If your income as an OFW is not enough to sustain your family's needs or if you simply want to gain additional income to add to your savings, you can consider putting up your own business. Although some ventures can be started with small amount of cash, you also have the option to apply for an OFW business loan if ever you need a little more capital.
Still not sure what kind of business to engage in? Check out the following:
1. Buy and Sell (from Philippines to the country you're in)
Are your fellow OFWs missing some things from the Philippines? That should be your cue that you'll have a lucrative market when you bring those things to them. These could be delicacies from their home towns, their favorite brand of toiletries and even commercial food products that are unique from the country. You will need to have a relative back home to do the shopping though if you don't regularly travel.
2. Buy and Sell (Shipping items to the Philippines)
Alternatively, you can send imported products for sale to people in the Philippines. You can do this on a per-order basis to ensure that you won't waste money buying things that no one will buy. As an example, if you're in the USA, you can advertise that you can send authentic NBA shirts for those who want to order. If you're in Japan, you can consider quality costumes for cosplays or some authentic and interesting Japanese food products. For this business, you'll also need the help of someone back home to coordinate the deliveries once the products arrive in the Philippines.
3. Online Shop (for your own products)
It's amazing how you can turn your creativity into money-making venture. Whether you're into photography, jewelry making, water color scripting, graphics designing and even as simple as doodling, you can earn from them. And the fact that you'll enjoy doing them means that producing great items won't be a chore on your part. Ask the help of a web developer to build your online shop or open an account in buy-and-sell websites such as Amazon or eBay.
4. Baked Goodies
If you're skilled enough to bake and have quality equipment where you live, you can accept orders on cakes, cupcakes and other baked goods from your fellow OFWs and even your non-Filipino colleagues. Everyone loves to eat especially sweet treats and you'll surely make use of your baking skills to gain additional income while working abroad.
5. Mobile Phone Load
Despite the popularity of the internet in connecting loved ones from around the world, many OFWs still prefer to communicate through mobile phones. If you know a many fellow Filipinos who still contact their loved ones this way, you can put up your own phone load business. This can be beneficial especially when your target customers still have to travel to another city just to buy their prepaid cards or have to contact someone back home when they need load for their roaming number.
6. Room Rental
If you're lucky enough to rent a whole house or apartment as an expat in the country you're working in, you can consider renting out some rooms or bed space to fellow OFWs in need of a decent place to stay. The monthly income you can get will be a good source of additional funds that will help offset your rent on the property itself. Alternatively, you can cater to the needs of Filipino travelers who will need a temporary place to stay and you can charge a per-day basis just like in AirBnB or CouchSurfing.
7. Stock Market
You don't need millions of pesos to engage in the stock market. For as low as P5,000 you can already open an account to be able to buy and sell company stocks. You'll need to do some research and a bit of patience though when you're in this game. But once you're successful and get the hang of the usual trends, you can gain profits that are much greater than when you leave your money in the bank.