5 unsexy business ideas to get you started

business ideas

Quirky title, hey? You see, when many of us ladies venture into business, we often look for the cleanest, neatest and safest sort of ideas. However, on the flip side, the dirty, messy, riskier ventures have a tale of profit to tell.

Consider some of the ones below.


Many young people are dropping suits and ties for muddy boots. Guess what, turns out farming is feeding the nation while raking in returns. You can consider mass farming of basic food like onions, tomatoes, fruits.

You can also venture into unique vegetables especially with the current eating-healthy movement. If those options don’t rock your boat, consider growing fruit and flowers to export to Europe.

my own kind of paradiseA business that provides basic needs, that is food, shelter, clothing has a higher retention rate in the market. You can lease land next to a good source of water, hire a few hands to help and get a truck to take the produce to the market.


Better still, you can make friends with a broker who would charge reasonable rates. Just as with all businesses, ensure the market is ready for you. Do your homework and talk to a few farmers to get a sense of the industry.

Interesting enough, ventures such as pig farming, snail farming, and even maggot rearing have found their place. Definitely not an idea you probably had but for the record, it’s working. Here’s more proof that farming is the new cool.

Running a school

This is another brilliant idea that works due to the rising population. There’s already a gap, just bridge it. It could be in extra curriculum activities or mode of delivery.

You could start off with a day care or kindergarten program and keep working on the next grades/classes as you go along. Most schools started off like this.


giphyWorth noting though, is that the running expenses of a school are high, especially once it grows full-blown. Whether with the little ones in nursery school, pre-teens or teens, some chaos is bound to happen. Also, be ready to deal with the parents. Still, the returns are good and with consistency, it’s worth a try.

Recycling/waste management

Most countries in Africa seem to have a garbage collection problem. Of course, except Rwanda (we’ve got a national cleaning day, so don’t crucify me yet!), Johannesburg and Mauritius.

Generally, waste isn’t managed properly and the rising population in major cities can attest to this. This thought lends itself as a business opportunity for an entrepreneur thinking of a practical and profitable solution.

When it comes to business, other than maximizing profit, solving a need creates further sustainability and passion for the business. If you are sick of all the littering and dirty neighbourhoods, then piece that plan together. Plus, you don’t need to roll out in the city only. Consider smaller towns with bustling activity.

You may need to talk to local authorities such as city or town councils, negotiate landfill rates and invest in trucks, rolling carts, incinerators and casual labour.

One word of caution though, a research on existing cartels involved in this job is advisable. This will give you an edge and help you avoid being maliciously ousted  from the business.

Manufacturing or importing human hair wigs and extensions

Everyone I know who ventured into this business with a passion is smiling at the profits. You just need to identify the source of the hair, which could be India or China.

For the record, Brazilian or Peruvian hair is just branded as such but most of it is from China. Read more about this here.


giphy-10There are several varieties but once you find a reliable source, especially a manufacturer with ready-made hair, all you’ll need is some branding. You can actually do this locally and place your product in the market. Engage in some rigorous advertising online, in beauty shops or salons and there goes another (hairy) business idea!

Running a funeral home

I’m not going to risk sounding morbid, so this point is going to be brief.
This may not need much explanation. With life, comes the inevitable end. You’ll definitely need to be tough to do this as you’ll have to deal with emotional families and friends still coming to terms with the death of a loved one.

giphyUndoubtedly, you’ll need ample space to  accommodate an embalming room disconnected from the main home. You’ll also need a storage room for client files, a meeting room and possibly a room displaying options of caskets.

You’ll need qualified professionals, dressing tables and materials and recommended chemicals, powders, and creams to preserve the body. It is estimated that one can break even in two years in this kind of business.

About Nelly Makena

Nelly Makena is a contributing writer to SLA.
She is also a partner at ReFab Interiors, a wall decor business. When not day-dreaming design, she has a bucket list to chase, humans to love, nature to admire, books to read, words to write and mocha to sip.

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