unveils the 14 best business ideas for 2015

A study from UK’s leading online resource reveals hottest start-up prospects with input from entrepreneurs and industry experts: quirky cafés, 3D printed products, and Peruvian food among most exciting business opportunities for the coming year.

The study, entitled What business to start in 2015, outlines the top 14 business opportunities which are expected to take off over the coming year. Other encouraging sectors highlighted in the report include sustainable and ethical clothing, property tech, and protein products.

With Companies House data reporting a record high of 580,000 new companies registered last year, an accelerated increase on 2013 and 2012, this appetite for starting a business is projected to grow in 2015 as the process of starting a business becomes quicker, cheaper and easier than ever.

Building on this positive outlook for the UK’s ecosystem in 2015 and with more people now looking to become their own boss and realise their start-up ambitions, Startups has unveiled some of the most opportune businesses to start this year.

Released today, the report combines in-depth research and analysis of emerging business and consumer trends, as well as interviews with, and suggestions from, industry experts; serial entrepreneurs, business leaders and both established company CEOs and brand new start-ups.

Contributors and interviewees include Wheyhey protein products co-founder Greg Duggan; restaurateur Martin Morales of Peruvian eatery Ceviche; Tamara Arbib, founder of free-from drinks brand Rebel Kitchen; leading research body Mintel and start-up accelerator Bethnal Green Ventures.’s 14 best business ideas for 2015 are:

  1. Quirky cafés – First it was cats, then cereal and now crisps, quirky cafés are the in thing. National media attention and consumer engagement have helped to put innovative cafés on the map and 2015 is a great year to start your very own niche café.
  2. Custom-made 3D printed products – With a growing demand for personalised and bespoke products, consumer 3D printers have opened up a plethora of opportunities for start-ups looking to launch low-cost, custom-made products. From shoes designed to the curve of your foot to specific phone replacement parts – ‘mass customisation’ has never been easier.
  3. Peruvian food – 2015 is the year we see this world cuisine become the food everyone wants to try offering a window of opportunity for budding foodie entrepreneurs. Building on the success of restaurants Lima and Ceviche, Peruvian start-up opportunities range from specialist ingredients and cooking agents to street food vans.
  4. Protein products – The protein market is booming from protein shakes and high protein ice creams to a growing number of people keen to “shred” and get lean. With the protein product sector set to inflate to global sales of £8bn by 2017, it’s time to join the sector before it gets overcrowded.
  5. Sustainable and ethical clothing – As consumers become increasingly concerned about the provenance of fashion – 19% of Brits are concerned about the ethics of the clothing they buy and 30% base their purchase on sustainability – a number of the big retailers are launching Made in Britain lines to cope with demand. With more shoppers on the hunt for ethical fashion and a new way in to major retailers, there’s a growing opportunity for savvy designers to launch an ethical fashion brand.
  6. Property tech – With property development big business in 2014, the limelight has now shifted to property tech and the industry is really hotting up. As cloud technology becomes more advanced, “proptech” is challenging the traditional estate agency. Move over Zoopla.
  7. Bike safety accessories – With the huge surge in recent years of people turning to cycling and the number of casualties increasing, a start-up which answers the calls for increased bike safety could be a lucrative business opportunity.
  8. Niche social networks – Facebook and Twitter might remain the market leaders but more people are moving away from the generic mainstream to niche social media sites which appeal to their specific interests. Social media fatigue and digital maturity make niche social networks an enticing low-cost opportunity in 2015 in the same way focused forums and niche blogging businesses offered potential previously.
  9. “Free from” foods – Praise from celebrities and health experts coupled with an increase in health conscious foodies is turning the “free from” market from a nutritional cult to a mainstream option. Be it dairy-free, gluten-free or even sugar-free – the “free from” foods market could be your ticket to start-up success. Jump on Beyoncé and Victoria Beckham’s band wagon.
  10. Pet sitting – Growth in the pet care market and increased time pressures for pet owners points to a great freelance opportunity for 2015. Just as professional dog walkers can be found in every town and city, the rise of domestic services to make life easier is extending to professional pet sitters.
  11. On-demand service app – An opportunity for the next “Uber for X”, a whole wave of start-ups are competing for a share of the service market but there’s still potential for more online platforms and apps to capitalise on this trend and provide instant solutions for arduous tasks.
  12. Tech for Good – Could you be the next entrepreneurial superhero? With tech innovation and the growth of new funds and investment into technology-led social enterprises, demand for the next Raspberry Pi Foundation is growing.
  13. Growth hacker – While growth hacking is not an entirely new phenomenon, as the number of fast growth and scale-up companies continues to rise, demand will become higher than ever for tech-savvy experts who can combine content and marketing mechanisms with knowledge of code to convert browsers into sign-ups.
  14. Care home services – Close to 300,000 people live in care homes in England and Wales and the number of people aged over 85 in the UK is predicted to double in the next 20 years. With specialist services third behind cost and the level of independent living on the scale of factors considered for choosing a residential care home, the potential to provide a wellbeing service for residents is high. editor, Ian Wallis, discussed the 2015 predictions:

