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Last Updated on March 28, 2023

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20 best small business ideas in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a small island, but it can fulfill your big dreams. It is located in the south of India in a pleasant and profitable environment in every aspect. The population of Sri Lanka is only 20 million. Here people speak Sinhala, Tamil, and also English. Though Sinhala is the local and common more of communication yet, you will get English-speaking youth in a large number in Colombo.

The Sri Lankan economy is somewhat precarious, with high levels of debt and unemployment. The political situation is also unstable, with the government facing challenges as it attempts to revive an economy that was only recently declared bankrupt. Despite all this, businesses still have many opportunities to succeed in Sri Lanka. The key is understanding the current situation and tailoring your business strategy accordingly. Here in this well researched article, you will get to information on the best 20 business ideas in Sri Lanka.

Tourism business

Tourism is the fourth-largest source of foreign money in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is surrounded by ocean from all sides, and thus it is the beach lover’s paradise.

Every year thousands of foreign and local tourists visit Sri Lanka to enjoy its sea beaches.

RELATED: BUSINESS IDEAS FOR TRAVEL LOVERS

The tourism department suffered a lot at the time of the civil war among the Sri Lankan Government and LLTE, and during Tsunami yet it is recovering and rejuvenating now.

Thus if you are seeking business opportunities in Sri Lanka, then try the tourism business.

You can offer packages of tours for different spots on the island.

For this, you need to do a little research on the places where most of the tourists come.

You can also open a website to offer your tourism services.

The website will help you to get in touch with international tourists.

A foreign tourist will search and compare online before arriving at a new place nowadays.

So apart from local promotions, you can hire employees for promoting your business online.

In the tourism business, you will have to communicate with tourist guides, transport authorities, hotels, and restaurants.

The more lucrative offer you can provide, the more tourists you can attract.

Be loyal and friendly with them, and your business will flourish in a few years.

Bouquet and floral business

The floriculture industry is budding in Sri Lanka.

Though presently, the present market share of floriculture is 0.2% of the world market, yet it has the potentials to grow—flowers in Sri Lanka for various cultural and religious festivals for ages.

In the western, northwestern, and central province of Sri Lanka, we can see the vast areas for cultivations of cut flowers.

Thus if you start running a floral business in Sri Lanka, you will surely not face any loss.

The temperate flowers grown here are rose, carnation, statice, alstroemeria, gypsophila, lilies, and irises.

Carnation and rose are mainly produced for export to other countries, whereas the other flowers use for local purposes.

So you can expand your floral business out of your country Sri Lanka and approach worldwide.

Orchids and the anthuriums are the most popular tropical flowers in Sri Lanka with a good local and international market.

Annually around 3 million anthurium flowers are grown and cut for market demands.

Sri Lankan atmosphere with a humid and sea surrounded climate provides the best conditions to grow a variety of flowers.

These flowers are high on demands for events like weddings, corporate installations, and a bouquet.

So you can build your nursery, hold a shop to sell flowers, and even export them. These flowers will flourish in your future.

Reading, writing/ blogging business

If you’re a wordsmith who loves nothing more than putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), there are plenty of business ideas out there for you.

A reading and writing-focused business could take a variety of forms, from operating as a bookkeeping service to running a proofreading and editing company.

If you have a knack for finding typos and grammatical errors, you could put your skills to good use by offering your services as a proofreader or editor.

You could also start a blog about your favourite topics and offer paid subscriptions, or work as a freelance writer for other businesses in Sri Lanka.

So you can be:

Author

Blogger

Proofreader

Content writer

Copywriter

ORM Moderator

Translator

There are many reasons to start a blogging business in Sri Lanka.

The country is home to a large and growing population of internet users, making it an ideal market for online businesses.

Additionally, Sri Lanka has a supportive business environment, with a number of government initiatives and programs in place to help small businesses get started and grow.

Finally, blogging can be a highly profitable business, especially if you focus on niche markets.

Construction service business

Sri Lanka suffered from armed conflicts for more than 30 years.

During that time, the construction industry suffered a lot.

But when it ends in 2009, the construction business starts with a new spirit.

And during the last 10 years, the construction business became the major beneficiaries of Sri Lanka’s rapidly grown economy.

We see rapid growth in building high-end residential, hotel and resort construction, shopping malls, and commercial space.

The Sri Lankan government also aids in rapid construction in roads and railway connections.

On the other hand, the construction sector contributed more than 9% of the GDP of Sri Lanka.

