In the last few years, the number of women entrepreneurs has been dramatically rising. In fact, women own 12.3 million businesses in the US alone, or approximately 42% of all US-based companies, and this number is only growing.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur but you don’t have any business experience, don’t worry — there are tons of different types of businesses you can start depending on what your expertise and passions are!
In general, service-based businesses tend to be the easiest to start, but there are also other options. So, without further ado, here are 25 of the best business ideas for women entrepreneurs to give you some inspiration.
Best 25 Business Ideas for Women
6 Internet-Related Service Business Ideas
1) Graphic Design
Description: If you like graphic design and know how to use graphic design programs, such as Adobe Suite, why not start your own graphic design business? These days, it’s easier than ever to find work as a self-employed freelancer, especially via sites like Upwork that connect businesses with people who have specific skill sets.
Start by building an online portfolio of some of your graphic design work. You can gather these work samples from projects you did in college, internships, and past jobs you’ve had. Then, start pitching your services to potential clients via online freelancing sites and LinkedIn. Once you get your first few clients, everything will begin to come together.
Resources:Here’s an educational article on the dos and don’ts of starting a graphic design business.
2) Web Design
Description: With so much business moving online, the demand for web designers is constantly growing. Even if you haven’t already studied coding and web design, there are many online courses that you can take to start learning, and some are even free. If you think web development may be your thing, you could also consider joining a coding bootcamp for an intensive course that will teach you all the skills you need to start.
To market your services, start by building yourself a high-quality professional website. List all the web design/development services you’re offering and start looking for clients via job marketplaces. Once you get your business going, you can even hire people to provide more comprehensive web services, such as SEO and social media management.
Resources:Here’s an article from GoDaddy about how to start a web design business, and here’s one about how to find web design clients.
3) Social Media Marketing
Description: Speaking of social media management, do you spend a lot of time on popular social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok? Then why not turn your passion for social networks into a money-making business?
Social media marketing involves creating content for a business’s social channels in order to get their brand seen and, ultimately, help generate sales. You could start by reaching out to small businesses who are inactive on social media and offering to manage their networks for them. Then, work with the brands who hire you to develop their social media personalities and content strategies.
Resources: Check out this article about social media marketing from HubSpot.
4) Content Writing
Description: If you have a knack for writing, becoming a self-employed content writer might be just the business idea you’re looking for. Like other freelance services, it’s relatively easy to find content writing clients via platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. LinkedIn is another great place to pitch your services, especially to marketing agencies that may be looking to contract writers.
To pitch clients effectively, you’ll want to create a writing portfolio to show them. If you have never written content professionally before, one way to get some samples online is to make a personal blog, which you can do via WordPress or Medium, depending on how much work you want to put into it. Then, publish some well-written articles to showcase your writing chops and send them to potential clients as part of your proposals!
Resources:Here’s an article on LinkedIn about how to start a content writing business.
5) Editing & Proofreading
Description: Another writing-related service business you can consider is editing and proofreading. Many companies have content on their websites that could be better, or they have written things that they want to publish but need someone to proofread and edit.
Becoming a proofreader and editor is an especially great business idea if you hold a degree in English, journalism, or a related subject.
Resources:Here are some FAQs about professional proofreading and editing.
6) Virtual Assistant
Description: Virtual assistants are self-employed remote workers who help their clients do everything administrative, from scheduling appointments and booking travel to making phone calls and managing emails. The best part? You don’t even necessarily need a degree to become a virtual assistant.
With so many people working remotely, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down so many offices, the demand for virtual assistants is higher than ever. You can find people looking to hire virtual assistants on job boards and freelance marketplaces. Try to differentiate yourself from other virtual assistants by targeting a specific niche or offering additional, more specialized services.
Resources: Take a look at this article about how to start your own virtual assistant business.
4 Education-Related Service Business Ideas
7) English Teacher
Description: English teachers are another in-demand profession these days. There are lots of international companies, especially in Asian countries like China, that hire native English speakers to teach children their language online. In order to be able to charge higher rates, consider getting a TEFL, TESL, or TESOL certification.
Starting your own independent English teaching business can allow you a flexible schedule and be a lot of fun, mainly if teaching others is something that interests you. Keep in mind that you might have to work odd hours if you’re teaching people overseas.
Resources: Check out this article on how to start an online English teaching business.
8) Life Coach
Description: If you have certain life experiences that you think others can benefit from, consider starting your life coach business. You can market your coaching services via social media channels to gain clients. Offer different coaching plans and charge differently for group coaching or one-on-one coaching sessions.
