Small business ideas for rural areas in South Africa

Small business ideas for rural areas in South Africa

This is a guide on what kind of business you can start in rural areas in South Africa. A lot of these business take into account the demographics of people living in rural areas and their disposable income. When it comes to starting a business in rural areas you should focus mostly on selling essential goods and maybe alcohol. Some of these ideas might work better in some rural areas than others. This will depend largely on the size of the village and its proximity to the nearest town.

1) Spaza shops

Spaza shops are known to thrive in rural areas, this is because they sell all the essential needs. It is a good way to make money. Your spaza shop can sell basic goods and a bit of luxury items. These are by far the most successful businesses in rural areas.

2) Taverns

A lot of people in rural areas don’t mind splashing money on Alcohol, it’s one of the most thriving businesses. You are guaranteed to make money as long as you run this business. A lot of people selling alcohol in rural areas usually do so in an informal way, they are not registered. You will have to get a liquor license as soon as you start making some profits.

3) Brick manufacturing

This business has a potential to make a lot of money and one that generally gets you a sustainable income. Starting a brick manufacturing business in rural South Africa is very easy, all you need is a bag of cement, sand and a brick maker. A brick maker is something that is usually available and easily accessible in a lot of rural areas. Your target market for this type of business is people who are building houses. There is not shortage of people building houses in rural areas.

The other good thing about this business is that someone looking to build a house can come and buy over 7000 bricks from you. A lot of people are not yet aware of this business and the opportunities it presents to rural entrepreneurs.

4) Wholesaler

You can open a big shop that sells almost everything that rural people go to town for. This type of shop will need you to choose your location very carefully, it should be situated in between a number of villages so that it can be accessible to everyone. Make it in such a way that even local spaza shops and taverns will come and stock from you.

5) Farming

A large number of people living in rural areas are already farming but they are not doing it as a business. It’s not surprising to find a cow that is 13 years old. You can do farming as a business. The best options are Poultry and Pigs. Other livestock takes longer to grow and can take a very long time to multiply from one head to 10 heads. A poultry farm is easier to start and you can start selling your chickens to the people in the village or to retail shops like Spar at town.

Pigs are my personal favourite because one pig can give birth to 10 piglets, that’s a huge multiplication. This type of business can actually make you very rich if you are living in rural areas.

6) Online businesses

It’s quite easy to make money online in South Africa, all you need is access to the internet. The good thing about the internet is that it does not care about your geographical location. If you are in rural areas and you have an area of specialty in knowledge then you can make a lot of money online. You can setup an online store, run a blog, YouTube channel, do affiliate marketing. There is a lot you can do to earn money online.

7) Renting out a tractor

You can buy a tractor and use for a lot of things like collecting sand and selling it to brick makers and builders. You can also use it to plough a farm in preparation for planting crops. A tractor has a lot of uses in rural areas.

8) Gardening

You can approach your local government facilities and propose to do their gardening for them on a monthly basis. You can do gardening for schools, clinics, home affairs and local police stations. You will need to have some equipment for this which might set you back anywhere between R1500 and R4000.


These small business ideas for South African rural areas work pretty well in most villages. Do you have any thoughts or questions? Comment below.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the info it made me think again but the only is the funds the perfect place I got but still the funds to start the business

  2. I like to start a business for farming (poultry), how much money should I need to raise before I start my business.
    What kind of equipment should I need to start my business

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