Becoming your own boss in Nigeria does not necessarily mean splurging, with plenty of low capital business ideas available. If you are considering spending an extra ₦50K – 500K on becoming an entrepreneur, consider these most lucrative businesses in Nigeria.
Small businesses are at the heart of the Nigerian economy, providing for nearly 90% of jobs in the country and almost half of the national GDP. Almost all of the enterprises in Nigeria are small-scale businesses (MSMEs). Moreover, 67% of the 36.9 million MSMEs in Nigeria are owned by young people who decided to be their own employer once. You can become one of them with an initial investment as low as ₦50K – 500K. Let’s look at the top most profitable business projects you may start in Nigeria at a low cost.
Online shopping is taking giant strides all over the world. In Nigeria, there’s a big and growing internet population as well, so an increasing number of Nigerian customers are buying their products online. Registering at many online marketplaces is free, although you may pay a small commission when you make sales.
E-commerce businesses have lower overhead costs than opening a brick-and-mortar store, as they do not require physical storefronts or expensive equipment. At the same time, the cost of your initial inventory depends on what you’re going to sell (clothes, accessories, gadgets, stationery, groceries, books, soap, candles, farming tools, seeds, plants, etc).
As a variant, you can start a mini-importation business. That means importing goods from reliable foreign online stores to Nigeria.
Affiliate marketing business enables you to promote other people’s products for a sales commission. To start one, you need a website and knowledge of online marketing tactics. If you don’t have the necessary skills, learning will require a dedicated course that may cost about 20K or more.
Once joining a partner affiliate network in Nigeria, you can partner with trusted and successful brands and profit from promoting their products on social media. You should choose the platforms where the target audience is most active, create engaging content, run targeted ads, and interact with the brand’s audience to build a strong online community.
Agriculture & Farming
Nigeria has 70.8 million hectares of agricultural land area. The agriculture sector in Nigeria is broadly divided into four sub-sections: crop production, fishing, livestock, and forestry. Some of the relatively cheap segments of the agriculture business are poultry farming and fish farming. They are easy to maintain and need low initial investments. Besides, if you have access to land and water, you can grow a variety of vegetables or fruit to sell.
POS Business in Nigeria
The increasing adoption of cashless transactions in Nigeria makes a point of sale (POS) business lucrative. You will need to contact any bank of your choice, request a POS, and find out the requirements
The estimated amount of starting capital will range from ₦80K to 100,000K including funds needed to get the POS machine and dedicated kiosk. If you find the right location for your activities (remote areas, student campuses, etc.), your initial investment will soon pay out.
Food Delivery or Mobile Food Truck
Food is an essential human need. At the same time, cooking meals yourself in the modern fast-paced world is not always an option. Thus, providing food-related services like mobile food trucks or food delivery is an increasingly popular option for small businesses in Nigeria.
With popular online food delivery services such as Jumia Food, Gokada, Kwik Delivery and Uber Eats, everyone can easily sign up and become a delivery person. You don’t necessarily need to own a car to deliver food. A motorcycle or a bike is often enough.
If you start your own delivery business without a popular brand, eventually, you’ll need to hire additional personnel and probably purchase more transport means. That can happen once you get sufficient profits.
Mobile food trucks are very popular in Nigeria too. Starting this business is suitable not only for those who already have a truck or minivan. However, the initial cost won’t be minimal. On average, buying a food truck itself may cost you between ₦30,000 – ₦200,000. It depends on the truck’s state (old or used one). If you don’t have the full sum, you can lease a truck for starters. Please bear in mind that you’ll also need the necessary legal permits to start such a business.
Event Organization & Catering
With only a passion for planning and networking connections with people who provide party-related services, you may start a low-cost profitable business. Organising festivities such as weddings, birthday parties, and corporate events is always in demand. You may start by organising events for the people you know (relatives or friends) to gain some experience.
As you later proceed, you can invest in some event-related equipment for rent or sale (tents, balloons, artificial flowers, party costumes, etc). That may give your business added value. Initially, you’ll only need to partner with reliable suppliers.
Another connected service is catering. Most events also involve tasty food. Providing festive menus is a good way to earn money with low initial capital, especially considering that the cost of products will be calculated into the total service price. You can start cooking in your own kitchen, but most probably you should have some helpers to cook and deliver plenty of meals for a big company.
As for your baseline investment, you need enough kitchenware at the very least. You also have to apply for a relevant permit from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). Nigerian catering prices vary within the range of ₦1,000 to ₦3000 per meal.
Zobo Drink Business
Hibiscus flowers (Zobo) are very popular in Nigeria to use for drinks. It has speculated antihypertensive, energising, and other good-for-health qualities. You only need about 20-40k to start a Zobo business.
Zobo drinks may come in different flavours, with added ginger, garlic, cinnamon, honey, and other ingredients. Besides product constituents, a Zobo entrepreneur needs bottles, a sealing machine, printed labels, boiling and mixing tanks, etc.
Providing professional services as a cleaner in Nigeria is not too costly. However, you will need at least ₦70,000 – ₦100,000 to buy the necessary equipment: brushes, sponges, cloths, detergents, spray bottles, buckets, scrubbers, a vacuum cleaner, and other cleaning supplies. Depending on the type of cleaning services you provide (residential, office, post-construction), you may require additional equipment. Registration at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is also required.
Web and App Development
Online services are usually the cheapest to start. Many people already have computers and laptops to provide development services. All they need are skills. Learning coding, web and app development could cost between as low as ₦20,000 and as much as ₦500,000. Some basics can be even learnt for free, but surely to become a highly-paid expert, you need more training and experience than a YouTube tutorial may offer. At the same time, all the investment will easily pay off. A typical salary of a web developer in Nigeria is ₦150,000 to ₦500,000 monthly.
Laundry or Dry Cleaning
Many people don’t have the time or tools to get proper cleaning of their clothing and other items. You can help them with an initial investment between ₦50,000 – ₦250,000. Your expected profit might start at ₦10,000 per day.
Many entrepreneurs start their business with their own washing machine at home to further develop a proper laundromat location. You can also get a used washing machine for this purpose to lower your starting capital.
Besides a washing machine, you’ll need detergents, stain removers, hangers, an iron and ironing board, washing basins, a steam iron, and more. Depending on the scale of your business, you might also need a generator, because electricity issues are not uncommon in Nigeria. For dry cleaning, you need special organic solvents that remove stains without washing an item.