Photograph — AFRICA ON THE RISE.

While South Africa may have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic (like most regions and continents across the globe), the country’s economic freedom score is currently ranked at 58.8.

This score, which ranks nations on the prevailing level of economic freedom across areas such as legal system and property rights, money and the ease with which international trade can be conducted, makes South Africa the 106th freest in the world according to the 2020 Index. This is thanks to an increased advanced and interconnected economy, which is also built on the solid foundation of precious metal and commodity exports. But what are the best small business opportunities to emerge in South Africa in the current climate?

Focus on education and tutoring

According to a recent Central Connecticut State University study on the subject of global illiteracy, South Africa ranked 56th out of 60 countries in terms of performance. Not only this, but the region also achieved an identical rank for computer illiteracy, highlighting a significant education gap that impacts on millions of citizens each year.

With this in mind, creating an education-focused business to bridge this gap is likely to benefit from huge demand, whether you offer simple tutoring services to establish a scalable facility for learning.

You can choose to target children to adults with your core business model, depending on your precise expertise and the market gap that you want to exploit. However, there’s a particularly high demand for learning English as a second language, with this offering a simple foundation on which you can launch your new venture.

Start Out as a Forex Trader

As earlier stated, South Africa is home to a number of lucrative minerals and precious metals and commodities, including gold, diamonds, coal and (less prominently) chrome. Of course, materials such as gold are also widely traded as a safe haven asset in the financial market, with this providing a secure store of wealth and a hedge against fiscal or economic uncertainty.

With this knowledge, you could start a business (or sole-trader entity) that focuses on financial market trading, paying particular attention to a diverse selection of assets including gold and forex.

While gold offers a secure hedge and tangible source of wealth, currencies can be traded as derivatives without assuming ownership of the underlying instrument. This means it’s possible to make margin-based gains by speculating on the performance of a specific currency pairing, even if the asset or market as a whole depreciates.

Launch a Tax Consultancy Business

Given the continued growth and diversification of the South African economy, entrepreneurship is on the rise across the continent. This is true across a number of industries too, with a particularly large number of burgeoning businesses and startups now in operation.

These firms will be reliant on a niche selection of professional and financial services as they grow and scale, with tax consultancy arguably one of the most important and in-demand options.

By launching a business in this space (based on your knowledge and expertise, of course), you can provide accurate and actionable advice to business owners, helping them to comply with relevant tax legislation while identifying legal opportunities for them to reduce their financial burden.

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