20 Best Business Ideas to Start in Odisha for Social Impact

Business Ideas in Odisha

Are you considering starting a business in Odisha but aren’t sure where to begin? The state offers a multitude of opportunities that not only promise good returns but also have the potential to bring about meaningful change. From enhancing healthcare and boosting education to tackling environmental and social issues, there are several avenues where entrepreneurship can make a significant impact. In this guide, we explore some of the best business ideas to start in Odisha, each aligned with specific challenges that the state faces.

Problems and issues that Odia currently facing:

Odisha has made significant strides in terms of development over the years, but there are still several challenges that its people commonly face. Here are some of the major issues:


Poverty in Odisha

Despite the economic growth, a significant percentage of the population in Odisha still lives below the poverty line, particularly in rural areas. Poverty is associated with a range of other problems like poor healthcare, low levels of education, and limited access to basic amenities.


Unemployment in Odisha

While Odisha has been investing in industries and services, unemployment remains a significant issue. This is especially true for the youth, who often migrate to bigger cities in search of better job opportunities.

Natural Disasters

Natural Disasters in Odisha

Odisha is prone to natural calamities like cyclones, floods, and droughts, which often result in loss of life, property, and livelihoods. Despite improvements in disaster management, these natural events continue to have a major impact.


Poor infrastructure in Odisha

Poor infrastructure, especially in rural areas, is a significant problem. This includes inadequate road connectivity, insufficient healthcare facilities, and limited access to clean drinking water and sanitation.

Health Issues

Access to healthcare remains problematic, especially in rural areas. Malnutrition among children and maternal health are major concerns. The state also has to contend with diseases like malaria and other vector-borne diseases.


Education in Odisha

The state has improved its literacy rate over the years, but the quality of education, particularly in rural schools, remains a concern. High dropout rates, especially among girls, is another issue.

Even though primary education for 10 years is mandatory in Odisha, the literacy rate stands at only 73.5%, which is lower than the national average of 74.04%.

Social Issues

Social issues in Odisha

Gender inequality, caste-based discrimination, and tribal marginalization are some of the social issues that are prevalent in certain parts of the state.

Environmental Concerns

With industrialization and urbanization, environmental issues such as pollution and deforestation are on the rise, affecting both the health of the population and the state’s natural resources.

Here’s a list of business ideas that could potentially help alleviate some of these issues:

Tackling Poverty and Unemployment

1. Microfinance Services: 

Providing easy access to low-interest loans for small entrepreneurs and farmers.

Problem it Solves:

One of the big challenges in Odisha is poverty. People often lack the capital to start or expand small businesses. That’s where Microfinance services can be a game-changer.

How to Start:

You can start by conducting market research to identify the needs of local communities. Partner with local banks or financial institutions. Once you have the funds, you can offer low-interest loans to small entrepreneurs and farmers.

Why it Works:

By providing easy access to low-interest loans, you empower people to start businesses or improve existing ones. This can lead to job creation and help lift communities out of poverty.

2. Skill Development Centers: 

Training in IT, sewing, carpentry, etc., especially aimed at the youth and women.

Problem it Solves:

Unemployment, especially among youth and women, is a major issue. Skill development centers can offer a solution.

How to Start:

Find out what skills are in high demand. Then, collaborate with educational institutions or vocational training experts to develop courses. You can start with popular sectors like IT, sewing, and carpentry.

Why it Works:

By offering specialized training, you make people more employable. This is a great way to reduce unemployment and give people a chance at a better life.

3. Agriculture Tech Solutions: 

Offering technology solutions for efficient farming, which can help increase yield and income.

Problem it Solves:

Many people in Odisha rely on agriculture. But traditional farming methods can be inefficient, leading to low income.

How to Start:

Collaborate with agricultural experts and tech companies to develop or import technology. Offer solutions like automated irrigation systems or drones for crop monitoring.

Why it Works:

Tech solutions can significantly boost agricultural yield. Higher yield means more income for farmers, combating poverty in rural areas.

4. Local Artisan Marketplace: 

An online/offline marketplace to sell local handicrafts and art.

Problem it Solves:

Local artisans often struggle to find a market for their products. An online/offline marketplace can solve this problem, offering a much-needed income source.

How to Start:

Identify local artisans and craftsmen who make unique, high-quality products. Create an online platform where these products can be showcased and sold. You could also open a physical store or a pop-up shop in tourist-heavy locations.

Why it Works:

By giving artisans a platform to sell their products, you provide them with a sustainable income. This is crucial for both poverty reduction and cultural preservation.

Addressing Natural Disasters

5. Disaster Preparedness Training: 

A business that educates communities on how to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.

Problem it Solves:

Odisha is often hit by natural disasters like cyclones and floods. These disasters wreak havoc on communities. Disaster Preparedness Training can significantly reduce the impact.

