The number of women becoming entrepreneurs is growing. According to one study, women started 49% of new businesses in the U.S. in 2021, up from 28% in 2019. Now, women own more than 11.6 million businesses.
If you’ve been thinking of starting and running your own business, read on for profitable business ideas that you can explore. Let’s discuss!
Remote Business Ideas for Women
The pandemic ushered in remote work — and it’s here to stay. The good news is many online business ideas can happen on a freelance basis. You can be your own boss and even work part-time if that’s better for you. Here are a few small business ideas to consider.
1. Content Marketing
Content creation offers many ways to leverage your marketing skills and creative talents.
Look into freelancing opportunities like social media management, SEO marketing, and copywriting. You can also become a virtual assistant, proofreader, or freelance writer.
You can also start your own blog and make extra money while doing your full-time job. Bloggers make passive income from affiliate marketing and allowing ads on their websites. Just know that it takes time to get established and you may not see income right away.
2. Website Design
If you have experience with website design, you have plenty of opportunities to work for yourself.
There are almost 200 million active websites on the internet, and another 250,000 are created every day.
You can also pursue graphic design. Whether your strength lies in visual design or user experience (UX) design, use your portfolio to show off your coding skills and creativity.
If you don’t have experience with web development but want to learn, many resources can teach you everything you need to know. Some helpful websites include Udemy, Coursera, Codecademy, and The Odin Project.
3. Bookkeeping or Accounting
Bookkeeping or accounting is another great business idea for women (and it can be remote). Bookkeeping training is typically not intensive, so you can get started right away (even without prior experience). Both bookkeeping and accounting require a detail-oriented person who loves working with numbers.
Of course, you need a degree and a license to practice as an accountant. If you already have a license and prior experience, you can venture on your own. Offer your services to solopreneurs and small business owners to get started.
4. Run an Online Store
Opening an online store is another great option for women entrepreneurs looking for a business that offers flexibility and low startup costs. If you’re a savvy shopper with an eye for choosing the right products for resale, you can become a reseller on Amazon or eBay.
You can build your own website and sell from there, too. But going through an existing e-commerce site means it’s easier for customers to find you. Then, you can focus on selecting items to sell, taking quality photos, and writing clear product descriptions.
More and more people are going online to learn new concepts and skills, which opens many opportunities for women to share their expertise on certain topics. If you enjoy teaching, you can offer in-person or online tutoring to all levels of students.
You can also create an online course. Course platforms are available to build and sell a course, including Teachable and Kajabi. They also offer resources on how to structure and write course materials.
Personal Service Business Ideas for Women
Do you enjoy the idea of offering care to children or pets? Does a clean space bring you a feeling of accomplishment? If so, offering the following services can be profitable for women entrepreneurs.
6. Child care
The need for child care options is great. So if you’re organized, love kids, and can handle a little chaos, starting a home day care is an excellent business idea. You would need proper licensing and state-required permits to get started. And you won’t need a large capital to set up a welcoming place if you’re using a safe space in your home.
7. Home Cleaning Business
If cleaning relaxes you, turn your love for tidy spaces into a side business idea and get paid for it. You’ll need a reliable car to get you to gigs. Gather your cleaning supplies, and you’re set. Advertise through Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist to get your first clients. And if you do well, your client list could grow through word of mouth.
8. Animal Care
Turn your love of animals into a business idea. You can offer dog walking or pet sitting. Fur parents away on vacation or business trips need pet sitters to take care of their pets.
Depending on your services, you’ll pet sit at the client’s home or take the animals home with you. Check out apps like Rover to see how much others are charging and what a typical job looks like.
Creative Business Ideas for Women
With many ways to reach customers all over the world, creative home-based businesses are growing, as well. Here are a few ways to turn your hobbies into a business. These are excellent options for stay-at-home moms who want to be self-employed. You can even do one as a side hustle.
Design and sell your own line of jewelry. You can sell it through Facebook Marketplace or e-commerce sites like Etsy. Attending trade or craft shows is also a good way to market your products.
10. Arts and Crafts
If you like creating arts and crafts, you can make unique products to sell. Customers are always looking for handmade goods, such as home decor, embroidered goods, and upcycled items. You can sell your creations online, at marketplaces, or open a store.
You can also start a business if you enjoy knitting or doing any kind of needlework. Offer alterations like hemming, resizing, and repairing clothes, or create your own designs to sell.
Skill-Based Business Ideas for Women
Below are a few examples of businesses that may require specialized or learned skills. This may be a good time to pursue a skill you’ve always wanted to learn.
If you have an eye for detail and take amazing photos, a photography business might be the one for you. Aside from weddings, people hire photographers for all kinds of events (like prom and birthday parties). You can also hit up local influencers and event-planning businesses as steady clients.
