Top 50 small business ideas in Botswana
Do you live in Botswana, and you are planning to start a business? But you don’t know the best business opportunities in Botswana? Keep on reading because you are in the right place at the right time.
The Republic of Botswana is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa that South Africa borders right to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast.
Their official languages are English and Setswana, and Botswana major ethnic group happens to be Tswana (79% of the populace belongs to this ethnic group)
Botswana is one good country to do business in because of its agricultural resources, high-quality minerals, modern transportation, and good communication infrastructure.
Botswana offers unique business opportunities in different sectors that entrepreneurs can venture into and build long-lasting wealth.
If you are looking to know the different kinds or types of business opportunities in Botswana, I am glad to tell you that you are in the right place at the right time.
11 good reasons why you should consider doing business in Botswana
- After independence, Botswana has had one of the fastest growth rates in per capita income in the world.
- Fortunately, Botswana has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to an upper-middle-income country. Botswana’s GDP experienced a fast growth from $1,344 in 1950 to $15,015 in 2016.
- Although Botswana was resource-abundant, a good constitutional framework allowed the country to reinvest resource income to generate stable future income.
- Botswana has the fourth-highest gross national income at purchasing power parity in Africa, giving it a good standard of living around that of Mexico.
- Botswana has a high level of economic freedom compared to any other African country.
- The protection of intellectual property rights has improved significantly in Botswana. Botswana is ranked second only to South Africa among Sub-Saharan African countries in the year 2014 by International Property Rights Index.
- Botswana is among the most business-friendly and peaceful countries in Africa and the rest of the world: According to Global Peace Index 2020, Botswana is the first in Africa’s top 10 safest places.
And Botswana is also the 30th safest country in the world-beating, The United Kingdom and Spain.
- Low rate of corruption: International studies have consistently ranked Botswana among the world’s least corrupt countries. Botswana also has the least corrupt government in Africa, making it a good place for investment.
- Considerable taxation rates: The World’s Bank Doing Business report and the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness report highlight the comparatively low levels of taxation in Botswana as an encouragement to invest.
- Information and communication technology is growing rapidly in Botswana: Botswana is moving to become a knowledge-driven economy by2036 in the ICT sector.
- Botswana was listed among the ‘Top 10 best African countries to start a business’ by CNN.
Challenges you will encounter while running your business in Botswana
You need to learn and be aware of certain things when entering the market in Botswana:
- Low population: Botswana has a population of more than 2million as of early January 2021, resulting in a low supply of skilled workers and technical experts.
- Investors, both foreign and local, find it difficult to obtain work permits for foreign skilled workers and managers in 2017. And during the course of this, it has discouraged skilled workers from leaving Botswana to another more favourable country.
- Business decisions being made are usually slow in Botswana, which usually takes some months or years.
Best cities to live in Botswana and do business:
Top 50 Small Business Ideas In Botswana
Here is my list of the top 50 best business opportunities in Botswana for any serious investor or entrepreneur to venture into and be of economic value to the country of Botswana.
1. Tourism and Hospitality
The first on my list of the 25 best business opportunities in Botswana is tourism and hospitality.
Chobe National Park, Tsodilo, Khama Rhino Sanctuary, Kalahari Desert, Kubu Island, and so many other places have become some of the most visited places by tourists worldwide.
As you would expect, there are various opportunities in this sector which include; hotel services, renting of Camping equipment, transportation, resorts, etc.
There are also possibilities of foreign investors partnering with Botswana governments – to improve inland waterways or national parks.
Barriers to entry in this business sector are relatively low, and it requires limited capital.
2. Real Estate Business
When we talk about a business opportunity that is a boomer, then the real estate industry is never left out when it comes to high income-generating venture that has made many millionaires in Africa and across different parts of the World.
An investor can invest massively in the real estates business, such as property development, land flipping, house/rent, and real estate agency.
Botswana is a small market and what it lacks is residential properties because, over the years, they are a lot of rural-urban migration among Batswana. People are moving into the city searching for greener pasture, and they are not enough accommodation for them. More affordable housing units are needed.