How to Start:

You can partner with local governments and NGOs to identify vulnerable areas. Use experts to develop training modules. The next step is to conduct community workshops where you teach people how to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.

Why it Works:

Educated communities are more resilient. When people know what to do before, during, and after a disaster, the loss of life and property can be minimized.

6. Weather Forecasting Services: 

Localized weather services to help farmers and fisherfolk.

Problem it Solves:

Farmers and fisherfolk often bear the brunt of weather extremes. Localized weather forecasting can help them make informed decisions.

How to Start:

Invest in reliable weather prediction technology. Develop an app or a notification system to deliver accurate and localized weather updates. Your target audience includes farmers, fisherfolk, and even local businesses that rely on weather conditions.

Why it Works:

Accurate weather forecasting helps farmers and fisherfolk plan their activities better. This means less loss and more productivity, making it one of the best business ideas in Odisha.

7. Emergency Supply Chain: 

Businesses that can quickly supply emergency materials like tents, food, and water purifiers during disasters.

Problem it Solves:

Natural disasters often lead to a shortage of essential supplies like food, water, and shelter. An emergency supply chain can fill this critical gap.

How to Start:

Stock up on essential emergency supplies like tents, food, and water purifiers. Partner with transportation companies to ensure quick delivery during emergencies. Collaborate with local authorities and NGOs to understand logistical challenges.

Why it Works:

Rapid delivery of essential supplies can save lives. This business not only has the potential for good profit but also provides a vital service during crisis situations.

Improving Infrastructure

8. Renewable Energy Solutions:

Installation of solar panels or wind turbines in areas lacking electricity.

Problem it Solves:

Many areas in Odisha lack consistent access to electricity. This is a hurdle for economic development. Renewable energy solutions like solar panels and wind turbines can make a huge difference.

How to Start:

First, conduct a feasibility study to identify areas most in need of energy solutions. Then, partner with renewable energy firms or import the necessary technology. Once you’re set up, start installing these solutions in targeted communities.

Why it Works:

Not only does renewable energy provide a consistent power source, but it also creates jobs. From installation to maintenance, this venture can offer numerous employment opportunities.

9. Waste Management Services: 

Recycling and waste management solutions for both urban and rural settings.

Problem it Solves:

Waste management is often inadequate, leading to pollution and health risks. Both urban and rural settings can benefit from better waste management services.

How to Start:

You can start small, perhaps by focusing on recycling specific materials like plastics or organic waste. Create a collection and processing system. Partner with local authorities to ensure you’re in line with any regulations.

Why it Works:

By providing a solution to waste disposal, you’re not only creating a cleaner environment but also generating employment. Waste management is a growing field and can be one of the best businesses to start in Odisha.

10. Clean Water Services: 

Providing affordable water purifying solutions to households.

Problem it Solves:

Access to clean drinking water is a significant challenge, especially in rural areas. This is a critical issue that affects public health.

How to Start:

Research to find out which areas are most in need of clean water. Then, invest in water purifying technology. You could offer water filtration systems or even portable water purifiers.

Why it Works:

Providing affordable clean water solutions has a direct impact on health, reducing the risk of waterborne diseases. This can be a very fulfilling business, offering both profit and the satisfaction of making a significant social impact.

Enhancing Healthcare

11. Telemedicine Services: 

Bridging the healthcare gap in rural areas through remote consultations.

Problem it Solves:

Healthcare is often inaccessible in rural parts of Odisha, and traveling to urban centers for medical consultation is not always feasible. Telemedicine can bridge this gap effectively.

How to Start:

Partner with healthcare providers and invest in a secure platform where doctors can offer consultations remotely. Make sure the service is available in local languages to maximize reach.

Why it Works:

Telemedicine brings medical advice to people’s doorsteps, improving healthcare accessibility. Given the vast rural population, this is among the best business ideas in Odisha for enhancing healthcare.

12. Nutritional Supplements: 

Production and distribution of affordable, locally-sourced nutritional supplements.

Problem it Solves:

Malnutrition is a widespread issue that affects especially children and pregnant women. Nutritional supplements can make a meaningful impact.

How to Start:

Research the most common nutritional deficiencies in Odisha. Collaborate with health experts to develop supplements that can be locally produced. Ensure affordability so that even low-income households can benefit.

Why it Works:

Producing and distributing locally-sourced nutritional supplements can improve public health dramatically. It’s a profitable venture that addresses a pressing healthcare issue.

13. Health Awareness Programs: 

Businesses that run campaigns or workshops on healthcare issues like malnutrition, maternal health, and sanitation.

Problem it Solves:

Lack of awareness about healthcare issues like malnutrition, maternal health, and sanitation often exacerbates problems. Education can make a real difference.

How to Start:

Develop educational content tailored to the needs and culture of Odisha. Use workshops, campaigns, or even mobile apps to spread awareness. Partner with local organizations to amplify your reach.

