Starting and running a successful business in Nigeria or Africa with little capital is difficult but not impossible. Thousands of people start multiple businesses every day, with less than 10% of them eventually becoming successful. Whereas millions more never start up anything because of either the perceived high startup costs or the prospective fear of failure.
With a wide plethora of business opportunities in Nigeria that you can start with little capital ranging from running a successful digital marketing business to real estate brokerage, commodity brokerage, professional car wash service, and much more, here are 15+ lucrative business ideas you can start in Nigeria or Africa with small capital:
1). Laundry & Dry Cleaning Service:
The dry cleaning service is perhaps one of the easiest businesses to start-up in Nigeria or Africa with small capital. All you need is a little store in a busy neighbourhood and to hire expert laundrymen or women who can both wash and iron clothing in a professional way.
If you can’t afford to hire multiple people at the beginning, you can first hire an assistant to co-help you in handling the washing and cloth ironing and could also offer free home delivery for clients that live within the neighbourhood.
2). Commodity Brokerage:
The commodity brokerage business is one of the easiest businesses to start with small capital or practically $0. This is because you’re only essentially finding sellers of commodities, buyers of the commodities, and earning a commission on successful transactions.
If you close a 1,000 metric ton sesame seeds transaction for instance with a commission of $10 per metric tonne, you’d be earning around $10,000 for the transaction.
By venturing into the commodity brokerage business, you can start with little capital and build up your income quicker than others, although closing a deal will be many times more difficult than other businesses.
3). Professional Car Wash:
Professional car wash businesses are very common in Nigeria and many parts of the world. In Nigeria especially, it’s a small scale business that largely thrives in busy neighbourhoods where there are little to no car washes within the vicinity, especially since its a business that can be started with small capital.
You can identify a busy environment with little to no car washes and start-up one or you could even find an environment that is averagely busy but close to a mechanic village where cars a fixed, repainted, and more, so you can have a consistent influx of clients both from the community and the mechanic village.
As a business you can start with little capital, the professional car wash service business is one new entrepreneurs can venture into.
4). Skin Care / Cosmetic Store:
The skincare industry is growing very fast, and as a result, people, mostly ladies, are spending far more money on skincare products than ever before.
You could start up a skincare or cosmetic store with small capital by first registering with several popular largely preferred skincare brands by consumers, and stocking your store in busy neighbourhoods where there is lesser competition.
By doing this, consumers will know your store is a retailer of some of their preferred skincare products and would frequent it around that area to purchase from you. Also, the brands might also list your store as a distribution point to their consumers.
You can venture into the skincare or cosmetic business with little capital and take advantage of the growing market.
5). Digital Marketing:
With the growing popularity of the internet as a place to accelerate sales, acquire more customers, and quickly grow your brand image, companies are rapidly shifting towards building a digital marketing team, and as such, many are hiring the services of digital marketing experts.
With a strong knowledge of Pay Per Click Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, and much more, you can position yourself as a valuable digital marketing expert organisations could use to grow their online presence, and better still, you can start this business with small capital.
6). Grocery / Supermarket:
Most neighbourhoods always have at least one small supermarket, but not all have well-stocked supermarkets. Another challenge is with the electricity issues in Nigeria, small neighbourhood supermarkets rarely have cold drinks, and because of this, consumers would rather be buying from a small kiosk owned by a very small merchant as long as the merchants sell cold drinks also.
You could purchase a solar-powered freezer/fridge and start a supermarket in your vicinity. As long as pedestrians know you always have cold drinks and water, they’d frequent you a lot, and you could do this with small capital.
The barbershop is usually where people in certain neighbourhoods hangout sometimes to talk, watch soccer, and most importantly, have haircuts.
If you’re a well-trained barber or can hire a well trained skilled barber(s) whom only pays you a certain amount every week, you can set up a barbershop that has a TV for people to watch live soccer games, a Playstation for others to while away time, music for people who are in a certain mood, and a serene environment for people to want to come to and talk.
