The best business ideas for 2024 

From going solo as a private chef or graphic designer to launching a nursery or your own food growing enterprise, we’ve got a range of ideas for everyone

The last couple of years have been extremely tough for small business owners, with a constant battle against the difficult economic landscape, changing consumer habits and high energy and rent bills.

But despite the challenges, findings from NatWest and Beauhurst’s New Startup Index reports a record 900,000 companies were started in 2023, up 12 per cent on 2022.

Small business owners are undoubtedly resilient, and – amongst the hardship – opportunities have emerged.

As the way we live and work has shifted, so too has the options for what starting a business looks like. Side-hustles continue to dominate as people test the entrepreneurial waters while initially keeping a steady income.

What’s absolutely certain is that in 2024 there are a wide array of ideas to explore – the majority of which can be started part-time or solo, but with huge growth potential.

So, where should you start?

At, we’ve scoured the relevant data and trend reports and chatted to industry experts and business owners to do a lot of the hard research for you. And we’ve uncovered nine business ideas you won’t want to miss this year.

Here are the nine business ideas that think we think offer the biggest opportunities in 2024:

  1. Graphic designer
  2. Day nursery
  3. Private chef
  4. Make money from ChatGPT
  5. Grow your own food
  6. AI consultant
  7. Holistic pet care
  8. Third culture cuisine
  9. Vehicle leasing host

#1 Graphic designer

If you’re more creative and looking for something that requires low start-up costs, you can follow the footsteps of 1.9 million other freelancers in the UK and try out a graphic design business.

Yes, there are concerns over what effect AI will have on the industry, but right now demand is strong in the UK and designing offers a chance to improve work flexibility and work with who you like anywhere in the world. It also requires a laptop and the right software to get started.

Graphic design is ever evolving, too, so a college or university qualification isn’t always required. Keep up to date with trends and tools, find your niche and you could find yourself building a client base relatively quickly.

Read the full article on becoming a graphic designer here

#2 Day nursery

daycare or nursery
The government is rolling out its new childcare scheme for two-year-olds from April 2024 so this could be an ideal opportunity

Running a nursery is infinitely rewarding – and they are in high demand.

The government is rolling out its new childcare scheme for two-year-olds from April 2024 so this could be an ideal opportunity to start, especially if there aren’t many childcare providers in your area.

Options to start include childminding – which means you’d be a registered self-employed childcare professional and you can look after children in your own home. On premise daycare, that tends to be open during business hours and cater to children between three months and five years (there are grants you can apply for you if you consider this option). Au pairing or nannying or even a dedicated breakfast and after school care provider for schools are other options to explore.

Assaf Ben Ezra, co-founder of Keren’s Nursery, shared: “Due to the ever-rising demand for high quality childcare as parents are encouraged to return to work, 2024 is an excellent time to open new nurseries.”

Read the full article on starting a day nursery here

#3 Private chef

If you already work in a commercial kitchen, or you just enjoy flipping the contents of a frying pan in your spare time, think about starting a business as a private chef.

There has been a growing interest in cooking at home throughout the decade, but the pandemic was a catalyst in a major way. In 2020, there was a 171 per cent increase in the number of people searching for private chefs in the UK, according to industry experts.

The money is decent too, especially if you find a lucrative niche. You can earn anything from £25,000-£100,000 a year, depending on your knowledge, skills and experience. Private chef platform, Yhangry, says that active chefs can take home £25,000 per month, but most earn between £1,000 and £2,000 per month.

There’s a number of different avenues to explore from working as a private chef in people’s homes, to teaching cooking classes or preparing meal kits. Carving out a speciality of some kind is a great way to stand out – like a niche diet type or cuisine.

Read the full article on becoming a private chef here

#4 Make money from ChatGPT

It was the Economist’s word of the year in 2023, and ChatGPT promises to be a byword for the AI revolution into 2024 and beyond.

