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Dream Believe Create is an online magazine for women entrepreneurs, creatives and change-makers. It’s for women who want to start sustainable, mission-driven businesses or creative practices without sacrificing their principles and avoiding the profit-at-any-cost / business-as-usual model that we’re all so tired of.

11 Vegan Business Ideas for Start-ups

11 Vegan Business Ideas for Start-ups

Each issue we’ll bring you insights into a specific industry that we believe has potential for 21st century startups, and opportunities for businesses that are purpose-driven and values-based. This month we’re looking at the increasing adoption of a vegetarian or vegan diet across the globe. {Scroll down to head straight to our eleven business ideas if you’re already convinced this is an industry you’d like to be part of.}

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Once considered by many to be little more than passing fads, vegetarianism and veganism are increasingly popular mainstream dietary options that now command serious attention from the big food companies. Combined, they account for US$51 billion of the global food market spend. The diets, which either limit or exclude animal products entirely, are continuing to grow in popularity. Market research firm Euromonitor predicts that by 2020 the packaged vegan food market will be worth $215 million in Australia alone. Remember, that’s just packaged food - items such as tofu, nut milks, chocolate, cheese and meat alternatives – it doesn’t include consumer purchases of fresh food for home cooking or the ever-expanding restaurant options. 

This global trend towards vegetarianism and veganism presents opportunities for businesses all around the world. With a whopping 94% growth, Italy had the fastest growing vegetarian population during 2011-2016 while China, the UAE and Australia are currently leading the way in the adoption of entirely meat-free diets.

The trend is most marked among young women, but all sectors of society are getting involved. Motivations range from a focus on individual health or personal religious beliefs to broader concerns about animal welfare, the environment and climate change.

Whatever the reasons, this is a trend that presents enormous opportunities for women entrepreneurs. Demand is growing and if you’re passionate about food, the environment and health then this could be the perfect industry for you to explore. 

Here are eleven business ideas to get you started:

1.    Vegetarian/Vegan Baby Food Manufacturing

This is a category that’s set for expansion.  In fact, Euromonitor predicts 10.6% value growth between 2016 – 2020. Perhaps one of the reasons for this significant growth is that, as we’ve just seen, young women are one of the sectors most enthusiastic about adopting a vegan diet. It makes sense that they’ll want their babies to follow a similar dietary lifestyle either wholly or in part.

2.    Restaurants and Cafes

There is ample room for restaurants and cafes in this sector.  Not only do they attract committed vegans/vegetarians but of course their friends and families too. Think about it this way, if just one member of a group is vegan/vegetarian then only a venue with appropriate dining options can be considered – even if you’re a conventional restaurant, if you don’t have decent menu choices for vegans you’ll miss out on custom from their friends, families and colleagues too!

3.    Dietary Consultant or Coach

If you have a background in nutrition then there are lots of opportunities. You could consult to restaurants, hotels, schools and hospitals; or coach individuals or families. There is still a lot of confusion about how to transition to a vegetarian/vegan diet, what foods to choose and how to prepare them.

4.    Vegan Alcoholic Drinks

This is something that is often overlooked. It’s entirely possible to produce wines and other alcoholic drinks without animal products and definitely worth exploring if you’re in the beverages industry.

5.    Ice Cream Bar

Sure, most supermarkets now stock at least one vegan brand, but locating a dairy-free ice cream treat while you’re out and about is still not an easy thing to do! There are definitely opportunities for ice cream makers in this space.

6.    Vegan Cakes and Deserts

If you’re a talented baker, then this might be the perfect niche for you.  Just like the rest of the population, vegans have birthdays, get married, celebrate milestones and like to indulge in a delicious treat from time to time too!

7.    Cooking Workshops

Host workshops to teach people how to cook vegan meals.  You could do this in person or expand your reach further by doing it online.

8.    Vegan Meet-Ups

Hold a regular meet-up in your area, or use technology to scale to multiple locales, where vegans can get together in a social environment and share great food. You could even get local vegan businesses to sponsor you, providing an additional revenue source.

9.    Magazine/Media

Start a publication, either in print or online, that caters specifically to vegetarians and/or vegans. There's a multitude of topics and subjects to cover for your readers, and it’s an attractive niche advertising opportunity for potential sponsors too.

10.  Mobile Food Trucks

Whether you invest in a single truck or a fleet, this is a smart way to reach your foodie market. Being mobile means you can follow the crowds – to concerts, festivals, farmer’s markets or the beach – and offer your favourite vegan or vegetarian cuisine.

11.    Angel Investor

If you have the funds, and supporting other people’s brilliant ideas appeals to you, then you could become an angel investor that focuses on vegetarian/vegan businesses. This is a great way to help other entrepreneurs, and it allows you to benefit from this growth sector without getting too hands on yourself.

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This is by no means an exhaustive list of business ideas, but it may help to get you started. After that, all it takes is the willingness {and a dash of courage} to give it a go.

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