The Kasi was once a visual representation of the forced segregation that plagued South Africa. Although the racial demographic (almost entirely non-whites) still remains, it has now become a community of opportunity, filled with entrepreneurial business prospects and economic growth potential.
This has created the opportunity for Kasi locals to drive their own economic activity, keeping the money circulating within, in an effort to grow the local economy.
Of course, external funds still make their way into the Kasi in the form of tourism and the like. As such, we’ve decided to show you how you can also become a Kasi business success story. Here they are:
29 Kasi Business Ideas
More and more, in recent years, we are seeing a growing interest in townships from visitors coming from abroad. Kasi tourism is on the rise and a great way to take advantage of this is by opening your door to hosting on Airbnb.
Register on Airbnb and make your home a safe, comfortable place for any potential visitors to rest their heads after a long day of exploring the Kasi. And here’s a sneaky little tip from us: When you do have visitors in your home, spend the night with your neighbours or with a family member, and give them a share of the profits.
2. Shuttle Service/Tour Operator
You can provide a shuttle service for anyone coming in and out of your Kasi. Your services could include picking them up from the city, driving them around to show them the Kasi, and ensuring safe passage back to their homes. Don't have a pay machine? No problem. Send a payment link from the free iKhokha app at no sign-up costs.
Ever wondered how tourists know exactly where to go, and when? Well, you could be that reason. Start your own booking service and connect incoming tourists to the goods and services they are looking for. You could help with accommodation bookings and transportation allocations and offer advice on where to shop within your Kasi.
You could extend this service and connect your fellow locals to whatever they may need in the city.
4. Shopping Tourism
People visiting South Africa almost always want that ‘authentic African experience’. Well, give the people what they want by selling traditional African attire and other memorabilia. You could set up a store at a market, have your own space at a shopping centre, or even build relationships with restaurants and other business owners who will help promote you and your products.
5. Catering Services
One way of gaining reach within your community and greater outlying areas is by providing a catering service. All you need is a kitchen and you could provide meals for birthdays, weddings, funerals and even supply businesses with daily lunch items. As an added bonus, those tourists would love to try your traditional African cuisine.
6. Food Market
Whereas a catering service would be a private service, opening a stall at a food market would be more commercial. Visitors can walk by your store and pick what they would like to eat from your unique menu. Alternatively, you could set up your own food market and invite other vendors to sell their yummy treats within your designated area. For a fee, of course.
Few things build up an appetite like the smell of freshly baked bread. You can freshly baked goods and even put your own spin on traditional South African favourites like koeksisters and magwinya (vetkoek).
8. Babysitting/Nanny Agency
One way of earning good money in the Kasi is by babysitting. Parents often arrive home late after long workdays in the city. Bridge the gap by babysitting the children who otherwise would be home alone for hours after school.
Similarly, you could start your own nanny agency that exclusively looks after the kids in your Kasi. Recruit Matric scholars and young university students to be the nannies. In doing so, by paying them a portion of the fee, you will help them support their families while giving them a constructive way to spend their free time.
If you have an eye for photography, then this one is for you. You can take pictures of your unique Kasi and sell them to tourists and lifestyle publications. You could also be the go-to photographer for celebrations and events in your area, as well as offering tourists a beautiful reminder of their time in your Kasi.
10. Pet Care Services
As people become more comfortable with the idea of living their lives in the Kasi, pet ownership is on the rise. Offer to train and groom pets in your area and name your price for watching pets when their owners are away. You can also take your services on the road, commuting to nearby urban areas to watch over the pets whose owners are otherwise indisposed.
11. Towing Services
How many times have you seen a car being pushed down the road in the Kasi? Personally, I’ve lost count. Help your fellow residents out and charge them a small fee to safely take their car to the nearest petrol station or repair shop.
12. Storage Units
If you have a bit of extra space in your yard or even more properties beyond where you live, build simple enclosures and turn them into storage units. You’d be surprised to learn how many people are looking for that little bit of extra space to store their belongings for a few months.
13. Moving Service
There is always movement in and out of the Kasi. People are either moving to the city, returning home to the Kasi, or just making the switch to another home within the neighbourhood. You could be the one to provide all their home-travel needs.
14. Delivery Service
Starting a delivery service could be an incredibly lucrative Kasi business idea. The distances would be short so petrol costs would be less, meaning lower overheads. Alternatively, you could make trips to-and-from the urban areas and charge those nice, big city prices.
