The best small business ideas in Nigeria that can be started with very little capital

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In this post, we outline the best small business ideas in Nigeria. Some of them can be started with very little capital.

This post explains what is needed to successfully run execute these business ideas.

  1. Cosmetics Business
    If you love beauty, then going into the cosmetics business will be your best bet. For you to do well in this business in Nigeria, you will need to engage in some deep research.

Why is this important? This is because you will need to learn new things about the cosmetics industry that will keep you up to date, creative and innovative in business.

cosmetics business

  1. Tomato Farming Business
    This business is rewarding, and at the same time, not expensive to start up. However, before you start the tomatoes business in Nigeria, you’ll need to find out what type of tomatoes are in demand. This information can be gotten from those who supply seeds, as they will be able to inform you better on popular demand. Also, they will let you know the varieties that are patronized best. You will also need to ensure that the seeds you finally pick will grow well.

tomato farming business

  1. Gym Business
    Fitness has always been a source of concern and Nigerians have also caught the bug. This is because of the high rate of cancer that continues to ravage people. If you are a fitness and health enthusiast, then you can look towards starting a gym-related business in Nigeria. You will need to have enough finance to equip your gym center.

gym business

  1. Blogging
    If you can write or have the capacity to learn how to write, start a blog. Blogging is now a good way to launch an internet business. All you need is internet access, good research skill, an interest, and a laptop and a lot of time. Your most important and perhaps expensive investment in a blogging career is your time.

Set up a free blog with WordPress or Wix or if you have some money, set up your blog on self-hosted server; populate your blog with quality content, get people to read your content (drive traffic), get their confidence and monetize your blog with Google AdSense, display advert, affiliate marketing or sell information products such as ebooks, etc.

blogging business

  1. Sale of Mobile Phone Accessories
    This is a very lucrative business in Nigeria today. With as little as N50,000 you are good to go. While you will do well by renting space if you have the money, this business can also be done in mobile fashion i.e by carrying your products to places they are needed.

In this case, you have to first identify your market and feed them with their needs.

What drives this business is the rapid growth in the use of mobile phones in Nigeria. Nigeria has an estimated population of 180 million people. There are more than 160 million connected through their mobile phone line.

Accessories that are common in demand include batteries, memory cards, battery chargers, earpieces, screen guards, pouches, etc. You can get supplies from Computer Village (Lagos) or online stores. Phone Accessories business is one sure way of getting into online importation.

mobile phone accessories business

  1. Mobile Phone Repairs
    This is a business idea that will fetch you good money if you are patient to learn how to repair and maintain mobile phones. With less than N50,000 you can start a phone repair and maintenance business in Nigeria.

All you need to start is a little training, a laptop, software tools, some regular home tools (screwdriver, soldering iron, brush, battery tester, etc.) and some marketing to let people know what you do. You will also need to develop good relationships with dealers of quality accessories. With as low as N5,000, you can purchase a repair kit from any eCommerce stores. Just make payment with your debit cards, and you’re ready for business.

mobile phone repair business

  1. Plantain Chips Making And Sales
    You have seen it everywhere – the delicious crunchy snack made from unripe plantain. Hawkers sell them along the highways. The catch is, you probably did not realise how lucrative it is.

What else, you don’t need to be a UAC or Leventis Food to engage in the plantain chip business in Nigeria.

A small-scale plantain chip enterprise with an initial investment fifty thousand is capable of returning N10,000 in profit daily. If you’re looking for business ideas in Nigeria with low capital, you should really consider this.

You can start this right from your kitchen. Just place your brand name on the transparent nylon, and you’re good to go. You will need to get some coaching from someone already doing the business, learn some recipes and develop a supply chain both for your raw materials (plantain) and finished products.

selling of plantain chips

  1. Ice block Production and Sale
    Nigeria is located within the tropical climate region with an abundance of sunlight and heat.

Unfortunately, the electricity supply is very poor, making it difficult for homes to maintain adequate stock of cold water in their refrigerators. This is what makes ice block production a money-spinning business in Nigeria.

People require ice blocks to keep their water and drink cold. Your market includes households around your neighbourhood, retail shops, restaurants and bars that need to keep their drinks ice-cold at all times.

