33+ best Small business ideas in Nigeria
Do you want to find the small business ideas in Nigeria? What are the best lucrative small scale business ideas in Nigeria?
This page will not just tell you about small business alone but will show you the list of business ideas with small capital and provide the practical tip you can use to grow your business.
For a long time now, I’ve received many questions from aspiring entrepreneurs about the hot business ideas in Nigeria.
Many seem to have doubt in their minds which is stopping them from starting their business. With little capital, not knowing whether the business will work all comes into play.
It’s as a result of such uncertainties in the minds of many that I have decided to write the article.
It’s worth to know that Nigeria is a blessed nation with many business opportunities one can invest in.
These business opportunities are in all sectors of the economy which can be tapped.
But sadly, only a few people are taking advantage of the business opportunities.
Well in this article, we’ll tell you the business ideas in Nigeria that can work for you.
In Nigeria, the market for business is huge. but not all product or services are needed all the time. Some may be seasonal business or the product is not for the people you’re trying to sell to.
It’s not about spending thousands using your credit card but there is small business idea that will work irrespective of your location.
Before we go into the business ideas, let’s look at why starting a business in Nigeria is a great idea.
Why start a business in Nigeria
Despite the uncertainty of doing business in Nigeria, there is a reason why am writing about business ideas in Nigeria.
This is simply because you want to start your business.
But if you have an iota of doubt about doing business in Nigeria, here are some reasons which make Nigeria a good business destination.
1. There will always be market for your product or services
According to statistics, there are over 170 million people in Nigeria today and that number is expected to overtake the US population by 2050.
This shows that there will be a market for whatever product or service you produce.
Not only that, with more population, the labour will be cheap. This is one competitive advantage that China has over other countries.
You cannot be out of place if you can say that Nigeria is the China of Africa.
2. Business environment is improving
Ever wonder why many foreign multinational companies head to Nigeria?
Well, it’s because Nigeria is becoming a favorable business destination for business and investment.
Much foreign business has come to Nigeria and has seen their growth in leaps and bounds. The likes of Shoprite, MTN, DSTV are some of the few companies out of the many that have seen that remarkable success.
3. Government is trying to diversify
The government is trying to invest in other sectors so as to reduce dependency on oil. This has seen the massive investment in other sectors of the economy.
We’re seeing policies which are focusing on other sectors all in a bit to ensure that other sector of the economy which was abandoned are revived.
4. Increase in campaign for patronizing the made in Nigeria Goods
More government policies are been created to favor those that are producing the made in Nigeria goods and services.
Certain products which we can produce are been banned while becoming more expensive to buy the one which we cannot produce here due to the scarcity of dollars.
This gives room for entrepreneurs to start their lucrative business in Nigeria with small capital.
5. Business opportunities are everywhere
In the past, people think business can only thrive in places like Lagos, Port Harcourt, and other big cities.
We’ve seen the rise in small businesses in smaller communities among individuals and groups who have come together to help themselves.
What you need to keep in mind before starting your business
1. Acquire the necessary knowledge
You cannot succeed in business without a proper knowledge of business and the sector your business will be focusing on.
Starting a business just because someone is profiting or has a recommendation might be fatal.
Good knowledge gives you the competence which will help you in the business when starting and growing it.
Take time to acquire the required knowledge before investing.
2. Develop a plan of action
This is what many entrepreneurs fail to do.
They don’t plan their business and the saying when you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail becomes an obvious reality when the business begins.
You can plan your short, medium and long-term goals of your business.
Doing that will help you to focus on what works and see loopholes that needed to be addressed.
3. Ensure your business will produce product or services that are in demand
Ensure that your business will provide a product or service that’s in demand always.
Avoid joining business whose trend is dying by the day.
In a period of increasing change, it’s easier for a product or services to be obsolete.
For instance, starting a cyber café now might not be a good idea, considering that it’s easier to access the internet via mobile phones.
Know the trend of the product, before investing your time or money into it.
4. You must have a capital
No matter how good the business idea is, you’ll need to fund it for it to become a reality.
There are several ways you can use to raised capital for your business. it could be from friends and family, investors, bank loan etc.
Having the required capital is the sure way to ensure things works.
5. Success is not overnight
Success in business is not overnight. You’ll need time to build trust and customers who’ll trust your product or service and all that takes times.
First of all, you’ll have to be visible enough, get a certain recommendation from experts or influencers before trust will come into play.
