Best Business with 10K or Less for Startup Capital

To my fellow Filipinos, OFWs, and aspiring ones, I have some questions for you? What comes to mind when you have 10k pesos to spare? Such an amount of cash is not as significant as it was once. What’s the best thing you can do with it? Will you spend it, lend it, give it away for charity? Or start a business with it? Nowadays, a kid would instantly know how to squander it in a day.

An average person would spend it on the latest pair of shoes and apparel. Go to the nearest Starbucks to take a sweet selfie for Instagram, while sipping from a cup of espresso, not minding the jitters he got after consuming, apparently two servings of it. Would you do the same?

Look, it doesn’t matter if you’re a regular worker in the Philippines or an OFW with a limited employment contract, both are salaried employees. That means in every penny earned we must spend it wisely.

Instead of blowing off money like dust, why not put it to a much better cause?

To a sound mind, he would spend it on daily needs. Let’s say we want to stock up on rice for rainy days. Quality rice will cost us fifty-six pesos and up a kilo. Our money at hand will get us less than four sacks of rice; you can do the math. We would agree that it’s an excellent thing, right?

How about stepping back for a while to see a bigger picture?

For now, forget about the minor pleasures that a ten thousand peso cash can buy. Think like an entrepreneur. The best thing you can do with the money is to make it work for you, rather than the other way around. That’s where you want to put it.

I know for sure you have that “sari-sari” store idea in your mind, let’s scratch that out. Given the fact that you’ll put it up beside your house, most of your customers will be your neighbors and relatives. Expect to have a debtor infestation every day. Unless you have a starting capital for the likes of 711, your convenient mini store will not survive. 

Now, a question begs for multiple answers, “What business can I start with a seemingly meager capital?”

Here is a list of business ideas that you can start right away for a 10K capital. You might find them interesting.

1. Buy and Sell

An illustration of a scale, to buy and sell as one of the business with 10K capital

The process is fundamental — you buy something from the market at a cheap price, then resell it to other interested parties at a higher price point.

RTW is an example of non-perishable goods that you can resell at a higher price provided that the items are brand new and not familiar, or much better if it’s unique.

To profit from this line of business, buy from your long-standing supplier. If you don’t have one, make one by looking for merchants in your local market that offer quality yet considerably priced products. Buy in bulk so you can demand a good deal.

Another set of products you can resell are electronic gadgets, e.g., power banks, mobile phones, earphones/earbuds.

The only problem here is its resell value. People prefer buying their devices directly from the mall stores. Customers will assume that what you’re offering is already second-hand items. And most of the time, they will always try bargaining to nearly half of its price point. It will be a hard sell.

Should you choose this path? 


  • You can do the selling part traditionally or through the internet by using social media.
  • Your friends are your first customers; if you have lots of them, you can quickly push lots of products faster.
  •  Non-perishable — means you can start selling whenever and wherever without worries of spoilage.


  • If you’re an OFW with a working visa, it’s illegal for you to have a side job like this, not to mention the limitations to customer reach.
  • Even if you do this back to your hometown instead and hire an assistant to do the grunt work for you, you can never transmit the same level of enthusiasm you have for the business.
  • To get the job done better, you will do it all on your own: from buying to selling to deliveries to accountings, etc.
  • You will feel burned out.
  • Concerning electronic goods, there are chances of returned items, so be ready to set your refund policies.

2. Homemade Cakes and Pastries

Cakes and pastries like donuts and cupcake, a second type of best business under 10K capital

This home-based business is suitable for stay-at-home moms or dads. You need the skill in baking to do this business, though. If you know nothing about the craft, but it interests you, there are lots of ways to learn. Just know that it will take time to learn the skills needed.

Free video tutorials and writeups are available online. But if you want a more formal setting and hands-on training system, we have the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the Philippines.

Assuming you have the skills, let’s talk about how to move your products. Remember that they’re perishable, so you have to move them fast. The old school way is to put up a small bakeshop and wait for customers. But that’s within the “sari-sari” store category, so cancel the idea.

Like any other business, your first line of customers is your friends. So get your contact list and see who might be interested. Expect them asking for freebies, though.

Other channels to sell nowadays are social media platforms like Facebook. Here you’ll have a wider reach. What you need to do is join groups with members living near your area. For obvious reasons, so customers have the option to either pick them up from you or have it delivered to them without hassles.