The good thing about this business is that you can kick off with the little you have. You need A deep freezer as well as a medium-sized generator and you’re all set. As you make money, you can scale up by acquiring an ice block making machine.

ice block production business

  1. Liquid Soap Production
    The market for liquid soap in Nigeria is so large that the well-established brands are not meeting demand.

Every household in the country needs this product. So there will always be a demand for it. You just have to be the one supplying.

If you look around you, you will find homemade liquid soaps with no branding at all, packaged in used plastic bottles being sold for between N50 and N100. With a little investment, you can make so much money producing liquid soap and selling to supermarkets and other shops that retail to end-users, restaurants, bakers, caterers and home keepers.

You may have to acquire some training that is available at vocational centers run by churches, government, and non-governmental organizations. Create a large market by branding and fine packaging and you will smile to the bank.

liquid soap production business

  1. Car Wash
    The need for car wash will always be on the rise and anybody can do this business irrespective of age. With a little more capital, you can start a car wash that appeals to upwardly mobile individuals by setting up a sitting area decorated with a TV set where your customers will sit while their cars are being washed. You can make it a multiple income stream business if you have space by adding the sale of drinks, shawarma, etc at the sitting area. The critical things needed for a car wash business is the space that can be rented, source of water and the washing machine.
  2. Rental Services
    People constantly need things that they do not possess. Some of the things you can start contracting out includes chairs, canopies, vacuum cleaners, cutleries, cooking utensils, music box, ladder, etc. Once you are known to be engaged in this business in your environment, you may not be able to meet demand.

If you have an interesting range of expensive gadgets or equipment, you might consider exploiting them for side income businesses hiring them out on hourly use basis. If the business gets going, you can add more items as you discover what people like renting. Prepare a leaflet, advertise in a local newspaper or use social media to announce your services.

  1. Mini Importation
    The internet has redefined trade and commerce. Many people have struck gold by importing items online through eCommerce sites like Alibaba, Aliexpress DHgate, global sources, etc. With about N100,000 or even less, you’re open for business.

You have to identify people’s demands. Search all the eCommerce websites, get a procurement agent to purchase these items. The agent will then send them to you to sell and make your cash. Even with the falling value of the Naira, people who are engaged in this business still smile to the bank. Items you can import and many varied and may include: mobile phone accessories, cosmetics, fashion items, etc.

Related Post: What is Business Insurance?

  1. Information Marketing
    This is another internet-based business that has taken people out of poverty in Nigeria. Do you know anything that people don’t know, or know something that other people know but can present it differently or know someone who knows something that others may not know?

You may be on your way to making money by packaging the information in the form of a report, an ebook, video, or audio and sell online. Take note, you do not have to write it as there are many resources online to help you. You can outsource the writing on fiverr.com, buy master resell rights or private label rights books, rewrite and rebrand to your choice and sell.

  1. Affiliate Marketing
    This lucrative online money making opportunity anyone can start with little or no investment. An affiliate marketer is one who helps companies or individuals sell their products and earn a commission.

Products you can sell online here can be digital products or physical products. You can sign on with as many affiliate programs as you can handle and use your affiliate links to promote the products through social media or by creating dedicated websites. Many people in Nigeria have become millionaires through affiliate programs.

  1. Website Design and Maintenance
    Lots of businesses now have an online presence. Many high net worth individuals like politicians, chieftains of corporate organizations and successful business people are now using online tools such as websites to promote their brands and personality.

This trend has increased the demand for website designers. If you learn how to use common design tools and build good websites, you are in for good business.

To be successful you need to know how to design professional websites, create web graphics, build web pages, and upload web pages to the server. Other skills you will need include domain name registration and how hosting services work. As you gain capacity, you may add domain name registration and host to your service bouquet

  1. Call Card Business
    This type of business is also known as the recharge card business in Nigeria. There is hardly any adult who doesn’t own a phone. This is one of the reasons why those in the recharge card business are doing so well. You too can join the train as you begin to tap into the market.
  2. Food Cart/Mobile Food Business
    Food is one of the primary needs of man. Whatever the condition is with a man, he must eat. As a result food business will always be a lucrative one. It is one of the most thriving businesses in Nigeria.

