50 Small Business Ideas to Start with Less Than $100 in Africa

Starting a small business with limited capital is a challenge many aspiring entrepreneurs face, particularly in Africa. However, with the right idea and proper execution, it is possible to launch a successful venture with less than $100.

This article aims to provide you with 50 small business ideas that can be initiated with a modest budget in Africa. Additionally, we will outline a step-by-step guide to help you kickstart your entrepreneurial journey effectively.

Table of Contents

Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Small Business in Africa:

Step 1: Identify Your Passion and Skills

Consider your interests, hobbies, and skills to find a business idea that aligns with your strengths and passions. This will keep you motivated and increase your chances of success.

Step 2: Research and Evaluate Market Opportunities

Conduct thorough market research to identify potential business opportunities. Assess the demand, competition, and profitability of each idea to make an informed decision.

Read Also: Startup Business Tips: How to Build A Successful Business in Africa 

Step 3: Develop a Business Plan

Create a comprehensive business plan that outlines your goals, target market, marketing strategies, and financial projections. This will serve as a roadmap for your business and aid in securing funding if needed.

Step 4: Identify Low-Cost Business Ideas

Review the list of 100 small business ideas provided below and select the ones that resonate with you and fit your budget. These ideas are specifically curated for entrepreneurs with limited capital.

Step 5: Set Up Your Business

Register your business with the appropriate authorities, obtain necessary licenses, and set up a simple yet professional online presence. This can include creating a website, establishing social media profiles, and leveraging digital platforms to reach your target audience.

Step 6: Source Affordable Equipment and Supplies

Focus on finding cost-effective solutions for equipment, tools, and supplies required for your chosen business. Consider purchasing second-hand equipment, borrowing from friends or family, or exploring local suppliers who offer competitive prices.

Step 7: Bootstrap and Control Costs

As you launch your business, keep tight control of expenses. Look for opportunities to minimize costs, negotiate favorable deals with suppliers, and explore creative ways to bootstrap your operations.

Step 8: Build Your Network and Collaborate

Networking is crucial for any business. Attend industry events, join local business associations, and collaborate with complementary businesses to expand your reach and build mutually beneficial relationships.

Read Also: How to Start a Real Estate Business in Africa in 2023

Step 9: Market and Promote Your Business

Utilize cost-effective marketing strategies such as social media marketing, content creation, search engine optimization (SEO), and word-of-mouth referrals to create awareness and attract customers.

Step 10: Provide Exceptional Customer Service

Deliver exceptional customer service to build a loyal customer base. Focus on exceeding customer expectations, promptly addressing their concerns, and maintaining open lines of communication.

50 Small Business Ideas You Can Start with Less Than $100 in Africa

  1. Freelance writing or editing services:

Freelance writing or editing services offer the flexibility to work on a variety of projects, from blog posts and articles to website content and proofreading. As a freelancer, you can showcase your expertise in specific industries and cater to clients’ unique needs. With excellent writing skills, attention to detail, and the ability to meet deadlines, you can provide high-quality content that resonates with readers and helps businesses effectively communicate their messages.

  1. Virtual assistant:

As a virtual assistant, you can provide remote administrative support to busy professionals or entrepreneurs. This may include managing emails, scheduling appointments, social media management, data entry, and more. By leveraging technology and strong organizational skills, you can help clients stay organized, save time, and focus on their core business activities.

  1. Language tutoring:

Share your language skills and cultural knowledge by offering language tutoring services. Whether it’s teaching English as a second language, offering conversational language lessons, or helping students with exam preparation, your expertise will empower others to communicate effectively in a new language.

Conduct individual or group sessions, create engaging lesson plans, and provide constructive feedback to help students improve their language proficiency. Whether you’re teaching online or in-person, your language tutoring services can cater to diverse learners, such as students, professionals, or travelers seeking to expand their language skills and cultural understanding.

Read Also: How to Start a Profitable Catering Service Business in Africa

  1. Social media management:

With the increasing importance of social media for businesses, offering social media management services can help companies build their online presence and engage with their target audience. By developing and implementing effective social media strategies, creating compelling content, and monitoring analytics, you can help businesses enhance their brand visibility and connect with customers.

