10 Profitable Business Ideas for Developing Countries

Developing countries are the ones who are in the process of growing to their full potential and reaching to the criteria required to be a developed country. There are numerous countries in the world that are in developing phase. Economy is the basic criteria through which the developing tag is put on a particular country.

Being a developing economy certainly means that there is lot to do when it comes to job creation, raising the standard of living, and providing basic amenities like education, road, transport, infrastructure and health. These countries also require lots of investment and business in order to cater to the needs of people.

Such countries are the favorite place for businesses to grow since there is a big market waiting there for the businesses to cater to their needs. If you are interested in expanding or opening your business in such developing countries then this article will serve as a guide for you. Some of the developing countries in the world include: India, China, South Africa, Peru, Turkey, Fiji, Russian Federation, etc.

Before you go into the business prospects you need to understand how businesses work in developing countries and how it is different from developed countries. Firstly, in most developing countries you will find interest rates for loan quite high.

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Secondly you have to struggle a lot when it comes to getting documentation, registration and office work. Thirdly, there is uncertainty to your business since the government mostly are not that great when it comes to supporting business and also the corruption and poor tax policies.

If you have made your mind to go further than here are ten business ideas that can prosper in developing countries.

Real Estate Business:

Before a country goes into developing phase it mostly remains an agricultural country or most of the lands remain covered with forest. But as soon as it starts to get into developing mode, agricultural and forest land is utilized to build rail, road, infrastructures, residential apartments, special economic zones, etc.

The land which were quite cheap to buy suddenly becomes costly. The best way to earn money is to go for real estate business. Buy some cheap land at places that are seeing new development work like installation of factory or business house. Then you can build residential apartments or office space and can sell or rent it.

Those who have been into this business in developing countries are now today billionaires. There is lot of money and support that comes from government given the huge demand for houses especially in urban areas that are epicenter of jobs and business.

Medicare and Hospitality Service:

Though medical field is a noble profession yet it is certainly a business. You can certainly go for opening pharmaceutical shops that sell medicines and other medical items. Since developing countries require a strong healthcare support your business will certainly see success since there is no shortage of diseases and patients in developing countries with poor hygiene.

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You can also try your hands in building standard hospitals or medical centers that can be profitable to both you and your customers. To be very frank, medical shops are doing extremely well in countries like India where medical sector is still very weak on behalf of the government thus people are required to buy most of the medicines from private shopkeepers who earn around 10-30% on medicines.

Education Sector:

There can’t be anything as flourishing as education sector in developing countries. Most of them in their growth stage prefer to spend lots of money on education. Especially the parents are ready to spend much money for their children’s education. There are many options for you to start your business. For example, opening a nursery or play school at small level or opening a book store that sells books for different standard for school level.

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There are many national and international level exams that are conducted in every country. To prepare many students join coaching institutions. One can also invest in this field since the return is very promising and the business is ever growing. There is no such educational institution which has seen downfall in the last few decades but has grown to multiple folds.

Textile and Fabric Business:

The day you grow rich the first change that can be seen is in your styling sense. Especially in developing countries, wearing good cloths is often seen as rise in standard and wealth. Most developing countries have seen the growth of international brands as those who have earned good sums have spent their money in buying good cloths.

Textile industry is also an ever growing industry since the requirement never dies. With the rise in craze for international brands one can cash in by opening chain stores of such international brands at various places.

Contract or Contract Building Business:

Since developing countries have an ever growing demand for infrastructure there is much need for standard contractors and builders who can construct various types of infrastructures. There are local builders and there are standard builders who take big government contracts of building roads, expressways, bridges and so on.

Based on your plan you can go for contract business since it is one of the most profitable businesses. Developing countries aim for enhancing their infra thus a lot of money is spent on infra building. If you are able to make good contacts within your area there is lot of profit out here.

Restaurants and Food Services:

What about a franchise of KFC or McDonald’s? Or you can open your own restaurant offering foods loved at that place. Developing countries have shown much interest in food and styling since people become much wealthier thus can afford food of their choice in restaurants.

Countries who have seen growth have also seen growth in food sector especially in restaurant sector. The growth of McDonald’s, KFC, Dominoes and other such food brands in developing countries have shown how people have opted for tasty food in their daily lives. A standard restaurant in a city never fails to give good returns given you offer tasty food and exemplary service at reasonable price.

