38 Vegan Business Ideas To Help Change The Demand of Ethical Products

38 Vegan Business Ideas To Help Change The Demand of Ethical Products

I’m just going to come out and say it. I’m sick and tired of the lack of availability of vegan products in the current marketplace. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t find it difficult being vegan. But it would be nice to have more options at my fingertips when shopping.

In almost 2 years of being vegan, I’ve longed for more ethical businesses. In my day job, I work in the city centre, so naturally I’m exposed to retail and consumer buying behaviour on a daily basis.

Surely I’m not the only one wishing that there was an amazing cruelty free gelato bar to rival all of the dairy based ones? Or fashion retailers that only stock timeless garments that are ethically sourced and made?

I always imagine a world where ethical businesses are more readily accessible to the general public. I wonder then what people would opt to buy if they had a choice? McDonalds drive through vs Vegan Burger drive through? Wouldn’t that be interesting?

Whilst these are my opinions through my own personal experiences, statistics are showing that veganism is on the rise. Below shows the growth of search engine traffic for veganism and vegetarianism between 2009 and 2013. No doubt it has continued to climb steadily as vegan is becoming somewhat mainstream.

1280px-Vegetarianism_and_veganism_page_views,_Wikipedia

Image source: Wikipedia

These are promising numbers on the demand side of economics. However this post is about how we can all tap into our inner entrepreneurial talents and help the supply side of this equation.

I’m seeing more and more business owners who aren’t vegan themselves, add vegan options to their product mix as they see a clear market opportunity.

A new Pizzeria recently opened in our local area. They make good quality pizza’s with ‘naturally’ sourced ingredients – ahem, mainly from animals. However they do have two vegan pizza options on their menu including vegan cheese (which is a big deal!). The manager told us that their vegan pizza’s are by far their best sellers so they’re going to look to expand. They’ve had so much success because they literally have no competition. So all of the vegans in town are flocking to this one Pizzeria.

This goes to show that conventional entrepreneurs are starting to see the opportunity in the growing vegan consumer market. I would personally love to see social entrepreneurs join the party, whether they’re creating goods that are vegan, fair trade, organic or eco friendly. We need more options. We need to help shift the demand by increasing the supply.

I’ve had countless of business ideas since becoming vegan, but between running Fairlings, this blog and working full-time there’s only so much I can take on.

In this post I’ll be sharing 38 vegan business ideas that could help any marketplace. I want to share these ideas with you because I hope that you’ll help them come alive. These are not by any means new revolutionary ideas, but they do seem to be missing in many marketplaces. Keep in mind we live in Australia in the capital city, so maybe where you live there is much more to choose from.

If you don’t fancy yourself as an entrepreneur, maybe you know someone who would like to try to start a socially conscious business? In any case, I encourage you to reflect on all of the occasions when you’ve struggled to find a specific product that is vegan friendly and think about how you can help solve that problem yourself.

I’ve broken the list down by category to help filter through content.

Let’s get into it.

Food & Beverages

  1. Gelato Bar with delicious dairy free ice cream.
  2. Vegan Pie Shop.
  3. Nut Cheese Deli.
  4. The vegan version of Krispy Kreams.
  5. Fast service Pizzeria with home delivery options.
  6. Vegan cafe that specialises in avocado toasties and world class organic coffees with almond milk.
  7. Vegan friendly bar or night club.
  8. Start a food truck specialising in mouth watering vegan burgers.
  9. Premium organic vegan restaurant with innovative recipes.
  10. Become a vegan alcoholic beverage retailer.

Services

  1. Freelance illustrator who services vegan friendly small businesses.
  2. Company accountant or bookkeeper for online vegan entrepreneurs.
  3. Photographer servicing compassionate businesses.
  4. Specialise in project managing organic and vegan shop fit-outs.
  5. Become a social media manager for vegan businesses.
  6. Offer copywriting services to help build the profile of vegan entrepreneurs.
  7. Study to become a health professional that serves the vegan community using natural cruelty free practices.

Fashion

  1. Online vegan sneaker retailer.
  2. Bamboo clothing line specialising in everyday garments.
  3. Organic, fair trade and vegan line of jeans.
  4. Tailored vegan suits for men.
  5. Start a funky vegan sock company.

It’s also important for the supply chain to ensure it’s all fair trade.

