketing research – Cellphone apps 

There are apps you can download that will allow you to do local marketing research. It is a fairly simple exercise where you visit a business and give feedback. The money can be good. It in not likely to be a full-time job but can certainly bring in some extra money while you work on other projects. You will also learn a lot along the way. 

  • Fill out online surveys

This also might not be a full-time job but there are many opportunities to make money doing online surveys. A simple Google search should bring up a few opportunities. What is great is that the often pay in U.S. Dollars which makes it even more financially rewarding. 

  • Fitness trainer

Fitness is a booming industry but many people need help with the exercises and motivation. You only need basic fitness knowledge to help these people and you can charge them a fair fee for your service. 

  • Grow Tilapia in Barrelponics

This idea sounds a lot more complicated than it is. The truth is that is it pretty easy. You can grow Tilapia quickly and easily with very little money. The profits are good. You will need to do a bit of homework and get some very basic equipment and then you can start breeding Tilapia and sell them for a good price. 

  • Tour Guide

Tourism is one of the main potential money streams we have. Our land is beautiful and people will pay to get the best experience. You know your area better than anyone so being a tour guide will not only be fun but also profitable. Think about what people from other areas would be interested in. There is beauty and history all around you. Give a good service and people will pay for your guided tours. 

  • Be a DJ

What is a party without good music? A DJ will always be in demand for clubs, weddings, parties and many other celebrations. Get to know what the people want to hear and play the popular music. With basic equipment, entertain them. You will have lots of fun as you rake in the money. 

  • Virtual callcentre agent

This is a growing business and it can be done from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection. Do some research to find the many opportunities. Speak well and with confidence and you will do well. 

  • Home baking

Many people are skilled at baking delicious treats for family and friends. This can easily be a business. Start off small with things you know people love to eat. As you make money, you can grow the business and bake more goods. You can even get people to help you sell the while you do the baking at home. Freshly baked goods are always in demand. 

There you have many ideas on how to make money. You do not need to spend a lot to start these businesses. Start small and grow as profits come in. Watch your costs, make sure you are selling for a profit, and you will succeed. Always make sure your customers are happy and they will tell their friends and keep coming back. 

Good luck!

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