Don’t forget to take photos of all the cakes and pastries you created in singles and batches. It has to look more appetizing.

Then write a concise but convincing sales pitch. A rule of thumb, read first their guidelines before posting your offers. Avoid spamming the group. Ask first the admin of the group you are in for permission if you can post your product offers to the group. Now you’re ready to post the photos you took on your social media for everyone to see. It could be an excellent marketing stunt if you’ll be the model of your goods. Now, all you need to do now is wait and pray that someone would be interested. 😁


  • This business could be the start of your brand.
  • As a guy who loves cooking, baking is fun too, and it’s gratifying to see the finished result of your creation.


  • All the CONS we have in no.1, except the one concerning electronic goods.
  • There’s a need to gain skills in baking.
  • Perishable, so know the shelf life of your products. 

3. Multi-level Marketing or Network Marketing

MLM Opportunity written in paper, with drawings and a pen

I know what you’re thinking, “MLM! Pyramid scheme?!”

Let me explain. This business model has been around for nearly a century in the US. It made a handful of millionaires since its inception. Each company has its own style and marketing strategies.

Each selling anything from consumable to non-consumable products.

As far as I can remember, MLM flourished in The Philippines around the 1990s. With companies like Herbalife, FLP, Amway, etc., some of you might have heard them already. If you’re asking if they even made millionaires during their peak popularity, sure they did! That was the good old days!

See, OFWs are prone to MLM offers, but should you choose this path?

Consider everything — from the person who invites you to the reputation of the company owner, and the company itself.

Scrutinize the products they offer. If it’s a non-consumable high-ends, you could have a hard time selling them. If the products are consumables, this means there’s a prime chance of repeat orders — an overriding commission for you.

How about the company’s business plan? If you check out most of MLM’s marketing plans, their strategy seems easy to implement. The truth, it’s simple but challenging. It will still take a lot of work, but done correctly will benefit you financially in the long run.

How long does the company is operating? Where is the location of its head office? Is it approved by the government for the company to operate legally?

A typical qualifying fee of fewer than 10K pesos is the norm to become an MLM distributor nowadays.

Just a warning; if a company throws a business plan with cryptocurrency as their product, it’s questionable.

FYI: cryptos are digital currency or digital money. Worse, if a company in question uses the words “invest with us, don’t worry because we’ll trade with those cryptos for you,” it’s a red flag. You better run! 😂


  • Training usually is free in MLM companies. It will develop your social skills just by joining one.
  • If you like its products, you will enjoy discounts as a member.
  • If you’ve done an excellent job of convincing lots of people to join you, the company will recognize your hard work and will reward you for it.
  • There will be perks and bonuses when you become an outstanding distributor.


  • Aside from hoping to find the right people to join, you must convince lots of them to see incredible results.
  • Since your friends and relatives knew that you’re involved in MLM, they will try their best to avoid you.
  • When there is no more to invite, you will resort to cold calling, where you need to be more resilient to rejections.
  • And this may sound a bit discouraging and would shock some, but you’re just a distributor, you don’t own a business per se.

4. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing written on a paper, reminding yourself the do's and don'ts to succeed in a business with less capital

First, let me clarify some things because there are MLM companies that call their people affiliates.

In this section, we define “affiliates” in a unique light, a mile away from how MLMers interpret theirs.

So what is Affiliate Marketing?

The simplest explanation is—If you don’t have a product of your own or service to provide your customers, yet you want to earn something on the internet, then this business is for you.

But what’s sweet on being an affiliate if you don’t have a platform to operate? That’s where our FB accounts will work its usefulness, once and for all! And that includes other social media platforms.

So save your precious data and stop watching dogs that prance around in your video feeds.

How to become an affiliate marketer?

Look for companies that offer affiliate programs, with the likes of Amazon Affiliate Program, and eBay Partner Network.

Once you signed up and approved, you can now access your account where you can study more about the program and get used to using your dashboard. There you can generate personal links to products you wish to sell online.

There are also individuals in the internet realm who look for armies of affiliates to market their products, but make sure that what their selling is not bogus stuff.

It will usually cost you nothing to sign up. Get paid in commissions. Sometimes this could be recurring.

There are plenty of courses (online and offline) regarding the subject if you want to boost even further your knowledge and skills.


