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20 Small Business Ideas in the Philippines for 2014

Posted by Manny on December 24th, 2012

Making a living in the Philippines  can be hard if you are only looking in one direction, and that is, employment. With so much unemployed people in this country, and the age factor, its getting harder and harder to get employed. There are also very few industries in this country and so many new graduates that are seeking employment and most of them end up on the job they don’t like. Most of them end up in supermarkets and department stores as shelf stacker and cashiers, some are call centers agents and fast food crew. If you are an OFW, it’s a fact that working abroad is not permanent and unless you plan to migrate to that country, like for example, in Canada a promise land to many Filipinos and where many have already migrated to escape poverty in this country, you should also be thinking on how to invest your hard earned money through a business.

I’m not saying that creating a business is a sure way to earn a living. There is a blog I read encouraging people to create a business and be an entrepreneur and not telling the truth about the hardships and uncertainty on creating a business. What I can say is, it is a gamble and you are not sure if you will succeed or not. The fact is, 9 out of 10 businesses fail. But on the contrary, if you are courageous enough, has lots of confidence, passion and optimism to succeed, here are the 20 businesses ideas you can choose:

1) Rice retailing business – since rice is our staple diet and a necessity, it is hard to think even one Filipino will not buy rice. Every Filipino eats rice unless you are born and living in Canada or USA, your staple diet is bread. Or if you live in the remote province where people can’t afford rice and makes sweet potatoes, corn or cassava as their staple diet. Starting this business does not require a lot of capital and a minimum of 30k is enough but some rice sellers advise that a capital of 60k is the minimum to make the business profitable. Aside from getting a business permit, you also need to secure licences in DTI for single proprietorship or SEC for partnership or corporation and also a licence from NFA.

Rice Selling Business

2) Pandesal making business – or should I say set up a bakery business but what I have in mind is selling only pandesal. So why pandesal only? Pandesal is a common bread eaten at breakfast and it is second to rice which is a staple diet. It can be also eaten as merienda or snacks. You don’t need to learn baking various bread and cakes on a bakery you will set-up so you can concentrate on one product. But just be sure your pandesal is quality bread and not selling it just for profit because it is the taste and quality people are after. I have a neighbor whom I bought pandesal in the morning every other day and I asked his helper how many pandesal they sold every morning, he said 1,000 to 4,000 pcs.

Pandesal Business

3) Food Cart business - many Filipinos are very interested going into this business and most of them, when they hear or see a food cart, what they have in mind is “franchising”. But come to think of it, why will you franchise a food cart that is not well known or never heard of? Many people have the wrong perception of food cart business so many food cart fabricators victimize innocent people telling them to franchise their food cart for a very low price with no royalty fee but their food cart are not popular or well known. So you will end up selling their product which they have sold you at a higher price. You are literally selling their product, you are now their salesman and not a business owner and you will have to pay their franchise fee. But on the contrary, if you plan to have food cart business and cannot afford a well known brand with a pricey franchise fee, you can set-up your own food cart and your own brand by contacting a food cart fabricator. Just be careful not to contact those who sell franchised food carts, only those fabricators who makes made-to-order food carts. Who knows, if ever your business became popular someday, you will become a franchisor to many people who wants to franchise your business.

Fried Chicken Food Cart

4) Meat shop business - meat shops are common in wet markets. You can set up a meat shop business there side by side with other many meat shop owners but what I have in mind is setting it up away from the wet market where there is less competition. You can put it where there is no meat shop existing in the place but be sure the location has enough foot traffic.

Meat Shop Business

5) Tarpaulin printing business – there is a good market for this business and there are various ways a printed tarpaulin can do. One very popular application is on food carts. Printed graphics on tarpaulin is very attractive and it is tough too. On other occasions like birthdays, anniversary and even on a funeral tarpaulin is used. political candidates on local and national election also used printed tarpaulin on their campaign.

Tarpauline Printing Business

6) CAD plotting business – this is a very specialized business and only caters to architects and engineers. A plotter is very similar to a printer and the only difference is a printer can only print letter size or A4 size papers whereas a plotter can print very large paper size. It plots designs and drawings made by an architect or engineer on a drafting paper where sizes range from a very small 9 x 12 inches to 36 x 48 inches.

