In this article we present the best small and big business ideas and opportunities in Ecuador in 2019. Starting business in Ecuador can be very lucrative and profitable, because there is still a lot of niches with low competition and big possibilities. From this article you will also know what are the specifics of Ecuadorian market and problems that are uknown to foreign investors.
SMALL MEDIUM AND BIG BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN ECUADOR
We divided business ideas for Ecuador into 3 groups:
Low budget ideas that does not need big money to start. Low budget business ideas are ones that does not need you to know much about business. Even if you are poor these ideas should be good and let you earn some decent money.
Middle budget ideas are ones that need some investment. However, if you figure out, talk to friends or family, you may find that you can try some of these ideas without much money.
Big budget ideas are ones that need big money to invest and it’s better to have some experience with starting businesses if you want to try these ideas.
LOW BUDGET IDEAS
SOAP, CANDLE OR COSMETICS MAKING
Ecuador is home to many wonderful fruit, vegetables, plants and herbs. There are many so-called “superfoods” growing here. These are ideal ingredients for the production of natural, good-quality soaps, as well as scented candles and many types of cosmetics.
Breeding chicken is quite simple and does not require much effort. Hens will not only be suitable for meat but will also carry eggs that you can sell. Poultry breeding together with breeding of other types of animals are nice opportunities for first business in Ecuador for people with low budget.
Ecuadorians eat a lot of meat so there is always demand for it in this country. The positive thing about Ecuador is that cattle usually have enough grass to eat here, so the cost of it’s breeding is not expensive. It might be even good idea to export Ecuadorian beef abroad.
SOUVENIRS FOR TOURISTS
In the places which are the most popular desinations for tourists, it is worth considering the sale of souvenirs and gifts from Ecuador. Good ideas can be fridge magnets, postcards, paintings painted by local artists, miniature sculptures, figurines, handicrafts and metallurgical products that look special and look like they are typical for Ecuador.
FRESH FRUIT JUICES
A whole bunch of delicious fruit grows in Ecuador. Buy the freshest of them and squeeze the juice out of them. If you find a good location to sell the juice, you will quickly earn a nice amount of money.
COLD BEVERAGES (MINI-SHOP)
The climate in Ecuador is warm, which is why all people sometimes need something for refreshment or to drink. If you offer people chilled refreshing drinks (can be water in bottles or cola), you will find many customers. In this case, a good location will be necessary to make this business successful.
If you know many nice places in your area it can be great idea to try tourist gouiding. You should advertise your offer of guiding tourists on the internet. You can leave contact information to you also in nearby hotels and places where there are many tourists. A good place to put up a tourist guiding offer can be Showaround.com, the place where you place tourist guides and give you the price per hour. If you want to know more about Showaround read this article.
WALL PAINTING & GRAFFITI CLEANING
The wet climate in Ecuador causes that the walls of buildings are quicker to get dirty, overgrown with moss or algae, and the paint on the walls of buildings often breaks and falls off. Also in big cities of Ecuador there are some graffities. A good idea may be to create a company that will paint over the graffiti and clean and paint the stained and dirty walls. All you need to start such a company is a brush, some paint in the right color and something to wash off the subtitles and dirts, for example a sponge with soap. A car, bike or motorbike will also be useful to quickly and easily get to the place where you have to wash graffiti.
If you are good at some subjects, or you can speak fluently English, it’s worth thinking about giving private lessons. It does not require any financial expenses from you, and you can make very good money out of it. Post advertisements with your phone number and information about what you teach on posters in the city center. This idea works best in big cities.
If your house is placed in a very strategic location and there is many people passing by you should think about starting grocery store, or any other shop with popular products. You do not have to invest a lot at once. You can start selling at the beginning only a few of the most profitable goods, and over time, complement the assortment with earned money.
MEDIUM BUDGET IDEAS
Ecuadorians like new Western gastronomical ideas. One of them is undoubtedly a food truck. Sell tasty food in a food truck, for example burgers, toasts, kebabs or anything that people will love to eat. Park the food truck in places where there will be a lot of people. Food trucks great business opportunity in Ecuador because they are still not much popular there. You will not believe how much the food truck can earn in one successful day.