13. Fitness Coach
As a fitness coach or personal trainer, you can help people exercise more and become healthier. Most people want to be healthy; they just don’t know where to start. So, you provide helpful advice, a workout regimen, and motivation.
You can also create a YouTube channel and offer fitness tips to beginners. You can add it as a way to attract customers or as part of your business model (since you can make money from growing a following on social media, as well).
14. Makeup Artist
Making someone feel good and beautiful is a great way to make money. As a makeup artist, you can offer your services for events like weddings and proms. You can also venture into more creative pursuits and do makeup for theater or movies.
Upcycling furniture and wood products has been an ongoing trend for a while now. It’s a collective effort to consume sustainably. So, if you’re an experienced woodworker, there’s a market for repurposed furniture, wood decorations, and other handmade products.
Restaurant-Based Business Ideas for Women
Show off your talents in the kitchen by joining the food service industry.
Of course, opening a restaurant is the foremost food-related business. You would need a sizable capital to buy or lease a space and get all the necessary equipment for a commercial kitchen. You must also abide by your state’s food safety and licensing requirements.
17. Food Truck
A food truck is your alternative to a full-fledged restaurant. You won’t need as much capital and you can serve your best cooking. It’s also a great way to test your recipes and see what your customers like.
18. Catering Business
A catering business is another way to enter the food business industry. Depending on the size of the jobs you want to accept, you can start cooking from home. You may need a commercial kitchen if you want to cater to bigger events.
To help your business stand out, you may want to explore catering for underserved niche markets like vegan or gluten-free foods. You can also offer services as a personal chef to make extra money.
If you’re a talented baker, there are many ways to build a business from your skills and creativity. You can open a bakery with a storefront, although you would need significant capital. You can also offer made-to-order baked goods for pickup or delivery and operate out of a certified kitchen. Similarly, you can make cakes for special occasions in your own home kitchen with the right licensing.
Brick-and-Mortar Business Ideas for Women
If you’ve always wanted to run the type of business that has a physical storefront, here are some ideas to consider.
Although online shopping is popular, a boutique can still be a great idea (especially if you live in an area with few options). Look for needs that aren’t being addressed by the current selection, such as slow fashion or inclusive sizing.
21. Consignment Store
If you know your way around clothes and brands, opening a consignment store could also be a great fit for you. As a start, you could cater to smaller markets. For example, you may choose only to accept children’s clothes, work clothes, or designer brands. Draw more customers by offering styling tips.
22. Home-Based Beauty Salon
The last business idea on this list is to transform one area in your home into a relaxing space for a home-based beauty salon. You can offer hair styling, lash extensions, or manicures and pedicures.
Get the proper training and licensing and you’re good to go. Always check your state’s requirements for permits and licenses before opening your door to customers.
How to Determine the Best Business Idea for You
To determine the best small business idea for you, start with the end in mind. What is your goal in starting a business? Is it to pursue your passion and interests? Is it to work less and spend more time with your family?
After you’ve defined your goal, the following questions can help you nail down a lucrative business idea:
- What skill set and experience do you have?
- What are your interests? What are your passions?
- What would you like to do?
- What would you like to learn?
- What problem do you want to solve?
- How much capital do you have?
Available Resources for Female Entrepreneurs
Starting a business can be difficult for entrepreneurs to navigate. Luckily, many resources can help you build a successful business.
To start, it’s always good to get to know your local communities. Check if your industry’s main trade group has a women’s section and a local group. In addition, the following organizations offer resources for women in business.
SBA's Office of Women's Business Ownership (OWBO): The Small Business Administration (SBA) established a separate office to help women entrepreneurs start and grow small businesses. OWBO’s programs provide access to credit and capital. They offer business training and counseling (like drawing a business plan) and marketing opportunities (like federal contracts for women-owned small businesses).
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO): NAWBO is an organization that represents the interests of all women entrepreneurs with chapters across the country. They organize educational meetings and networking events. Peruse their website for entrepreneurial training and resources.
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC): WBENC is a nonprofit organization helping women entrepreneurs grow their companies. They provide independent certification for women-owned businesses. The certification opens doors for business opportunities with major corporations.
Clarify Capital Makes Growing Your Business Easy With Business Loans for Women
Although female entrepreneurship is growing, you may still face an uphill battle with funding when wanting to start a business. Use this list as a starting point to help you discover your interests and generate more ideas. If you have a strong desire to join a male-dominated industry, definitely go for it.
At Clarify Capital, we help business owners reach their greatest potential. Don’t let a lack of capital hold you back. Contact us today to speak to a Clarify advisor and explore your funding options.