Cosmetic, Beauty and Styling Business:

In 1990s, Indian girls bragged universal and world titles for beauty pageants that opened the gate for cosmetic products in India. Many attribute that in order to make cosmetic products a success, Indian girls were awarded such titles. The core issue here is, as people get enough money to live a luxurious life they spend good amount on pampering themselves.

The success of international cosmetic brands in developing countries have been an example. One can not only try their hands in cosmetics but also in opening beauty parlor, spas, and other such beauty enhancing stores. Where ever there are women there will be demand for parlors. It is not limited to women now but with men as well. Styling beards, hair trimming in various styles, facials have become common among men as well.

Visit this page to know more about the different procedures that can help you enhance your face.

Import and Export Business:

Most of the developing countries have been following market economy rather than socialist model thus relying fairly on foreign imports and exports. One can invest in import and export market since it has lots of return.

There are many sectors in which product is obtained by import or it is exported. You can become one such channel of importing and exporting goods. For this a good research, a great networking and investment is required. Apart from this, you need a good advisor to drive your business to success.

Waste and Scrap Business:

Developing countries are struggling a lot when it comes to sanitation and waste management in comparison to developed countries that have systematic channel for waste management and disposal. One can turn waste into money with just a small initiative.

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You can operate waste management and disposal business at city and town level by collecting wastes like plastic, paper, tin, glass, metals, e-waste, etc. and recycle them or send them to a big recycling center. If executed well, this industry is gold in itself since it will only grow with more development and growth. A little investment and sufficient space is all needed to start a business with some network to collect and then sell such waste.

Various Kinds of Service Providers:

To things that mostly comprises a business is goods and service. Most of the above business ideas are goods business but service providing business is equally essential for growth of any country.

 Many businesses have flourished way ahead through service providing. Some fields of servicing are: software solutions, cloud solutions, services related to IT companies, AC service provider, automobile service provider, cleaning services, food services, hospitality services, repairing services, and many more services are there that are growing at great pace.

Telecom service providers, internet service providers and computer service providers are one of the most successful service providers. One can try their hands in any of the services they wish for. Home delivery of food is another such common service. You can choose services based on the necessity, requirement and return expected.

The above ten business ideas are just a small list of business options available in developing countries. There is much more than this and for that you need a good research to find what these developing countries want.


1. What types of business are good for developing countries?

Profitable and sustainable businesses that have low startup costs and that provide needed goods and services to the local community are a great option for developing countries. Examples could include agricultural businesses, fish farming, handicraft making, tech companies, beauty products, recycling initiatives, and energy production.

2. What type of assistance is available to help me start a business in a developing country?

Depending on the country and type of business, there may be government-funded startup grants, microloans, or other funding programs available. Additionally, some countries may have organizations or committees that provide resources and support for entrepreneurs looking to start a business.

3. Are there any legal requirements I need to be aware of before starting a business in a developing country?

Yes, each country has its own set of laws and regulations that govern businesses and activities within the country. It is important to research the specific regulations and requirements of the country you are interested in starting a business in to ensure that you have all the information you need.

4. How critical is location when starting a business in a developing country?

The location of your business can have a significant impact on its success. Consider the needs of the local population and the accessibility of your potential customers to ensure that you choose the best location possible.

5. Are there any other organizations that can help provide me with additional resources and support?

Yes, organizations such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), The World Bank, and various NGOs focus their efforts on helping entrepreneurs in developing countries implement sustainable business models.

6. Is there any risk with investing in businesses in developing countries?

As with any business venture, there are always risks involved. However, there are also many opportunities for growth and success if you do your research and make informed decisions.

7. What types of businesses typically do better in developing countries?

Businesses that meet a need or provide a necessary service are often successful in developing countries. Additionally, businesses that provide job opportunities and foster sustainable economic development are often well-received.

8. What technological advancements can help provide a growth opportunity for businesses in developing countries?

Technology can play a major role in providing a growth opportunity for businesses in developing countries. Examples include the adoption of mobile payments, digital marketing, e-commerce, and 3D printing.

9. Is there a specific approach I should use when launching a business in a developing country?

Yes, it is important to understand the local culture, target market, and regulations when launching a business in a developing country. Additionally, it is important to develop a well-defined business plan and take the time to properly research your market.

10. What is the best way to ensure success when starting a business in a developing country?

The best way to ensure success when starting a business in a developing country is to create a business model that is tailored to the unique needs and challenges of the country. Additionally, it is important to build relationships within the country, foster a culture of accountability and transparency in the business, and invest in the necessary infrastructure to support continued growth.

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