There is a very interesting article and slideshow today at Forbes.com that details thirteen businesses that anyone in the U.S. can start for less than $5,000. Here they are in a list, all at once:
1. direct retail sales
2. interior design
3. event planner
4. home landscaping (esp interior)
5. SAT tutoring
6. yoga instructor
7. computer trouble shooting and repair
8. child care
9. writing software
10. graphic design
12. public relations
13. web work
For more information on these, see this:
A few more ideas would be:
1. staging or "use what you have" decorating to ready for sale
2. painting, interior and exterior
3. painting pictures or doing sculpture for a gallery
4. bead jewelry-making and sales
5. house-cleaning business
6. handyman, because not all men are handy
7. piano lessons (especially mobile)
10. personalized greeting cards and birthday cards
11. calligraphy (fancy handwriting)
12. pet-walking, boarding, feeding
13. "personal shopping" for others; many niches such as food and gifts for the elderly, the ill, children
There are lots of businesses to start, depending on your situation, education, desire, what you already have and how much time and energy and good health you have. There are businesses to start in your area that are already thriving nearby or in other countries that most likely could be started with little expenditure. The list goes on and on!
Many of my acquaintances have combinations of these. A friend of mine has four businesses at once: staging, pet-feeding, giving professional massages, and teaching horseback riding when she isn't riding or caring for her three almost-launched children. Another is a concert pianist who can play for ages by memory in front of a packed audience with an orchestra, models on request and has done so in major cities, makes over-the-top jewelry (dodidesigns.com) and gives piano lessons while taking advanced degree classes.
This entry could be titled "start another business". The possibilities are endless, and the advantage of many is that you can choose your hours and have flexible convenient work.
For many, these started out as hobbies. Test them out to see if they make enjoyable pastimes. You can finally do what you may have always wanted to do, and keep learning something new.
Currently, anyone with American citizenship (or resident alien card) can own a business in the U.S. Different countries have different requirements.
Invest in yourself. And keep your health. Always. These jobs could help you do just that.