  1. Graphic design services:

Graphic design services are in high demand for businesses needing visually appealing designs for their branding and marketing materials. Whether it’s designing logos, brochures, social media graphics, or website elements, your creativity and technical skills can help businesses convey their messages effectively and leave a lasting impression on their audience.

  1. Handmade jewelry or accessories:

Handmade jewelry or accessories allow you to showcase your creativity and craftsmanship. By creating unique pieces using various materials and incorporating African-inspired designs, you can cater to customers looking for distinctive and culturally rich accessories. Whether it’s earrings, necklaces, bracelets, or other accessories, your creations can make a fashion statement and serve as conversation starters.

  1. Home-based bakery:

A home-based bakery offers the opportunity to indulge your passion for baking while sharing delicious treats with customers. Whether it’s freshly baked bread, delectable cakes, mouthwatering pastries, or tempting cookies, you can create a menu that caters to different tastes and occasions. With attention to quality ingredients and exceptional flavors, your home bakery can become a go-to destination for those seeking homemade delights.

  1. Event planning and coordination:

Event planning and coordination services help individuals and businesses bring their visions to life. Whether it’s weddings, parties, or corporate events, you can assist with venue selection, vendor management, logistics, and budgeting. By meticulously planning and executing every detail, you can create unforgettable experiences that leave a lasting impression on clients and their guests.

  1. Online store (e-commerce):

Launching an online store allows you to reach a broader customer base and sell products that cater to specific niches or interests. With the right selection of products, effective marketing, and user-friendly website design, you can create a seamless shopping experience for customers. By focusing on customer satisfaction and building a strong brand reputation, your online store can attract loyal customers and drive sales.

  1. Farming (vegetables, fruits, or herbs):

Starting a small-scale farming operation can provide a sustainable source of income while contributing to food production. Whether it’s growing vegetables, fruits, or herbs, you can provide fresh, locally sourced produce to individuals, restaurants, or markets. By adopting organic farming practices and highlighting the quality and freshness of your products, you can appeal to health-conscious consumers and support sustainable agriculture.

  1. Tutoring in academic subjects:

Offering tutoring services in academic subjects such as math, science, or history can help students improve their understanding and performance in school. By providing personalized guidance and tailored lesson plans, you can help students grasp challenging concepts and build confidence in their abilities.

  1. Personal fitness training:

If you have a passion for fitness and wellness, becoming a personal fitness trainer can be a rewarding venture. You can offer one-on-one training sessions, create customized workout plans, and provide nutritional guidance to help clients achieve their fitness goals.

  1. Beauty and grooming services:

Providing beauty and grooming services, such as hair styling, makeup application, or barbering, can be a lucrative business idea. With the right skills and creativity, you can cater to individuals looking to enhance their appearance for special events or daily self-care.

Read Also: How to Start a Mini Importation Business in Africa in 2023

  1. Cleaning services:

Starting a cleaning service can be a low-cost business idea that requires minimal equipment and supplies. From residential cleaning to commercial janitorial services, you can offer efficient and reliable cleaning solutions to busy individuals or businesses.

  1. Mobile phone repairs:

With the widespread use of mobile phones, offering mobile phone repair services can be a profitable venture. By specializing in fixing common issues, such as screen replacements or battery replacements, you can provide a convenient and cost-effective solution for customers.

  1. Photography services:

If you have a talent for capturing moments and a keen eye for detail, starting a photography business can be a fulfilling choice. From portrait photography to event photography, you can offer professional services that help clients preserve special memories.

  1. Social media influencer:

Leverage your social media presence and become an influencer in a specific niche or industry. Build a dedicated following by sharing captivating content, authentic experiences, and valuable insights. Collaborate with brands, create sponsored content, and engage with your audience to establish yourself as a trusted influencer. From fashion and beauty to travel and fitness, your unique perspective and engaging personality will attract brands and followers who resonate with your content. Embrace the digital age and turn your passion into a lucrative business as a social media influencer.

  1. Online coaching or consulting:

If you have expertise in a particular field, offering online coaching or consulting services can be a valuable opportunity. Whether it’s business coaching, career guidance, or personal development, you can provide valuable insights and support to clients through virtual sessions.