Resources:Here’s an article about becoming a life coach.
Description: If your specialized life experience comes from a past career, you might consider starting a career coaching business. Career coaches help their clients understand their unique skills and set career goals in order to advance themselves professionally.
You’ll need an understanding of the different types of career markets out there in order to succeed as a career coach. A background in HR can also go a long way towards helping you build a successful career coaching business.
Resources:Here’s an article from Entrepreneur about career coach service businesses.
10) Online Tutoring
Description: Another business idea if you like teaching others is an online tutoring business. You can tutor people on any subject you have knowledge in, from math to social studies. Start by identifying one or more subjects you want to tutor in, then identify your target market, which could be K-12 kids or university students.
There are lots of online tutoring platforms you can market yourself through to start getting clients. Just keep in mind you’ll probably be working nights and weekends, which is when most students are free for tutoring.
Resources:Here’s a good article on how to start an online tutoring business.
4 Home-Related Service Business Ideas
11) Interior Design
Description: Do your house guests often comment on how perfect your home’s interior design is? If so, starting your own interior design business could be a good option for you.
Start by deciding what types of clients you want to target, such as luxury homeowners or business owners. You can narrow it down even further if you have a particular area of interest. For example, if you decide you want to be a commercial interior designer, you might choose to focus on interior restaurant design within that area of expertise.
Resources: Read this article to get some tips from professional interior designers.
12) Cleaning Business
Description: If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, a local cleaning business could be right for you. Publish ads for your cleaning services in local classifieds and online ads. You can also ask friends and family members to refer you to people they know. Once you get the ball rolling and have multiple clients, you can start hiring other cleaners to grow your business.
Resources:Here’s an article from Forbes about starting a cleaning business.
13) Personal Chef
Description: If you love cooking, consider starting your own business as a personal chef. Lots of people and businesses hire personal chefs for special occasions and events. You could even get hired onto a private yacht and sail the world, cooking for everyone on board!
If you don’t have professional training or experience working in a restaurant kitchen, consider attending a local culinary institute to gain more skills and certifications that can help you start your personal chef business.
Resources: Take a look at this article from Entrepreneur about what it takes to be a personal chef.
14) Pet Sitting
Description: Pet sitters are in high demand, especially in dense urban areas. People need someone to look after their dogs and cats while they're on vacation or at work, and you could be the one to do so!
Advertise your services in local classifieds, or sign up for a pet sitting platform, like Rover, to connect with local people who are in the market for a professional pet sitter or dog walker.
Resources:Here’s a guide to becoming a pet sitter or dog walker on Rover.
4 Other Service Business Ideas
15) Event Planning
Description: If the idea of helping make other peoples’ big days a success fills you with excitement, starting an event planning business might be right up your alley. Event planners plan, design, and execute parties, weddings, and other special events for private and corporate clients.
While you can study event planning, many successful event planners start their businesses without any formal education in the industry. You’ll need to be organized, good with people, and have an eye for design if this sounds like a business you’re interested in.
Resources:This guide from Entrepreneur has lots of helpful info on starting an event planning business.
16) Travel Planning
Description: If you’re passionate about travel, organized, and want to help others live out their dream vacations, travel planning is another excellent business idea. Travel planners find flights, help pick destinations, and sign people up for organized tours and activities, taking all the guesswork out of travel for people who don’t want to do the work themselves.
You can work as an independent travel agent to begin with, then consider starting a whole travel agency with employees as your business grows.
Resources:Here’s an article about how to start a travel agency.
17) Makeup Artist
Description: Do your friends and family ask you to do their makeup for special events and nights out? If so, you might want to consider starting your own business as a makeup artist.
Makeup artists can charge a lot for doing makeup for special events, including weddings, school dances, and even fancy Halloween parties. Ask some of your acquaintances to let you do their makeup for free and take lots of high-quality photos of the results to build a portfolio with which to market your makeup services.
Resources:Here’s an article full of handy tips for starting a makeup artist business.
Description: If you studied finance or accounting, being a professional bookkeeper may be a great business idea. Lots of people need help with their business accounting or personal finances, including taxes, so you can acquire a variety of clients to keep the money coming in.
You need some type of degree to do this business, so make sure you have that covered first. You’ll also want to choose a good accounting software program to make your job easier (QuickBooks is a good option).
Resources: Take a look at this article to see what all goes into starting your own bookkeeping business.