In 2015, Sri Lanka ranked 113th position on the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” report, which is great as a small island country.

So if you have good knowledge and a degree in architecture, or electrical engineering, or structural engineering, then earning rupees is not difficult for you.

You can also collaborate, start a business with some of your batch mates, and profit with passing years.

Agricultural business

Sri Lanka has a temperate, tropical climate and also a fertile soil.

This advantage makes it ideal for cultivating varieties of vegetables, fruits, and crops.

Around 30% or the Sri Lankan population is directly or indirectly connecting with agriculture.

The agriculture industry contributes around 7.5% of the country’s GDP.

The most cultivated crop of Sri Lanka is rice.

Sri Lanka also is the exporter of tea. 17% of the country’s export is cause by tea.

Two other main cash crops are rubber and coconut.

Ceylon Cinnamon is the only pure cinnamon in the world, and Sri Lanka cultivates this.

Sri Lanka supplies 32.9% of the world’s total cinnamon demand.

So if you have love and knowledge about cultivations, then you can start growing plants from your backyard.

Rubber and coconut trees do not require much attention.

They just need enough space to grow properly.

Also, if you live in the central or southern region of the island, then cultivating tea is the best option for you.

Your new business of cultivation can give you profit in both rupees and dollars.

Textile and fabric business

Around 15% of the Sri Lankan workforce is dependent on the textile industry for a living.

This also came as a savior for women and stands for true woman empowerment.

Women of Sri Lanka regulate the 80% workforce in the garment and fabric industry.

The textile business here is mainly export centric.

Since the Multi-Fiber Trade Agreement signed in 1985, the industry has developed rapidly.

Not only local ethnic ware and handloom products but also versatile, trendy outfits, Sri Lanka, produces all.

The textile companies of Sri Lanka also made a name in the fashion world.

The top 3 textile companies of Sri Lanka featured in Top 50 Garment Companies in The World.

So manufacturing fabrics or garments is one of the best business ideas in Sri Lanka.

You can start producing jeans in a small level.

With proper planning and investment, you will get considerable returns.

Ayurveda Herbal Product business

Ayurveda is an ancient practice of medicine that originated in India.

Ayurveda is one of the oldest and most respected systems of medicine in the world, and there is a growing demand for ayurvedic products both in Sri Lanka and abroad.

As people become increasingly interested in natural healing methods,Ayurveda herbal products are in high demand.

According to the UN Population Division, the population of Sri Lanka will increase by about 4 million from 2020 to 2022. This presents a great opportunity to the health care industry as a whole, and the natural healing movement in particular.

Sri Lanka is the perfect place to start a business in this growing industry, as the country is home to many ayurvedic herbs and plants.

If you can provide quality ayurvedic products to your customers, you will be able to tap into a large and growing market.

These businesses cater to the growing demand for natural and herbal products, and they offer a wide range of herbal products that can be used for various purposes.

If you are looking to start a business in Sri Lanka that is both profitable and based on ayurvedic principles, then an ayurvedic herbal product company may be the perfect fit for you.

With the right marketing and production strategy, an ayurvedic herbal product company can be extremely successful.

Recycling Plastic

If you’re determined to start a profitable business in Sri Lanka, recycling plastic is a great option.

Not only is it benefitial for the environment, but there’s also a growing demand for recycled plastic products.

To get started, you’ll need to set up a collection and processing system for used plastic.

Once you have a steady supply of raw materials, you can start manufacturing recycled plastic products.

There are many different businesses you can start in this field, so do some research to discover the right one for you.

With some hard work and commitment, you can be successful in the recycling plastic business.

Direct sales consultant

If you’re looking for a business that is both profitable and relatively easy to start up, then direct sales consulting could be a great option for you.

Sri Lanka is a country in the process of rebuilding its economy, so there is plenty of opportunity for businesses to succeed.

As a direct sales consultant, you would be responsible for helping businesses to grow and expand their operations.

This could involve anything from providing advice on marketing and sales strategies to helping to develop new products and services.

There are many reasons why a direct sales consultancy would be successful in Sri Lanka.

The country has a large population, a growing economy, and a strong desire to improve living standards.

Additionally, the government is supportive of foreign investment and is committed to creating an environment that is conducive to business growth.

Sri Lanka also has a well-educated workforce and a large pool of potential customers. All of these factors make Sri Lanka an ideal market for a direct sales consultancy.

