By Laura Harrop

October is #SmallBusinessMonth so it’s the perfect time to launch that small business you’ve been dreaming of. But what kind of business will thrive during a pandemic? As COVID-19 cases in Ontario begin to surge once again, here are 4 start-up ideas for aspiring entrepreneurs that fit perfectly with social distancing.

1. Backyard Furniture Business

Now that spending time outside has morphed from a leisurely pastime to a COVID necessity, backyard furniture has become a hot commodity! Many homeowners are taking the time to make their yards more comfortable and appealing. Whether it’s repurposing old furniture lying around at home, building your own, or using suppliers, there are lots of ways to go about launching your backyard furniture business. Many folks are also investing in outdoor space heaters. If you can source them, heaters would be a great addition to your business.

2. Office Studio Pods

For the folks working from home and craving a change of scenery, backyard offices could be the answer. If you work in construction and have the appropriate machinery, why not tailor it to build all-weather offices in people’s backyards? These could even double as quarantine hideouts should the need arise. Whatever the purpose, office pods serve as much-needed getaways during the long pandemic months.

3. Homemade weights from recycled materials

Workout equipment isn’t always affordable for consumers, so making gear from simple, recycled ingredients is a DIY activity from home that is topical and sustainable! Whether you are building concrete dumbbells to DIY sandbags, you are likely to find a chunk of these ingredients just by scouring your house… let’s get (body) building!

4. Masks from recycled fabrics

And finally, the wastage from disposable masks is a huge driver of plastic pollution, and the remedy lies in reusable, up-cycled masks! This is a simple and environmentally-friendly way to build a business by repurposing old clothes and fabrics to be found right at home. The need for masks in public will likely outlive the pandemic itself, so why not help make the habit more sustainable?


Hope these provide some inspiration. Still need help? Our Women’s Business Accelerator program is accepting applications. Learn how we can help you shape your business plan, network with peers and learn to pitch your ideas with confidence.

Best of luck with your own business endeavors!