If you’re not already using it, what are you waiting for? The chatbot’s performance and abilities are being improved upon all the time, and it’s democratising access to many of the skills that can help you thrive in the digital economy, from text and video generation to programming and language translation.

Want to build a website that you can then monetise? ChatGPT has your back. Or how about a YouTube channel for sponsored explainer vids in dozens of languages? With ChatGPT, you can do so without any video editing or language skills. Here’s how to make money with ChatGPT in 2024.

Read the full article on making money from ChatGPT here

#5 Grow your own food

Box of fruit and veg

One option to explore in 2024 is growing and selling your own fruit and veg produce. The landscape may be littered with difficulties, such as land price reaching record levels and certifications taking a long time to be granted, but if you already have the means, there are plenty of reasons to get a business off the ground.

Businesses like veg box delivery companies have boomed in recent years and farm shops have made a success from turning that produce into hot food. That, together with a growing appetite from consumers to eat organic and a current overreliance on imported fruit and veg means the ingredients are there to turn a profit.

Read the full article on growing your own produce here

#6 AI consultant

With the surge in generative AI that is rapidly changing the market, it can be overwhelming for businesses, especially small firms without dedicated resource, to know what to adopt and what to leave out.

An AI consultant can advise individuals and businesses on what AI platforms and tools are out there as well as how much they cost, how to implement them effectively and the ethical implications to consider.

The global Artificial Intelligence (AI) Consulting 2023 report showed that the size of the market was valued at USD 93472.06m in 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 37.46 per cent during the forecast period, reaching USD 630611.25m by 2029.

If you already have specialist knowledge in a particular industry, then get involved. Business AI consulting is the clear choice to begin with, but healthcare AI and AI marketing for other small businesses are also growing areas worth exploring.

Read the full article on becoming an AI consultant here

#7 Holistic pet care

Thanks to rising ownership among younger consumers, and an increase in single person households and empty nesters, more and more of us see our furry friends as one of the family rather than just something we own.

The result of this humanisation of our pets is a willingness to spend much more on them and to explore a wider range of treatments, diets and remedies.

Holistic pet care, which includes everything from natural supplements to dog massage, aims to support the health and wellbeing of our animals so that they live happier longer lives. Here’s how you can get in on the action.

Read the full article on starting a holistic pet care business here

#8 Third culture cuisine

Third culture cuisine
Authenticity is key for third culture cuisine. But the options for mouth-watering food are limitless…

Forget fusion food – third culture cuisine is the culinary product of chefs who were raised in diaspora communities, and who have a knack for bringing together all the best elements of their parents’ food culture and the culture they grew up in.

As you can imagine, this has given rise to some truly tantalising creations, like sesame umi ramen carbonara and Kasundi Keema lasagne rolls. And despite the ongoing cost of living crisis, there remains an appetite for delicious food, with consumers still prioritising dining out over any other treat in 2024.

From revolutionary restaurant concepts to unique food brands, third culture cuisine is a bubbling pot of opportunities.

Read the full article on starting a third culture cuisine business here

#9 Vehicle leasing host

The sharing economy is big business, and it’s set to only get bigger. In recent years, it has given way to car-sharing platforms such as Turo and Getaround, which allow ‘hosts’ to lease out their cars for short amounts of time (even for an hour) to users who then leave a review, like on Airbnb.

These peer-to-peer car rental apps are growing in popularity and are perfect for built-up areas with a high footfall rate – such as busy train stations, city centres or airports. When you consider car ownership among young people is at its lowest point in two decades, this option fills a demand while you effectively do nothing. You don’t even need to hand over the keys.

Read the full article on becoming a vehicle leasing host here

Is there an idea you think we’ve missed that’s going to be huge in 2024? Leave a comment or let us know on social.

See also: Marketing a new business – Half of UK businesses don’t have a marketing plan. Here’s how to ensure you get ahead of the pack

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Lucy Wayment

Lucy is the former editor of and has been writing and working in the small business and entrepreneur space for over 12 years. She’s now Head of Content at Stubben Edge, where she writes...