Why it Works:

Educated communities are healthier communities. By providing valuable information, you empower people to take better care of themselves. This can lead to long-term improvements in public health.

Boosting Education

14. E-Learning Platforms: 

Offering localized and culturally sensitive online courses.

Problem it Solves:

Access to quality education can be a challenge, especially in rural areas. An e-learning platform with localized content can fill this gap.

How to Start:

Firstly, identify the subjects or skills that are most in demand. Develop an online platform where you can host courses and materials, making sure to offer content in local languages.

Why it Works:

By offering localized and culturally sensitive online courses, you make education more accessible. This is an excellent way to boost education levels and job prospects, making it a promising business idea in Odisha.

15. Adult Education Centers: 

Focused on improving literacy and vocational skills among adults.

Problem it Solves:

Many adults missed out on formal education and struggle with literacy and employability. Adult Education Centers can provide them with a second chance.

How to Start:

Locate areas where adult education services are most needed. Develop a curriculum that includes basic literacy and vocational training. Collaborate with local authorities and NGOs to get the word out.

Why it Works:

Improving adult literacy and skills not only enhances personal dignity but also opens doors to better job opportunities. This makes it one of the best businesses to start in Odisha for improving the social fabric.

16. Childcare Centers: 

Affordable daycare services that also provide early education, allowing parents (especially mothers) to work.

Problem it Solves:

Many parents, especially mothers, cannot work because they have no reliable childcare options. Affordable childcare centers that provide early education can solve this problem.

How to Start:

Find a suitable location and invest in creating a safe, educational environment for children. Employ qualified staff and develop an educational program that aligns with local needs.

Why it Works:

Affordable childcare services enable more parents to enter the workforce, leading to increased family income. Offering early education as part of the package adds immense value, making this one of the best business ideas in Odisha for boosting education and economic activity.

Addressing Social Issues

17. Social Awareness Media Company: 

Creating content that educates people on issues like gender equality, caste discrimination, and more.

Problem it Solves:

Social issues such as gender inequality, caste discrimination, and other forms of injustice are pervasive. A Social Awareness Media Company can play a pivotal role in educating people and advocating for change.

How to Start:

Begin by identifying the social issues that are most pressing in Odisha. Create a content strategy that incorporates articles, videos, and social media posts. Collaborate with activists, experts, and local communities to ensure your content is accurate and impactful.

Why it Works:

By creating content that enlightens and educates, you’re not just generating revenue but also driving social change. This is an excellent way to combine business with social activism, making it one of the best business ideas in Odisha.

18. Community Development Consultancy:

 Providing solutions to local governments and NGOs on effective community development.

Problem it Solves:

Community development is often hampered by a lack of expertise and resources. A consultancy can offer much-needed guidance and strategies to local governments and NGOs.

How to Start:

First, build a team of experts in fields like social work, urban planning, and economic development. Offer your consultancy services to local governments, NGOs, and other organizations involved in community development.

Why it Works:

With specialized knowledge, you can offer effective solutions to long-standing issues that hamper community development. This not only has the potential for profit but can also lead to significant improvements in quality of life for many.

Environmental Protection

19. Afforestation Enterprises: 

Businesses that work on reforesting areas and educating the community about the importance of environmental conservation.

Problem it Solves:

Deforestation and environmental degradation are serious issues affecting the natural balance. Afforestation Enterprises can work towards reforesting areas while educating communities about the significance of environmental conservation.

How to Start:

First, identify areas that are critically in need of reforestation. Coordinate with local governments and NGOs to gain necessary approvals. Create awareness programs alongside your afforestation projects to educate the community.

Why it Works:

Reforesting areas helps restore ecosystems and combat climate change. By involving the community in the process, you make sustainability a community goal. This business idea is not just profitable but also socially responsible.

20. Sustainable Tourism: 

Eco-friendly lodges and tour operators that educate tourists and locals alike on the importance of preserving local ecosystems.

Problem it Solves:

Tourism can often lead to environmental degradation if not managed sustainably. Sustainable tourism aims to balance the economic benefits of tourism with the need to protect natural habitats.

How to Start:

Research and identify locations that could be tourism hotspots but are currently underutilized. Develop eco-friendly lodges and collaborate with local tour operators to offer environmentally responsible packages. Ensure that your business educates tourists and locals about environmental protection.

Why it Works:

By promoting sustainable tourism, you’re generating income while actively protecting the environment. This creates a win-win situation for both business owners and the local ecosystem.


Starting a business isn’t just about making a profit; it’s also an opportunity to make a lasting impact. The best businesses to start in Odisha are those that solve real problems, contribute to community well-being, and offer sustainable growth. Whether you’re interested in improving healthcare, education, infrastructure, or tackling social and environmental issues, Odisha presents a range of opportunities to do well by doing good. The ideas outlined in this guide are not just lucrative; they are socially responsible choices that can contribute to the betterment of life in Odisha.

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