The key to success here is to differentiate yourself by choosing a specialty menu, a niche, and a market segment. You cannot be everything to everybody.

Select your market carefully where the returns are higher. For example, you can choose to serve workers of big organizations like banks, oil and gas companies, and multinational organizations and develop a relationship with their HR departments to allow you to bring your food during their lunch or within specific hours of the day. You can add special delivery of specialty food to busy executives as part of your service.

  1. Sports Betting Agency
    Sports betting has become a goldmine business 1in Nigeria as the young and old take advantage of their love for football to make money while enjoying the round leather game.

This also explains the reason there is an upsurge in sport betting companies (bookmakers). The sports betting companies need agents to relate with players directly. You will need a neat environment for office space ( a shop will do), a generator, a computer, a printer, an internet connection, And a fixtures board. Next, you sign an agency agreement with your bookmaker. With some companies, you make money in three ways, viz: board game, virtual game and deposit you make on behalf of your customers. With N250,000, you can sure be in this business and begin to smile to the bank.

  1. Cloth designing and Tailoring
    This business requires skills. So, the first step to your success is to acquire skills. Go for both English and traditional wear tailoring, fashion and design training. Once done, boom! You’re made. Cloth designing and tailoring is often a neglected business idea that is highly paying and the good thing about it is that you can start on a small scale if you like.
  2. Okrika bale business
    This business is thriving very well in Nigeria as a result of the poor economy of the country. An average income earner in Nigeria hardly enters the boutique in the name to buy first-grade clothing. So, Okrika bale business is a good business to start anywhere in Nigeria but most especially in sub-urban and rural localities.

Lagos, Aba, Kano, and Onitsha have good markets to buy bales of clothes for sale. Startup capital for this business may vary; it depends on you but you can start with a small capital of N100000 to N200000.

  1. Uberpreneur – Driving for Uber
    There are many different reasons why people choose to drive with Uber. Some do it for the freedom to drive when and where they like. They’re the boss, and they work for as long or for as little as they want, following a schedule that suits their needs. The average Uber driver makes between 80,000 – 120,000 Naira every single week.

Right now, Uber driving is very lucrative in Nigeria. It does not only allow you to work when you want (including nights or weekends) but also gives you the ability to earn some extra cash while doing so. While some drivers are doing this full-time, some only do it at night after the day job and on weekends.

  1. Freelance Content Development / Ghost Writer
    Do you consider yourself a wordsmith? Setting yourself up as a freelance content development could prove to be a side-hustle or maybe even a full-time job.

Companies in Nigeria such as media agencies, blogs and startups will pay big time for someone who can write a clean copy of contents, whether it’s for advertisements, websites or blogs. Some will even pay you for your editing services. However, consider how much work it takes to make freelancing work your full-time gig.

  1. Cake and Cupcake Bakery
    Making, decorating, and selling one-of-a-kind cakes and cupcakes for occasions ranging from birthdays to weddings to anniversaries is a great business idea for the hobby baker to pursue, and one that is potentially very profitable.

You can get started on a shoestring budget by baking and decorating right in your kitchen. An effective marketing idea is to send samples of your cakes to interested parties to make sure they send business your way or showcase pictures of the cakes on Instagram using appropriate hashtags.

  1. Small Chops Packaging
    Starting a small chops packaging business is a lucrative business idea in Nigeria. Nigerians desire for light meals like small chops has greatly increased in the past years.

Aside from big events like weddings, funeral and birthday parties, small chops are also the preferred choice when gathering friends for a get-together, boat cruise and time on the beach.

The great thing about small chops is that even though there are a lot of people offering this service, there certainly won’t be a shortage of demand. The key to being a successful small chops business owner is creativity and packaging.

  1. Drop-Shipping
    This is one of the new business ideas in Nigeria. It is a form of business that you can start with very low capital. What you need is your laptop or smartphone, internet data, and your social media platforms e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. ( which could serve as your online shop)

This is a lucrative business idea that has made millions of naira. The secret of the business is identifying and knowing what the people need at the particular moment and knowing where and how to source for those items (AliExpress is a good place to start a dropshipping business in Nigeria).

