80 small business ideas in South Africa that actually work in 2022


What are some of the most lucrative small business ideas in South Africa in 2022? People no longer want to retire at 60 and after that spend the rest of their lives solely depending on pensions. For this reason, several people are now interested in activities that directly feed the passions that make life worthwhile. While the career market remains a conventional way of earning a living in the 21st century, it is proving ineffective and less reliable for aggressive wealth hunters.

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small business ideas in South Africa
A picture of a light bulb on a board. Photo: unsplash.com, @freegraphictoday (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Are you among the people considering starting an entrepreneurial venture instead of an office position? In the contemporary world, people have become more creative and turned simple ideas into income sources. Some ideas require minimal investment capital to initiate. Read on to discover various small business ideas in South Africa that you should consider in 2022.

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Table of Contents

Small business ideas in South Africa in 2022

What are the best small and profitable business ideas in South Africa? There are hundreds of suitable alternatives to choose from in the present-day world. The list below will help you make an informed decision about your entrepreneurial prospects.

1. Virtual assistance

Virtual assistant positions are untapped business opportunities in South Africa. In today’s world, there are many online celebrities, influencers, and corporates that require help in running their daily activities.

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Providing professional virtual assistant services online or offline is a well-paying opportunity for individuals with unique skills in a particular area. Virtual assistants enjoy freedom at work because they choose their clients, working hours and negotiate their hourly pay rates.

2. Hairdressing

Are you wondering how to make money fast in South Africa? The world of beauty and cosmetology is ever-growing, and hairdressing services are a fantastic business opportunity.

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Today, men and women are more conscious about physical appearance, and hair grooming has become crucial. Before starting this venture, check the legal requirements in the country and adhere to them to avoid closure.

3. Professional make-up

Do you enjoy doing make-up and wonder how to start a business in the beauty industry? Professional make-up artists earn big money from offering their services, and so can you.

For this idea to succeed, you must understand and master various make-up techniques. It is important to enrol for make-up classes to hone your skills.

4. Pet training

challenges faced
A cute picture of a cat bonding with a dog. Photo: unsplash.com, @krista
Source: UGC

What business can I start with R1000 in South Africa? Pet training is a business that requires minimal capital as long as you have the necessary skills and can train the pets from their owners’ homes.

Owners of untrained pets risk paying heavy damages if they hurt someone or destroy property. These services prevent such incidences.

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5. Interior designing

Interior designers match and coordinate colour schemes in homes, offices, and other spaces. Today, many South Africans desire comfort and luxury in their homes and businesses. Therefore, they work with interior designers to make spaces beautiful.

If you have a keen eye for elegantly-decorated spaces and can deliver as clients demand, this is a fantastic choice for you.

6. Electronics repair

Repairing electronics is a well-paying service that feeds several South Africans. The business is rapidly growing as almost everyone uses technologies like phones, smart TVs, computers, and audio devices.

These devices are prone to damage, meaning that electronics repair services are in demand throughout the year. One of the challenges faced in this business is the need to update tools and knowledge because technology is ever-changing.

7. Tutoring

Offering tutoring services for children or adults is one of the best small business ideas for students, especially campus students. These services are always in demand because some students need one on one attention.

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There are numerous clients in South Africa looking to study a second language or need experts in a particular subject of their interest. Tutoring is convenient because you can do it at people’s homes, online, or at any other convenient place of your choice.

8. Gardening and lawn care

Gardening and lawn mowing services are highly rewarding businesses that run throughout the year. The business is dynamic and suitable for both rural and urban setups, only taking up little space for the storage of equipment.

9. Social media management

how to start a business
A picture of a smartphone on the Facebook login page. Photo: unsplash.com, @firmbee
Source: UGC

Social media has changed how we interact and engage in commercial activities. Almost every South African is an active user of at least one social media platform. Corporates and medium-sized firms now require managers for their Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp accounts.

Being a social media manager is one of the low-cost business ideas with high profit. To manage social media accounts, you need some training. You can complete professional courses offered by Google and other affiliates.

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10. Marketing agency

The high entrepreneurial competition in the present-day business world calls for well-deliberated marketing techniques. You can run a digital marketing agency if you feel you can help organisations market their services or products.

Starting a marketing agency is one of the best home business opportunities in South Africa, as you can do it from the comfort of your home. You can market the products on social media or optimise the firm’s website to attract more buyers.

11. Chatbot development

A chatbot is a computer program that simulates and processes human conversation. A significant percentage of South African small, medium, and large businesses have websites. Therefore, they need to engage customers through instant messaging platforms or chatboxes.

