With 70% of the Indian population living in small towns and cities, there are a lot of new business opportunities in these areas. Agriculture is the main source of income in rural areas in India. Most of the existing profitable businesses in these areas are agriculture-related. However, there are huge rural area business opportunities in India.
Small Business Ideas for Rural Areas: Making India Self-Reliant
1. Farming Poultry
Starting a chicken farm does not require a lot of money or land. The only responsibility is to rear small chickens for a few weeks before selling them in the market or to wholesalers. Cash investment is needed to start a poultry business; however, returns are not immediate. As a result, it is recommended to start this business on a contractual basis. You can sell both meat and eggs from a poultry farm.
2. Clothes Shop
Because most villages are far from major city areas, a clothes store that sells the latest clothing options and quality fabric will be a success. With the spread of the internet into Indian villages, city-style clothing is becoming popular in villages. Owners of businesses will need to identify garment suppliers that can bring a selection of clothing on commission. This can be a great business idea in village as villagers can't travel to cities often.
3. Store for Electronics, Mobiles, and Accessories
India has one of the largest numbers of mobile users including in our villages and towns. A local electronics and mobile shop can provide the necessary telecom services to most of India's population living in rural areas. Even in villages landlines are slowly going out of use, whereas cellphones have become a necessity in rural areas.
4. Fertilisers and Seed Storage Facility
Farming is the main occupation in Indian villages. Agriculture-related products like pesticides and fertilizers are always in demand. Though farmers get most of their supplies from wholesalers, these wholesale markets are at far off places. A retail outlet will make their lives easier. Small farmers often don't have safe storage spaces, resulting in loss of grain stock. This business idea for small village fits right into the local economy.
5. Fruits and Vegetables Shop
Not all farmers in Indian villages grow fruits and vegetables. However, villagers need fruits and vegetables for consumption. You can open a single fruits and vegetable shop or ask a group of people to open a chain of shops. These perishables can be bought in bulk from a local grower at wholesale prices. This can create a sustainable model without the farmer or a retailer having to go to a mandi.
6. Milk Centres
A person must contact a dairy farm to build a dairy centre. Milk centres collect milk from villagers and sell it to dairy farms. As most village families own livestock, it is easy to get the supply needed.
A bakery can be one of the most profitable small business enterprises. This business can be initiated by owning or renting space. You need to select products as per local demand.
8. Banana Wafers
Banana wafers are under-mature bananas that can be consumed as snack food or dessert, sliced in pieces dipped in a syrup solution, fried or baked. You can pack them and sell these products in the local market and supply them to urban markets too. You can start this business at a modest scale, making it a great business idea for a small village.
9. Bridal Store
Wedding ceremonies are a big deal in all Indian cultures and setups. Because quality products are often not available in the local shops, villagers have to travel far to towns or cities to get wedding-related clothing. A bridal shop with suitable wedding dresses and related wedding goods is a profitable business in rural areas.
10. Candle Making
Aromatic decorative candles are popular. It is also used as a gift item. Candle making can be started with minimum cash input as a small business opportunity in rural areas. Women, in particular, can try setting up this business and supply it to the local shops.
11. Coconut-Based Enterprise
Coconut production is critical to the coastal economy. If you live in an area where coconuts are abundant, consider launching a coconut-related business.
12. Jute Bags Making
Jute is a natural material that is popular and durable. Designer jute bags have a high market demand within India and abroad. Industrial level jute bags are used in packing and transporting all sorts of raw and manufactured products. You can start a jute bag manufacturing unit at home if you have simple machinery. Jute yarn, jute textiles, and other jute items are in high demand due to their eco-friendliness.
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13. Services for tutoring
The shortage of well-trained instructors in rural areas is a significant issue, and it may be an excellent small business idea in villages. Local government schools are often not skilled enough to pay extra attention to promising students. Due to a lack of awareness within local areas villagers often have to spend big money on education in the city. A tutoring centre with skilled teachers can kill two birds with one stone. It can generate employment and well-educated future generations from rural India, adding to their long-term development.
14. The mode of transportation
Some Indian villages still don't have proper vehicles to travel to other villages and towns. Because a significant portion of transportation in villages lacks organisation or structure, this can be an excellent economic potential. The starting cost of this business is the cash needed for buying vehicles. You can lower your cost by renting out local cars or buying them second-hand. One thing to keep in mind is that the overall income level of the Indian rural population is not very high. As a result, you must ensure that the fares people pay to use your transportation service(s) are not expensive. Lower fares can be set by running shared vehicles.
15. Providing difficult-to-find things in the village
Several goods are nearly impossible to find in villages. As a result, you will have a grasp on all of those market economies if you start selling goods. These products could include a specific crop and/or grain, computerised and automated devices, and so forth. Indian villages are gradually progressing with technological improvements. Selling electrical items such as cell phones and computers, for example, can be a game-changer, given that practically all Indian villages have electricity. As a result, all you need to do is identify the unique selling characteristics of these things, and you will be able to simply sell them.
What are the advantages of small-scale industries in villages?
- Small businesses in rural areas can help generate employment and have positive effects on the overall economy.
- Multiple small businesses in rural areas can significantly change the local standard of living by increasing local income and buying power.
- This also helps rural and small-town India to become self-sufficient.
- It helps city migrants go to cities looking for jobs; if there are jobs available in local areas, they wouldn't have to live away from home.
- It is easier to start small businesses in rural areas as there is less paperwork, regulatory rules, or other roadblocks to take care of.
Percentage of people engaged in different small businesses in rural areas in India
- Proprietary – 48.4%
- Partnership – 4.7%
- Government/ Public Sector – 27.6%
- Private limited – 6.2%
- Trust / NGO – 3.1%
- Others – 9.9%
Issues Faced by Small Businesses in Villages and Rural Areas
1. Monetary problem
Small businesses face a massive problem of a lack of capital money. This leads many villagers or small-time businesspersons to either not think about starting a business or shut down an existing one. They often can't apply for loans or other financial help as they don't have a lot of credit value. Small firms have a bad credit rating.
2. The raw material
Businesses require raw materials for production. The final product quality depends on the raw material used. However, due to limited cash, these small businesses can't afford to buy high-quality raw materials for manufacturing.
3. Management abilities
Small businesses from towns or villages rely on a small staff to carry out various tasks. Sometimes the entire business is handled by a single person without any help. This can affect the work quality and business because of no help or backup.
4. Skilled people
Small businesses usually have to manage with unskilled or semi-skilled staff for any given job. Plus, since the salaries are low, staff members often lack interest in doing the work properly. This decreases production, harming the business, resulting in the shutting down of small businesses.
The mode of marketing or advertisement in rural areas is still very basic. A flyer or a mobile loudspeaker are ways of letting people know about your products. These are not very effective ways of reaching out to more customers. These businesses also don't have any experience in modern ways of marketing. Due to a lack of sufficient tools, direct marketing is not possible.
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There has been a growing number of opportunities in the manufacturing industry and other sectors in urban areas. However, many of the unemployed youth live in towns and villages. Due to this, small-scale industries in villages can take care of two big problems the Indian economy has faced- unemployment and low production of goods.
Some very doable village business ideas can help the local youth find ways of income within their backyards. Small yet profitable, these small business ideas for rural areas can improve rural lives without being dependent on government help and schemes.