Cad Plotting Business

7) Ukay-Ukay business – for those not familiar with this business, it is selling used clothing. The used clothes are imported from other countries. Some of the clothes are overrun (still brand new but didn’t pass the export standard) but still good. The reason why many Filipinos patronize it is because of the cheap price. It only cost a fraction compared when buying in department stores or boutique.

Ukay Ukay Business

8) Street food business – Isaw or grilled intestines is the most popular street food among Filipinos. There are also many kinds of street food business that are popular. Fish ball, kikiam, cheese sticks, squid balls and chicken balls that you can buy in small packs ready to fry. There is also other street food business that you have to process your self before grilling on charcoal like the pig intestine or isaw, chicken intestine or IUD, pig ears or walkman, pork blood or betamax, chicken head or helmet and chicken feet or adidas. Kwek kwek and tokneneng are also very popular. These are shelled boiled eggs and coated with flour batter mixture and then fried. The only difference between the two are kwek kwek is quail eggs where tokneneng is duck egg or chicken egg.

Pinoy Street Food

9) Tiangge - a small rented space and seller usually sells dry goods. This is not new and the word “tiangge” is just our local term of the English word “Flea Market”. The reason why it is very popular among Filipinos is because of the very cheap price of the items sold and it was already stereotyped as “cheap items”. The usual place you can see them are parking lots or malls.

10) Online selling business – online selling doesn’t require anyone to be a computer geek in order to sell online. There are many online classified ads and auction sites that you can use for free. The most popular are eBay Philippines and You can also create an online shop for free and is the choice of many Filipino online sellers. There is no need to create an eCommerce site to set up you own online shop because there are many websites that offer free posting of your items for sale like websites I’ve mentioned before.

11) Cellphone loading business - the good thing about this business is you can start with a small capital. The reason why is because of the recent technology of eloading, a universal type of loading where you can sell load on all telecom networks including prepaid game cards. There is one universal loading I know, the Vmobile Technologies load E extreme that you can try. Unlike if you want to be a direct reseller of big telecom companies like Smart, Globe or Sun Cellular, you need a big capital and to start an eloading business.

12)  Shoe and bag repair business - there are tons of replica shoes and bags coming from China, and because of the cheap price, almost everyone can afford replica designer bags in the fraction of the price of the original. But because of the poor quality, these products are easily damaged and it is a waste of money if they will throw it away. So the easy option is to go to a repair shop.

13) Laundry and dry cleaning business - sometimes is it more practical to get the service of a laundry shop than hiring a laundry maid to get the job done specially if you only have few clothes. There are also some clothes or comforter that cannot be washed with an ordinary washing machine and if the clothes or bed sheets need to be dry cleaned, you certainly need a laundry shop.

14) Fruits and vegetable store – these items, although perishable are also one of our basic needs to survive and be healthy. So next to rice, our staple diet, people need to eat fruit and vegetables too.

15) Barber shop or Beauty Parlor business - although you can live without having a haircut, and if you plan to become a hermit, a bum or just a hippie or live under a rock for the rest of your life you don’t need a barber or a beautician. A good reason why it is a good business is because people needs a haircut every 1 to 2 months to look good and be comfortable. As for me, although I’m not vain or very conscious on my hairstyle, I’m not comfortable if I will not  go to a barber shop at least every 2  months. I admit that there are lots of barber shops and beauty parlor sprouting every where and there are lots of competition already but since this type of service is a necessity and consumable, there are still many customers who needs this service.

16) Selling native delicacies - there are many kinds native delicacies you can sell and the amazing part is many Filipinos love to eat kakanin. Some of the kakanin or native delicacies are suman sa ibos, puto, cuchinta, bibingka, halaya , sapin-sapin, biko and maja blanca. The only disadvantage of this business is the goods are perishable and the kakanin should be sold within the day. Some native delicacies have longer shelf life like barquillos, piaya, otap, puto seko and other dried goods.