When you do this, you’d have a lot of them cutting their hairs in the process while you to grow a thriving business you can start with small capital.
8). Bread Bakery:
People love to eat freshly baked products. But most importantly, people prefer to eat freshly baked bread. By starting a bread bakery with small capital, you can have a business that starts to sell its commodity from the very first day as the smell and hotness of the freshly baked bread would draw in pedestrians and motorists looking to have it in its best state.
9). Fruit Juice Production:
Natural fruit juice is a high preference for people who work out at gyms, those who prefer healthy meals, and even school students who like to drink and eat anything sweet.
By setting up a natural fruit juice business in the key locations where people workout, eat, and school, you can grow a thriving business with small capital.
Busy working-class new mothers rarely ever have the time to take care of their newborns during the day because they need to go to work in the mornings and return much later in the evening.
You can take advantage of this opportunity by setting up a creche in your vicinity and letting every parent in the neighbourhood know that your business is available to care for their young while they’re busy at work.
To do this, all you need is a clean and beautiful apartment in the neighbourhood which you already reside, an existing great relationship with some parents in the neighbourhood, a great reputation, and a good way to advertise within the vicinity.
11). Plantain Chips Production:
The plantain chips production business in Nigeria largely thrives because of the huge traffic situation in the country, especially Lagos. As a result, too many people in traffic decide to get their mouths busy by buying junks sold by street hawkers, with the most common type after beef rolls, being plantain chips.
You could find a neighbourhood where market women produce plantain chips in bulk, start purchasing from them, repackaging, and redistributing for sale through road traffic, supermarkets, schools, and much more.
The best part is you can start the plantain chips production business with little capital as you don’t exactly have to produce the plantains yourself.
12). Rice Mill:
Rice cultivation in Nigeria is at an all-time high, but the rice processing is still low because of the large dependence on rice importation. With the Nigerian government largely clamouring for increased rice processing activities in Nigeria over importation, the prices of rice milling machines and boilers have dropped, giving the entrepreneur with small capital an easy route to venture into the business.
With little capital, you can buy a small rice milling machine and boiler and start processing unmilled rice for sale directly to either end customers or traders in the markets.
13). Social Media Management:
Many people have become huge influencers via social media, and in the process, earn millions of Naira and Dollars from just promoting other brands on their pages. Others have also earned millions from instead helping brands and small businesses to manage their social media accounts.
If you study and gain a great understanding of how social media works, you too could build up a consistent income stream by advertising and helping multiple small businesses manage their social media accounts.
As you build up a reliable track record, your clientele will grow.
14). Professional Writing:
If you’re a well-seasoned writer, professional writing is a lucrative business to venture into because of its vast opportunities and the fact you can start with small capital.
With great opportunities in writing business plans, feasibility reports, business proposals, web content, speeches, and much more, you could earn a sustainable monthly income, which could be considerably high depending on the type of clients you’re targeting, all from your home.
15). Real Estate Brokerage:
Real estate brokerage is a great business to venture into as it involves you finding homeowners, finding home buyers, brokering the transactions, and earning a commission on every successful sale.
The best part is you can start with small capital which would mostly be used to register with the parent real estate company, for transportation, online marketing, and a few in-betweens.
16). Fashion Design:
Africans have a huge interest in fashion, and so, a lot of them always take their African native materials to various fashion designers (tailors) to sew one or more great designs for them.
If you’re a skilled tailor, you could help people manage their wardrobes by consistently sewing clothing that would make them stand out wherever they go, and you can start this with small capital.
What are your thoughts on these 15+ lucrative business ideas you can start in Nigeria or Africa with small capital? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
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The export business remains one of the most profitable businesses in the world, including Nigeria, with profit margins going anywhere from 30% to in some cases over 100%. With the growing clamour by the Nigerian government for entrepreneurs should go into the export business, the need to effectively educate people on everything they need to know and to show them how to make their first one million Naira from the export business in Nigeria has become very paramount.
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