5 businesses you can start with R1000 in South Africa
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5 businesses you can start with R1000 in South Africa

Starting and running a successful business requires a lot of money. However, not all businesses require hundreds or thousands to start, there are businesses you can start with R1000 or less and grow them into successful businesses.

These are the 5 businesses you can start with R1000 in South Africa, most of these were selected based on their low barriers to entry, scalability and profit margins.

1. Virtual assistant

A virtual assistant provides administrative services to companies and is usually an independent contractor. Your job as a virtual assistant can include checking emails, bookkeeping, social media management and so on.

This is a business with low barriers to entry and extremely high profit margins, it’s also very scalable, you can have clients from all over the country. The main disadvantage is that you are going to find it hard to get clients. Especially ones from South Africa, so you might end up quitting because you just aren’t getting enough clients.

However, if your business does become a success then you can find yourself making north of R20k per month, from just an investment of R1000. All you need is a computer, telephone and a stable internet connection.

It’s also important to mention that you are not only limited to the South African market. A lot of companies from US and Europe prefer outsourcing their administrative tasks to virtual assistants from India or South Africa because of labour costs and because most people from these countries can communicate in English fairly well.

2. Freelance writing

Freelance writing is an extremely lucrative business, the barriers to entry are very low with regards to capital. You still need to have the skills to write high quality content, as a freelance writer, your job is to write for blogs such as mysouthafrica.co.za and you can earn anywhere between R150 and R1 200 per article.

Depending on what blog you are writing for and how much knowledge you have on the subject. The main disadvantage of this business is that you need to have a lot of experience in a certain niche, or do a lot of original research on your topics.

Getting clients is not that difficult and you can get a client from day one of starting this business. However, if you don’t produce quality content then your client will replace you with someone more competent.

3. Dropshipping ecommerce business

Dropshipping is a very great way to start an ecommerce business or enter the ecommerce space in general. You get to setup an online store and sell things that you don’t even have in stock. This is why some online shops that are located in South Africa will take over 15 days to deliver the product to you.

That’s because they’re selling things they don’t have, as soon as you buy an item, they go and order it from their supplier, mainly from China. Then resell it to you at a profit, all they do is change the packaging.

The reason why they can get away with this is because you don’t need to see the physical inventory before buying online. All they do is post a picture of the product and you have no way of knowing if they actually have it in stock.

The best places to dropship are AliExpress (China) and eBay, Amazon also offers a dropshipping program but the margins are usually even lower.

Dropshipping is a very good business model, the main disadvantage is that it has really low profit margins. You also have very limited control over your business, even though you won’t pay for inventory, you will have to pay a lot of marketing for marketing.

4. Blogging

By far the best business on this list, with extremely high profit margins, profit margins can reach over 900% on a single blog post. The barriers to entry are fairly low, all you need is hosting, a domain and a stable internet connection.

The main downside to this business is that you have to wait for over 12 months before making a substantial amount of income. This means that your R1000 has a very high chance of being consumed by costs before you get to turn a profit.

Another downside is that there is so much to learn and most successful bloggers won’t tell you what exactly you have to do to make this business a success. That would just be inviting unnecessary competition. However, revenue from a blog is virtually limitless and it’s a business worth mentioning nonetheless.

5. YouTube

Why do you think most celebrities are rushing to open a YouTube channel? Because, there is a lot of money to be made from YouTube. The profit margins aren’t as high as in blogging; however, it is just as scalable.

It’s very easy to think that YouTube is saturated but it’s not, it’s anything but saturated, you just have to have an eye for opportunities. The barriers to entry are fairly low, all you need is a stable internet connection and a good quality camera.

Most YouTubers earn money from Ads, sponsorships, affiliate marketing and by selling their own products; usually own clothing merch or makeup line. The main downside is that you need to get a lot of views on your videos before making a substantial amount of money.

It may take over 24 months to turn your YouTube channel into a successful business. There is a lot of promoting involved and you should also learn how the YouTube algorithm works.

Bottom line

Everyone of these businesses is internet based, that’s because starting a regular business with just R1000 and growing it into a very stable, successful business is hard. There are certainly entrepreneurs who have done that before.

But for most people, you are going to remain in the “hustling” phase for a really long time and might end up being frustrated. Each of the above businesses has a very real chance of earning you R30k per month within 24 months after starting it. It would be very hard to go from R1k to R30k within 24 months with a regular business.


These are the 5 businesses you can start with R1000 in South Africa. Other businesses include selling sweets, muffins, hot dogs and so on. Do you have any thoughts or questions? Comment below.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Hi there
    Would like to get more infomation on starting a spaza

  2. Thank you this is an awesome blog.
    My question is;
    – My experience is in the cosmetic manufacturing sector where I do not need machinery to start making the product is it worthwhile with covid, social distancing and risk of shut down.
    – Are there still investors out there willing to invest in manufacture?

  3. How to start a funeral palour business?

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