Best Business Ideas for Returning OFWs

Being an overseas Filipino worker is definitely tough.


You spend long years, perhaps even decades, away from your family and your home to pursue better opportunities so you can give the best life to your loved ones.

When finally you’re able to come home, you’re probably exhausted from all the work you’ve done and perhaps you can’t even imagine going back to working for someone ever again.

How do I know this?

Because I was an OFW too! 

I worked in Dubai in 2015 and when I came back here I just knew that I wanted to do something different.

That something different was to put up my own business.

However, it wasn’t easy for me because back then, I wasn’t sure of what kind of businesses would thrive here in the Philippines.

I was away for too long to know exactly what was in demand in our home country. This is why I want to share this information with you!

Now that we are facing a pandemic, I noticed that a lot of OFWs have actually come home or have expressed their desire to come home to the Philippines.

I also see that most of you are looking into establishing your own business especially now that you’ve saved up some money from your work abroad.

And just like me five years ago, I’m sure you may be feeling a little lost.

Not to mention, this pandemic has greatly altered the make-up of businesses here in the Philippines.

From physical stores and establishments, businesses now are more reliant on online or ecommerce platforms to ensure a safer shopping and selling experience.

But don’t worry, we’ll get through this together.

Through this article I will show you the different businesses that are currently the best ones that you can pursue in 2020, so that you’ll be ready by 2021. 

Here are some of the best businesses you can start as a returning OFW:  

  1. Food: Cooking, Baking, Meal Preparation 

By far the most popular business I’ve been seeing right now has something to do with cooking or baking. You can start off small by offering home cooked meals to people from your own community and eventually you can even start offering portions for sharing for small events or gatherings. This is quite popular because people are in quarantine, and they’re always craving for something new to eat apart from their usual menu. Similarly, if you’re into baking or you’re good at making desserts, you can also sell stuff like well-decorated cakes, bottles of coffee jelly, and stuff like that. Just make sure to always sanitize your kitchen and keep yourself healthy

    2. Fashion or Clothing Retailer/Reseller 

Another staple on any list of business ideas is a fashion/clothing enterprise. It’s so easy now to start this because suppliers are abundant and eager to supply potential sellers, especially since their physical markets aren’t being visited as often as before. Additionally, there is always a demand for clothing! Trust me, I’ve been in the fashion industry for years now and I’ve observed that people will always be in the look out for quality, trendy clothing pieces. This is something you can easily get into as a returning OFW because that is exactly what I did when I returned! 


    3. Handicrafts

Now if you’re artistic or handy with arts and crafts, maybe you’d like to start making a business out of your creations. Handicrafts can range from scented candles, crocheted items, handmade face masks, room decorations, accessories, and so much more. A lot of new entrepreneurs, especially online, go this way because they are essentially doing something that they already love and know how to do well. Maybe you have a skill you picked up on abroad? Or maybe you have a specific decoration or ornament that you saw there that you would like to bring here in the Philippines? You can surely draw inspiration from your experiences in a foreign land! 


    4. Plant selling 

The quarantine also brought on a surge of interest for houseplants and gardening. Since everyone is at home, it seems that there is a great desire to fill their homes with plants to remind them of nature and to purify the air they breathe everyday. This is why I recommend this business! All you need to do is find a trustworthy local supplier of bestselling plants and you’re good to go. You can even put a unique twist to it like providing really cool customized pots or some gimmick of the sorts. 



     5. Rental Property Business

Last but not the least, we have a rental property business. This is basically you renting out a room or an apartment for a certain period of time. Now, this is possibly the most difficult one to start on this list, especially if you don’t have a property already to start with. But I put this on this list because the benefits of this venture are just too great to ignore. Sure, it will need a big capital to start, but once you do get it started this is a business that can sustain you for years or even decades to come. All you have to do upon establishing it is to maintain the conditions of your property. This is quite appropriate now since people, especially frontliners, are looking into renting spaces within Metro Manila to be closer to their jobs.

Now all of this, particularly the last one, can be daunting for a returning OFW.

But believe me, these are really the simplest and best business ideas for you.

They’re relatively easy to start and it’s not hard at all to enter these markets. Still, I understand why you might be scared.

First of all, where would you get the capital?

For ideas 1 and 3, and maybe even 2, the capital needed won’t be too big.

You can even use the savings you already have from your work overseas.

As for the rest, you’ll simply need to take out a loan from one of the reliable banks or loan companies that we have here in the Philippines.

With your track record as a hardworking OFW, it will be a piece of cake to secure a loan for your new business! 

Second of all, I know you’re worried on how to start, how to sustain, and how to grow your business.

I’ve been there myself and that’s why I’m here for you!

From securing loans, looking for suppliers, and marketing your products and services,

I will be here to guide you the way I wished someone guided me before. So, I wish you all the luck as you take on this new part in your life.

I have so much more advice and life lessons I’d like to share with you so I hope to see you here again soon!