Indeed this is one of the best business opportunities in Botswana to invest in!
3. Manufacturing of Leather Products
This is second after tourism and hospitality. Botswana is known for breeding animals like cows and goats. This is an opportunity where an entrepreneur can start making leather bags and shoes from these animal skins.
If an entrepreneur approaches this business on a large scale, they may end up selling to the international market as they do have high demands for them.
This is another business opportunity available to investors and entrepreneurs in Botswana.
In Botswana, vegetables, goat meat, and chickens are being imported from surrounding countries.
Entrepreneurs can tap into these opportunities in Botswana and make good money out of them by delivering these products to consumers without them going out to import these products at a higher cost.
Agriculture can support other industries such as manufacturing, product marketing, fertilizer production, pesticides, seeds production, food processing, and grains refining.
5. Fast Moving Consumer Goods
It was estimated that Botswana’s consumer spending in 2016 was over one million dollars. With a population that is arguably increasing, the Fast Moving Consumer Goods sector promises to be very profitable.
Foods, beverages, home, and personal care products provide ample opportunity for manufacturers and retailers as their demands continue to soar. Investors who dominate this market at the first instance are likely to remain the main players for a long time.
For decades now, Botswana has been dependent on Diamond mining. Botswana is the world’s diamond-producing country in terms of value and the second biggest in terms of production.
Forgetting other minerals that they can also mine. There is a huge opportunity in the mining of other minerals in the country.
If you have the capital, the government is encouraging an investor to invest in this sector.
The government has passed a Mines and Mineral Act, which encourages investors to invest in exploring other mineral resources of Botswana. Interested business entrepreneurs have a chance to tap immensely into this sector.
7. Fast Food Franchise
Most fast-food franchises in Botswana are international brands like KFC and Chicken Licken.
This is a good time for indigenous entrepreneurs to start up their own fast-food franchise and stop expanding the foreign fast-food franchise.
8. Magazine Publishing
If you are based in Botswana, you will notice that supermarkets are packed full of foreign magazines.
Hardly will you find a local magazine because local magazines don’t push hard on marketing their magazines to readers.
These foreign magazines sell well not because their content is good but because they know how to put it in front of potential readers. This is still a niche market, so why don’t you set up your own lifestyle or entertainment magazine?
If you are interested in horticulture, Botswana presents a good opportunity for this business. Flowers are in high demand in places where it is needed like hotels, funerals homes, parties, residential houses.
Most of the flowers seen in most hotels and homes in Botswana are flowers from other countries around.
This is one best business opportunities in Botswana you can venture into.
10. BabySitting Services
Babysitting services are on the rise in Botswana. Parents must work to put food on the table as the present economic recession is getting worse by the day, and they need someone around to look after their children.
You don’t lose anything for embarking on this business. You can start this business by investing more in advertising, letting a parent know that there is a trusted company they can leave their children with, and be rest assured that their children are in safe hands.
Parents who are happy with a particular babysitting company would be willing to tell friends and neighbours.
This is another profitable business opportunity in Botswana. People have to move from one location to another, and not everyone can afford to buy a car.
You can start with one bus or car to transport people to their destination.
I know of so many people that started with a single bus, and today they have their own registered transport in Botswana.
12. Business Adviser
As a well-grounded and business-oriented person living in Botswana, you can set up a business advice agency to make it known to both local and foreign investors what it takes to build a successful business in Botswana.
13. Laundry service business
Most people living in Botswana are involved in our job or the other or probably running their businesses, and they will have little to no time to take care of their laundry.
The best way they can ease the stress is by patronizing a local laundry service within their vicinity.
You can equally start this business from your comfort zone, network with people and let them know that you offer laundry service at an affordable price.
14. Mobile food vendor
The food business is very lucrative in Africa because people need to satisfy their hunger.
As a good and experienced cook, you can start preparing and selling different foods in Botswana such as Dikogbe, Mogodu, Seswaa, Vetkoek, Phaphatha, Bogobe and the rest.
