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Home » Articles » Business Loan in the Philippines » Top 6 Small Business Ideas in Manila, Philippines

6 Businesses in Manila That Will Make You Money

Last updated: March 26, 2024

Key takeaways:

  • Manila is an ideal place if you want to have a business
  • A business is likely to succeed if you are passionate about it
  • If you need capital, you can always rely on Digido

Best business in manila

One of the best ways to earn a lot in Manila is to start a business. Although Manila is a place that offers all sorts of jobs, keep in mind that nothing works better than a business. Why? Because a business can earn money on its own without you around.

In this article, we will show you six business ideas you can start in Manila. We will also provide you with the business cost, challenges, and potential profit. But first, let’s explore some types of Business Opportunities in Manila.

Types of Business Opportunities in Manila

Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is a bustling metropolis that offers a variety of business opportunities for both locals and foreigners. Here are some of the promising business opportunities in Manila:

  • Food and Beverage Business: With Manila’s diverse population and culinary heritage, there’s always demand for unique and delicious food offerings. From local dishes like adobo and sinigang to international cuisines, the city is a hub for food enthusiasts.
  • Online Retail: With the rise of e-commerce platforms like Lazada, Shopee, and Zalora, starting an online business selling products or dropshipping is becoming increasingly popular.
  • Real Estate: With a growing population and increasing urbanization, real estate, including condo leasing, apartment rentals, and property selling, is a viable business in Manila.
  • Tourism and Travel Services: Opportunities include hotel and hostel operations, tour services, and travel agencies.
  • Transportation Services: With the traffic situation in Manila, transportation services, including ride-hailing, car rentals, and shuttle services, are in demand.
  • Health and Wellness: Spas, gyms, and wellness centers are thriving in Manila. With an increasing awareness of health and fitness, businesses that offer these services have a lot of potentials.
  • Education and Training Centers: With a large youth population, there’s a demand for educational institutions, tutoring centers, and specialty training schools.

business opportunities manila philippines

Top 6 Businesses in Manila for Everyone

Here is a quick summary for your perusal:

Food Stand Around ₱200,000 Up to ₱10,000 per month
Vlogging and YouTube Channel None ₱1,000,000 a year
Bakery ₱50,000 to ₱150,000 ₱1,000 per day
Sari-Sari Store At least ₱50,000 ₱1,000 per day
Online Selling At least ₱20,000 Up to 50% profit margin per item
Bookkeeping Services None ₱30,000 per month

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Street Food business in Manila

1. Food Stand

Capital Cost: Around ₱200,000

Potential Profit: Up to ₱10,000 per month

A food stand, or food cart, is a small cart that you position typically inside malls. It is up to you to choose whether you want to franchise or not. A franchised food cart, however, makes it easier for you to get approved in malls because national franchises have a positive reputation. A food cart is undoubtedly one of the best business opportunities in Manila.

Here are some examples:

  • Pizza
  • Buko juice
  • Siomai and other “street foods”
  • Sundaes and ice cream

It is best to do this with your own recipe—do not franchise. If you know how to cook and set yourself apart, then you are in a great position.

Pros of a Food Stand

  • Many food cart companies offer a franchise.
  • It is easy to set up in malls or any location.
  • The capital is small, and you can even bring it lower if you choose a non-mall location.

Cons of a Food Stand

  • The competition is too tough; there are many others already doing this
  • It is labor-intensive

A food cart or food stand can be a lucrative business. For example, some created a simple French fries stand that grew big. The two biggest challenges here, however, are capital and location. Malls are already full of food carts, and you may find it difficult to get in.

Vlogging business in Manila

2. Vlogging and YouTube Channel

Capital Cost: None

Potential Profit: ₱1,000,000 a year

While you can do vlogging while in the province, people who live in Manila have a significant advantage. Why? Because there are more things to explore, discover, and expose in Manila than in the provinces.

Here are some topics you can explore where Manila is an advantage:

  • Food and restaurants
  • Malls, shopping experiences, etc.
  • Zoos, educational places, museums, etc.

The one downside of Manila is that there are no beaches. However, Manila has an airport that can take you to many beaches all over the country.

A vlogger in Metro Manila can even get a press ID, and then interview politicians, celebrities, and athletes. You cannot do this if you live in the province.

Pros of Vlogging

  • There is little capital involved
  • There is no way you go bankrupt; you do not need to borrow money or use your life savings
  • The sky is the limit when it comes to earnings

Cons of Vlogging

  • The returns can take a while
  • It is easy to give up because you have little to no capital

The best thing about vlogging is that you get to create not only the content you love but also social clout. Vlogging can make you famous and an authority in your chosen niche.