17) Personalized T-shirt printing –  I saw this business in a mall and it’s doing great because I see many customers availing of the service. Technology made it possible to make personalized t-shirt printing in a few minutes. You only need a computer, Adobe Photoshop and a t-shirt transfer paper and presto! you already have a t-shirt printing business.

18) Selling washing machine and electric fan parts – these two appliances are the most basic thing a human being, or more specifically a Pinoy needs to live more comfortably. Since we live in a tropical country, the temperature is very warm and electric fan is the only choice for most of us. And for washing our clothes, we need a washing machine.

19) Affiliate marketing – do you wonder why there are many websites and blogs on the internet? why are they making personal websites or blogs? do they make them all for passion or hobby? I admit that many started making website and blog because they do it for passion but some people dream of making it big someday. If you are a blogger and only using free hosting sites like or, you might not think of any monetary gain because blogging is free. But if you are paying for the hosting and have your own domain name registered with a annual fee, then you might as well think on how to earn money through your blog to pay for the expenses. The most common method of earning money through websites or blog is affiliate marketing. You promote other people’s product or services and you will be paid a percentage of the sales made through your blog or website. The more visitors a blog has, the more chances of earning money.

20) Photography -  if you love taking photos, why not level up to a professional level and invest a DSLR camera? a good training is also required and of course a talent for taking good shots. There are various ways this business can offer services. On wedding, birthdays, anniversaries and other unforgettable occasions. You will also need a computer and a photo editing software  to enhance the photos you created. And if you really want to level up to the highest level, why not try aerial photography? Technology has brought the technicalities and expenses of aerial photography. You don’t need to hire a real airplane or helicopter to accomplish the task that requires hundreds of thousands of pesos just to take an aerial shot. You know how expensive it is to hire a real aircraft. But as I’ve said, technology has made it possible to bring down the cost. The answer to that are radio controlled airplanes or helicopters. Cameras are mounted to those R/C aircraft to take aerial shots. R/C helicopters makes a precise aerial shots than airplanes but the best R/C aircraft to take aerial photos or videos are quadcopters and multirotor copters. A more advance type of helicopter with four or more propellers.

Hoping that the business ideas I’ve shared has helped you decide on what business to start this coming year. Please also share this on other social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

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Posted by Manny

Manny Montala was an online entrepreneur who enjoys blogging about entrepreneurship and gathering information for his blog to help budding entrepreneurs. You can also reach him on twitter: this post? Why not share it with your friends on facebook? Click the facebook share button!

67 Responses to “20 Small Business Ideas in the Philippines for 2014”

  1. jude says:


  2. Ador says:

    if i put up a small bisiness like fresh sea foods and meats how much will be the minimum capital?

  3. Kaiten Sushi says:

    Online selling business is becoming more and more popular because you can sell a lot of items even without brick and mortar. These are great ideas!

  4. Manuel says:

    @Ador I think there is no minimum capital requirement on setting up this business. But you should start small because you are still in the testing phase and you will also experiment if the location of your business is good.

  5. Red Rodriguez says:

    I;m very much interested with online selling busness just like others selling items on sulit or ebay but I know where to start getting those items. are there any seminar going on so I will know how to start my own online business. thanks. red

  6. Borys says:

    Try MLM

  7. Manuel says:

    @Red Rodriguez Most sellers in sulit and are selling made in china products. But one very big problem when you are a small time importer is the bureau customs. They will tax your parcel with very high amount. For example, if you bought an item costing only 1,500 pesos including shipping, you will pay approximately 800 pesos. Some hire brokers but you have to pay the broker so you should be investing a lot of money and importing large quantities of items.

  8. YOWD says:

    Nice idea Manny… I agree with your online business tip. Running an online business is very very low maintenance or no maintenance at all depending on your situation. I started my online business way back 2010 when i came home from the UK. I started with ZERO capital, yes we invested nothing. Although of course you need to have your PC or Laptop and needless to say, an internet connection. For us it was ZERO because we started only RESELLING other big online shops items. The key here is “DIVERSIFY”. Do not focus on certain item only i.e clothes. Maybe you’ll have the whole idea if you visit my shop. Check out You Order We Deliver :-) cheers and more power!

  9. AJ says:

    @YOWD – Can you give more idea about online business. What is the name of your shop? website?

