Countries in South America are poised for growth in certain sectors and industries, creating the opportunity for new and aspiring entrepreneurs to launch many new business ideas. This article uses credible research and data, combined with the techniques taught here at Business Idea Insight to identify several ideas in many different sectors.
Let’s dive into some South American Business Ideas for 2020.
Table of Contents
Smart Home Builder
There is a growing need in South America to have energy and resource efficient homes. Compared to other countries, many South American economies need further support with new technologies to make their existing infrastructure better. Energy and resource wastage is among the highest in the world. This can start at the individual home level. By creating a smart home building company, you can tailor to the needed efficiencies while also providing the new homes for the future. If you have skills in construction or electronic sensors and data, this would be a perfect business idea for you to execute on.
Road & Bridge Developer
As populations grow, there will be more demand for reliable and safe roads and bridges. There is even demand for the essential roadways and systems to be built, as this has been proven to constraint countries growth due to poor infrastructure for transportation. A road and bridge development company would need to use sustainable techniques to have a competitive advantage and to drive brand growth, as many Latin Americans want more sustainable brands.
Automated Farming Equipment Retailer
As a significant producer and supplier of the world’s food, areas in South America are poised to continue to feed the world. However, as the demand grows, farming techniques need to advance. There is research that shows there is significant room for automation to be utilized in the agricultural sector. This business idea focuses on selling automated farming equipment such as automated tractors. One could use the business model of being a dealer for automated farming equipment, or you could set up a service to have it done for peoples farms.
Construction Safety Management Company
With the growth in the infrastructure sector in South America, there will a growing need for more safety management companies. Especially since there is a shortage of technical professions, employers may have to seek employees from abroad so safety standards will need to be raised. For this idea, you would help other companies manage their safety programs, return to work programs when people get hurt, and make sure all potential regulations and laws are being followed.
There is a huge amount of manufacturing that takes place in South America. From electronics to airplanes, a wide variety of items are created there and that sector will continue to flourish. This business idea takes hold of that growth and the huge demand for sensors by becoming a wholesale sensor manufacturer. Sensors are needed in so many electronic products these days as we create smart devices, newer phones, and smart homes to name a few. This is more of a high-investment business idea, but it has the potential to be a multi-million dollar company.
Internet Infrastructure Developer
South America is poised for an Internet Infrastructure Development Company. There is a growing need to have reliable and fast internet across every country in that area. Some places already have reliable internet sources, however, the rural and remote locations need the infrastructure built and there could be government grants or loans that will help you get started. This can be a medium-cost business as you can get grants, but the profit potential is great.
Import and Export Trade Consultant
As with any group of countries that are growing at a significant rate, there is always demand for import and export consultants. The trade consultants would work with business owners who conduct business overseas or are looking to expand internationally. You would provide them with advice on how to perform international trade properly, what tariffs to pay (if any), etc. To differentiate this business idea, you could also be a territory growth strategy planner with trade consulting. As some business need to expand to other countries, you could help them get their product there and to the best country for their business. One could execute this business idea with a small investment of a couple thousand dollars, as you would be doing the consulting yourself.
Import/Export Blockchain Automation Company
Blockchain technology could be used to create an import and export automation company. To make this business idea happen, one would create a blockchain ledger that would store the transactions and contents of peoples packages. An initial verification at the entry port would need to be done, but after that, it could potentially be sent around the world without needing to be checked at every border. This would save a significant amount of time at the borders in South America, but it also has the potential to fight against drug trafficking. To execute this business idea one would require a large amount of investment and patience to deal with government contracts. However, if the product was made right and contracts where established, this business could last for a long time. The graph below perfectly outlines that you could raise money from venture capitals or conduct an Initial Coin Offering.
Operations & Manufacturing Automation Consulting
As I mentioned earlier, there large growth in South America’s manufacturing sector. With that large growth, there is the potential to create a unique business idea and consult with these manufacturing facilities on how they can automate their processes. Many studies have shown that there is room to automate the manufacturing operations due to their highly repetitive nature. Since you could take the consulting approach, this could be a low-cost business idea to start if you learned about manufacturing automation.