If you have the determination and ambition to help businesses to succeed, then direct sales consulting could be the perfect career for you.

Curry powder making business

Sri Lankan cuisine is characterized by its unique blending of spices.

The gorgeous island nation of Sri Lanka has a long history of spice trading, and as a result, its cuisine has been inspired by a variety of cultures.

One of the most favoured spices used in Sri Lankan cuisine is powdered curry. 

Curry powder is a combination of different spices, such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chili pepper. It is typically used to flavor meat or vegetable dishes.

Sri Lankan curry powder often has a more complex flavour than other types of curry powder, due to the addition of additional spices such as fenugreek, cloves, and cardamom. 

A curry powder-making business would be very lucrative in Sri Lanka due to the high demand for this spice.

Curry powder is a core ingredient in many Sri Lankan dishes, so there would be a constant market for this product.

Plus, as Sri Lanka is a tourist destination, curry powder would also be popular among visitors who want to take home a taste of the country.

Start a gym business

One of the best small business ideas in Sri Lanka is to start a gym.

As time is passing, most youths are getting interested in fitness.

And this happens irrespective of gender.

Both male and female customers gathered on a gym to lose their weight and then keep them fit and strong.

To start a gym business, you need to find a suitable place where you easily get your targeted audience.

For instance, you can set up your gym business beside a college or near a residential complex.

You can attract the dwellers by providing them exclusive offers on limited periods.

Gym training business is into two types; weight lifting and freehand exercise.

In the weight lifting procedure, you will have to have all the necessary equipment in your gym.

While for the freehand model, you can include yoga practice, Zumba dancing, and meditation practice on your gym schedule.

You will get customers for both types of models.

So if you have a free space in front of your house, then set a gym business there.

You can then make it large or shift it once you get profit from your business.

Set up a mobile coffee shop business

If you do not like the restaurant or fast food delivery business ideas in Sri Lanka, you can try it.

A mobile coffee shop business will not require much from you apart from your coffee making skills.

You can offer healthy snacks like burgers, patties, sandwiches along with it.

But you will have to consider the cleanliness and hygienic part of it.

You can even buy an old unused minibus and then renovate it as a movable mobile coffee shop.

You can hold your coffee stall near a market place, shopping mall, cinema hall, or near any college or university.

A beachside coffee shop will also be a profitable business for you.

The hot coffee and snack from your little shop can provide energy and dating opportunities to the youth.

The best thing is that you can run this business solely by you.

This business does not require much manpower.

In a mobile coffee shop, you will have to make and serve food all by yourself.

However, you can get helping hands if you want.

Mobile phone selling business

Smartphones are now everyone’s necessity.

It is equally demanding in every stratum of society.

And this business field is increasing rapidly.

And there is no sign of decreasing in its market demand.

Instead, it will double up with time.

So if you want to start small business ideas in Sri Lanka that will run for generations, then own a mobile shop for you.

The size of the shop will be according to the amount of money you can invest as capital.

But the size does not matter if you fill your shop with quality products.

Research the brands that are popular in the country, and give them a priority.

Do not miss out on the new arrival of smartphone series as they cause a sensation among the youth.

Also if you know about mobile technology, then you can set a mobile repair shop for yours.

Thus you can fix the mini trouble of smartphones.

You can even provide exchange offers on the same brands.

Almost all smartphone brands are now offering exchange offers.

People also now phone to exchange and buy a new model rather than repairing the old one.

So if you can, then combine all of this in one business.

The customer can buy, sell, or repair their smartphones in your shop.

Thus you make your business a complete one.

Labour outsourcing business

A labour outsourcing business is a business that provides labour to another company.

This type of business is typically used by companies that lack the time or resources to train their own employees.

Labour outsourcing businesses are typically found in countries with a high unemployment rate.

There are many reasons why labour outsourcing in Sri Lanka is a profitable business to start.

The country has a large pool of skilled workers, and the cost of labour is relatively low.

In addition, the government is supportive of businesses that create jobs and provide training opportunities for the local workforce.

As such, there are numerous incentives and programs available to those who want to set up a labour outsourcing business in Sri Lanka.

With the right planning and execution, this can be a very successful and profitable venture.

Event management business

Event management businesses are some other effective small business ideas in Sri Lanka.

With the advancement of social media, every couple wants to plan and project their special day in front of their followers.

There is a sense of show off in it.

Also, some like to celebrate their special day without any worries or last moment mess-ups.