  10. jOE says:

    Hi, I’m working abroad for almost a years i felt that I’m not happy to be as employee i set to my mind to build or establish small business once i have enough funds. now i’m starting to think a good business and seeking for a business partner too… anyone who are interested please let me know… thanks.

  11. Tsada Speaks says:

    Great ideas you have there. Just wanted to share. We have a gen. merchandise store and unlike other sari-sari stores, we never ask for an additional 2 pesos when someone buys a 10 peso load. The catch there is, everyone who knows keep on coming (repeat customer is the key). And honestly, we are still earning even if we don’t ask for an additional. Thank God we are able to sell an average of 10K per network per week.

  12. Bryan says:

    For me, rice retailing is smart idea. I hope someday I could start this small business.

  13. Edson says:

    Guys i need to find manufacturing diapers,babywipes,liquid soap,powder and etc help me. Am planing to open a small sotre

  14. tony says:

    Edson i am selling detergent powder as a wholesaler. Ariel oxybleach is only 70/kilo and surf tawas is 55/ kilo. Contact me if you are interested free delivery around metro manila

  15. yeye says:

    Anybody here who knows where i can get baby items as used already. I heard that Japan is bringing some of these used items here in phil. Let me know?

  16. Edson says:

    Guys AM selling baby diapers,liquid soap,fabric,tissue,baby wipe and powder soap wholesale. If any interested just email me

  17. Princess Patsy says:

    A very helpful article. I am one of those who got crazy with quality ramens :) you might want to check this new business by San Miguel Corp. KambalPandesal

  18. Veronica says:

    Hi Joey, If you are still interested with partnership let me know. You can email me at

  19. Vina says:

    Hi, I am an OFW and i have been planning to start a small business in my province. I am thinking of starting up a food cart business but since i have no experience and idea on how to start one, I am planning of franchising. Is it a good idea and can you recommend any good franchising company? Awaiting for your reply.

  20. grace says:

    I am planning to invest..a rice retailing in tagum city can anyone suggest me sa suppliers

  21. imee says:

    i am interested to start a rice business and i need a partner. lives in pangasinan.

  22. Manny says:

    @Vina My only suggestion is to make a little research first on the location and what kind of food business that will have a good chance to prosper in that place. Consider also the competition. If there are too many food carts already selling what you have in mind, I think you should reconsider. With regards to franchising, franchising on an unpopular brand is risky, it’s just common sense. On the other hand, a popular brand is expensive and it will also depend on the location if the business will survive or not. There is also no assurance if the popular food cart business brand will survive and prosper even if the location seems perfect. What I can only say is just choose between the two, as I’ve mentioned above, to try franchising on an unpopular brand and popular brand.

  23. Clara says:

    How to manufacture animal feeds? For pigs to make them grow healthy, chicken,and fish.

  24. Arra says:

    San ba y0ng warehouse ng mga fo0d pRoducts like butter co0kies, chips ahoy, pretzels, stik-o, wala pang tatak?

  25. tristan says:

    im in laguna and nagpaplano akong mag tyo ng bakery at nangangailangan ako ng idea at konting tulong sa paghahanap ng pwesto… sana. my mkapag bigay ng idea.. salamat

  26. john says:

    hi im jhon ,tga valencia bukidnon ako ngaun,,planning to start a small business, nag hahanap po ako ng wholesaler ng chicken sa malaybalay or sa valencia,,nag hahanap po ako ng mura ksi starting pa lng po ako mag business, hope meron po ako mkilala d2, here my number 0906 130 6148,

  27. sofia says:

    Hello! taga U.S. po ako. .gusto ko lng po malaman kung magkano po kung mag oopen ako ng cellphone loading business? Salamat. .

  28. Manny says:

    @sofia It depends on the telecom companies like Smart, Globe or Sun Cellular on how much is the required capital. You can also try some companies offering universal loading.

  29. Weezee says:

    Good idea and thanks for sharing. However, everyone should remember that all of these are ideas only. We should have our own way of putting up business. If you have no passion/strong desire on business that you’re up to, then you’re on the wrong direction.

