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Business to Start with 10k in Malaysia

by Ibrahim Agunpopo
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Malaysia offers lots of opportunities for starting small businesses, even with limited money. The diverse culture here means people have interest in many different types of foods, fashions and other products. Both big cities like Kuala Lumpur and smaller towns like Penang have friendly consumers looking for goods and services that big companies are not providing.

If you have 10,000 Ringgit, you can launch simple startups by yourself or with a few helpers. With low overhead costs, you can still be profitable.

Food business

Considering starting a food business in Malaysia? With diverse culinary traditions and a vibrant food culture, opportunities abound for affordable dining concepts even on a modest 10,000 Ringgit budget. From bustling Kuala Lumpur to laidback Penang, you can tap into localized tastes and trends.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, here are some food business ideas that can be started with RM10,000 or less:

  1. Food Truck: Offer unique fusion menus from a mobile restaurant reaching customers at various events and locations. Creative cooking with lower overheads.
  2. Ice Cream Shop: Capitalize on Malaysians’ sweet tooth by serving artisanal gelatos, sorbettos and loaded sundaes. Fun branding and toppings draw families.
  3. Cooking Classes: Share your culinary passions and heritage recipes through hands-on classes in your home kitchen or rented commercial facility.
  4. Personal Chef Services: Prepare healthy home-cooked meals for busy urbanites without time to cook nutritious dinners themselves. Shop for ingredients and provide customized dining.
  5. Coffee Shop: Own a neighborhood cafe serving premium local beans alongside snacks like nasi lemak bites or curry puffs. Comfortable third space.
  6. Baked Goods: Entice patrons with moist butter cakes, fluffy pandan rolls and creatively flavored macaroons. Scale up popular items.
  7. Sauces & Condiments: Bottle and sell your trademark sambals, curry pastes and chimichurri blends to home cooks and hawker stalls.
  8. Pre-Packaged Snacks: Develop special trail mixes and granola with local fruits like mango, papaya and coconut. Keeper gifts for tourists too.
  9. Baby Food: Provide nutritious purees and toddler meals to busy, health-conscious, parents worried about preservatives in mass offerings.
  10. Jams & Jellies: Craft small-batch preserves showcasing tropical fruits rarely bottled like jackfruit, cempedak or yambean. Unique merchendise.


Explore the varied and changing food preferences in different cities and neighborhoods through thorough research. Create menus that cater to local tastes, setting your restaurants apart from generic national chains. Malaysia’s diverse cultural heritage offers numerous flavor possibilities to discover.

Embrace the excitement of blending and reinventing recipes that resonate with regional culinary traditions. Let your restaurants reflect the communities they serve, attracting open-minded and adventurous diners. With a genuine passion for uniting people through food, there’s a ready audience for tasty new creations inspired by home but delicious for everyone. Begin locally, and let unique flavors pave the way to gaining national recognition.

Online business

  • Selling physical products: You can sell anything from clothes and accessories to home goods and electronics. To get started, you’ll need to create a website or online store and choose a shipping provider. You can also sell on online marketplaces like Shopee and Lazada.
  • Dropshipping: Dropshipping is a business model where you don’t need to keep inventory of the products you sell. Instead, you work with a supplier who ships the products directly to your customers. This is a low-cost and low-risk way to start an online business.
  • Print on demand: Print on demand is another low-cost business model where you can sell custom products like t-shirts, mugs, and phone cases. When a customer places an order, the product is printed and shipped directly to them by a third-party supplier.
  • Affiliate marketing: Affiliate marketing is a way to earn money by promoting other people’s products or services. When someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you earn a commission. To get started, you’ll need to join an affiliate program and start creating content (such as blog posts and social media posts) to promote the products or services.
  • Virtual assistant: Virtual assistants provide administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients from a remote location. This is a great business model if you have strong organizational and communication skills. To get started, you can create a profile on freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.

PC repair business

As digital connectivity rises in Malaysia, gain in-demand skills troubleshooting common PC issues like malware removal, data recovery, upgrade installations and printer set-ups. Begin taking on home service calls and small business IT support requests to establish yourself before investing in a physical location. Offer speedy on-site assistance.