Education & Media

  1. Animated YouTube channel producing 2–3 minute videos teaching people the truth about consumerism (someone please do this!).
  2. An all vegan childcare centre with community veggie garden.
  3. Vegan wedding blog producing amazing content and advertising ethical wedding brands and services.
  4. A series of online courses teaching people how to cook different vegan cuisines at home.
  5. Partner with your local education institutions and develop a vegan chef school certification.
  6. Produce a documentary style podcast that captures the stories of animal cruelty, fair trade, and environmental issues.

Technology

  1. Develop a dating app that accurately connects vegan soulmates together.
  2. Create a concierge service in the form of a mobile app that connects all of the local ethical tradespeople with vegan customers.
  3. Design a line of solar powered smartphone accessories.
  4. Invent sustainable materials to be used in various industries.

Cosmetics & Beauty

  1. Create a makeup line that is vegan, fair trade, organic and eco friendly (let us know when you do).
  2. Build a vegan friendly and chemical free nail polish company.

Events

  1. Start a popular vegan meet up in your area and get local vegan businesses to sponsor you.
  2. Host vegan cooking workshops.

Investing

  1. Start an investment fund specifically for ethical businesses.
  2. Become an angel investor for vegan businesses.

What are you vegan business ideas?

I would love for you to share any experiences you have had with trying to find vegan businesses in your area. Also share some success stories so others can learn from them.

49 comments… add one
  • Isabella 21/04/2016 Reply

    YES! I think so many of us compassionate-living warriors feel fed up from time to time. And you’ve taken the next step and thought of how we can address the lack of vegan, eco-friendly and ethical products and services, and through that raise more awareness in society and hopefully lead to a mass movement towards living more sustainably. Good on you for sharing your great ideas! I certainly hope I can figure out a way bring one of your ideas to reality.

    • Thank you for your support Isabella! You hit the nail on the head with the big picture of this entrepreneurial incentive. It’s about giving people the tools and options to live more sustainably. And all it takes is an idea and a little bit of courage to make it happen.

  • Michelle 25/04/2016 Reply

    These are all great ideas! It definitely gives us something to think about. Thanks for sharing!

  • Emma 25/04/2016 Reply

    Next time you are in Sydney, make a visit to King Street in Newtown – there is a gelato shop that has just become entirely vegan (gelato blue), a pizzeria that is entirely vegan (Gigi’s) and a pie shop that sells amazing vegan mushroom pies 🙂

    • Hey Emma, funny you say that. We’re actually in Sydney this weekend and we’ve heard nothing but great things about Gigi’s. We’ll see if we can drop in and check out your suggestions. Thanks! 🙂

  • Tayla 25/04/2016 Reply

    What’s the name of the pizzeria? Would love to go and check it out! 🙂

    • Hey Tayla, the name of the pizzeria is Walter G’s. It opened about a month ago and is based in Dickson 🙂

  • Robert 25/04/2016 Reply

    I’m actually thinking about starting up something along the lines of 19 and 22…
    I’d like it to be organic as well, but that’s going to be hard. Besides that, I don’t have any connections that could help me out in that direction, so that’s even worse. 🙁

    • Hi Robert, love your ambition! There’s always a way. There are some fashion retailers pushing bamboo garments however most of them aren’t organic. There’s definitely an opportunity – particularly with mens clothing as most of what’s in the market is catered towards women. I suggest reverse engineering what other retailers have done in this space. See if you can find their founder stories on the internet. You’ll likely get some nuggets of information and figure out your next steps. Also, don’t be afraid to partner with other entrepreneurs. You might give up some equity but more heads are better than one. You can do it!

    • Charise 05/01/2017 Reply

      Hi Robert, how has your progress been with 19 and 22. I’m thinking of starting something like this too but combining 18-22 and also skin and make up products. Would be good to provide one resource which covers all fashion and beauty options for both men and women. I’m based in Sydney so if you want to share ideas or team up let me know.

  • Natsai 28/04/2016 Reply

    #1 already exists! Gelato Blue in Newtown Sydney. All plant based and delish! https://www.facebook.com/gelatoblue/

    • Hi Natasi, thanks for sharing. Whilst it exists in Sydney, something similar may not exist in other cities. We certainly don’t have anything like that in Canberra!

  • Maria 05/07/2016 Reply

    Fantastic article! I am a vegan living in Egypt and let’s just say, it’s not always easy being pretty much the only one who doesn’t eat meat/dairy! Both my boyfriend (also vegan) and I have been thinking of starting something and hopefully, we will be able to come up with something that will drive the people to a more cruelty-free lifestyle. The market is there it’s just a matter of finding the right time – and way – to tap it. Fingers crossed!