One interesting fact about this business is that it doesn’t require huge capital to startup, and it assures you daily income provided you have great customer care service and serve tasty food.
15. Construction Business
Botswana is a swiftly developing country and needs more room for development in terms of good infrastructures. You can also have your own quota in Botswana’s infrastructures by providing construction services such as road construction, residential houses, shopping malls, churches, hospitals, schools, and commercial buildings.
The construction business is a goldmine when you talk about a business opportunity that moves very fast in a developing country.
You can start your own construction firm where you deal with road works and building services provided you have enough and sufficient capital.
16. Clothing store
Most people are now paying close attention to how they look, so it is good to start a business where you sell fashionable clothes of different brands.
As a Motswana entrepreneur or a foreign investor, you can invest massively in a clothing business where you sell quality and affordable male or female wear alongside footwear’s to increase your income.
17. Digital Marketing service
The penetration of internet usage is gradually experiencing a fast growth on the African continent compared to other years; as of 2017, there were 525 million internet users in Africa.
With these statistics, there will be an increase in web traffic, which is considered high business growth and more income for those into digital marketing.
Businesses online to generate more leads and increase their clientele base is a good business opportunity in Botswana.
The best way to learn digital marketing is by acquiring the best knowledge of various digital marketing services from any skill acquisition program in your locality that offers such.
Google Digital Skills for Africa is an online free course that would help you know the basics of digital marketing, including 26 modules for you to explore. All this was made possible through Google trainers’ initiative, and it also has well packed full of practical exercises and real-life examples to help you turn knowledge into action.
18. Start a Blog
A blog can easily be started from your comfort zone, provided you have access to the internet, Smartphone or laptop, and small startup capital to help you set up and host your blog on WordPress.
The blogging business is one of the best online businesses in Africa and different parts of the world.
Well-known African bloggers like Linda Ikeji (Lindaikejisblog.com), Uche Pedro (Bellanaija.com), and Makinde Azeez (Naijaloaded.com.ng) are making 4-6 figures income from their blogs.
Since the blogging business is not too saturated in Botswana, you can start your own blog and start sharing valuable information that is informative, educative, and entertaining to your blog readers.
Niches like entertainment news, business/entrepreneurship, food, personal finance, fashion, politics, and tech are really some good options to choose from.
Find your passion and blog about it!
Freelancing entails working for clients by taking on contract work. You can decide to work as a part-time and full-time freelancer.
They are many freelancing jobs you can master the skill offline and offer your services online. Upwork and Fiverr are some of the good marketplaces to find your ideal clients.
Some of the highest paying jobs to have expertise in are copywriting, PR Manager, Software Developer, Technical Writing, Lead Generation expert, and Web Designing.
20. Graphics Design
As new businesses continue to emerge in Botswana’s market, they will need various brands to distinguish themselves from others by having a unique business logo, flyers, banners, and complimentary cards.
Graphics design service is limited to a business organization and has a wide range to cover for those hosting an event, occasions, seminars, and ceremonies.
You can acquire this lucrative skill and market your business aggressively to the market on Social media and within your community.
You need to have expertise when it comes to the use of graphic design applications such as CorelDraw and Photoshop.
Being creative as a graphics designer is another smart way to attract more customers to your business.
21. Sales and supply of office equipment
Botswana is attracting many local and foreign investors who wish to set up a business in different cities across Botswana.
Starting a venture where you sell office equipment such as cabinets, photocopiers, telephone systems, files/folders, scanners, desks, chairs, and a few mentions is a good business idea in Botswana to start with.
Situate your business in a strategic place or commercial location to attract ideal customers without too much struggle.
22. Sell mobile and smartphones
Like I said earlier, Botswana’s ICT industry is experiencing rapid growth, and Botswana is on the move to becoming a knowledge-driven economy by 2036 in the ICT sector.
So the need for innovative tech products will be in high demand; starting up a venture where you sell quality and affordable tech products such as mobile phones, smartphones, and its accessories is one of the best ways to make money in Botswana and have your own quota in Botswana Information and communication technology sector.