6. Be available for your business
You cannot setup a business and leave it in the hands of something except you’re successful businessman like Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola etc.
If you’re not one of these successful business moguls, setting the required business system that’ll put the business in the right motion will require your presence.
Why this is important is to ensure that the business has the right foundation which will make it stand the test of time.
7. Prepare for Temporary setback
No matter how good you plan, sometimes you’ll face a temporary setback. It’s normal in business and this is one way to know what works and what needs to change.
However, the opportunities are not exclusive but are everywhere irrespective of your location.
If you’re ready, let’s dive into the article proper to show you some of the profitable small business ideas in Nigeria.
33+ best Small business ideas in Nigeria
Now it’s time to get into the small scale business ideas and investment opportunities in Nigeria.
Note Whichever idea you choose to pursue, it’s important you treat it as a business. Here we go.
1. Livestock farming
Livestock farming is one of the fastest growing fields in Nigeria and showing sign of not slowing down.
Why did I say that? Well, the number of demand for livestock product is more than the supply and most of the livestock business is not saturated.
Again the number of government policies is put in place almost on a daily basis in other to boost local production.
For instance, the federal government has banned the importation of frozen chickens due to health and economy concerns.
That have made the growth of the livestock farmers possible.
There are several livestock businesses you can do and these include:
Still one of the sectors in the livestock industry that the demand is more than the supply.
One business that will always be in demand all year round either as meat or eggs.
2. Grain farming/business
Agriculture is huge in today’s Nigeria and it’ll continue to be so. The need for diversification of the economy has put massive investment in the grain farming business.
There are a lot of grain farming that is lucrative but for now, the priority of rice farming is huge.
This is due to the fact that rice is among our stable food and the government is spending a lot to import the product.
In a bit to reduce government spending, rice importation has been banned in other to boost the location production.
Therefore starting a rice farming business means you can tap into the opportunity that’s awaiting any farmer.
Other grain farming worth considering includes maize farming, beans farming, groundnut farming, millet farming and corn farming.
3. Rice milling business
We cannot talk about rice farming business without talking about rice milling business.
As local rice production grows, the need for rice without dusk or stones will come into play. In fact, that’s the first reason why many Nigerians want foreign rice.
Having the right knowledge and knowledge, you can start the business of rice milling for either individuals or companies.
4. Tomato farming business
There is hardly the food we eat without using tomatoes. In fact, the stew is one thing we cook at least twice a week. That means the need for the use of tomato is on a daily basis.
Even though tomato farming is mostly grown in the north of Nigeria, people in the sound can also grow their tomato when they use a greenhouse.
If you want to delve into the business of tomato farming, we have a complete detailed step by step guide.
How to start tomato farming business
5. Recharge card business
This type of business can also be called a call card business.
Due to a high number of phone users among teenagers and adult, the recharge card business has become one of the profitable business in the country today.
You can study your idea and know the dominate line people are using and the exact recharge card amount they buy most before investing and starting the business.
For instance, if you’re staying in a low-income community, people will mostly buy the recharge cards of N100 to N500 mostly.
6. Foodstuff business
This is one business that brings in a profitable return on investment in Nigeria.
This is simply because there is hardly a house that does not cook, an occasion that does not serve the attendees, restaurant that does not serve people.
More household patronizes locally grown foodstuff like beans, rice, gari etc. simply because they’re affordable compared to foreign food and also has the required nutrients and minerals.
There are several foodstuff business one can start, whichever one you choose to do is left to you.
7. Dry cleaning business
The dry cleaning business has come to stay. The business has been growing due to the demand for the services it offers.
This is seen in places where the people have little time to wash, dry and press their cloth.
Starting the business of dry cleaning can be started from home and grow it from there.
When thinking about starting a business, dry cleaning business is one business you can start.
8. Daycare business
Nursing mothers will have to continue with work after the maternity leave. This is one reason why the daycare business is thriving especially in the cities.
Work can be overwhelming and many nursing mothers will have little time to care for their babies in a way that they want.
Therefore, the option they’ll have is to use the daycare.
The daycare business environment should be favorable for the kids and most importantly educative to build them up.
9. Soft drink business
What makes sense is a chill bottle of a soft drink after a tasty hot tired day.
The soft drink business is not new in Nigeria, but only a few people are doing it or taking advantage of the business opportunity.
The business requires the buying some soft drink crates and bottles (at least 5 crates is a good starting point), then find a mini supplier which will keep supplying the content when it has finished or about to finish.