Thus, leave the entire duty on the experiences of event managing business organizations.

So if you have a creative self in you, then you can try your luck here.

You can create your event management business even from your home.

Meanwhile, you do not need to invest in this business as the entire spending of the events will be done by the customers.

You will only have to set up the entire program systematically, uniquely, and creatively.

The event can be of any type starting from the birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries, office parties, get-togethers, to film festivals.

For a successful career in the event management business, you need to build a friendly network between the caterers, florists, banquet halls, performers, electricians, and among every other necessary supply.

This business will grow with experience.

With time you will know the ways to be presentable.

With experience, you can understand the unspoken desires of your clients and thus win their hearts.

You can start these small business ideas and make them big.

Photography business

If you love to click photos and earn a degree or certificate for that, then use it.

Photography is among the small business ideas in Sri Lanka that are extremely on demand nowadays.

As I have mentioned before, the tendency among people to make their special day look perfect and presentable in every aspect.

A pre-wedding photoshoot is famous now worldwide.

It can also be the best business in Sri Lanka.

Here the upcoming bride and groom pose together to announce that their love is going to get a title.

Then these photos are used in their invitation cards and, most importantly, on their Instagram handles.

Thus, a skilled photographer and videographer is now a highly demanding person.

To become a professional photographer and start your business, you will just need the equipment to click a perfect picture.

But to reach potential clients, you need to build a strong profile of your own.

Nowadays, what looks better sells better.

Thus you can create a page on FaceBook, Instagram exclusively to showcase and promote your photographs.

Also, if you can, then create a website to provide extra information about your photography.

Business through youtube

A successful YouTube channel with millions of followers is the dream of every youth now.

One successful YouTuber can easily earn more than 1 lakh rupees per month.

You can make a Youtube channel concerning about any field.

It can be informative or for total entertainment.

It depends on the way of the content you can deliver.

Though roasting, gaming, and entertainment-related channels get the most of the views, yet, the informative, study-related channel can also score well.

For making business through YouTube, you need to shoot and edit a catchy, appealing, original, and informative video on your channel.

You will have to be unique and consistent in your business.

Also, collaborating with YouTubers with greater subscribers can boost your subscriber numbers and business.

Once you get enough subscribers, then you can get money by showing ads and promoting them on your videos.

Youtube also recently includes a paid membership option on it.

So you can earn directly from your fans in this business.

It can also be a great home-based business in Sri Lanka.

Business as an Instagram influencer

Instagram is another social media platform where you can show your skills, lifestyle, fashion ideas, travel clicks, and become an Instagram influencer.

The work of an influencer is to inspire their followers for something.

Here also you can earn from the paid promotion of brands.

Everything that you share and create in social media is content, and it is no harm to earn money from it.

This one type of small business ideas in Sri Lanka is growing vastly.

These businesses are unconventional but have a promising future for you.

Beauty salon business

In case you are wondering what is the small business in Sri Lanka, you can certainly consider this one.

If you know the art of makeover, then this business is for you.

One of the effective small business ideas in Sri Lanka is thus to set up a small beauty parlor.

RELATED: TOP BUSINESS IDEAS FOR WOMEN

You may think that only women can get work and success in this business.

It is wrong.
On the contrary, we see that both men and women work side by side in the beauty and fashion world.

You can start your small business in front of your home.

And also you can also set a mini parlor and do the works of hair cutting, waxing, threading, and makeups.

You can also provide beauty services in the customer’s homes.

And once you get enough rupees back, then you can look for bigger settlements.

Import-export business

Sri Lanka is a small island.

It is thus not possible to grow or produce everything here.

Therefore it imports a lot of food and essential items like medicine in the country.

Also, I have mentioned that Sri Lanka exports garments, rubber, and tea in a great amount.

Thus to create an import-export business is among the small business ideas in Sri Lanka that will work.

You will have to choose the products that have great demands outside and inside the island and then buy and sell them to profit in your business.

Business ideas in Sri Lanka conclusion

These are the top 20 small business ideas in Sri Lanka that you can try to get a promising future.

None of these businesses can give you success overnight. The key to your business’s success will always be your hard work.

But the choices you take are the most important thing. So sit and think about these 20 small business ideas in a relaxed mind.

Give thought to the pros and cons of these businesses. And then decide where you want to put your hard works.

Your choice of today is going to pay you in your future. So think wisely and start afresh.

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