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14 Small Scale Business Ideas for Women in India

sahil bajaj

Sahil Bajaj

Senior Specialist - Marketing @ Shiprocket

March 11, 2024

13 min read

Are you a woman who is passionate about building your own business? If yes, then a potential profit-generating business idea, patience, and hard work are all you need to change your life entirely.

The possibilities are endless when you look to start a small-scale business. There is no doubt that you will face some challenging obstacles along the way, but you must be sure to never give up on your goal. This article elaborates on 14 different lucrative small-scale business ideas for women that can make them a successful entrepreneur.

There are 63 million micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) in India, with about 20% being owned by women and employing between 22 and 27 million people. According to the Mastercard Index on Women Entrepreneurship(MIWE), India is ranked 57 out of 65 countries. Among 77 countries, India comes in at number 70 on the Female Entrepreneurship Index.

Small-Scale Business Ideas For Women

14 Profit Generating Small Scale Business Ideas For Women

Carving out your space in the business world can be a daunting task. You might need a push in the form of a solid idea to begin your journey. Here are some good business ideas for you to begin your career as a businesswoman:

Laundry Service: 

Cleaning clothes might not be the most luxurious-looking business, but is certainly one of the most lucrative business ventures you can invest in. The whole industry is underrated and it has great potential. The revenue generated in India’s laundry care market is expected to stand at USD 5.70 billion in 2024. The market is also projected to experience an annual growth rate of 4.12% between 2024 and 2028.

You must be sure to put in rigorous efforts and time to ensure that your business will take off well. In case you do not want to begin from the ground up, you can even choose to join a local laundry franchise. 

Food Service: 

In case you are someone who can cook well and knows how to put out delicious flavours on a plate, you can consider turning it into a business. The food service market in India is expected to reach USD 125 billion in 2029. The best part of a food business is that you can start it at any scale and you can be versatile in the type of business you begin. You can be a caterer or even start your restaurant. You can also choose to start a delivery service or a cloud kitchen. The perfect combination of hospitality and good-tasting food can help you gain a large audience creating a good business for you. There are several courses available today for you to begin a food business. 

Home Decor Product-Based Business: 

Home decor and creating cosy aesthetic interiors have gained great popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic. It has gained a lot of traction from the masses and is now one of the most lucrative businesses. With the growth of eCommerce businesses combined with the convenience offered by augmented reality, shoppers can now see how furniture will look in their homes before buying it. By choosing the right products to sell to your target audience and taking good pictures of your goods, you can easily establish a strong consumer base. To keep the investment minimum, you can start online and then eventually open your retail store in the future. The revenue of India’s home decor market is expected to reach USD 1.75 billion in 2024. It is predicted to experience an annual growth rate of 6.72% from 2024 to 2028.

Teaching and Mentoring Online: 

Several universities, elementary schools, and high schools are offering online courses after the COVID-19 pandemic and these are now the preferred modes as well. The market for remote teaching and learning is growing rapidly and this trend only seems to grow. From cooking to software development, anything can be taught online, making it the perfect opportunity for you to start a business without a lot of hassle. You can even sell recorded lessons for added revenue. Selling tickets for live-streaming sessions along with course material and mentoring can help you gain a little more cash. 

Pet-Care Venture: 

In case you are an animal lover, you can turn your affection for them into a lucrative business. In today’s world, majority of the working people often look for places to take care of their pets while they are away. You can begin a pet-care business to tackle this issue and make some money. When you say pet care, it can mean several options. You can be a pet walker, watch the pets for a whole day like a simple daycare, or even start a business for tasty pet treats. 12% of dog owners have an online treat subscription. There are several pet lovers in the world and you can create a strong team by reaching out to such people and kickstarting your business. India’s pet care market is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. It is expected to grow over 20% and cross INR 7500 crores valuation by 2026. 

Child-Care Services: 

Busy working parents often require a secure place to drop off their children before going to work, and you can take care of these needs for them. The demand for special childcare services has exponentially increased in recent years. It’s because more families are shifting to a nuclear family setup. While the size of the Indian preschool and childcare market reached USD 3.8 billion in 2022, it’s expected to reach USD 7 billion by 2028. You will need to purchase reliable resources to help you with this business, but such a business will be lucrative if you provide a good environment for the children. You can start small by simply reaching out to your friends and family and then branch out as you expand your business.

Blogging and Vlogging: 

Blogging and vlogging have become the two most popular side business ideas, particularly post-pandemic. There are several ways bloggers and vloggers earn money. These include affiliate links, sponsored content, and selling digital products. In case you decide to start blogging, you will require good writing skills. According to Indeed, you can make USD 64,846 per year as a blogger. Good speaking and video editing skills are what you’ll need if you plan on starting vlogging. Several people even take up blogging as an additional job for added income. You will have to select a niche topic for a blog or vlog and a hosting service accompanied by a free domain. You can choose your unique blog name and create your content strategy. You will have to put in some extra effort to promote your blog and update it regularly. 

Web Design: 

Web design holds great potential and it is rather simple to master. In case you already have the skills, you should most certainly consider turning it into a business. If you do lack the skills, you can take up a simple web design course that is easily available online and start creating simple web pages. It holds great potential and makes a tonne of money. The global market for web designing was expected to reach a staggering USD 41.8 billion in 2022. Moreover, it’s expected to grow even further, reaching a valuation of USD 92 billion by the end of 2024. Thus, with the right skills, web designing can be the perfect business for ladies with low investment. 