When carefully planned, you can increase the number of crates you’re serving as well. The more crate you sell the more profit you’ll make.
10. Car wash business
The number of cars and it’s users are growing by the day. this is because a car is more of a necessity than a luxury.
But all users want their car to always be clean and smells nice. With a little time, they’ll result in the use of a car wash.
There are several types of car wash you can start. But focusing on the type of car that’s is dominant or gives the business the highest number of customer possibilities should be your number one priority.
There is a written article about how to start a car wash business. it shows you the complete step process to create a successful car wash.
11. Importation business
The business of importation is increasing by the day. thanks to the internet as you can import anything at the comfort of your home.
However, not all product are allowed into the country. Before going into the business, you have to check to see that the product is not among the contraband.
Another thing vital that you need to take into consideration is where to import the product. Today there are several places you can do that online, but not all are legit.
The question is which product will one import? Import products that you know there will always be a market for it and that there is no major brand supplying the product.
For instance, importing a screen protector of a smartphone will mean that you’ll need to target the people using the same type of phone as customers.
Instead, you can find a product that’s universal that can serve a wider audience. For instance, you can import power bank.
I hope you get the idea.
There is a complete step by step process on how to import a customized product to your business location.
12. Selling via e-commerce store
E-commerce business has made it possible for many to sell their product to customers globally.
What was happening in other places can be replicated here is Nigeria thanks to e-commerce stores like Konga, jumia etc.
What you need to do is to find a product that can be appreciated by many in Nigeria.
What you need to do is to visit any of the sites, choose the category and see what people are buying, then find a product you can use to buy from.
However, try not to focus on the product that has a major brand which can make competing very difficult.
If you’re ready to outsource for your product, I’ve written about how to outsource for content online.
13. Grocery store
We cannot live without needing certain need on a daily basis. That’s why there is hardly a neighborhood without a grocery store today.
Having a grocery store will enable you to attract customers from within the environment.
Just go around to know what people are buying or what other grocery stores are selling to get the idea of what you’ll put in yours when you’re starting.
14. Construction company
This is similar to real estate business, the only difference is a construction company works on behalf of its client and has a wider range of activities like road construction, building construction, drainage construction etc.
The client can be an individual, government or non-governmental organization.
When you have gotten the permit and required a license, you can start the business.
15. Real estate business
Real estate business is one business that’s attractive and really profitable. However, the risk involves in these type of business is huge.
With the incidence of collapse building, getting all the requirement and permit is becoming strict.
The good news is, you can still start the business is there are several types you can do.
In other words, there is still room for anyone who wants to start the business of real estate.
In our article about real estate, we’ve outlined some of the business opportunities in the real estate sector.
16. Graphic design business
The era of graphic design. If you go to sites like 99design, you’ll see. The situation is the same in Nigeria.
Many are looking for several graphic design work which could include wedding cards, logo design, flyer design, logo design etc.
With little acquiring of the skills of graphic design, you can be able to expand it as you grow your business.
One last thing to note is that it’s one of the businesses that the graphic design skill is also another vital skill for all photographers who’ll need to enhance their photos after the short.
17. Car hire services
Car hire service is a big business. Having a great car and acquire the required business license, you can delve into a huge market that’s in existence.
To make a profit in the car hire service business, you’ll have to get cars that are strong or rugged and has fuel economy.
One vital point to note is, the car hire business thrive when you have good drivers and sound car.
18. Screen printing business
There is no way we can talk about small business ideas in Nigeria without discussing screen printing business.
This is a type of business where you print customize T-shirts, cups, pen, stickers etc for an individual or a corporate organization.
The business has seen a surge due to the demand for customized items for both individuals and corporate organization.
The screen printing business is one of the business you can start with a little capital and has a higher profit margin.
19. Clothing business
There are several businesses in the clothing business sector. These include starting a clothing line, where you create a cloth product line of your own.
Wholesale boutique store, where you become the main distributor and sell cloth to retailers and individual customers.
The boutique store, where you sell a particular type of cloth and accessories. It could be designer shirts, polo shirt or a specific brand of cloth for a specific set of people in a specific region.
Due to the vast cultural differences in Nigeria, note all type of cloth works everywhere. The type of cloth that sells in the south might have little customers in the north.
However, there are some few exceptions. For instance, T-shirt is a universal cloth in the country.
By and large, you should be able to look deep to know what sells before investing into the business.