    • Thanks Maria! Wow that would be so cool if you guys could start something in Egypt! I’m sure the market there would really appreciate it and it might open up some opportunities for other vegan entrepreneurs. You can do it!

  • Marni 10/08/2016 Reply

    I want to open my own vegan cafe or food truck, and also be able to sell at farmers markets, festivals, etc. My creations have been tested by vegans and non-vegans and seem to be a hit (at least with my friends 🙂 ). I need capital, insurance, a financial pro, and an establishment! I am itching to get started right away, but work full time, so it’s a bit of a hardship. I want to do a combo of 1, 7, 9 and 26 🙂

    • Marni 10/08/2016 Reply

      Oops, not 7, 8!

    • That sounds awesome Marni! We know what it’s like to start a business when working full time but it’s small payoff in the big scheme of things. Hope you find a way to get it rolling. Maybe finding a partner would help?

  • Karen Moaran 20/08/2016 Reply

    I would like to make them all come alive but i have to take one step at a time. I want to start with food and beverages, I have the capital but would like to join with somebody who might have some knowdelge in the kitchen. I live in Mexico where veganism still not so popular but planning to take the market by surprise. If there is someone in Mexico wanting to join the adventure please contact me.

    • Love it Karen! Wish we could make all of them happen as well. Sounds like you’re in a position to start something. Hopefully you can find a great partner!

    • Val P 05/01/2017 Reply

      Hi Karen my name is Val I live in the us and in Mexico too. I have some ideas. We should talk 😀

  • Anna 29/08/2016 Reply

    Hi Masa and Michael, I’m in the Southern Highlands NSW (near you!) and am a pastry chef by trade as well as vegan. I’m embarking on making anything sweet (including ice cream) and vegan and selling wholesale to cafes and at markets but with the endgame goal of having my own place one day – full of comfort food and drinks. There’s nothing at all in the area that can properly accommodate vegans so I’m really excited! Thanks for your words, just reading positive comments help me keep motivated!

    • Hi Anna – thank you for your kind words! You have a wonderful skill set and I’m sure the people in the Southern Highlands will appreciate your yummy treats. Check back in with us to let us know how it’s coming along 🙂

  • Dawn Gray-Thom 03/10/2016 Reply

    Hi I started becoming a vegan in January 2016 doing the Veganuary Challenge. I found OK to do and interesting especially eating a whole new different healthy kind of way. I am originally from Shetland Isles now staying in Scotland, in both places it’s hard eating out as they aren’t much on the vegan side of things. But so so much nice vegan products you can buy, I so want to be able to have a small business selling fantastic vegan products. Especially now for over 1 year I get The Vegan Kind box delivered to me at the beginning of each month with great products to enjoy. Their again what and how would you begin.
    Dawn

    • Hi Dawn! Kudos on you for beginning your journey.
      Sounds like you lovely idea. Maybe you could partner with someone in your area? All the best with it.

  • Alan 13/10/2016 Reply

    I am working on a vegan investment fund. So far finding it very difficult to locate the right people.

    • Hi Alan, great idea! Have you heard of the vegan professionals Facebook group? It might be worth joining to see if you can find the right partners.

  • Shan 02/11/2016 Reply

    Hi, my friend recently introduced me to a range of Vegan certified products. Have you heard and have reviewed Arbonne products? There are many mixed reviews out there and would value your opinions on the products itself. 🙂

  • Marie 09/12/2016 Reply

    Hi. Thanks for sharing 😉
    I’m travelling the world and I’m learning a lot about nutrition and fasting, healthy food and sustainable organic garden to kitchen to table philosophies at the moment. It amazes me to learn how nutrition can affect your body, mind, soul and the whole planet and that is why I my wish of starting a business in that field is growing more and more. I gathered tons of beautiful inspirations of vegan and healthy foods in many countries all around the world. I’d love to find some communities and people to share knowledge and ideas on how to start. Marie

    • Amanda 17/12/2016 Reply

      Hi Marie,
      It would be great to connect with you. I am currently traveling and working on a business plan for a vegan startup. Getting a lot of inspiration. My next step is open and I am deciding where to go next. I’d love to hear from you on your suggestions – my email is amanda.nathaniel@gmail.com

  • Karina 12/12/2016 Reply

    So I make these vegan patties and I would love to turn it into some type of business. I’m sure I’ll need a bus noes license and get the health department to ok all the ingredients and baking area but then what?