  30. Clara says:

    I like to start a rice mill. How much it cost me to start. I have already my own lot.

  31. Yeng says:

    Hello po, I am planning to put up a business. Sino po alam where makakamura bumili ng RICE at wholesale na manukan. Pampanga po ako. Please reply po kayo sa email ko Thank you po

  32. she cruz says:

    how can i get this ukay ukay business? where can i get the items? really need your reply asap… thanks and God bless.

  33. Madelyn says:

    Hi good day! I juz wanna share my upcoming small business idea which is frozen foods,may I ask everybody’s comment or suggestion with regards to my business?thank you and im waiting a response!

  34. Jade Decastro says:

    Hello,thanks sa mga helpfull ideas dito..for me rice retailing bzniz is mas ok..

  35. winston says:

    Ok din naman sa facebook gawin yung online selling diba? Sayang din naman kasi tong connection ko atleast mapagkikitaan.. maagkano kaya dapat ipapatong ko sa mha items na ibebenta ko? More on household products kasi and home improvements mga idea kong ibenta..

  36. Abby says:

    san po pwede makahanap ng supplier ng bigas and how much po capital mgretail ng bigas thnx po :)

  37. Myra says:

    Hi gusto k sana mg open ng maliit na business anu ba ang maganda at pag spa center na maliit mag kanu kaya ang capital tnx

  38. Zoilo cruz says:

    Hi im planning to go for small busines im based in makati but im originated in camiling tarlac im choosing either rice or meatshop or piggery but i want here in makati what do you think guys

  39. Zoilo cruz says:

    I need a partner this kind of business?

  40. S Logeswary says:

    I am keen to franchise my beauty salon in Philippines. Please advise procedure and cost.

  41. Inday says:

    Hello! i really find this article informative and useful. I’m planning to start up a small business but I am often held back by doubts because I’m not sure if I am allowed to sell stuff at age 16. Do I need a license (which I can get only when I reach 18) just to have a small crafts business? like selling things I make? Thanks!

  42. Lea baquilta says:

    Guyz ! I’m looking for manufacturing of baby’s diaper, wipe,liquid soap etc.pls cntact mobile no.09126101241

  43. mashepa says:

    hi, gusto ko po sana malaman kung magkano aabot (kahit estimate lang po) pag magstart ka ng business gusto ko po yung idea na UKAY-UKAY since mahilig naman ako dun…

  44. bryan says:

    I like this article. Rice retailing business is good I think. Lahat ng pinoy kumakain ng bigas..

  45. Toniesjv says:

    I started my ukay ukay and placed it sa garage lang ng house namin since I didn’t want to spend much. My items however I got from my siblings living in the US, Canada and England. Eventually nakaipon ako ng items and so far since sa subdivision lang namin ako open I average about 500 pesos a day for sales. Mga 13k per month if I sell 6 days a week. I heard from my helper ang bagsakan talaga ng ukay costs like 4k to 6k mixed items na naka pack. I am just not sure ilang items. Hope this helps.

  46. pao says:

    Hello, tulad nyo gusto ko din mag start ng business pero sa murang halaga lang, every year pag ganitong malapit ng mag christmas, kadalasan bumibili ako ng mga branded clothes at pants then i reresell ko, halimbawa ang isang pants pag marami akong bibilin mas nakakadiscount ako from 500 to 450 then naibebenta ko sya ng 600

  47. Manny says:

    Thanks Pao for sharing your experiences and to others who are commenting here that are sharing their experiences.

  48. messythea says:

    hi nagstart na kami ng business sa tshirt printing kaso di kami makakuha ng pwesto. May idea po ba kau if san pwedeng makakuha ng around 5k lang na pwesto?

  49. Katrina says:

    I really really want to have small business.Can you help me .. what is the basic process on rice retailing. any suggestion on rise supplier. I also need a partner,, please email me at

  50. jan2x says:

    Guys ayo Kong mag networking hindi ako pinlad mlki pera nwala sakin,, ok lang ba sari saristore at ukay2x dto ako middle east..blak ko magngkat ng used dresses dto sa middle east..tnk u po GOD BLESS ALL,,,,,

  51. Faye says:

    Hi! Would like to know where to get a secondhand baking oven for pandesal and how much? Would like to put up a pandesal store in our house. Kakapagod maging empleyado eh…Please email me at Thank you.