20. Gym business
Gym business is huge today. This is simply because there is an increased awareness about how daily exercise is helping people stay fit and increase the health of an individual.
If you have an interest in health and fitness sector, you may consider starting a gym business.
21. Phone repair business
With over 30 million mobile users, the phone repair business has come to stay in Nigeria. The demand for phone repairers has increased since the advent of the smartphone.
It’s either software or hardware problem.
Getting the required skills of phone repair will you tap into the huge opportunity in the phone repair business.
22. Disc Jockey business
Back in the days, we only hear of DJ in our FM radio stations. But that has changed today. The services of the of a disc jockey have seen his rise in recent times during, parties, wedding occasions, reception programs, campaign programs etc.
Getting the required skills and acquiring the gadgets, can make it very possible to start the business and tap into the opportunity.
23. Jewelry line business
There is hardly a woman who doesn’t use jewelry (the majority). There are a lot of jewelry line business you can do.
You can stick to focus on gold jewelry or bead jewelry whichever, the ball is in your court.
Deciding on which one you’ll base on will depend on the type of customers you intend to attract.
24. Recruitment agency
Many businesses prefer to outsource their recruitment. This is simply because they want to work with the best in the industry.
That’s where the recruitment agency will come into play.
The recruitment agency will handle the advertisement of the recruitment, aptitude test, interview and other required screening of the candidates.
If you have an interest in the recruitment sector, a recruitment agency is one way to begin to enjoy the opportunity.
25. Fragrance business
Not many people see fragrance business as a real business, but that’s not. Using a fragrance is not only restricted to our body. We use it in homes, car interior, hospitals, restroom, rug carpets etc.
So even when someone cannot use it in the body, there are several places the fragrance can be used.
There are many entry levels to the fragrance business, but the most important thing is to know your target customers before going into the business.
If you’re interested in this business, read the complete guide that shows the process.
26. Organic farming
do you have a penchant for living healthy or should I say do you have someone who has a penchant for a living, sure I know you do?
In fact, a lot of people are opting for the organic product because of the health concerns arising due to the lack of the nutrients requirement in our daily meal.
Then starting an organic farming business is one you may want to consider doing.
The only thing to note is that the organic plant takes the time to mature, unlike the hybrid counterpart.
But when fully matured, it’s worth the time waiting.
27. Advertising agency
Many businesses, campaigns or awareness want to let the voice out. Without advertisement, the word will not be out.
Having an agency that will create the advertisement means you’ll tap into the opportunity in that sector.
However, in the advertising agency, creativity will always give you an edge.
28. Solar panel installation and repair
This is a technical business one can start. I know not many will do the business, but the business of solar panel installation and repair is on the rise.
However, if you have the passion and the zeal to do the business, then getting the basic skills will see you excel in the business.
29. Sells of furniture business
This is a business that has been in existence for a long time and one profitable business in Nigeria.
The good thing about the business is that you can start the business without having carpentry skills.
If you have the passion in furniture, then sells of furniture business is one worth considering.
30. Gaming business
Many people (Young and adult) love playing game and love competing with one another.
Starting the business requires that you acquire the required business equipment and getting the required skills before going into the business.
31. Football betting business
Who ever thought that football betting will be a money making venture in Nigeria today? Well, it is.
The football betting business is a business that can profit both the business owner and the customer.
However, you’ll need to learn the skills on how the betting works before going into the business.
32. Taxicab business
The taxi business has been revolutionizing in recent times. In the past, a taxi cab is this old jalopy not fit for the family.
But thanks to the new business ideas from entrepreneurs who have changed all that.
The UBER taxi business model is great.
If you have an eye in the transport sector, the taxi business is one worth considering.
There is a complete step by step process to starting a taxi cap business in Nigeria.
33. Football viewing center
One of the lucrative businesses with a weekly profit. The business requires a one-time investment to get the required equipment and monthly subscription to show at least 8 matches weekly.
No matter the business location, the business have seen patronage due to the popularity of sports especially football today.
34. Fast food restaurant
The business of fast food has been around for a long time.
Despite the popularity of the business, the business requires the required skills and knowledge before going into the business.
There are several fast foods that can be learned and produce.
The fast food restaurant is one business to consider when you have the love for baking or creating instant fast food.
35. Bakery business
Bread is a normal travel souvenir in Nigeria. This has made the demand for bread ever on the increase.
Starting the business of baking is one business one can start with a huge profit margin.