Even the tourist industry needs automation. It mainly consists of some of the back-office tasks. This business idea would solve all these back-office administrative duties, so more employees can concentrate on providing a seamless experience to their potential and new customers. If you have a desire to learn and develop an automation business, this would be a great opportunity for you. If you want to look into this more, this article offers a great way to get started as it outlines the exact problems that need to be solved.
Online Banking/ Mobile Banking
As the internet speeds increase and better phones are released, Latin American’s are going to demand online banking on their phones as it is quick and efficient. No more waiting for bank tellers or the atm! This idea would require a large amount of initial investments to get off the ground, but there is potential to have a strong and reliable customer base. Of course, expertise in coding would be needed or you would need to raise money to hire those key people.
Online/ AI Investment Management
As Latin Americans become more wealthy, there is going to be widespread need across South America for investment management. However, with the new age of technology, expensive financial advisors won’t be needed. Instead, a similar approach can be taken from business ideas in the USA with AI investment platforms. This business idea would be able to have a strong competitive advantage but would require a large amount of funding to get off the ground.
There is strong research to show that the South American economies are in desperate need of higher education programs to fill the demand for educated citizens. There is lots of room for improvement from the current options so offering a private institution that takes a more unique approach from other western or eastern schools could provide a unique advantage for this idea. One could start small by offering a single degree vertical or specialty MBA to keep startup costs low.
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Private Technical Schools
Like university education, there is a strong need for private technical schools. Many trades are in need of certified workers who can support the growing infrastructure, housing, and manufacturing industries that are growing every day. This idea could be similarly executed like the private universities by picking one vertical like electrical or construction, and execute on that course program for a group. This could be a low-cost business idea if you already have the certification and know what it takes to teach it.
Online Education Platforms
Another alternative is an online educational platform company. Could you develop a specific platform designed to the customs and needs of the Latin American community across South America? By tailoring it to the culture and the actual demand from the businesses, you could position yourself more effectively for that market than say Udemy. This business could be launched with low costs since everything could be run from a simple website. If you have a passion for education and don’t like the other two business ideas, you could reach a great market through this idea.
Youth Mentorship and Development Facility
With any developing population, the youth are the future. So it is extremely important to support the youth in their career and life endeavors. There has been research that presents the lacking support groups for youth. This business idea could take multiple approaches. One very low-cost approach could be a simple consulting service that would help provide young with a mentor who can help them for a simple small fee. Another model would be a monthly subscription where they could come to a facility to hang out, have fun in a safe place, and get advice they need about life, school, and career so they can excel.
Industry Specific Training and Coaching
The last educational business idea is for specific industry coaching and training. This startup would require specific validation for the exact industry you are going into, but there is a huge need for specialized training. Many managers surveyed in the Latin America area believe that there need to be more extensive and better training programs that their employees can take. This would allow the companies to grow faster and promote employees further up the chain. If you have specialized strengths and skills related to this business idea in a specific trade, this would be a perfect business idea for you as it can start with low costs.
Mobile Nurse/ Doctor Service
The South American healthcare system can be seen as somewhat outdated when it compares to the global healthcare programs around the world. This leaves the opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs, like yourself, to provide a mobile nurse and doctor service. To differentiate yourself from the competition, one could use the technology of creating customized medicine for the patient so they can have the best results for the medicine they are taking. It also makes the experience more personal. The best part about this business idea is that you don’t need to be a nurse or doctor to execute this. You could simply factor in the hourly wage of these professionals, hire them, and pay them a wage for their work.
Home Supplies Delivery and Errands Service
As the Latin economies grow, people become busier and busier, leaving little time in their day for getting the groceries or doing important errands. Also, with an aging population, grocery delivery and errand services will be essential as the elderly cannot always do this alone. This service would cater to that need, and one could start this business for really low cost since you could do the deliveries and errands yourself for your first initial group of clients.
Private Hospital Clinic Franchise
Not all places across South America are facing this need, but there are parts that are filled with corruption and hospitals have been unable to operate fully. To fight against this, you could launch a private hospital clinic franchise. Instead of someone needing a life-saving emergency and being turned away, they could come here to get treatment and help. Although you could charge a large amount per visit, it would be better than the alternative of dying or suffering severe damage to your body from no treatments.
