Business development · 5 October 2017

The ten best startup ideas for under 10, 000 you can launch today

A young family group shares fun food and memories at a local food cart,  serving delicious handmade sandwiches and snacks. One of the women smiles as she receives her order of gourmet french fries with special dipping sauce.
Online searches for ‘street food van? jumped by 320 per cent between 2014 and 2016, with 7, 000 vendors now trading
Here, Business Advice reveals ten of the best startup ideas that can be launched almost immediately within a modest investment of under 10, 000.

While around half of the UK population admit to holding entrepreneurial aspirations, research has shown that insufficient funding remains far and away the greatest deterrent to starting a company. However, it might cost less than you think to build the foundations of a new business.

To help kick-start a wave of entrepreneurial activity, weve brought together the best startup ideas under 10, 000 that could represent a viable business opportunity at a realistic investment.

  1. Drone operator

The UK’s drone industry has expanded rapidly in recent years, with over 1, 700 trained and qualified pilots in Britain. While as many as 5, 000 unqualified and uninsured pilots are predicted to be operating illegally, commercial opportunities are growing. For newly-qualified drone pilots, the going daily rate appears to sit between 350 and 500.

Drone operators have been enlisted by production companies to work on films and television projects
Drone operators have been enlisted by production companies to work on films and television projects
The training process for new drone pilots costs around 1, 200 and involves an exam and flight test. The drone itself will retail from around 1, 000.

Insurance also costs in the thousands, and supplies and additional equipment is costly drone batteries are notoriously short-lived.


  • Drone: 1, 000 20, 000
  • Training: 1, 200
  • Insurance: 1, 000 2, 000
  1. Street food vendor

Britain’s taste for street food is growing, opening business opportunities to both cookery novices and chefs seeking a change of scenery. Setting up as a street food vendor could even represent a low-risk option the budget for a new market stall or gazebo set-up can be around 5, 000.

We met some of the rising stars of Britain’s street food scene

Early starts and poor British weather are some of the physical challenges of a street food entrepreneur, and reaching profitability could also take some time. The Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS) is an essential resource for new entrants to the street food scene.


  • Stall/gazebo/van: ~£5, 000 to 10, 000
  • Daily rents: 30 100, plus a percentage of takings per day?
  1. Photography business

Social media platforms have given photographers new mediums to demonstrate their work and skills. But, running a fully-fledged photography business is a lot more complicated than keeping up an impressive personal Instagram page.

Average starting salaries for professional photographers are estimated to be as low as 12, 000
Average starting salaries for professional photographers are estimated to be as low as 12, 000
For those serious about making a career out of taking photos, the London School of Photography is one of many institutions offering professional training courses. Nikon and Canon both offer digital SLR cameras, now popular amongst sport and wildlife photographers and capable of professional work, for entry level budgets.


  • Camera: 1, 000 3, 000
  • Training course: 3, 495 (part-time six-month course)?
  1. Tour guide

In-bound tourism is now worth at least 24bn to the UK economy, according to VisitBritain research, putting it as Britain’s seventh biggest export sector. Becoming a tour guide has become a viable business opportunity for many wannabe local historians, and varying levels of entry are available.



Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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