7 Smart Business Ventures for OFWs

Many OFWs consider working abroad with the end goal of putting up a business back home to support their families in preparation for their retirement or permanent return. That being said, let us take a look at some smart business ventures every OFW should consider putting up when they have the opportunity to do so.

Starting a business can be an exciting journey, but not one without any challenges. To be effective in anything you do, you need to understand the reason why you do it. Of course, businesses are established to cater to a need/demand and to produce income. So, operate on those two things and the rest will follow… With that in mind, we will share with you some of the best start-up business ideas in the Philippines to date.

sari sari store business
photo credit: dbgg1979

Smart Business Ideas OFWs should consider

Here are some top businesses that you can learn more about so that you won’t become an OFW forever:

  1. Franchising Business

Sure, you’ve heard about franchising way back before, but there’s a reason why it’s one of the smarter routes to take if you wish to invest on a good business. First of all, with enough funds, you can operate a well-researched business that has been tried and tested- with complete guide, systems and technology to ensure low-risk, and high return of investment anchored on a good brand name, marketing strategy and operational stability.


  1. Loading Stations / E-Load Stores

Not too long ago the Philippines has been dubbed as the texting capital of the world. Recently, the Philippines has now been labelled as the ‘most social nation’ based on the fact that Filipinos can be virtually found in almost all social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like. To make this possible, Filipinos need to “load up” credits on their phones to avail text and surfing promos which have been quite popular as of late. If this is an indication of anything, the loading business will be here to stay. The good news is, with a low start-up cost you can run your own loading business in the convenience of your home.


  1. Sari-sari store

This is highly common in Filipino neighborhoods, and for a good reason. Sari-sari stores are a good business venture for their low start-up cost and steady demand among Filipino families. Another good thing about this type of business is you can run the business right in your very home and can easily expand your product selections as your business grows. You can simultaneously run your loading business while you look after your sari-sari store.


  1. Internet Café / Computer Shops

Aside from the fact that a lot of Filipinos thrive in social network platforms and need computers (other than their mobile phones) to go online, some shop owners also offer other services such as photocopying, typing, online gaming and even snack bars in hopes of becoming a one-stop internet café or computer shop in the area. This is a scalable business but you may need to invest in some good equipment and technology to rise above your competition.


  1. Real Estate Business

The real estate industry has slowly been gaining momentum in the past few years because many Filipinos, even OFWs are looking for good places to live in. You can use your savings as an OFW to invest in building apartments or townhouses which you can set up for lease. Or you can be a broker to our fellow OFWs who are looking to invest on their own house and lot or condo unit. If you’ve saved up a substantial amount in the bank, you may want to explore buying and selling properties, too.


  1. Online Business

This is probably one of those business options which you can do and set up on your own with just a little bit of research, even as an OFW living abroad. You will only need a computer, stable internet connection and other relevant skills such as marketing on social media platforms and some level of networking which you can learn along the way as you grow your business. You can provide your professional services (i.e. specialty coaching) or buy and sell products online.


  1. Water Refilling Station

There is no question about the demand here. Water is vital for everyone. Businesses like this bank on cleanliness, accessibility, and quality. You will need to invest on good equipment to filter, treat and contain your water product. Once you’ve established the product in the area, expect a steady stream of high income from your regular customers.

Bonus Tips:

If you’re a budding entrepreneur, consider these things in mind when planning your own business venture/s:

  • Do you have the necessary skills or know-how to start a/an (insert type of business here) business?
  • Aside from working with your passion, are you looking at a scalable and sustainable kind of business?
  • Will you need help with other ancillary functions (bookkeeping, auditing, etc.) once the business takes off?
  • In the event that the business picks up, do you need to delegate some of the primary work (especially if you’re providing professional service to your niche) to others?

Starting your own business may be the end goal for most OFWs, but growing a business in itself is a long journey that will require time, hard work, passion and your unique skills and experience to bring it to the point where you want it to be.