23. Photography business
If you have a passion for photography and you are looking for a lucrative and small start-up that requires low capital to set up, then the photography business is a good business opportunity you can start in Botswana.
Just master a skill in using and handling digital single-lens reflex cameras and other related photography equipment.
Providing your customers with great customer care service, quality, and good pictures will make you go a long way to building a successful and profitable photography business.
24. Event Organizer
Event organizing business is a thriving startup in Botswana. For those who want to host different occasions or events ranging from birthday parties, weddings, seminars, Gala nights, and just a few to mention, they would require the service of an event planner/organizer that will help them downsize how the proposed event will look like and the total amount of money it would cost.
Acquiring event planning/organizing is a good decision to make if you want to have the full knowledge of it and the necessary skills needed to operate a successful event organizing business in Botswana.
25. Hair Salon
The hair salon business is lucrative because both men and women love to have a good look with their favourite hairstyles.
You can operate a unisex hair salon business in a bustling and strategic location in Botswana.
Hairdressing service is known to be among the most thriving and lucrative businesses in Africa. Nurturing a skill in hairdressing service is the first step you need to make before launching your hair salon start-up in Botswana.
26. Supermarket Business
As an entrepreneur or investor willing to investing in a business opportunity in Botswana, a supermarket is one of the profitable small business ideas in Botswana you can think of.
Inasmuch they will be a high demand for processed foods and drinks among the Batswana, and your business will thrive.
Supermarket requires a good amount of funding, favourable business location, and a well-written business plan, these are some of the things that will get you started.
27. Laundry Service
It might interest you to know that laundry service is one of the most feasible, lucrative, and profitable small business ideas to start in Botswana straight from the comfort of your home.
To succeed in the laundry service, you will need great networking skills and access to laundry equipment.
28. Manufacturing of craft products
I personally love handmade African craft products compared to foreign ones in most cases. It brings out the beauty of a home in a modern and traditional way.
Learning a skill and acquiring training from an existing handmade craft products business should be your first motive in starting this venture.
Once you have gathered enough experience and you are fully established, market your products aggressively to the local market and neighbouring countries like South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, Angola, and a few to mention.
29. Car wash
Providing car wash services in Botswana is another small business opportunity that requires low start-up capital and assures you good returns on investment, provided you situate your business in a bustling location or a commercial area.
30. Fashion Business
Do you have access to quality textile materials in Botswana, or do you know where you can get them? Why not learn the art of making native fashionable wears right here in Botswana from an already existing business?
The fashion/textile business is another small business idea opportunity you should consider doing.
The Batswana would patronize your business a lot because you are helping to promote Botswana’s culture.
31. Ecommerce Business
In a developing country like Botswana, you can initiate an eCommerce business where you sell fast-moving products online and deliver them to your customers at their doorstep.
Ecommerce is one business opportunity that needs intensive capital and a well-written business plan.
32. Advertising Service
If you have expertise in an advertisement, you can help business owners or brands gain more visibility and generate more sales.
The key to success in advertising service is by marketing yourself as an advertisement expert to those who need your service, and I am sure that you will be handsomely for the services rendered.
33. ICT Training
We are living in the 21st century, which is also regarded as the computer age. People need to know how to make use of a computer, tablets, and mobile phones to know how to make use of the internet and communicate with family and friends.
Back in the days when getting information and the ability to communicate was way too difficult and time-consuming.
Starting an information and communication technology (ICT) centre is a smart small business idea in Botswana.
34. Healthcare-related business
If you are a certified and experienced health personnel or practioner, you can initiate any health-related business in Botswana.
Some healthcare-related business opportunities to consider are setting up a private hospital, pharmaceutical store, health consultancy, selling hospital consumables/equipment, and so on. Operating in most healthcare-related businesses requires a license.
Also, consider working in hands with the body regulating Botswana’s health sector.
35. Make and sell African arts
Are you good and talented at making African arts, either the plastic or graphical arts? Then this small business opportunity well presents you to the path of wealth creation in Botswana.