Bakery is the best business in Manila

3. Bakery

Capital Cost: ₱50,000 to ₱150,000
Potential Profit: at least ₱1,000 per day

A bakery business is what you need to put up if you have a love for baking. You do not need to start a wedding cake business, as it is expensive, and it also requires more skills.

Instead, you concentrate on two types of products: pandesal and loaf bread. These are two staple breads in the country. Pandesal is a small, round, salt bread that we typically eat in the morning. Loaf bread is for snacks.

In addition to telling in your bakery, you can even deliver your loaf bread goods to public market vendors. You can create a consignment arrangement where they will sell your loaf of bread without paying you. You come back a few days and charge them only for the ones they sold. Unsold goods are your financial losses.

Pros of Bakery

  • Lots of potential customers
  • Easy to set up if you know how to bake
  • Lots of bakery goods to choose from
  • Lots of providers of raw materials like flour, sugar, etc.

Cons of Bakery

  • It takes a lot of work
  • You need baking skills

A bakery is a good business if you know how to manage it. Although the profits are small, Filipinos love pandesal and cake. The one thing you need to watch out for is inventory. Do not bake a lot of goods that you cannot sell.

Sari-Sari Store business in Manila

4. Sari-Sari Store

Capital Cost: At least ₱50,000
Potential Profit: ₱1,000 per day

A sari-sari store is one of the easiest businesses to build in the Philippines. Until today, most Filipinos would rather buy goods from a sari-sari store than a convenience store like 7-11.

While a sari-sari store is easy to build, you still need capital for your inventory. A sari-sari store is great if you live in a crowded place, especially those that are thriving at night.

The one thing that you will not like about it is that you need to watch over it. You will have so little time for yourself. A sari-sari store can be profitable, but only if you have a lot of items to sell.

Pros of sari-sari store

  • Easy to manage.
  • No problems with acquiring new customers.
  • The capital is small.

Cons of sari-sari store

  • Lots of competition.

A sari-sari store is a good idea if you already have a lot where you can put up the small store. it is a bad idea if you rent—the cost of rent in Manila is too high, and it may not justify the business.

If you operate a sari-sari store, you can also add more ways to earn money. For example, put a food cart in front, or sell grilled fish and other foods like roasted chicken.

business in Manila

5. Lazada and Shopee

Capital Cost: At least ₱20,000
Potential Profit: Up to 50% profit margin per item

Online selling of physical goods is the most practical way to start a business today. While you can also sell on Facebook, the site is not an ideal marketplace. Lazada and Shopee are the way to go.

There are rules that you must comply with on both platforms. As such, you need to read these policies before you decide on what to sell. Otherwise, your account can get banned.

You can get your inventory from China, as China is the biggest source of affordable goods in Asia. For example, you can buy bags at low prices, like $1 for each bag. However, there is a minimum order per supplier, and then you have to pay for shipping.

Pros of Selling Online

  • You do not need to rent a warehouse or a physical store
  • Easy to manage
  • Lots of earnings potential

Cons of Selling Online

  • Lots of competition

Lazada and Shopee are the two biggest online marketplaces in the Philippines. The good news is that they charge as little as 2% in selling fees. At best, we advise that you only sell unique products that only a few people are selling.

Bookkeeping Services business in Manila

6. Bookkeeping Services

Capital Cost: None
Potential Profit: ₱30,000 per month

Did you know that you do not have to be an accountant or lawyer to be a bookkeeper? All you need is experience. Yes, sadly, you cannot be a bookkeeper with zero knowledge of taxation services. As a bookkeeper, you can charge as much as ₱1,500 per month per client!

Pros of Bookkeeping

  • No need for a degree course
  • Easy to set up
  • You can do it online

Cons of Bookkeeping

  • Clients may ask for services you do not provide

Bookkeeping is an excellent business for people who love math, financials, and filing of documents. If you have been a bookkeeper before, this is a great opportunity to go solo and find your own clients!

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Benefits of Digido Personal Loans for Business

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Opening a business is hard, but it is your gateway to financial freedom. The capital you need depends on the business you open, and not all businesses need a lot of capital. As a last piece of advice, you should never open a business that you do not understand.

Disclaimer and Editor’s note


Digido Financial Writers Team is a team of experts in the field of finance and credit, specializing in writing articles for Digido blogs.

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