If you enjoy computer-based activities and have the knowledge and skills needed, you can develop chatboxes for various businesses.

12. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing entails promoting company services and products at a commission. You can do this by enrolling for affiliate marketing positions in online retailer companies such as e-bay and Amazon.

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You should have a website or blog with a ready audience to use an affiliate marketing program. You will be given a link redirecting your audience to the products you endorse or promote. Any purchase made by your viewers or readers will earn you a commission.

13. Graphic designing

Almost every business in South Africa today needs a website. Graphic design entails projecting visual communications to transmit specific messages to social groups. Graphic designers create and customise websites for corporates and other businesses.

If you can design creative logos, information sheets, letters, advertisements, newsletters, and magazines, consider turning your skills into an income-generating activity.

14. Grocery delivery services

kasi business ideas
A picture of groceries at a supermarket. Photo: unsplash.com, @nicotitto
Source: UGC

Offering grocery delivery services is one of the best kasi business ideas today. Many South African city neighbourhoods are made of working-class people who barely have time to go to the market. Therefore, doing grocery shopping for them will enable them access to fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables throughout the week.

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15. YouTube vlogging

A significant section of people worldwide watch videos on YouTube, and Youtubers are some of the best-paid online content creators. If you enjoy creating videos about a specific topic, for example, lifestyle, you can start a YouTube channel.

16. Blogging

Blogging involves writing regularly for an online journal or website. It is a fantastic idea for people who enjoy writing. Once you gain a significant audience, you can monetise your content through Google Adsense or paid adverts.

17. Meal planning

In modern-day South Africa, people are more conscious about healthy eating and mitigating lifestyle-related conditions and diseases. Therefore, trained nutritionists and dieticians are in demand. If you have the requisite knowledge, skills, and licensing, you can offer meal plans for individuals or families at a price.

18. Tax consultancy

Every year, companies and businesses must file their tax returns. You can strategise yourself as a tax consultant and earn impressive returns by preparing and filing tax report documents for these businesses.

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19. Catering services

small and profitable business ideas in South Africa
A photo of a table with assorted foods. Photo: unsplash.com, @saileyas
Source: UGC

Gone are the days when the women would gather to cook for events and functions in their neighbourhood. Instead, people prefer the convenience of hiring catering services. Starting a catering business is ideal for people who enjoy cooking and can prepare food for small and large events.

20. Gym

Physical fitness and health is a growing concern, especially in towns and cities in South Africa. You can start a gym where people can come and exercise under the guidance of people trained in sports science.

21. Laundry services

You can set up a laundry mart in South Africa and make big money. Before starting this venture, do some research in your location to establish the target population and how much people are willing to pay. Beware that you will need capital to purchase the requirements for the business.

22. Babysitting services

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Many parents are searching for responsible and reliable caregivers for their children when away from the house. Offering babysitting services is a fantastic idea for college students over the weekend. For this business to succeed, you must create a good rapport with parents and children and prove you are trustworthy.

23. Nanny agency

Most modern households require nannies to do household chores and look after children. If you are passionate about this niche, you can start a nanny agency.

The agency can train nannies on how to do their duties professionally. Once they are fully trained, you can assign them to different households under defined terms and conditions.

24. Caregiving services for the sick and elderly

Caregiving services guarantee good returns both in the short run and the long term. Start by pursuing professional training and other certification programmes. Caring for the sick or elderly is not an easy job, so you must be passionate about it.

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25. Event planning

kasi business ideas
An elegantly set table for an event. Photo: unsplash.com, @ibrahimboran
Source: UGC

Events planning requires a hands-on approach and can be executed remotely. It is crucial to engage clients individually to understand what they need for this venture to succeed. Once you deliver impressive results, they will recommend your services to their peers and colleagues.

26. Editing services

You can start an editing business right from your home and turn it into a lucrative business. The services you can offer include copyediting, content editing, proofreading, and line editing for magazines and websites. This is one of the appropriate small business ideas for rural areas in South Africa. However, you must have a stable internet connection to do it.

27. Vertical gardening

A significant percentage of South Africans are aware of the importance of eating healthy. As a result, they have shifted towards organically grown crops.

The shift has led to an increase in vertical gardens in many homes, especially in balconies. You can become a vertical garden consultant and help people create space-optimised gardens.

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28. Bartering and selling

Almost every household you visit in South Africa has something no longer needed. It could be children’s items, clothes, or shoes that are no longer used but in good condition. In bartering, you can collect useful household items at a low price and sell them at affordable but profitable prices to others in need.

29. Pet grooming

Indoor pets have become increasingly common in modern households. These pets need to have nails clipped, fur-trimmed, and other hygienic care services regularly. You can start a business that offers pet grooming services.