Cleaning service

To start a cleaning service, you’ll need to invest in some basic cleaning equipment, such as a vacuum cleaner, mop, and cleaning supplies. You can also purchase a cleaning cart to make it easier to transport your supplies. Once you have your equipment, you can start marketing your services to friends, family, and local businesses.

Sell on online marketplaces

To sell on online marketplaces like Shopee, Lazada, Mudah, PG Mall, and AliExpress, you’ll need to create an account and list your products. You’ll also need to set your prices and shipping rates. Once you’ve listed your products, you can start promoting them on social media and other online platforms.

Fashion business

To start a fashion business in Malaysia, you’ll need to identify a niche market and develop a unique product offering. You can also consider selling your products online or through physical retail outlets.

Smartphone and personal computer repairing startup

Starting a smartphone and personal computer repair business requires some foundational knowledge in the field. Begin by learning the basics through online tutorials or courses. Once equipped with the necessary skills, promote your services to friends, family, and local businesses.

Oil and gas trade

Entering the oil and gas trade demands a thorough understanding of the complex and competitive industry. Conduct extensive research and accumulate sufficient capital before establishing your oil and gas trading business.

Dropshipping

Embarking on a dropshipping venture involves selecting a niche market and identifying a supplier for products in that niche, often found on platforms such as Alibaba or AliExpress. After securing a supplier, create an online store, list their products, and choose a shipping provider. When orders come in, coordinate with the supplier to have the products shipped directly to customers.

Print on demand

For a print-on-demand business, opt for a niche market and design custom products using software like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Upload your designs to a print-on-demand platform such as Printful or Redbubble. Upon receiving customer orders, the platform takes care of printing and shipping the products.

Digital products

Creating and selling digital products involves selecting a niche market and developing valuable content. For instance, if you have expertise in fitness, consider crafting an e-book on topics like weight loss or muscle building. Once your digital product is ready, sell it on your website or through platforms like Gumroad and Etsy.

Tips for Starting a Business in Malaysia with 10,000 Ringgit or Less

Here are some extra tips for starting a business in Malaysia with 10,000 ringgit or less:

  • Starting small is key. Instead of trying to do too much at once, focus on one or two things and excel in them. This approach allows you to manage your resources wisely.
  • Consider bootstrapping your business. Using your own money to kickstart and grow your venture can save you from accumulating debt. It’s a practical way to ensure financial stability.
  • Get creative. There are numerous ways to start a business on a tight budget. Think outside the box and explore innovative solutions to get your business off the ground.
  • Networking is vital. Attend industry events and connect with potential customers and partners. Platforms like LinkedIn provide excellent opportunities to expand your professional circle.
  • Leverage social media. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are powerful tools for marketing. Connect with your target audience and promote your products or services effectively.
  • Seek assistance. Government programs and grants are available to support small businesses in Malaysia. Organizations like the SME Corporation Malaysia offer valuable advice and support.

Here are some additional tips that may be specifically helpful for starting a business in Malaysia:

  • Learn Malay. While not essential, knowing the official language can be beneficial for communication with businesses and consumers.
  • Understand Malaysian culture. Malaysia’s rich multicultural environment requires a good grasp of local customs and business practices.
  • Obtain permits and licenses. Depending on your business type, make sure to acquire the necessary permits and licenses. Check the Malaysian government’s website for more information.
  • Hire wisely. If you plan to hire employees, conduct thorough interviews and check references to ensure you have the right team.
  • Prioritize customer service. Malaysians appreciate good hospitality. Providing excellent customer service will help you build a loyal customer base.

Your Journey to Entrepreneurship in Malaysia with 10,000 Ringgit

In conclusion, Malaysia’s business landscape offers ample opportunities for budding entrepreneurs with a modest investment of 10,000 Ringgit. By adopting a proactive approach, crafting a solid business plan, and understanding local market dynamics, aspiring entrepreneurs can pave their way to success in Malaysia’s vibrant economy.

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