  1. Pet grooming or pet sitting:

For animal lovers, offering pet grooming or pet sitting services can be a fulfilling business idea. You can provide grooming services to keep pets clean and well-groomed or offer pet sitting services to provide care and companionship when pet owners are away.

  1. Eco-friendly product sales:

With the increasing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products, selling environmentally friendly items can be a profitable venture. From reusable household products to organic skincare, you can cater to customers who prioritize sustainable choices.

  1. Language translation services:

If you are fluent in multiple languages, offering language translation services can be a valuable business opportunity. You can help individuals or businesses translate documents, websites, or other written materials, bridging the communication gap across different languages.

  1. Content writing and copywriting:

With the growing demand for online content, there is a need for skilled content writers and copywriters. You can provide writing services for blogs, websites, social media, or advertising materials, helping businesses effectively communicate their message to their target audience.

  1. Virtual assistant services:

As businesses and entrepreneurs look to streamline their operations, virtual assistant services have become increasingly popular. You can offer administrative support, scheduling, email management, and other tasks remotely, providing a cost-effective solution for busy professionals.

Read Also: How to Start a Cosmetic Business in Africa

  1. Handmade crafts:

If you have artistic skills and enjoy creating handmade crafts, you can turn your hobby into a profitable business. Whether it’s jewelry, home decor items, or accessories, selling handmade crafts both locally and online can attract customers who appreciate unique and artisanal products.

  1. Event planning and coordination:

If you have a knack for organizing and coordinating events, starting an event planning business can be an exciting venture. From weddings to corporate conferences, you can help clients plan and execute memorable and successful events.

  1. Mobile food vendor:

Setting up a mobile food cart or truck can be a profitable business idea, especially in busy urban areas. Offering popular food items such as snacks, sandwiches, or local specialties can attract customers looking for convenient and tasty on-the-go meals.

  1. Social media management:

Managing social media accounts and creating engaging content is a sought-after skill in today’s digital landscape. By offering social media management services, you can help businesses build their online presence, engage with their audience, and increase brand visibility.

  1. E-commerce reselling:

With the rise of e-commerce platforms, reselling products online has become a viable business opportunity. You can source products from local suppliers or wholesalers and sell them through online marketplaces, leveraging the reach and convenience of online shopping.

  1. House painting services:

Providing house painting services can be a profitable business, especially during home renovation seasons. Whether it’s interior or exterior painting, you can offer professional painting services, transforming spaces and enhancing the aesthetics of residential or commercial properties.

  1. Car wash and detailing:

With the increasing number of car owners, offering car wash and detailing services can be a lucrative business. From basic car washes to comprehensive detailing packages, you can provide customers with convenient and thorough car cleaning solutions.

Read Also: How to Start a Food Packaging Business in Africa in 2023 

  1. Freelance graphic design:

With a creative eye and design skills, you can offer freelance graphic design services to businesses in need of logos, branding materials, marketing collaterals, and more. By showcasing your portfolio and delivering high-quality designs, you can attract clients and build a reputation in the industry.

  1. Dropshipping:

As an e-commerce entrepreneur, you can start a dropshipping business where you sell products online without having to keep inventory. You partner with suppliers who handle the storage, packaging, and shipping of the products directly to customers, allowing you to focus on marketing and customer service.

  1. Home-based baking:

If you have a passion for baking, starting a home-based baking business can be a delightful endeavor. From cakes and pastries to cookies and bread, you can create delicious treats and sell them to individuals, local cafes, or at farmers’ markets.

  1. Digital marketing services:

With the increasing demand for online visibility, businesses are seeking digital marketing expertise. By offering services such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media management, and content marketing, you can help businesses enhance their online presence and attract more customers.

Read Also: How to Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money 

  1. Online store:

Setting up an online store allows you to sell products or services directly to customers worldwide. Whether you create your own products or source them from suppliers, you can leverage the power of e-commerce platforms to reach a broader audience and generate sales.

  1. Farming:

Agriculture presents numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs in Africa. Depending on the region and available resources, you can engage in small-scale farming, such as growing vegetables, raising poultry, or cultivating herbs. You can sell your produce locally or explore opportunities in organic farming or specialized crops.