30. Moving services

Moving from one house to another is a daily occurrence. Unfortunately, people experience losses due to breakages and lost items in the process of moving. You can solve this challenge by offering professional moving services that handle all items with the delicacy needed.

31. Photography

small business ideas for students
A picture of a camera. Photo: unsplash.com, @patuphotos
Source: UGC

The niche is suitable for professional photographers who deliver clean camera work. With a camera and a computer, you can launch an online photo selling venture. You will be required to take many high-quality photos and place them on sale for potential clients.

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32. Translator services

If you are proficient in a specific on-demand language, then this is a fantastic idea for you. You do not need any form of investment to begin this venture. All you have to do is to source for clients online or locally and translate things from one language to another.

33. Taking online surveys

Surveys are a good source of a steady income, especially for people with a stable internet connection and with multiple employer sites. Usually, firms require information about their products, services, or customer needs. They gather this information through surveys which are short and straightforward.

For this venture to yield good results, you must sign up for various reliable survey job sites.

34. Property management

People who own multiple buildings or properties sometimes find it challenging to manage them. You can come to their rescue by providing property management services at a fee. Your duties will include finding new tenants, screening them, handling complaints, collecting rents, and property maintenance.

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35. Currency trading

About a decade ago, it was believed that currency trading was reserved for business tycoons. However, that has changed, and anyone can become a currency trader.

Before you start this venture, you should undergo basic training to understand and possess the basic analytic and technical skills required to make a profit. Besides these skills, you will need a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

36. Computer training

home business opportunities in south africa
A picture of a man attending a virtual meeting. Photo: unsplash.com, @linkedinsalesnavigator
Source: UGC

Many young people and seniors are interested in acquiring technological skills. Competent young people also provide a broad market for upcoming technologies. You can train your clients on how to use various computer applications and software as long as you are willing and able to keep up with the latest developments.

37. Direct sales representative

Unlike traditional door to door sales, becoming a direct sales representative is now luxurious and well paying. To secure this position, identify a successful brand and apply for the job. In this position, your main role will include creating customer awareness of companies’ products and services and closing sales.

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38. Courier services

The demand for courier services is at its peak, given that more people are shopping online and prefer home deliveries. Therefore, you can establish a business that does pickups and drops to interested clients.

39. Life coaching

In today’s world, more people are battling depression and other mental-related conditions, usually because of the inability to handle multiple things and stressors in life. If you are passionate about improving people’s welfare, you can become a life coach.

For this venture to be successful, you must have the required training and people-handling skills.

40. Child daycare

Unlike babysitting, which usually handles children from one household, child daycare centres take in multiple children from different families. Most parents are busy working during the day, making it harder for them to attend to their children.

Opening a daycare in your neighbourhood will attract parents looking for these services. Ensure you have a secure space to host the minors. You must also offer appropriate care to all children.

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41. Tour guide

how to start a business
A picture of a tour guide doing his work. Photo: unsplash.com, @rockstaar
Source: UGC

Tour guiding is ideal for lovers of nature and the outdoors. You can convert your knowledge about various tourist attraction sites in South Africa into cash by becoming a tour guide. In this job, you will be charging people to guide them as they visit various sites.

42. Storage units

Some people have household or office goods that cannot fit in their homes or workspaces. They keep extra items in storage units until they create some room, find buyers, or donate them. You can earn money from safely storing their properties in storage units until they are needed back.

43. Massage therapy

Massages have become increasingly common as a way of relaxing, improving circulation, and reducing stress. To become a massage therapist, you should get the requisite training and licensing. After meeting the requirements, you can start a massage parlour or become a mobile masseur.

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44. Personal chef

Some people have money but do not have enough time to attend to their kitchen chores, which may include but are not limited to cooking. If you can prepare various dishes professionally, you can become a personal chef for these people.

45. Travel planner

Planning a trip with friends or loved ones is one of the most stressful tasks. Many people avoid this stress by hitting professional travel planners. A planner makes reservations, books flights, and organises transport. You can become a travel planner by performing these duties without overlooking or messing things up.

46. Financial advisory services

Financial organisation and management are vital for all businesses and individuals. You can become a financial advisor if you have a certified financial planner certificate.

47. Freelance content creating

Numerous website and online magazine owners globally require content creators. As a content creator, you will be required to write articles or blogs in various niches. If you deliver good quality work, you will not run out of clients willing to pay handsomely for the work done.

