In the central ecological zone of the Irkutsk Region the local population employment is a challenge especially in the settlements located beyond the tourist routes. Small businesses (individual entrepreneurship) are limited by the legislative framework and many are not allowed. The total amount of investments in the capital assets in Olkhon, Slyudyanka, and Irkutsk districts does not exceed 3 % of the total amount financial injections into the region economy. The article briefly outlines business activities of each of the three municipal districts. Olkhon district is the most active in business, with 13,3 companies per 1,000 people registered there. Most of them are service providers (cafes, restaurants, hotels and other places of temporary accommodation).Keywords: private enterprise, central ecological zone, non-destructive nature management, environmentally-oriented activities, wild collection and processing, tea industry.