Most hotels, offices, and homes now use African arts to beautify their surroundings and make them look more appealing and attractive.
36. Importation-Exportation Business
This business opportunity is considered feasible and profitable because it can guarantee you decent returns even with small capital.
37. Electronics repair service
Manufactured electronics products are prone to develop fault most times and require proper maintenance when it starts malfunctioning.
You can learn electronics repair and advertise business aggressively to the local market.
38. Daycare centre
As a stay-at-home mom, you can start daycare from the comfort of your home since you know what it takes to spark up fun and happiness for children through the learning process.
You will need to invest in educational and recreational toys for children. Network with your family, friends, and neighbours that you do render daycare service at an affordable cost.
39. App Development
As an experienced and well-skilled app developer, you can develop a good small business idea that can help solve people’s problems through the use of your apps or probably position as an expert to companies and brands who are likely to need your services.
40. Business Plan Service
Do you consider yourself well-grounded and also an expert when it comes to starting a business in Botswana? Setting up your own business plan service agency is a smart small business opportunity you might think of, where you write a detailed business plan for people who wish to start any business of their choice at a given fee.
41. Data entry service
Most companies and organizations are always on the lookout for a data entry service agent who will help them with all the computer typing works, giving them an achievable result at the end of their business daily activities.
42. Payment solution
Most African entrepreneurs are always finding it difficult to receive money internationally; why not come up with an innovative business idea that can end this problem by creating a payment solution.
A good initiative that has to be a major game player in Africa regarding payment solutions is ‘Paystack’. You can check out their brand and develop your own creative idea on the kind of payment solution you can create, but don’t copy them.
43. Cosmetic and Beauty Product Business
You can look for where you can get cosmetics and beauty products within Botswana or nearby neighbouring countries in large stock and at a low-cost price.
You can start up your own small business where you sell your products to your ideal customers.
44. Waste Recycling
The collection of wastes and garbage has always been a major challenge facing most developing countries in Africa and worldwide.
If you know the rule of the game when it comes to waste recycling and management, you might want to consider this as the next alternative of small business opportunity you can launch in Botswana.
45. Home and Office cleaning service
This service doesn’t require much only small capital and cleaning equipment. Networking and great cleaning service are the major things you should focus on when starting.
46. Website Development
Many business firms begin to emerge in Botswana’s market, and some would love to have their business online to attract their targeted customers.
Website development requires a lot of knowledge, mastering skills via using codes to develop a website.
47. Interior Designing
As they are a boom in the real estate industry here in Botswana, you can learn and nurture a skill on how to give mouth-watering and amazing interior design for various homes and offices.
The surest way to attract more customers to your business is by giving them the best and long-lasting interior design service.
48. Start a gym centre
As an experienced fitness trainer, you can start your own gym centre in Botswana, where you teach your customers how to be more physically fit using various forms of exercise.
49. Logistics Business
Haulage and logistics business is a goldmine business opportunity in Botswana because most heavy products will still need to be supplied and delivered to their various destinations.
You can start a haulage/logistics business with a mini-truck and expand your business when it starts generating a good amount of money.
Your service shouldn’t be limited to Botswana and other neighbouring countries where one can distribute goods by land transportation.
50. Software Developer
Most companies now hire software developers to help them create software that will be used to present what their business firm is all about and what they have to offer, whichever one, software are application meant to perform a specific format either in a video or app format.
This kind of skill is considered very lucrative and profitable because once you master the art of developing software, you might even get hired to work outside the shores of Botswana.
Launching your own startup in Botswana can be kind of challenging but still achievable. If it is your first time starting a business in Botswana, please don’t freak out.
As a person planning to start a business, you will face challenges and obstacles; you will utilize many resources (mostly the startup funding) before business success comes on knocking.
With all these small business ideas in Botswana explained above, you don’t have any excuse not to start your own business in Botswana.
My candid advice is to conduct your own research before embarking on any business of your choice.
To your business success!