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48. DJ

small and profitable business ideas in South Africa
A picture of a DJ on the decks. Photo: unsplash.com, @yomex4life
Source: UGC

People naturally enjoy good music, and the South African entertainment scene is ever-growing. If you enjoy entertaining people through a good music selection, consider becoming a DJ. There are many DJ-ing schools you can enrol in to hone your skills.

49. Commercial shelves

With the rise of e-commerce, many sellers do not have physical locations. Renting out commercial shelves to online sellers will ease their jobs because their customers can access certain products in person.

This business entails renting premises, installing shelves, and renting them out to multiple people. The monies collected from the tenants pay a salesperson who deals with customers directly and takes inventory for various sellers.

50. App development

If you are a gifted programmer, you can develop an app that solves a problem you have identified. If the app gains good reception, you can sell it or run it and make millions out of it.

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51. Plumbing services

Did you know that minor plumbing repairs are required every day in South Africa? With the rise of buildings, especially rentals, plumbers are in high demand. Before starting this venture, you should enrol in a college or school to get the relevant training. You do not want to mess up the drainage or water system in an entire flat!

52. Street food vendor

Away from cosy eateries, urban people love street food because they are affordable and tailored to meet the immediate needs of a community. Selling coffee and snacks, for example, will offer people a quick on the go meal.

You can advance this venture by acquiring a food truck. Always ensure you offer quality food and maintain hygiene to prevent food-borne diseases.

53. Taxi or personal driver services

If you have a good driving record, you can work as a personal or taxi driver. You can also hire out your vehicle to reputable taxi service providers such as Uber. This venture is ideal for people living in urban areas.

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54. Personal fitness trainer

If you love fitness but cannot start a gym yet, you can become a personal fitness trainer. The job entails coming up with customised fitness activities and routines for specific clients and guiding them on what to do and how to do it. You can have multiple clients in a day.

55. Online news correspondent

how to make money fast in south africa
A picture of a man recording content. Photo: unsplash.com, @soundtrap
Source: UGC

If you are almost always online and enjoy keeping up with the latest news or gossip, you can become an online news correspondent for a magazine, blog, radio, or television. You need to have a basic understanding of journalism and mass communication to do this job effectively.

The work entails generating news content for distribution over the internet.

56. E-commerce website

Did you know that large e-commerce sites like Amazon were once small businesses? You can also start an online marketplace and watch it grow over time. This venture will involve creating a website with an attractive name and linking buyers and sellers for business.

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57. Professional video production

Videography has become a lucrative venture for some people. Many YouTube celebrities hire professional videographers to edit and upload content on YouTube or other online spaces. If you are a professional videographer, you can have several clients and help them upload high-quality videos on their selected platforms.

58. Call centre representative

Call centre representatives are needed in all industries or firms that value customer relations. With a working phone line and computer, you can start this business. You will receive calls from clients on behalf of a company.

59. Bakery

If you enjoy baking at home, you can turn your passion into a business. Numerous South Africans love assorted baked goods such as pies and cakes. If you make quality products at competitive prices, you will seldom run out of customers.

60. Resume writer

Writing a proper resume is a task that many people find daunting. You can refine and use your -writing skills and help people at a fee. It is crucial to set reasonable rates to help maintain your clients and attract new ones.

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61. Website flipping

Website flipping is the art of acquiring poorly developed sites, improving them, and selling them for a profit. The venture requires minimal investment capital and can be started at the comfort of your home. However, you must have the necessary coding and bargaining skills.

62. Car wash

low-cost business ideas with high profit
A picture of cars being cleaned. Photo: unsplash.com, @introspectivedsgn
Source: UGC

More South African households have personal vehicles for convenience to compared a decade ago. Starting a car wash business is a fantastic idea, especially in Kasis or estates. People can pop in and have their cars cleaned at their convenience during your stipulated working hours.

63. Writing business plans

Most small businesses experience difficulties in coming up with business plans, yet they are a must-have when sourcing for funding or partnerships. With the necessary skills at hand, you can assist them in creating impressive business plans at a fee.

64. Online classes

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In 2022, more people are taking online courses. These can either be academic or professional. If you are an expert in a particular niche, you can create online classes via WhatsApp, Zoom, Google meets, Microsoft teams, or other online platforms. You can also package a course and sell it online.

65. Road management

With the rise of roadshow tours by celebrities, radio stations, and companies, the road manager business has grown in South Africa. A road manager works with small to mid-sized music bands, radio stations, or other companies.

They ensure all the details are organised and on schedule. A road manager also makes hotel arrangements, media obligations, and provides support staff, equipment, and itinerary for a successful roadshow.

66. Towing services

It is not unusual to come across a vehicle that has stalled on the road due to an accident or malfunction. Such cars cause unnecessary traffic jams. This problem can be resolved by towing services.