As I mentioned earlier, many Latin Americans want to support companies and brands that are sustainable and will be around for the long term. This is where the business idea of sustainability consulting comes in. One could start this idea with low capital investments and consult with current businesses on how they can make their supply chains or products more sustainable. A huge challenge identified related to this area is promoting the new sustainable practices in a way that will drive brand awareness and growth. If you have a passion for sustainability, this would be a great business idea for you.
Environmental Lobbyist Corporation
Having an impact on the environment can be tough if you go at it alone and many regions in South America are in desperate need of increasing their environmental regulations. To help existing businesses meet their sustainability goals, they could hire this company to do the government lobbying. This would entail presenting policy and getting other members of the political system on board for the positive environmental change. This could be a low-cost business idea to start if you have a desire to learn and develop lobbying skills.
Third Party Shipping/ Fulfilment Warehouses
E-commerce has been taking the world by storm over the past decade. Latin America is no different with significant demand that is growing every year for e-commerce goods. With the decline in people heading to retail outlets, a third-party shipping startup can benefit from this transition. This service would work with existing companies who are looking to start shipping their products around the world, but may not have the facilities to do so. Instead of the owner spending hundreds of thousands to set up and manage this, you could do it for them and charge a fee.
Drone Distribution Companies
The current state of Latin America infrastructure is not where it needs to be to distribute the coming demand for e-commerce products. To fix this shift and to make buying online access to all, one could start a drone distribution company. With little regulations around the industry, there is a lot of room for growth and taking the market share of traditional distribution providers. If you like this idea, you could start it with one single drone and a single shipping path and go from there. That would keep this business low cost in the beginning.
Package Delivery Services
This business idea may not seem new but there is demand for better and more efficient package delivery services. To differentiate from the drone delivery idea above, this company would use bikes or scooters to get around and deliver the packages. Again, the growth of e-commerce is only going to create more demand for instant delivery services. To make this even more independent of an idea, you could outsource all your delivery drivers by paying them a simple delivery fee for each package delivered. A similar model is the Uber model of getting others to do the work and you pay them a percentage of revenues.
Renewable Home Energy Consultant
Energy efficiency is significantly lower across Latin American countries when compared to the rest of the world, leaving a lot of room for competition to come in and improve upon existing setups. One business idea that would do just that would be a renewable energy home consultant. You would consult with homeowners on how they could install more energy efficient appliances and structures. For instance, solar panel roofing and radiant floor heating could be included in your portfolio of products you suggest for installations. To make money, you could charge a single consultation fee, as well as generate referral commissions from when you refer a specific product for a homeowner to buy and install.
Smart Electricity Grid Developer
Again, countries in South America are in need of businesses to be created that can help increase energy efficiencies, so Latin Americans can all live a better life. For this business idea, you would need to know or learn how to create and manage smart electric grids for communities. The richer communities would be a particular target in the beginning, and you would help them set up smart grids. A smart grid is an electricity system setup with different real-time sensors and technology so you can re-route, change, and manage the power in real time. This helps significantly with energy efficiency. For instance, if there is a power outage, electricity can be rerouted around the damaged section to restore power.
Agriculture Water Management and Efficiency Company
Taking a different approach to creating efficiencies, this business idea would help farmers manage their water systems better. Using new technology, one can automate the water usage by determining optimal times of day to water, optimal water usage per square foot, and other useful metrics all by looking at the data. This would also save farmers a lot of operational costs, as they would be paying less in water fees due to the optimization. If you have an interest in farming, this is a great low-cost business idea as it can be consulting based.
Solar Panel Manufacturer
Since the Latin American area is a huge manufacturer of goods, and with the shift to renewable energies around the world, there is room for growth in the solar panel manufacturing space. Over the coming years, there is a forecasted growth of over 30%, according to the International Energy Agency. If you have an interest in international business and renewable energy this would be the perfect idea for you to run with. Although large investments up front would have to be made on manufacturing equipment, there are long-term and sustainable profits to be made.
Natural Resource Efficiency Consultant
Similar to the agricultural water efficiency company, this business idea would cater to the mining industry. Because Latin America produces a lot of natural resources for the world, there is a lot of opportunities for the mining sector to be automated. If you have a passion for automation, and mining, this business idea is for you. It can be low-cost to start due to the consulting setup.
Did an idea stand out that you want to execute? If not, and you are looking for some more inspiration, learn the 35 Success Tips for aspiring entrepreneurs – From the top business leaders around the world.