“Business ideas are nothing without execution and a big part of that comes down to timing. Where there’s growing appetite there’s opportunity.

“And with these 14 ideas we have a great mix of both accessible and slightly more adventurous business ideas in rapidly developing markets.

“One message we’re keen to convey is it’s ok to follow and yet still innovate in some small way. We’re not looking to predict the ‘second bounce of the ball’, a phrase popularised by legendary venture capitalist Sir Ronald Cohen, who like most investors, sought to back the next £100m business each time.

“Instead, success for many readers will mean starting a business that goes on to become sustainable and generate healthy profits – or even supplement a part-time income. And we celebrate a growing freelance opportunity as much as the next big technology play.

“From the regionalisation of London’s quirky cafés to latching on to rising consumption of ‘free from’ foods. And from a taste for Peruvian to spice up your life to launching a venture built on the foundations of 3D printing technology, 2015 will see a plethora of exciting start-ups.”

Several experts passed their own opinions on these projections.

Martin Morales, founder of fast-growing Peruvian restaurant Ceviche said opportunities to make the cuisine mainstream are high:

“People are looking for new experiences and they want to eat better food. They want to cook, touch, see, feel, eat and experience magical things that come from outside the UK that will make them feel great. Peruvian food fits into that perfectly because it’s fresh, healthy and has so many new flavours.

“There has been an explosion of Peruvian food in London and interest around the UK. Ceviche and Andina are our showrooms to our dishes, drinks and ingredients and we can clearly see opportunity in growing these as well as other areas.

“Gastronomy is at the heart of what my team and I do, but so is entertainment and our passion for cooking is matched by that of music, art and events meaning that we are now working on all these areas too.

“All, with the right approach, have potential but only if we put the customer first, seek excellence in what we do and are authentic.

“We’ve had some fantastic interest from customers since the soft launch through our restaurants of our PK Peruvian Kitchen chilli sauces. Chocolate, coffee and others may also be popular.”

Wheyhey’s Greg Duggan expressed optimism for entrepreneurs looking to start a protein product business:

“Protein has moved away from being a niche product to becoming increasingly mainstream – look around you on the tube and you’re bound to see someone clutching a protein shake or chowing down a protein bar.

“There’s been a definite step change in the category in the last few years, as brands are moving away from traditional messaging centred on bulking up and hard core workouts. Let’s face it, many of us don’t necessarily want to build excessive muscle mass. People now want to consume more protein because the messaging around protein has changed: it’s all about sports recovery, overall improved health, body image and weight management – which appeals to pretty much all of us!

“The protein category is helping to drive this overall step change and I think it’s so important that there are more brands out there who are making healthy living more enjoyable, easy and accessible for everyone.”



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