  • Karina 12/12/2016 Reply

    I meant business license***

  • Amanda 17/12/2016 Reply

    Hi Michael,
    I’m an Australian who is currently abroad and visiting some great vegan eateries. I am working on a business plan for a vegan startup and toying with a few different concepts. I want to specialise in one main dish with a few complement dishes, rather than have 30 things on the menu. Something like the vegan fried chicken shop that recently opened in London. Still working on what the ‘one main dish’ would be. I have a few favourite recipes!

    • Hi Amanda, sounds like a great idea! I know whenever we travel, we feel inspired as well. Lot’s to bring back home to Australia. Keep us posted on the progress of your ‘one main dish’ 🙂

  • Sharon 04/01/2017 Reply

    I have been toying with the idea of opening a small vegan eatery for over a year now. My husband is the landlord of a luncheonette that is unfortunately going to go out of business. My friend and I love to cook vegan meals. I have 2 gluten free vegans that live with me (my daughters), so I am used to cooking this way. I enjoy it. Both my friend and I work full time so we were thinking of doing something like a take out only place, cook meals on the weekends, freeze them and let customers have them for later on in the week. There are no vegan places around us, let alone gluten free.

    • That sounds great Sharon! And you’ve got some experience behind your back, which certainly helps. Where are you based?

  • Val P 05/01/2017 Reply

    Hi all I just stumbled upon this blog I really like the ideas. I have been a vegan for 6 years going on 7 and would love to a start a vegan business. I live in Chicago and don’t really have many vegan friends. I would love to chat with anyone that’s interested in starting a business. Please contact me at valeriap33@gmail.com 😀
    thanks minimalist vegan for giving so many cool ideas!!

  • Lynn 08/01/2017 Reply

    I have actually been thinking of vegan business ideas myself. After accidentally buying some chocolate chips that had milk in them because they were packaged similarly to ones that didn’t I felt so frustrated and thought, if only there was a grocery store that sold only vegan products I wouldn’t have to worry so much about reading every label so meticulously. I would really like to be part of a vegan catering service…but I am definiteley not a business person. I like to prep food and set up tables and that sort of thing. I have ideas, just not the know-how or the time either right now. Can’t stop working or I’ll lose my house. Can’t start a new business while working…and so it goes.

  • Lynn 08/01/2017 Reply

    Oh, and I currently work in a retail shop that sells leather handbags and bumper stickers that say I heart bacon….I hate it!

  • el buda profano 15/01/2017 Reply

    Success story? Yes!
    A year ago we opened our vegan sushi place in the south of Peru. The business was profitable after only three month in operation. We are constantly getting requests to open in other cities around the word, including Australia.

    • Tom 05/03/2017 Reply

      I am in Olympia Wa, Do you have a website? Do have some recipes that you can share that I can make at home. I have a few avocado rolls, add some mango veggies, use cauliflower as rice. Love to more ideas
      Thanks and keep up the good work and message

  • Nora 22/01/2017 Reply

    I was considering starting my own t shirt/hoodie clothing company made from organic fair trade materials, specializing in minimalistic vegan designs. Do you think online is already saturated with enough vegan clothing though?
    I was also thinking of number 23 too, im an artist so i could totally do it, whta do you think?

    • Hi Nora. I think there’s always room for high quality products as long as they’re positioned well. Having said that, there’s been a lot of growth in the areas that you’re interested in. Maybe there’s an opportunity to create a one-stop shop for all of the brands that are making minimalist vegan clothing? That way you can be the curator instead of the maker – bringing all the brands together for a better customer experience. Just a thought. Let us know how you get on.

  • Sahlua R 15/04/2017 Reply

    Wowsers! Theres atleast 5 ideas on your list that i am completely capable of investigating.. what a great gift to the vegan community. Thankyou so much for this post!

    • You’re welcome Sahlua 🙂 We hope courageous people life yourself take the next step with these ideas!

  • Whytney Parker 19/04/2017 Reply

    These are all fabulous ideas. I have been thinking about doing *something* in the vegan cuisine world, perhaps supplying a few local cafes with vegan baking as a start. It’s my passion and what I would love to be doing for a living. Everyone has to start somewhere right? With the vegan/ethical/sustainable/cruelty free movement becoming more and more mainstream, the time to act is now!

    • Absolutely Whytney! We just came back from the West Coast in America and it really opened our eyes to how easy it is to be vegan with more businesses available. Let us know how you get on with your ideas.

  • Rancell Moya 02/05/2017 Reply

    It help me a lot! Thank you!!

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