  • This business will cost you nothing close to 10K.
  • You can become an affiliate with just your mobile phone.
  • The earning potential is limitless — “Lucrative” as you might say.
  • You can sell physical to digital products without the headaches of deliveries and returns (if there are returns)


  • Some people will look down on affiliate marketing since starting to be an affiliate is free. They think if it’s free, it could be cheap; when it is not.
  • Can’t think of anything else, except if you want to acquire a modest and quality, to mad skill levels in affiliate marketing, you must pay for it.

5. Content Marketing

Writing materials and words of content marketing on the table

Now, we delve more into the digital world. The “content” that we will talk about here means creating content in the form of videos, texts, and social media posts for the world to consume. You can combine the business you’ll build here with all the items we discussed above. And it will become much more profitable when combined with Affiliate Marketing.

But even if you don’t want to, it will still make you money.

How? Be consistent in making content and make enough them. When you get “traffic” at a certain point, search engine, e.g., Google will recognize this and will reward your efforts through AdSense.

I will give you two examples of creating content. The first is video content; the second is blogging. You need an internet connection, preferably a plan from your local internet provider that offers data that will not limit your progress. To shoot your first videos, you only need your smartphone. For text-based content such as blogging, you’ll need your PC or laptop that most probably, you already have there lying around.

Instead of thinking about what you want when creating content, think of what your customers want. These customers are your readers/viewers.

From my perspective, what people search online is only in two categories, to entertain themselves or to find help for a particular problem.

Think of a time when you are googling for a specific solution to your problem. You probably already know how to solve the problem, but you want to make sure that someone on the other side of the world has the same answer as yours. But after all your efforts, you found none! And even if you did, it’s available in another language that you can’t understand; it’s close to useless information.

Frustrating? I know the feeling. But this example is one excellent way of how you will create your content: Provide others with the material that once absent on the internet.

YouTube—is probably the easiest way to make money; it’s where you’ll make your video content.

Create a Gmail account, which is free. Once done, you’ll gain instant access to the YouTube platform. All you have to do now is to set up your channel. 

You can make entertaining videos if you want to, or give valuable information to your viewers; the choice is yours. Just a piece of advice, stick with the theme you’ve started. Don’t make random videos out of the fly that makes little to no sense. Only typical celebrities do that.

Speaking of; celebrities these days are using this platform extensively for their daily or weekly vlogs. They’ve discovered the power of video contents posted on YouTube, even the income potential; Team Kramer, Alex Gonzaga, and Jennylyn Mercado, to name a few.. Having the advantage of their popularity as celebrities, they gained thousands of subscribers instantly from Day1!

But don’t get too despaired. Developers intend the platform first for regular folks like us. And it is still valid up to this day. As long as you’re creating quality content, you’ll gain traction, attract subscribers, and YouTube will rank your videos in no time. Soon you will have your loyal followers.

Blogging—is another form of creating content. There are many types of blogs. Some people write for passion, while some are for skills. Either way, if you’ll write, have the intent to help others.

What you do in blogs is like what you do on creating video content. The only difference is — in videos, you’ll do all the explaining with your voice and, more preferably, with your face in front of the camera to gain more trust from viewers. While with blogs, you’ll explain the same but through typed words.

I have an article about the basics of blogging if you want to choose this path.

If you are uncomfortable in front of lenses, then blogging is the right fit.


  • Purely online.
  • Here, you are the boss.
  • You get to choose when and how long you’ll work on a project.
  • You can share your creativity or skills with a potentially massive amount of people.
  • The income you’ll generate from this has no capping. 
  • If done correctly, it will become your passive stream of income.
  • Duplicable.


  • This business will take a while to profit, probably months; you’ll need lots of patience. Results may vary depending on how you exert your effort.
  • There will be times when you feel you can’t get anything from yourself to create.
  • Because you are your boss, you’ll have tendencies to procrastinate.

Check out my other post about content marketing: A Quick Look on Where to Use Content marketing in the Philippines.

part of a clock face representing it is time to learn and earn


I’ve given you the list of what I think are the businesses that you can start with 10K as startup capital.

Numbers 1 and 2 have a more traditional approach than with the following figures, especially numbers 4 and 5 that are more internet-based.

Keep in mind that in any business undertakings, there will always be a learning curve.

Determination, perseverance, and patience are the qualities you need to be a success in life. Do not waver. Become goal-oriented.

So, what type of business piqued your interest? Do you want an immediate return of your investment, or do you want to establish a long-term passive income? Let me know.

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