  1. Email marketing business
    Over the next few years, the acceptance of e-mail marketing as a means of advertising is expected to grow and you can place your own company to take a substantial share of the market by starting your own e-mail marketing business now and offering your clients first-class services with proven results that would keep them coming back and referring others.

Email marketing companies help small, medium and larger businesses connect online with existing customers to promote the sale of goods and services.

Outsourcing email marketing services allow businesses to focus on other areas of business development.

  1. Social Media Marketing
    The Social media space has grown to be an important tool that can drive not only the visibility of businesses but also their profitability.

Indeed, some forward-looking companies now have social media strategy as a full-service function within their organization while some others outsource this service. This is why there is a growing need for people with social media marketing strategy and development skills. Take advantage of this development to learn the tricks of using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Online Forums, Blogs to sell goods and services and offer this to the many individuals and corporate organizations, including SMEs yearning to launch into the digital marketing space and make money for yourself.

  1. Daycare Business
    There will always be the need to make a living even after giving birth. This is one of the reasons why daycare centers make good money. The services they render are second to none and indispensable. If you have a penchant for babies and kids, then you can consider starting a daycare center.
  2. Dry Cleaning Business
    This is one hot business idea in Nigeria at the moment. A lot of people have done well in this business and still are doing well. There are a lot of people who are too overwhelmed by work that they may not have the time to wash their clothes. Therefore, you may want to look into starting a dry cleaning business.
  3. Restaurant Business
    In Nigeria, the restaurant business has always been on the rise. This means that it doesn’t go out of fashion. If you think that you are a great cook, you can start a restaurant business. You will be required to do a lot in the area of cooking very great meals.
  4. Car Rental Business
    Cars all over the world aren’t a luxury but a necessity. There are times however when some people may need car rental services. This is where you need a car rental business. Be sure you understudy an expert who can make you learn all the ropes within time
  5. Hamper Business
    In Nigeria, there are seasons when the hamper trade is an all-time high. If you know you have the knack for gifts, then you can look into starting a hamper business. You will need to decide if you want to deal with already assembled hampers, or if you want to be the one assembling it.
  6. Film Production Business
    Nollywood is one of the fastest-growing industries right now. Every often blockbuster movie is being churned out and those who are the helms of affair when it comes to film production are doing all they can to see that great movies are produced. You too can join the bandwagon when you start a film production business. You do not need any qualifications to join the train.
  7. Eggs Supply and Distribution
    Apart from its dietary needs, eggs are used to make many products such as confectioneries, cosmetics, soaps, hair conditioners, shampoo, glue and face masks amongst many others.

Supply of eggs is a business that can be started on a small scale and grow to become a big venture. If you want to go into this business, the first thing you must do is to identify poultry farms that produce quality eggs and/or large egg distributors.

Then develop a network of buyers who are many and varied around your neighbourhood. To succeed, you just need empty egg crates and a delivery van. Minus the delivery van, you can start this business with less than N100,000.

  1. Internet Radio Business
    If you are interested in going into the internet radio business, then you should be conversant with the fact that it is different from traditional radio setups – especially as the source for your internet radio business is a computer. Before starting this business, you should know what topics you would need to discuss to appeal to your target market, and what kinds of business you would be concentrating on.
  2. Mobile car wash Business
    Mobile auto car wash eliminates the need for a physical business location, therefore limiting start-up costs considerably. As a mobile detailer, you will perform jobs in customer parking lots, driveways and garages, giving you the advantage of visibility for marketing purposes.

The downside includes not being able to work outdoors in inclement weather and the limitations of having to travel with all the necessary tools and supplies, including large quantities of water.

Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to start a business?

The basic things you need to do are to conduct a market research, write a business plan, choose a business name, register your business, and fund it.

What businesses are high in demand?

Online businesses are currently high in demand, and this may not be changing anytime soon.

Can I start a business without a capital?

Yes, you can. Most online businesses can be started with very little or no capital. All you need is to have the required skill and be able to convince a prospective client to work with you.

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