The services sector is undoubtedly the biggest economic sector in the US as it accounts for nearly 70% of the country’s gross domestic product. It ...
12 Business Ideas for Social Workers
Written by: Carolyn Young
Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.
Edited by: David Lepeska
David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.
Published on April 22, 2023
Updated on October 2, 2023
Social work is a noble pursuit, though not terribly lucrative. If you want to help people but would rather make a better living, many alternative businesses might be right up your alley. Some fall into the category of social entrepreneurship – a business that makes money while serving a social purpose.
This handy guide highlights 12 great business ideas for social workers that can boost your income while making the world a better place. Now that’s a win-win!
You can use your knowledge, skills, and experience to provide guidance and insight to nonprofits and social service agencies. If you have business knowledge, even better, as you can provide financial advice as well. Either way, you can charge a decent hourly rate and turn it into a profitable consulting business.
If you have writing skills, you could start a blog, perhaps aimed at supporting social workers or a certain cause. You can make money with ads or affiliate marketing, which means making deals with companies to earn a commission if a sale of their product is generated from a link on your site.
Many organizations hire speakers to educate their members and employees about social problems and potential solutions. If you’re a great public speaker, you could choose a topic that fits your experience and speak at conferences and meetings. You could do the same at schools as well, and build up a nice public speaking business.
4. Corporate Social Work
Companies these days are more focused on employee well-being and diversity and building a positive culture. You could work with companies to develop programs to advance those goals. It takes special skills to create a positive workplace, and your social work experience could be a great fit.
5. Online Social Work Courses
Millions of people are ready to learn online, which is why global e-learning is expected to be worth a trillion dollars by 2027. You can start an online social work courses business, spread some quality knowledge, and grab a sliver of this vast market. To get started, hop on a platform like Udemy, SkillShare, or MasterClass and start bringing in revenue right away.
6. Life Coach
Business executives have long used life coaches to elevate their performance, but now people of all ages and backgrounds are seeking them out to boost personal and professional performance. You could launch a life coaching business from the comfort of your own home and help people lead more fulfilling lives while making a good living.
Microlending provides small, low-interest loans to those that lack access to funding to help them start their own businesses and become financially self-sufficient. Often, organizations like Kiva solicit the loan funds from individuals, who then receive payments from the recipients. The business earns revenue from the interest paid on each loan.
8. Socially Conscious Products
Consumers are increasingly seeking socially conscious products, which come in many forms. You could produce sustainably made clothing or source products from people in developing countries, pay them for their work, and sell the items for a profit.
9. Sustainable Packaging
Sustainable packaging is also gaining ground, as it’s less harmful to the environment. You could start a business creating sustainable packaging for small businesses, which you could start on a small scale and grow it into a big operation with its own facility.
10. Thrift Store
Thrift stores are a great idea, providing places for people to donate their unwanted goods, which others then snap up at affordable prices. The revenue thrift stores earn sustains the business and pays the employees and could even make a profit. You could start an online thrift store, where people send in their unwanted items to be offered for sale online.
11. Buy One Give One
Companies like Tom’s Shoes have popularized the buy-one give-one model, and you could do the same by giving one of item X to an underserved community for every one you sell. Maybe it’s coats, or textbooks, or T-shirts? Choose a product that can really make a difference.
12. Mental Health Facility
Private mental health facilities, whether for people with disorders or those suffering from addiction, make good money. Many insurance companies and sometimes Medicaid will pay for client stays in these facilities, so you wouldn’t have to turn away people who lack the funds. You could make a huge difference in your community and use your skills by opening your own mental health facility.
12 Business Ideas for Social Workers
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
and gain insider access to cutting-edge business insights and trends.
57 Best Service Business Ideas
Published on December 1, 2022
35 Health and Wellness Business Ideas
Published on July 14, 2022
Even before the coronavirus pandemic swept the world, consumers were spending more on products focused on better health, nutrition and immunity. Ify ...
How to Start a Small Business
Published on January 15, 2022
Owning a successful business is one of the most rewarding things you can do with your life. It’s empowering and liberating, and allows you toprodu ...