There are several reasons why the Philippines is called “Asia’s rising tiger.” The World Bank reports that its economy is expected to grow six percent in the years 2020 and 2021. A great start for the new year!

Keeping the economy buoyant are its strong private consumption, lower inflation, robust remittances, and increasing wages, it adds. 

Starting a business does not happen in a snap. Before doing so, you will need to go through a process of self evaluation as an entrepreneur, collaborate with your partners for the best creative small business ideas, do your market research, register the business, prepare a business plan, look for investors, and more. 

Are you looking to start a successful home business? Consider the Philippines as your playing field.

Assorted business desserts display

The booming business sector in the Philippines

In 2018, Business Insider listed the Philippines as one of the best countries to invest in. The business sector in Southeast Asia’s second-most populous country is booming, even until today. After many years of political upheavals, the Philippines is now headed toward “a complete transformation” of its economic and political system. 

With a population that you can find anywhere in the world, most working professionally overseas, it is one of the world’s most dynamic emerging economies, a good sign for business owners looking to seek business opportunities in the Philippines. 

Taxes are among its lowest compared to the rest of the globe, and aside from this driving force, there are industries that are recommended for investment while you are in this 7,107 island nation. These include:

  • Tourism
  • Manufacturing
  • Real estate
  • Construction
  • IT, BPO, and business services

Speaking of the IT industry, the Philippines also has one of the most active populations on digital media. It has a promising social media community, opening up new opportunities for small businesses and start-ups online. 

Top 10 business opportunities in the Philippines to consider 

Today is an ideal time to invest your money in the Philippines and there are various reasons for this. 

First, the country’s FDI or foreign direct investments are at an all-time high. Data show that from January to May 2018, there are around $4.8 billion worth of investments that came in, signifying a 49 percent increase from 2017. This creates jobs and increases standards of living. 

Second, it still enjoys a relatively high gross domestic product (GDP) at five to six percent in the present year, despite of course the decrease from a few years ago from 2013 to 2014. 

The incumbent government is also spearheading the infrastructure program called “Build, Build, Build,” and is expected to launch construction programs in the coming years. 

Aside from these, there’s a high literacy rate, not to mention a strong English-speaking population, skilled workforce, and rich natural resources. Here are the top 10 business opportunities to consider in the Philippines.

1. Online business

Signing in your social media pages will take you to a variety of posts that offer online business opportunities. In this nation, online and home-based business opportunities are among the most lucrative

This includes online retail, blogging, selling online courses, photography, and affiliate marketing, etc. Various testimonials show how people have become successful in these types of setup. 

Aside from these, interested entrepreneurs can also start freelancing businesses that are based online, writing business, SEO services, graphics design, and web development. 

Starting your first online business in the country is very easy. You must be able to identify your target market, find out about which product you are going to sell, creating a business plan, determining profitability, and looking for suppliers. Of course, the list will also include setting up your finances and building a website. 

2. Small business

How about launching a start-up? In the United States, around 70 percent of entrepreneurs are able to start their businesses at home. 

The top industries are business services, food and restaurant, health and fitness, general retail, and home services. 

A prime option would be a mobile phone loading business. It is one of the easiest businesses that you can put up even within your residential spaces. For as low as $40, you can get started as a load retailer. 

Cake shops are also making their way in the local landscape as a recommended small business to try. Others in the list include bill payment business, outdoor equipment rental, t-shirt printing, water refilling stations, and more. 

Cake shop
Credits: Wall Street Journal

3. Franchising

Franchising refers to a contract between two parties, the company and the individual, given the rights and the privileges to promote products under the trademark of the business. You can earn in these types of business especially if you invest in the Philippines, with projected returns at around 15 percent. However, it will depend on how much you will invest. 

It is also important to choose the best franchise company to work with. There is less risk investing in this type of business because you do not have to build a brand and a market since they are a;ready prepared for you. 

Enjoy perks that include working on an established brand, having a good business model foundation, training support, pre-launching assistance, great location, marketing support, and faster return on investment.

4. Classic sundry or ‘sari-sari’ store

Whenever the locals need to buy vinegar as ingredient to their kitchen cooking, they head over to a sundry store that also sells several consumer products without the buyer traveling to a grocery shop. 