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7 Online Business Ideas
19) Start an Etsy Shop
Description: Whether you make homemade crafts and goods or you want to get into selling vintage items, Etsy is the place to do it. Setting up a shop on Etsy is easy - you’ll just want to put a little time into designing things like your shop logo and banner to make it one of a kind. Then, it’s just a matter of marketing your products via social media and online ads.
Resources: Read through this guide from Etsy on how to open an Etsy shop.
20) Build a Dropshipping Site
Description: A dropshipping site allows you to operate an ecommerce site without actually buying and holding any of the merchandise yourself. There are countless dropship suppliers with an endless variety of products, so choose a niche and build your site around it (Shopify is a great platform for dropshipping sites). Then, advertise your products through social media ads and start dropshipping them to customers around the world!
Resources: Shopify has this excellent guide on starting a dropshipping business.
21) Build an Affiliate Marketing Site
Description: Affiliate marketing revolves around mentioning certain items in website content and getting users to purchase them through special affiliate links, which are provided by brands and sites that offer affiliate programs. For example, Amazon has a huge affiliate program.
You’ll just need to determine a niche, create a site that revolves around it, and start pumping out content with affiliate links to get traffic and make sales. You make a percentage of every purchase someone makes through an affiliate link placed on your site.
Resources: Shopify comes through again with this handy guide to getting started in affiliate marketing.
22) Create an Online Course
Description: If you have extensive knowledge about something, someone out there will pay you to teach them about it. For example, if you know all about social media marketing, you could design an online course on that topic. Your course can include videos, articles, ebooks, and anything else that you think is helpful for users to learn from.
Once you develop your course, set up a website where customers can learn about your course and sign up for it. Then, advertise it via social media, online ads, and email marketing campaigns. Online courses can cost anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars.
Resources: Check out this article from Neil Patel about creating, marketing, and selling online courses.
23) Create Digital Products
Description: Digital products include things like ebooks, PDF guides, templates, and other digital items that provide some sort of value to users. For example, if you know how to design websites on WordPress, you could create paid WordPress site templates. Or, you might write an ebook about how to build a site on WordPress.
Depending on the type of digital products you create, you can sell them via your own site or host them on some kind of repository where users can easily find them. For instance, you can sell Kindle ebooks on Amazon.
Resources:Here’s an article from INC about creating and selling digital products successfully.
24) Start a Blog
Description: From hosted ads to affiliate marketing, there are all kinds of ways to monetize a blog. The key is to find a niche that you won’t get bored writing about and publish content consistently to drive organic traffic to your site.
For example, you might decide that travel is your niche, and decide to hit the road and write about your experiences. Once you build up traffic to your blog, reach out to relevant brands and ask if they want to pay to advertise on your site, or if they have affiliate marketing programs you can sign up for.
Resources:Here’s a comprehensive guide from Neil Patel about how to start a blog from scratch.
25) Start a YouTube Channel
Description: Another online platform that allows for monetization is YouTube. If you have a specific area in which you’d love to be a YouTuber, create a channel and start putting out high-quality videos about your chosen topic.
You can include paid advertisements in your videos as you rack up the views. Some brands may even reach out to you and ask to sponsor you in exchange for talking about or showing their products in your videos.
Resources:Here’s a blog post about how to become a paid YouTuber.
5 Things To Consider When Starting a Business
By now, you’ve hopefully been inspired by one or more ideas on this list of the top business ideas for women. But, before you decide on what business to start, there are lots of other things you should consider to help you determine the best route to go. Here are some of them.
Make sure that there is actually a need for your business. Many markets are oversaturated, so a big part of setting yourself up for success is choosing a niche for which there is a need.
No matter what your niche is, there will be other entrepreneurs in it, so try to set your new business apart from them in some way.
Not everyone’s personality is suited to every type of business. For example, if you’re introverted, you might not want to start a business that requires you to meet many people face to face. Instead, you might be better suited to a web-based business that you can build from your home.
4) Startup Costs/Funding
Many of the business ideas listed above are relatively cheap or free to start. But it takes time for any business to become profitable, so make sure you have the funds to support yourself while you grow your business.
Some of the businesses listed above have higher costs than others, as you’ll need to buy certain expensive equipment and supplies to get started. If you choose one of these businesses to start, make sure you can afford the equipment or can get funding from someone.
5) Business Structure
Consider how structured you want your business to be when you’re deciding what business to choose. Some of the options in this article are fairly informal and don’t require a lot of legal structure, such as the various freelancing service businesses.
On the other hand, some types of businesses may require you to formalize them in some way, perhaps by starting an LLC or a corporation. Make sure you know the legal requirements and the level of structure needed for any business you want to get into.