  52. may says:

    very good ideas. thanks for sharing

  53. bini O. says:

    Good day OFW ako I have plan to put up business in my province (Tarlac city)but I have no ideas can you help me give me an idea on how to start business I have a capital of 1M may I know what kind of business that suit on my capital tnx

  54. Jerry says:

    Hi Manny. Let me share what I am doing as a side business from home. I sell wall vinyl decal designs for interior home décor. And I sell everything online. I didn’t know much about the business until I did my research online. I learned everything I could on YouTube and on vinyl forums – There is TONS of information. I eventually learned everything I needed to start my small business from home and selling online. I loved it so much, I eventually started explaining the whole business online to people who wanted to start their own wall decal business. The site is called Wall Decal Business. The web address is It is all free information… nothing to join. Check it out. It has been a nice experience for me starting my small business from home, and I do make a nice income for my expertise with wall decals. But,like everything else, only consider the wall vinyl decal business IF this is something you think sparks your interest. In the end, passion is everything! Much success!! I thought I would share this with you. Much success!!

  55. nathalie says:

    hello! tanong ko lang po kung saan bibilhin lahat ng formula para sa dishwashing liquid na naka post. kasi gusto ko po magstart ng negosyo kaso wala akong idea saan to bibilhin meron po ba ito sa grocery or botika. Maraming Salamat po!

  56. ruffy says:

    Ok ba ang bar business?.suggest pls or comment. May plan kasi akong magtayo dito sa davao kaso lng may liquor ban kami dito 1am til 8am. Mag go go go pa ba ako?

  57. Sara says:

    How do I start a cell card loading business for all networks. What is the start up capital and I also want to attend a seminar to learn how to start. Thank you

  58. Delia Ventura says:

    Good day! I need your expertise regarding putting up a Hot Pandesal bakery in our subdivision, like a good recipe for pandesal, where to buy the supplies and equipment needed, and others. Thanks for your usual kind support.

  59. jeffrey says:

    Hi, messythea at s mga my idea s t-shirt printing pwede ko b malaman kung mgkano capital m s t-shirt printing gusto ko kc mg business din nyan,. At kung ano mga pwede ko pgaralan kung sakali. Email m n lng ako para mbasa ko agad salamat

  60. jha says:

    Hello po. Ng iisip po kc aq ng mgandang negosyo. Gusto po mg online shop pro hnd q alam f san aq mg start. Madami po pumapasok n idea pro ano po b un ok s online shop? And san b q pede mamili n mura lng pro mgandang klase. Salamat.

  61. jemzy says:

    hi! I would like an online selling business anyone can give me some info where I can get or buy not so expensive products to sell online? any suppliers or dealers I can contact? im just a starter please help me. thanks and god bless! u can send me emal.

  62. GING says:

    hi i wanted to start a solar energy business where we can get the seminar and information about solar power in the phils thanks

  63. Lurenze says:

    hi I would also like to started my own small business. I find this site very informative. Can someone tell me which is the best product to sell in online selling? Hi YOWD can you please give us the site where you sell your goods

  64. joselito says:

    tnx for all ideas of business…

  65. Ceasar says:

    I have a tarpaulin printing business located in Quezon City. Its doing well, especially when election comes. Upfront capital investment was indeed large at the start, but we are slowly pickup up. Apart from my actual store, we also make sure to post to online classified ads site such as and It helps with generating extra sales and exposes my market outside of QC. The ideas provided here are really good, but most must have to think how to differentiate to succeed.

  66. Rolando V. Francisco says:

    Hi! I have a huge source of forest fresh bee honey and I want to have regular market contacts retail or wholesale. Can your site be of help? thanks pls txs me at 09175830351, God bless.

  67. Catherine says:

    @Admin Manny & @Ceasar,I’m interested in putting up a Tarpaulin business in Davao and I would like to ask you ideas on how to start this business. What are the things to consider? like Trainings? equipments? software? I would highly appreciate if you could help me po. Maraming Salamat. :)

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