MOBILE APPS DEVELOPMENT
Very good niche in business that generates a lot of money is application development for mobile phones, tablets and computers. There is quite a lot of competition on the market, but there are still a lot of gaps to be filled. If you are wondering what applications have a chance to succeed in Ecuador, look at those popular in other countries such as the US, Brazil, China, or countries in Europe.
SPANISH LEARNING COURSES FOR FOREIGNERS
Many people from the USA come to Ecuador to learn Spanish because Ecuadorian Spanish is the least dialect-influenced Spanish in South America. Create a company that organizes Spanish courses. Certainly there will be a mass of volunteers from all over the world to come for two weeks or a month for a Spanish course to Ecuador. In addition, you can combine language learning with tourism. Traveling to Ecuador becomes more and more popular every year. Ecuador has a very rich nature that foreign tourists like to watch and enjoy. It hosts many endemic plants and animals, such as those of the Galápagos Islands. Ecuador is one of the 18 megadiverse countries in the world. That is huge touristic asset. Touristic areas like Galapagos, Quito, seaside, mountines.
CRAFT BEER BAR AND PRODUCTION
In Europe and the United States, craft beers have become very popular in last years. It’s almost certain that Ecuadorians will also love the unique taste of craft beers. This is very good business opportunity, because the risk of failure in Ecuador is pretty law. Especially in big cities this should be good idea, cause people around the world fallen in love with craft beers, so here it must be the same.
Ecuadorians love to eat in the city. Trends from the Western world are popular. A good business opportunity will be something “trendy” that is not typical for Ecuador for example a bar with burgers, a BBQ restaurant, Italian cuisine and other interesting places with foreign food.
In Ecuador there is already a lot of grapes growing and the conditions for growing them are very good on a large part of Ecuador’s territory. The establishment of a vineyard and wine production takes some time, but also brings profits. Certainly, Ecuadorian wine will find many sympathizers around the world.
FOOD DELIVERY ON BIKES
This idea is already very popular in big cities around the world. Also in big cities of Ecuador this will be great idea. For this business you will need a mobile application to take orders and some employees on bikes who will deliver food from restaurants and bars to clients.
WEBSITE MAKING COMPANY
If you are able to provide good quality websites and you will be able to advertise your service in Ecuador, then this business is for you. More and more people, especially in big cities, need a website. It’s a very lucrative business. Establishing a business creating custom websites is not expensive, first of all you will need a good computer or laptop and good quality hosting.
All you have to do is find a group of employees who can professionally talk to customers over the phone. It will be useful to get some medium-sized premise for rent to work there. You will have to look for the big companies (the bigger the better incomes) that will want to hire your company to service their clients.
SALE AND INSTALLATION OF CCTV
Many people are concerned about the safety of their homes or businesses. That’s why it’s good idea to offer them possibility to buy and install cameras in their homes that will allow them to monitor what is happening around thier home or property.
BIG BUDGET IDEAS
Bike sharing – to quickly and cheaply rent a bicycle in the city center using a mobile application is already very popular around the world. Bigges companies like that are Lime from US, or Nextbike from Germany. To start such a business, you will need several stations with bikes in the city center and a mobile application that will allow you to rent and pay for bikes efficiently.
ELECTRIC SCOOTERS SHARING
The same as the bike sharing, electric scooter sharing has become very popular in the world during recent years. In many big cities people have loved electric scooters and are using them to go to work, to a bus stop, or for fun and recreation. Electric scooters are the real business opportunity in Ecuador. Currently, there is no competition in that niche but in the near future there will be many companies offering rental of electric scooters.
FRUIT JUICES (PRODUCTION FOR EXPORT)
There are many fruits growing in Ecuador. Their cultivation does not require large expenditures. Because Ecuadorians have plenty of fresh fruit juices squeezed out of the fruits, fruit juice business will not be very successful in Ecuador itself. However, it would be a good idea to export fruit juices abroad to other countries. Fruit that grow in Ecuador and are suitable for the production of juices are pineapples, guavas, oranges, grapes and many more also coconuts can be great for juice.