Mushroom Farming: 

Mushrooms are largely produced and consumed in India. There are mainly four main types of mushrooms cultivated in India. These include button mushrooms, oysters, paddy straw, and milky mushrooms, with button mushrooms accounting for 3/4th of the total mushroom production. As of January 2023, India ranked fifth in total mushroom production, producing 201,000 tonnes of mushroom. Farming and harvesting mushrooms can be a very lucrative business for you and you do not even need to invest a whole lot. You can even get a loan under the government scheme established especially to encourage women entrepreneurs. If you start with these four types of mushrooms, it can help you make extra money. Having temperature-controlled rooms is the major requirement to begin your business.  

Handicraft Business: 

Handicrafts are probably one of the most promising sectors for women entrepreneurs. Did you know that the handicraft industry in India is already dominated by women artisans? They comprise more than 56% of the total artisans. It has a lot of potential for growth and profitability. From jewellery to woodwork and clothes, there are several products that you can make and promote. Your capability, skills, convenience, and interest are all it takes. 

There are even government initiatives that can help you increase knowledge about the handicraft sector and strengthen your entrepreneurial idea. These initiatives include the National Handicraft Development Programme (NHDP) and the Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS). Authentic Indian handicrafts have a massive domestic and international market. They can also be sourced from rural areas and sold online or in retail shops. Thus, handicrafts are a lucrative business idea. 

Professional Organising Business: 

Professional organisers offer a wide range of services from creating functional wardrobes to organising a room’s setup. They enable you to manage time, resources, and possessions better. These services have tremendous demand in urban areas. Although this idea might seem unpopular, it is slowly gaining popularity and is about to enter the realm of quality service needing immediate attention. By beginning such a venture, you can establish your business without being paralleled by other brands in the market. The lack of layers in this area might pose an advantage to you. 

Social Media Influencer: 

Did you know the global market for influencer marketing has more than tripled since 2019? It reached USD 21.1 billion in 2023 and the market size is expected to get even bigger, reaching a staggering USD 24 billion in 2024

Social media has taken the world by storm and has changed how the world functions. You can be a part of this revolutionising change and make a buck out of it. Women can use their personal preferences to build a brand and a strong following on different social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. You can also monetise your content through posts that are sponsored. If you are fortunate enough, you may also get a chance to collaborate with big brands and even celebrities. If you’ve got what it takes to be a social media influencer, all you need is a smartphone and an account on any major social media platform

Event Planning and Decoration: 

Event planning is a brilliant and lucrative market. Although it requires a big investment in the later stages, it can be extremely profitable. It allows you to showcase your creativity and talent in a creative method that is pleasing to the eye. The key is to stand out from your competitors and create your name in this industry. You will also require more help as you scale up your business and hence you must create a strong team that shares your values and has the same creative strategies. 

In India, the event planning and management industry can be categorised into several segments. These include sports, meetings, conferences, live events, weddings, exhibitions, etc. The market size of the wedding and other segments was the highest at over INR 4 trillion in 2023. If that’s not enough of a reason to convince you to start your event planning and management business, take a look at how big the industry is going to be in the future. The event and exhibition market size in India is expected to reach USD 5.23 billion in 2024, and USD 7.80 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 8.31% during the forecast period.

Nail Art Studios: 

It is a simple small-scale business that has a mass filling. Those who possess a passion for beauty and fashion can make their entrance into this world. You can start by offering simple services like pedicures and manicures and slowly expand the service you provide as you scale up your business. 

In India, the revenue in the nail art market is expected to reach USD 1.11 billion in 2024. Moreover, this sector is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 2.39% between 2024 and 2028.

The investment you need to start a nail art studio is minimal and you can market this easily through different social media platforms. Trendy designs with attractive colour palettes are what you will require in the initial phases. Also, the skill to perform the nail art. You will need to create some of your unique designs to help you gain the attention of your target audience. 

Conclusion

Starting a small-scale business can help you gain additional income and make substantial profits. Women entrepreneurs are slowly becoming the backbone of the economy. They require some encouragement and support to turn their creative ideas into a profitable business. The aforementioned ideas are simple ones that allow you to spread your wings. You can turn a well-planned business plan into a lucrative one. Several entrepreneurs started small and made it big and you can certainly be one of them. Begin today with courage and conquer the world.

How can I start a profitable business with low investment?

You should use the time you have to identify what you’re passionate about, create the right business idea, validate the business idea with research, and give it a name. Once done, create a business plan, decide your budget, identify your finance sources, understand licenses and regulations, identify the software you’ll need, and create your product or service.

Are there any government schemes available for women to start a business in India?

Yes, there are several schemes available in India for women entrepreneurs. These include the Annapurna Scheme, Bharatiya Mahila Bank Business Loan, Mudra Yojana Scheme, Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana Scheme, Dena Shakti Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana, Udyogini Scheme, Cent Kalyani Scheme, Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme, Stree Shakti Yojna, and Synd Mahila Shakti Scheme.

What are the benefits of starting a business with a low investment?

The benefits of starting a business with low investments include lower overhead, more flexibility, less risk, quick results and profits, and personalised services. More importantly, you can keep doing what you’re passionate about.

How can I get funding for my small business?

There are several ways to get funding for your business. These include loans, small business grants, angel investors, loans from friends and family, vendor financing, crowdfunding, and many more.

Can I protect my idea for a small business?

Most business owners are not aware of how to legally protect their business ideas. Though the right one will depend on the type of your business, there are some common ways to protect your business idea. These include copyright, trademark, patents, confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), and more.

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