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Beware that you require a substantial amount of capital to purchase your first towing truck. Alternatively, you can hire one then buy yours after making a profit from the venture.

67. Low-budget cinema

Did you know that with a few tools, you can start a low-budget movie cinema? The basics you need include a PC with internet access, a 1080hp resolution projector, a popcorn machine, plastic seats, extension cords and plugs, a white screen or big white fabric is used.

Many young people enjoy watching movies but may not always have the cash to go to the big movie theatres. You can create an affordable alternative for them in your kasi.

68. Coffee shop

small business ideas for students
A barista serving coffee in a cafe. Photo: pexels.com, @Andrea Piacquadio
Source: UGC

Coffee shops offer convenience to urban dwellers. This business idea is ideal for places with many working-class persons. They can grab their coffee or other beverage without strain. Where possible, you can deliver their orders to their offices or workstations.

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69. Wall art sale

Many people love art pieces on their walls because they make a room appear finished, bring a sense of texture, and create a focal point. If you are a self-taught or trained artist, you can sketch, draw, or paint pieces and sell them. You can market your pieces on social media to attract more buyers.

70. Internet café

Although a large percentage of South Africans can access the internet at home, some do not have this luxury. Internet cafés are particularly great for the rural setup because they allow people to access important services, even if they do not have smartphones or computers.

71. Recycling

low-cost business ideas with high profit
A picture of garbage bins. Photo: unsplash.com, @jasmin_sessler
Source: UGC

Most urban areas in South Africa have plenty of waste, including plastics, glass, paper, and metal. Creative people can collect specific types of waste and recycle them. Besides earning them money, this business will reduce pollution.

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An example is using waste plastic bags to make shopping baskets or waste metallic wires to make children’s toys.

72. Bicycle repair services

The number of university and high school students riding bicycles to school is steadily increasing because it is a convenient means of transport. Like any other manmade equipment, bicycles are prone to wear and tear.

As a result, bicycle repair services are constantly needed, making a bicycle repair shop a worthwhile venture to invest in.

73. Digital media conversion

Technological advancements normally come with new features and gadgets. As people transition to the new technologies, they may not want to lose critical information stored in the previously used technologies.

Tech-savvy people can make money by transferring information stored in outdated technologies to new formats for easy retrieval.

74. Referral services

People are always interested in accessing good services from plumbers, lawyers, eateries, tourist sites, etc. By positioning yourself as an expert with all the necessary information, many people will happily pay to receive referrals for you.

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75. Online custom tailoring

Can you sew good quality and fashionable clothes? People are increasingly becoming aware of their looks and the quality of fabrics. You can brand yourself a custom tailor and deliver your products to clients via courier services.

For this business to succeed, you should perfect your sewing and design skills. You must also listen to customers’ needs and deliver as agreed.

76. Sustainability consultancy

Green technology is pushing many businesses into safer and more secure practices. As a consultant, you will advise such companies on effective, friendly alternatives in their operations at a fee. You must have the necessary training and skills to start the consultancy.

77. Internet security consultancy

Are you a computer wizard with a speciality in security patches? If so, you can partner with different organisations and help them secure sensitive information from potential hackers, viruses, and scammers at a fee.

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78. Product reviewer/ tester

low cost business ideas with high profit
A picture of stars used to give product ratings. Photo: unsplash.com, @towfiqu9999
Source: UGC

Many startups and established brands are on the hunt for people to review and recommend their products. You can dive into this lucrative business by creating an online portfolio and applying to become their product reviewer.

You can use your blog or vlog to share your opinion concerning different products and services at a fee.

79. Greenhouse farming

Greenhouse farming is among the best ventures to try, especially in rural areas. You can grow a variety of crops that South Africans consume. However, this venture requires a significant capital investment.

80. Music instructor

Can you play one or more musical instruments, or are you a professional musician? You can use your skills or talents to make money by training others to sing or play the instruments. This idea is fantastic because you can train online or in person. You can also have multiple clients as each only demands a few hours a week.

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There are numerous small business ideas in South Africa that are likely to succeed in 2022. We hope the list above helps you decide on the most feasible option.

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!

READ ALSO: Top 20 profitable Kasi business ideas (lucrative township businesses)

Briefly.co.za recently published an article about the most profitable Kasi business ideas. A kasi refers to a neighbourhood within or near a city occupied by black South Africans.

In the last few years, many people have started successful businesses in different kasi. They provide products and services needed by people of colour. Some of the profitable ideas to consider in your kasi are in the beauty, food, and information technology industries.

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Source: Briefly News

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