“Sari-sari store” is the term used by Filipinos to refer to a neighborhood shop that sells everything you need from kitchen ingredients, hygiene products, biscuits and chips, cigarettes and spirits, and more. All of these without traveling outside their neighborhood. 

It still remains a classic choice for many Filipinos and foreigners alike who want to start their own business.

It does not require a huge capital to get started, and you can earn as much as $300 a day or even more. It also does not fade in popularity because millions of Filipinos are in need of these products for daily use. 

5. Food cart business

It does not have to be named after a huge company. Aside from franchising businesses, among the new business opportunities in the Philippines would be the food cart business.

 A booth can sell dumplings, burgers, fries, coffee, snacks, and even full meals and other food on sticks. It is a good strategy since they are more affordable compared to visiting fast food chains or ordering from a casual dining restaurant. 

Among the market include students and professionals working in business districts. You can find several of these lined up in Makati City, Ortigas, and Quezon City, three of the largest commercial urban spaces in the Philippines. 

Credits : Google Images

6. Insurance 

If you want to work for a multinational but at the same time, do business at your own pace and time, or independently, you can find opportunities selling life insurance. 

In the Southeast Asian nations, these insurance agents earn around 15 to 30 percent commissions from the premiums of their clients. Not only that, they also are given all-expense paid travels, allowances, and the potential to earn more than $1,000 a month or even upto $20,000 in five months. 

The product you will sell is also something that spans a lifetime, protecting the wealth of your clients and their loved ones. Interested agents are offered free training, access to events, and exclusive discounts to various retail shops, as well as special deals from the company’s products. 

7. Thrift shop

Thrift shops, or these stalls that sell second-hand goods including dresses, shoes, and bags, are the go-to stores of Filipinos who want to save money on these items. 

A thrift shop owner in the country earns anywhere between $20 to $300 a day. 

They call it “ukay-ukay” or a term that refers to several choices. 

To get started, you will have to prepare the necessary government registration and permits, as well as the finances to rent a space in a good location. You will also need suppliers for your racks, shelves, hangers, and storage boxes. 

Plus, you’ll have to set up a budget for the wages of the sales personnel. Store equipment like air conditioning units will be needed, considering the climate in the Philippines. 


8. Rice retail

Being a staple food and a primary source of income among Filipinos, rice is the most consumed food in the country. Business people would think of having this as the product of their ventures. 

Starting a rice retail store requires a capital of around $2,000. Plus, entrepreneurs should also be able to secure a permit and registration documents from the National Food Authority. It has offices in the capital city, Manila and in the provinces. 

Location is a major consideration for your rice retail shop. Choose main roads and nearby landmarks, and developing buildings. However, experts advise that there is a downside to selling rice. 

Be informed that rice can spoil easily in around a span of three months. To mend this, it is important to implement an efficient inventory method, not to mention maintaining a clean storage area. 

9. Airbnb rental

Property rental applications like Airbnb, which started in 2008, took the world by storm and since then have been well-loved by tourists and travelers, their prime markets. 

In the Philippines, local business-minded individuals have tried posting their properties and real estate units on Airbnb and offering them to the general public. This sources out from the massive real estate market that the country has, with several of its people purchasing properties and more buildings being constructed even until today. 

10. Pawnshop

Pawn Shops are companies and establishments that offer collateral-based loans or those that are secured by something of value. It is where many Filipinos head to if they need emergency funds. 

Among the mostly pawned items include jewelry, home audio equipment, cameras, and more. Pawnbrokers keep the item until the person has repaid the loan. The amount of the loan will be from a small fraction of the actual value of the item. 

Starting a pawnshop business in the Philippines may be categorized under franchising, but with the rising demand for their services, it will be a big deal if you miss this opportunity.  

Future outlook

Are you looking for business opportunities in the Philippines with a small capital? The future is bright for entrepreneurs should they want to start any of the top business opportunities listed above. 

The status of the local economy has never been better and is headed to be among the largest in Asia and in the world. You don’t have to earn a degree in business or become a well-educated investor to jumpstart these opportunities. If a common Filipino individual is able to find success in these business opportunities, so can you.