  1. Handicrafts:

African handicrafts are highly sought after globally for their unique cultural significance and craftsmanship. By creating and selling handmade crafts, artwork, jewelry, or traditional artifacts, you can tap into the growing market of individuals interested in supporting local artisans and embracing cultural heritage.

  1. Tour guide services:

If you live in an area rich in history, culture, or natural attractions, offering tour guide services can be a rewarding business idea. Share your knowledge and passion for your local area by providing guided tours to tourists and showcasing the hidden gems of your region.

  1. Online courses or coaching:

With expertise in a specific field, you can create and sell online courses or offer coaching services. This could include subjects like language learning, business skills, personal development, or specialized knowledge. Online platforms make it easier than ever to reach a global audience and monetize your expertise.

  1. Beauty salon:

Opening a beauty salon can be a lucrative venture, offering various beauty services such as hairstyling, nail care, skincare, and makeup. Provide a comfortable and inviting space for clients to relax and enhance their beauty, while also offering personalized advice and services.

  1. Translation services:

Bridge the language gap and offer translation services to individuals and businesses. If you have proficiency in multiple languages, you can help clients communicate effectively across linguistic barriers. Translate documents, websites, marketing materials, or provide interpretation services for meetings and events. Your ability to accurately convey messages from one language to another will facilitate international communication, foster cultural understanding, and open doors to global opportunities.

  1. Content writing:

Put your writing skills to use and offer content writing services to businesses and individuals. Create compelling blog posts, informative articles, engaging website content, or captivating social media captions. Tailor your writing style to meet the needs and tone of each client, effectively conveying their message and capturing the attention of their target audience. Your ability to craft well-researched, engaging content will help businesses establish their online presence, boost their SEO rankings, and connect with their customers on a deeper level.

Read Also: How to Start a Profitable Recycling Business in Africa

  1. Mobile car wash:

Offer convenient car washing services to busy individuals by bringing the car wash to their doorstep. With minimal equipment and supplies, you can provide thorough cleaning, detailing, and polishing services without the need for a physical location. Whether it’s at homes, offices, or parking lots, you can save customers time and effort by delivering a sparkling clean vehicle. Provide exceptional service, use eco-friendly cleaning products, and offer flexible scheduling options to attract loyal customers who appreciate the convenience of a mobile car wash.

  1. Personal styling:

Help individuals enhance their personal image and style by offering personal styling services. Assess clients’ fashion preferences, body types, and lifestyles to curate personalized outfits and fashion recommendations. Whether it’s for special occasions, professional settings, or everyday wear, your expertise in fashion trends and styling techniques will empower clients to look and feel their best. Accompany clients on shopping trips, offer virtual styling sessions, or provide wardrobe organization services to cater to their unique needs.

  1. Pet grooming:

Tap into the growing demand for pet grooming services by offering professional and personalized care for furry friends. Provide grooming services such as bathing, hair trimming, nail clipping, and ear cleaning to keep pets looking and feeling their best. With a gentle touch, patience, and a love for animals, you can create a comfortable and stress-free grooming experience. Build a loyal customer base by offering additional services like pet spa treatments, dental hygiene care, or even pet accessories and products.

  1. Second-hand clothing store: 

Open a shop where you sell gently used clothing at affordable prices. Source your inventory from donations or consignment agreements with individuals or thrift stores.

  1. Social media marketing consultancy:

Offer your expertise in social media marketing to businesses looking to improve their online presence. Provide strategic advice, content creation, and campaign management.

  1. Mobile app reselling:

Identify popular mobile apps and negotiate reselling agreements with app developers. Market and sell these apps to individuals or businesses in your target market.

  1. Home-based tutoring for specialized subjects (math, science, etc.):

 Leverage your knowledge in a specific subject area to offer tutoring services to students of all ages. Conduct sessions either at your home or the student’s location.

  1. Computer repair services:

Provide repairs and maintenance for computers, laptops, and other electronic devices. Offer both hardware and software troubleshooting and assistance.


Starting a small business in Africa with limited capital is challenging but achievable. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article and exploring the provided list of 50 small business ideas, aspiring entrepreneurs can kickstart their ventures with less than $100.

Remember, perseverance, creativity, and a customer-centric approach are key to overcoming obstacles and achieving success. Now is the time to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality and contribute to Africa’s economic growth and development.


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