HOTEL IN POPULAR TOURISTIC PLACE
You can create a hotel in an already built building or build your own hotel building, however construction of buildings in Ecuador is not easy due to bureaucracy, but if you manage to overcome it, you will have a great opportunity to earn big money. In many cities and popular areas there are still many spaces in the city centers where you can build great buildings that will earn a lot.
SHOP WITH ELECTRONICS
As in every country, there is a great demand for electronic items such as telephones, accessories, computers, tablets and televisions. Ecuadorians like big popular brands like Apple or Samsung.
FRANCHISE IN GOOD LOCALISATION
There is a lot of space for success for foreign franchises. Foreign companies that are successful in the world will probably also find it here, provided they are located in the centers of big cities.
HOME 3D PRINTING
Around the world there have already been many successfully printed 3d houses. Cheap homes would certainly gain great popularity in Ecuador. In addition, Ecuadorians like interesting and nice news from abroad, so if you can afford to buy a 3D printer printing houses, it’s worth doing.
SOLAR POWER BUSINESS
The strong sun that shines in Ecuador is suitable for solar energy power plants and solar panels for private use as well as their repair and installation. This sector is very poorly developed in Ecuador, so it should attract investors’ attention.
ELECTRIC CAR SHARING
Together with bike sharing and electric scooter sharing, electric cars for rent have become very popular in the world in recent years. In big cities in Ecuador like Quito such cars will find many of those willing to drive them as well as among foreign tourists who liked electric car sharing already.
SPECIFICS OF BUSINESS IN ECUADOR
When starting a business in Ecuador, you need to know some things about the labor law in this country, and about the Ecuadorians, their attitude to work and cooperation with them. To effectively use business opportunities it is necessary to be aware of the different standards and customs in this country. If you are not born in Ecuador or Latin America and do not have much experience in contact with Ecuadorians and doing business here – be sure to read these few tips below and take them into account.
- In accordance with the legal regulations it is very difficult to fire an employee who signs a contract with you. Especially after some time of his work for you it becomes very difficult. For this reason, during the recruitment process you should be very inquisitive and try to know the employee thoroughly before hiring him.
- In Ecuador there is quite a big bureaucracy.
- Time for Ecuadorians is fluid. Non-compliance with deadlines and unpunctuality are norms here.
- The employer is something more for an employee than in the USA. The employer becomes responsible for employees. Employer is obligated to pay an additional month’s salary in December, and a half month’s salary in August. There are also some regulations that make life difficult for an employer, such as a minimum wage. Generally, before you start a business in Ecuador, get known with the Ecuadorian labor law.
- Knowledge of Spanish will be essential in contacts with business partners and in official matters.
Many of Ecuadorians do not speak English.
- Mafia and criminal groups are a little problem in Ecuador. For this reason, it is better not to enter into conflicts with Ecuadorians (especially those suspected of having something to do with criminals) and in general be careful. But generally it is a safe country.
- Due to the criminality and mentality of Ecuadorians, it is necessary to comply with certain rules prevailing in Ecuador. The most important of them are: do not threaten anyone’s livelihood and you have no issues.
- When running a business in Ecuador you will definitely need a lawyer or a business specialist who will help you with all legal issues that are quite complicated. It must be fluent in English so you can understand each other without any problems.
- Ecuador is not a typical capitalist country. For this reason, it is not an intuitive system for those from the capitalist systems like US. One of the fundamental differences between the Ecuadorian system and the US is that the Ecuadorian state strongly supports employees, while the employer has more difficult situation and must deal with all problems himself.
USEFUL TIPS FOR INVESTING IN ECUADOR FROM THE US EMBASSY
If you are considering investment in Ecuador, here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started:
- Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for advice and support on exporting to Ecuador. Contact a Trade Specialist near you.
- Contact local U.S. business support organizations, such as the Ecuadorian-American Chambers of Commerce in Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Ambato, and Manta.
- Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDCs). Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities administered by the Small Business Administration and aims at giving educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
- Subscribe to US embassy Facebook page or Twitter feed
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