15. Laundry Service
No one enjoys doing laundry, not even in the Kasi. The appeal here, for you as a prospective business owner, is that there are likely to be fewer washing machines in the Kasi than in other residential areas. Use this to your advantage and offer your residents a service of convenience that will be difficult to resist.
16. Vertical Gardening and Lawn Care
There is no reason why the Kasi cannot also be rich with beautiful greenery. Play your part in giving your community more oxygen by planting vertical gardens on walls and balconies. If they have the space for it, then offer your fellow residents a lawn service too, where you can plant and maintain lawn grass and flower beds.
17. Car Wash
Ah, the age-old classic. People love their cars but would rather have someone else clean them. A car wash is a simple business to start, with relatively low overheads. Once you have a location and a water source, you’re pretty much set to go. The only thing left is for you to do is give that person’s car back to them as if it were brand new.
18. Interior Home Decoration
With more homes being built in the Kasi and others being built-on and extended, there is an open market for interior design. If you have a keen eye for design, especially design within a given space, then this could be the business idea you’ve been looking for.
19. Tailor and Shoe Repair
Many Kasi-dwellers use public transport, and more still have only their ten toes to rely on to get them from point a to b. Wear and tear on shoes and clothing is an inevitable result and, if you are savvy enough, you can be right there to help them make the necessary fixes and adjustments to their attire.
As a tailor, you could also offer to make customised clothing for your customers. Africa-hungry tourists will be sure to take you up on your offer.
20. Online Services - Consulting, Administration, and More
It’s 2022 and, in many instances, there is no longer a need to leave the house to get the job done. So, from the comfort of your own home, take the knowledge you’ve gained from your education and experience, and share it with others. (I’m sure, by now, ‘for a fee’ goes without saying).
There is so much that can be done here. You could be almost anything: Virtual assistant; graphic designer; online fitness coach; content writer; or online course facilitator—the list is almost endless. Just take account of your knowledge and skills, and then open up that search engine. There's bound to be someone on the Internet who is looking for exactly what you have to offer.
21. Internet Cafe
Even in this day and age, many in the Kasi still do not have access to adequate computers and reliable internet connections. Opening an internet cafe in the Kasi is an act of service as much as it is a source of income.
22. Freelance Fitness Instructor
If you have an affinity for all things fitness then you could go door-to-door in your Kasi, helping people stay fit and healthy. Everyone needs that extra motivation to hit the gym and take care of their bodies. With you at their backs, the entire Kasi will soon be able to take on the Comrades Marathon.
23. Recreational Centre
More than anything, the Kasi needs more places where young adults, teenagers, and children can spend their free time in useful ways. Opening a recreational centre will bring a space that offers exactly that. It can have a gym, pool, and sports facilities. Even a small theatre would be extremely beneficial. It’s another way that you can give back to the community whilst earning a living for yourself.
You could also set up dedicated youth activities and make your recreational centre the hub. Set up events for the youth such as concerts, movie nights, theatre shows, dance competitions, and pop-up funfairs.
24. Beauty Centre
Everyone likes to look and treat themselves to a beauty session every once in a while. Open a beauty centre where you can offer full-body care: Hair, face, skin, nails, the works. There’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a crisp haircut or a fresh coat of paint on the nails.
25. Bartering, Reselling, and Bulk Buying
Sometimes it’s not about starting something new but taking what you already have and giving it a new purpose. Take anything that you would otherwise throw away and see if someone else finds value in it. Maybe you can exchange your unwanted goods for something else that you need, or something with a higher retail value. You can also buy items in bulk, for cheaper, and sell them individually at a higher price.
There is always a need for recycling. With the current state of climate instability, that need has grown fervent. Collect bottles, hard plastics, glass, and tins and sell them to your local recycling plant.
27. Rent Business Assets
Your business may have been affected by the lockdown, or maybe you have tools and appliances that you simply are not using anymore. Rent those items out to those who need them. Rather change in your pocket than dust on your assets.
There is so much opportunity for starting a business and generating a reasonable income in the Kasi. From our list of 27, which one will you use to shoot your shot?
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Has the idea of a business in the kasi ignited your inner entrepreneurial flame? Well, there's more where this came from!
Check out The Kasi Business Boom & the Opportunities That Lie Ahead blog for more.